Skip to content

In visual perception a color is almost never seen as it really is—as it physically is. This fact makes color the most relative medium in art.” –Josef Albers

Thanks to the enthusiastic support of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Yale University Press has recently launched the A&AePortal edition of Alber's Interaction of Color.

During the 1960s, Josef Albers and his wife artist Anni developed 150 silk screen prints that demonstrated how colors behaved differently depending on what color they were next to. These beautiful color prints have taught generations of artists a new way to think about color and how colors create different dialogues depending on what colors they are in close proximity with. This groundbreaking work is currently held in the Dartmouth's Sherman Art Library Special Collection

In addition to Albers’s original commentary and instruction, the A&AePortal version features high-resolution reproductions of the color plates and video of experts discussing some of the color exercises from the book (see example, below).

The four X';s in the print below are one color that looks like different when place next to other colors.

The A&AePortal edition of the Interaction of Color is a new way to introduce student’s to this extraordinary publication and a useful supplement to the print edition in classes.

This collection was put together by students in Christie Harner's  ENGL 62.16 class, “Victorian Faces / Facial Politics, ” this Summer. The collection highlights themes of social identity, medical history, scientific policing and detection, and racial ethnography in nineteenth-century Britain.

Servants Employment Agency
A servants' employment agency where prospective employees are having their heads phrenologically examined as to their suitability by W. Taylor


You can explore the collection through the Dartmouth Library's  Artstor subscription:

Unique and Transformative                                                                                          

The A&AePortal is a ebook resource that features important works of scholarship in the history of art, architecture, decorative arts, photography, and design. With innovative functionality and extensive metadata, the site offers students and scholars an engaging experience, encouraging critical thinking skills and supporting rigorous academic research.

Exclusive and authoritative
Many out-of-print titles, key backlist, and recent releases from the world’s finest academic and museum publishers are available as eBooks exclusively on this site. Peer-reviewed born-digital content will also be available uniquely on the A&AePortal.
Innovative functionality
With innovative search features, zoom capabilities, an interactive online reader, plus supplemental audio and video, the A&AePortal enables researchers to make efficient and effective connections between texts and related images. The site also provides opportunities for the publication of new forms of scholarship.
Discoverable and centralized
Deep text and image tagging allow researchers to study scholarship across multiple eBooks from a variety of major publishers, yielding rich and exciting results.
Accessible and affordable
Instantly expand your library’s collection by subscribing to the A&AePortal. Multi-user permissions provide classrooms with convenient access to chapters and customizable coursepacks without additional cost.
Discover content by image
Once a researcher identifies an image of interest, the A&AePortal provides all of the chapters on the site in which the image is referenced. The researcher can then quickly move between publications to read the various interpretations of the same image.

la Cortada book cover

La Cortada is the story of Cuban American scholar Ruth Behar’s immigration from Cuba to America.  She was almost 5 when her family immigrated, but unlike other family and friends who immigrated around the same age, she had no memories of her life in Cuba.  Because of this her family called her La Cortada, referring to one who has been cut off, lost their speech, their memories.  Behar had become painfully shy and continued to be so even as she became a college professor.  In search of her early childhood memories, and perhaps a key to the laughing little girl her family remembered in Cuba, Behar traveled to Cuba to get to know the family left behind, including a woman, Caro, who cared for her as a little girl.  Behar’s mother had told her Cuba was so safe when she was a child, that she would let her ride alone in a taxi to visit her aunts.   When Ruth said she couldn’t remember the taxi or anything from that time, Caro told her she had come home from a visit to her aunts and told Caro that the man had pinched her thighs the whole way home and refused to get back in a taxi again.  Ruth never told anyone else what happened, and she realized it was at that time that her memory cut off. She lost her happy memories and her laughter, but also her fear and her sadness at what happened.

First published in 1997 story was published in Cuba by Ediciones Vigia in 2004, a cooperative of Cuban artists that create handmade books in editions of 200, using mostly recycled materials. This edition is designed by artist Rolando Estévez in English and Spanish, and includes a puzzle image of La Cortada in a back pocket that, like Behar's memories, can be pieced back together.

