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Photo of Hina HirayamaHina Hirayama is one of Rauner Special Collections Library’s New England Regional Fellowship Consortium Fellows for the 2017-2018 academic year. Hirayama is an historian of art and culture of nineteenth-century New England. Originally from Tokyo, Japan, she received her B.A. from Amherst College and Ph.D. from the American & New England Studies Program at Boston University.

After serving as a curator at the Boston Athenaeum for over two decades, she is now working on a biography of the American scientist Edward Sylvester Morse (1838-1925), which will pay particular attention to the American context of his life and career. She is the author of "With Eclat": The Boston Athenaeum and the Origin of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2013).

Next Thursday, May 24th,  from 1:15-2:15, Hirayama will give a brief talk about her work on the Morse biography, which will be partially based upon research conducted at Rauner. The talk will be held in the Bryant Room at Rauner Library in Webster Hall and will be followed by a question-and-answer period.


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Mark Bray History Professor
Mark Bray

Holding Court is an interview series that features the authors of the new books on display in the King Arthur Flour café in Baker-Berry Library.

In this week's edition, we talk with Mark Bray, who teaches History.  Bray's book, Antifa: the anti-fascist handbook (Melville House, 2017) gained national attention immediately following its publication in August 2017.  After the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, VA, which resulted in the death of counter-protestor Heather Heyer, Antifa's publisher, Melville House, rushed to print Antifa in order to provide historical context for the anti-fascist movement.  Most academic titles see an initial printing of a few hundred copies; Melville House set a first printing of 10,000, with an additional print-run of 20,000 copies, as reported by the Guardian.  Bray is an authority on the movement, one who participates in it (Bray was an organizer of Occupy Wall Street) and also performs deft political analysis of its place in current politics and over the last century.

What is your book about?

A century of anti-fascist resistance in Europe and North America; or, how to make friends at an Ivy League institution.

Where do you get your ideas?

From Bakunin's ghost.

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

Meeting people on marches. Reading old documents in archives. Interviewing revolutionaries. Having drinks at squatted social centers.

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

A free, global database of information.

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

Stay hydrated.

And finally, what do you read for fun?

The Sports section.

Memory Apata; Paddock Music Librarian

Why did you choose to become a librarian?
Music has always been my first love and I had a career in acting, opera and musical theater before deciding to pursue librarianship. Classical singers are trained in many languages, and I found that librarianship offered a place for me to use that skill and stay connected to musical scholarship in a way that performance couldn't. I also love working on a college campus where students are full of hope, excitement and creativity.

Who are your typical patrons?
Most of our visitors are music faculty and students. We also have a large number of community members who come to the library to listen to music and use our equipment.

What do you see as the challenges and rewards for your profession? What "makes your day"?
The greatest reward for probably any subject librarian is getting to use your own background in the discipline to help a student or faculty member along in their research. It’s that moment when you get to say, “Oh, did you know that this composer wrote about this piece in their own words?” and that text becomes the linchpin resource for their project. The challenge is that librarians’ disciplinary knowledge isn’t always the thing that students think of when they think of librarians.

Is there something unique about you, or your library that you would like to share?
If you’ve seen someone walking around campus with a hula hoop, it was probably me. In addition to being the librarian for music, I am also the librarian for dance and hooping is the way I keep up my dance chops.

How is your library using more electronic sources? To what extent have these impacted the way that your patrons use the library and its materials?
Music isn’t as affected by the move to digital as other disciplines. Yes, we do purchase e-books, but the main commodity of the music library is its physical scores. While some musicians these days do play from tablets, most still prefer a paper copy of the music.

Is there anything that your library does especially well that you’d love to continue and possibly expand?
Paddock is great at community outreach. Our first concern is always the Dartmouth community, but our also programming attracts a lot of people from the Upper Valley who become rich personal resources for the students who attend our events. My dream library is more like a bookshop/café, wherein students play live music everyday. There’d be a little stage, a recording studio, a dance studio and workshops on songwriting, reading music and musical entrepreneurship. This space would be the hub for a community of practice in music decked out with all of the equipment a budding artist would need to get started on their work.

When it comes to motivating your patrons to read or listen to music, what techniques or strategies have you found to be most effective?
I'm fascinated by the People Magazine version of composers' lives. Knowing a little about their habits, politics and even their romantic affairs can really peak a patron's interest. They see that the composer was a real person with a story and it makes them want to learn more.

Historical figure: Shirley Chisholm. Her campaign slogan was “Unbought and Unbossed.” Most people know her as the first black woman elected to congress, but her whole life was incredibly inspiring. She was this petite lady with a huge personality and incredible ideas.
Fictional World: Like most millennials, I grew up on Harry Potter. My dog is named after Luna Lovegood.
Musician: Nina Simone. She’s brilliant. She’d play a fugue in the middle of a jazz standard. It’s nuts.

photo of douglas irwinHolding Court is an interview series that features the authors of the new books on display in the King Arthur Flour café in Baker-Berry Library.

In this week's edition, we talk with Douglas Irwin, the John French Professor of Economics.  Irwin, an expert on trade history, recently published Clashing over Commerce: A History of