Professor Ulrike Wegst at the Thayer School of Engineering developed a library of material samples that allows students to explore the structures, properties, and processing characteristics of common metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, and natural materials.  Understanding these materials informs the process and selection for their projects, prototypes and manufacture in the shops at Thayer and the HOP.

 Foam, Metal,  Discover Materials!, accessed May 27, 2020,

To make the materials samples more accessible, Prof. Wegst worked with students  to photograph materials and create data sheets about these materials that could be viewed on a website. Maintaining the website required some programming background and created website maintenance issues. Prof Wegst and her students assistants were able to work with Mina Rakhra from the library to create material templates in JSTOR Forum where students can add and update materials information with consistent terminology, and publish directly to an OMEKA website. Students helped to create supporting documentation for new students working on the project, as well online exhibits from the materials library, such as the Food for Thought Exhibit on chocolate,

  Cacao Pod & Bean Samples

The physical Discover Materials! Collection is located in Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering, next to the machine shop. The collection consists of hundreds of materials and products, with information to guide students with materials selection for their projects.  Browse the collection online: 

The collection is also being added to Dartmouth's public collections in Artstor:


Dartmouth has added a web-based companion to the book: St. Paul’s Outside the Walls: A Roman Basilica from Antiquity to the Modern Era by  Art History professor Nicola Camerlenghi, (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

This virtual companion to Professor Nicola Camerlenghi book is part of Dartmouth's JSTOR Forum Institutional Collections in Artstor:

Prof. Camerlenghi's research traces nearly two thousand years of physical transformations to one of Rome's most influential churches, the Basilica of St Paul.  The history of St. Paul's is traced from before its construction in the fourth century to its reconstruction following a fire in 1823. By recounting this long history, he restores the building to its rightful place as a central, active participant in epochal political and religious shifts in Rome and across Christendom, as well as a protagonist in Western art and architectural history. He also examines how buildings in general trigger memories and anchor meaning, and how and why buildings endure, evolve, and remain relevant in cultural contexts far removed from the moment of their inception. At its core, Saint Paul's exemplifies the concept of building as a process, not a product: a process deeply interlinked with religion, institutions, history, cultural memory, and the arts. This study also includes state-of-the-art digital reconstructions synthesizing a wealth of historical evidence to visualize and analyze the earlier (now lost) stages of the building's history, offering glimpses into heretofore unexamined parts of its long, rich life.


Born in Paris in 1673 Bernard Picart was a French artist who spent much of his life in Amsterdam and is most well known for his book illustrations.  In a time of religious unrest in Europe, Bernard was radically committed to religious tolerance and his best known work, Cérémonies et coutumes religieuses de tous les peuples du monde, was an attempt to document religious beliefs from around the world as objectively as possible.  It is an immense work of 12 volumes and 266 engravings which he produced between 1723-1743.  Picart himself never traveled outside of Europe, but relied on written accounts and sketches from travelers to India, the Americas and other regions.

He published Receuïl de Lions in 1728  as a series of 12 small engravings 13x 20cm.  Three he drew himself from life, seven are engravings after Rembrandt drawings, and one is after Paulus Potter, a 17th century Dutch artist famous for his paintings of animals.  This small ‘pocket edition’ was so popular Picart issued a much larger edition in 1729 of 42 prints  that was  20x26.5cm.

Receuïl de Lions: dessins d’apres nature par Rembrandt et B.. Picart  1728 engraving of a lion by Bernard Picart

Sherman Art Library Special Collection N7668.L56 P53 1728

Photograph of Lucas Hollister
Photograph of Lucas Hollister

In this week's edition, we speak with Lucas C. Hollister, Assistant Professor of French and Italian Languages and Literatures. In his most recent book 'Beyond Return Genre and Cultural Politics in Contemporary French Fiction', he proposes new perspectives on the cultural politics of fictions. Examining adventure novels, radical noir, postmodernist mysteries, war novels, and dystopian fictions, Hollister shows how authors like Jean Echenoz, Jean-Patrick Manchette, Jean Rouaud, and Antoine Volodine develop radically dissimilar notions of the aesthetics of 'return', and thus redraw in different manners the boundaries of the contemporary, the French, and the literary.

What is your book about?

How popular fictional forms are politicized in France, and about how these cultural forms are used to define the “contemporary.”

Where did you get your idea(s) for this book?

While I was reading literary histories and criticism, I was struck by how many of the dominant accounts of the present or “contemporary” relied on a narrative about a “return to the story” after the decline of the postwar avant-gardes in France. As an avid reader of genre fiction (of both the low and high varieties) and of French modernist literature, I found the topic fascinating. I was also skeptical of what I saw as the anti-modernist and anti-intellectual undercurrents of this argument. I started to study this topic, in short, because I wanted to orient myself in the cultural field and I wanted to think about how literature was politicized today. Eventually, this led me to take a deeper dive into the novels of a few authors—notably Jean-Patrick Manchette, Jean Echenoz, and Antoine Volodine— whom I felt represented particularly ingenious ways of working with crime fiction, mystery, war fiction, and dystopian fiction.

What does research look like for you? What element of research could you not live without?

I read as much as I can. Working with contemporary authors and texts means that I don’t get to do a lot of the fun archival digging that scholars from earlier periods do, but I take occasional research trips to libraries and archives in France. The spaces my work cannot do without are the spaces I find to read, the space of the classroom where I work out ideas with students, and the space of French literary culture.

What do you think the library of the future will look like?

An indefinite, perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries. The arrangement of the galleries is always the same: Twenty bookshelves, five to each side, line four of the hexagon’s six sides; the height of the bookshelves, floor to ceiling, is hardly greater than the height of a normal librarian. One of the hexagon’s free sides opens onto a narrow sort of vestibule, which in turn opens onto another gallery, identical to the first—identical in fact to all. A spiral staircase winds upward and downward into the remotest distance. In the vestibule there is a mirror, which faithfully reduplicates appearances. Light is provided by certain spherical fruits that bear the name “bulbs.” There are two of these bulbs in each hexagon, set crosswise. The light they give is insufficient, and unceasing. Pessimistically, one might also imagine it as a screen whose real function is to read us.

What advice would you give to an aspiring scholar or writer?

To read and write a lot. To work hard to improve how you read and write. To seek out your blind spots and deficiencies. To cultivate a network of people who can read your work critically. To be generous with yourself, trust your own intellect and follow your interests wherever they lead you.

And finally, what do you read for fun? 

I have the defect of thinking that almost everything I study and teach is fun. That said, I would love to read more Sebald, to read the pockets of Borges I haven’t yet read, and to reread Tolstoy, Flaubert, Joyce, Kafka, Woolf. I have a book project right now called Bad Natures, for which I am currently reading a lot of climate fiction and eco-horror. Recently I enjoyed reading Samanta Schweblin’s Fever Dream and Mouthful of Birds.


Photograph of Petra McGillen
Photograph of Petra McGillen

In this week's edition, we speak with Petra S. McGillen, Assistant Professor of German Studies. In her book 'The Fontane Workshop: Manufacturing Realism in the Industrial Age of Print', McGillen analyzes a wealth of unexplored archival evidence, including a collection of the Theodor Fontane's 67 extant notebooks, along with an array of other 'paper tools,' such as cardboard boxes, envelopes, and slips.  With this evidence, McGillen demonstrates how Fontane compiled his realist prose works.

What is your book about?

Question: How was nineteenth-century realist literature created? Answer: with a stack of newspapers, a pair of scissors, a pot of paste, and a small army of helpers! At least, this is how Theodor Fontane, Germany’s best-known novelist in the realist vein, did it. The book reconstructs his creative process, showing how he “remixed” his writings from newspapers and other popular-cultural sources under conditions of early mass media.

Where did you get your idea(s) for this book?

It all started with a lucky find in graduate school. Randomly, I stumbled upon a footnote that mentioned Theodor Fontane’s notebooks. In Germany, Fontane is as well-known as Goethe or Kafka, and I was stunned that I had never heard about his notebooks before. I followed up and realized that not much had been published about these intriguing little media of writing (in part because they were held at an archive in former East Germany and had not been freely available to scholars until the German Reunification). As soon as I could, I traveled to Germany to explore the notebooks for real—and was hooked. They were difficult to read but also extremely fascinating because they provided access to Fontane’s paper cosmos and all aspects of his authorship, containing both traces of the drafting process and of the business side of being a freelance writer. From there, the topic quickly mushroomed—I discovered more and more “paper tools” that Fontane used, such as strange, homemade envelopes with which he loosely organized his manuscripts, and began to wonder what the relationship of these tools was to the media-historical setting in which Fontane and his peers worked. Once I understood that he worked in a media landscape that in some ways resembles our own, and that he became creative by means of copying (or cutting) and pasting, it clicked with me that I had to portray him as a remix artist, because that is the most appropriate way of capturing what his creative process was all about.

What does research look like for you? What element of research could you not live without?

My research involves heavy-duty archival work, so one element I could not live without are manuscripts, notebooks, drafts, and other such sources! Doing archival research always reminds me of doing a puzzle: at first, what’s in the box looks like a total jumble, but as you turn the pieces over and scrutinize each one more closely, you begin to figure out how they connect, and slowly but surely, the full picture emerges. It requires a lot of stamina, or what Germans call Sitzfleisch (literally, “flesh to sit on”, but it's meant more in the sense of perseverance and the ability to sit still on one's backside for a long time), but the feeling of discovery when you begin to make those connections is thrilling.

What do you think the library of the future will look like?

With more and more books, journals, and archival sources getting digitized, the library of the future will for sure shrink in physical space but expand drastically in the number of titles and items that can be accessed. On the one hand, I find this push toward digitization exciting because it will yield a whole range of new opportunities. On the other hand, I think this development will come at a cost. Libraries have never just been spaces for the storage of books; they have always also been sites where readers interact (with texts and with each other), where one can breathe and smell books, where one might meet one’s future spouse, and where one might make the unexpected, serendipitous finds that are such a vital part of research. All of this would be lost if we reduced ourselves to “digital only” models. I’m therefore hoping that the library of the future will leave room for both—the opportunities that the library as a virtual hub affords and the opportunities that arise from bringing people and books into the same place. Also, stepping into an expansive reading room that is filled to the ceiling with books feels inspiring; it takes my breath away every time. By comparison, entering an online portal feels “meh” at best.

What advice would you give to an aspiring scholar or writer?

Figure out what your most productive hours of the day are and be protective of them. Turn off your email. Spread a bucket of glue on your chair, sit down, and do not get up until you have written at least two pages.

And finally, what do you read for fun? 

The last novel that I read for fun was Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann. It’s a wild and creative take on the genre of the historical novel and tells the life of Till Eulenspiegel, a German prankster who is the protagonist of a famous early sixteenth-century chapbook. In Kehlmann's version, he makes the decision never to die, which makes for a fabulous and very entertaining narrative. Recently, I started plowing through Brian Merchant’s The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone. So far, I’ve been enjoying it tremendously. Merchant is great at disentangling the many strands that came together to make the iPhone possible and completely busts the lone-inventor myth that to this day surrounds Steve Jobs. I actually meant to read it for fun, but I find myself taking notes all the time because I really want to teach a media history class on this topic.

Every year, three Dartmouth Library Fellowships provide opportunities for recent graduates to explore different types of careers in libraries and to gain practical experience.

The  Edward Connery Lathem '51 Digital Library Fellowship provides an opportunity for a graduating student or current graduate student of Dartmouth College to spend a year learning and contributing to aspects of digital library production, delivery, assessment and preservation. The fellowship may be tailored to the individual interests of the candidate where their skills support the mission of the developing Digital Library Program.

The Jones Memorial Digital Media Fellowship provides an opportunity for a graduating student or recent graduate of Dartmouth College to spend a year learning digital media technology as applied to the academic curriculum and careers in librarianship. The fellowship may be tailored to the individual interests of the candidate where their skills support the mission of the Jones Media Center.

The Edward Connery Lathem ’51 Special Collections Fellowship offers recent Dartmouth graduates an opportunity to work in Rauner Special Collections Library and gain valuable experience with archives, manuscripts and rare books. The fellow will work on a major project tailored to his or her skills and interests while gaining a general overview of special collections librarianship.

All three fellowships are one year, full-time paid positions with benefits. First consideration of applications will begin on April 10, 2020. To apply for any or all, visit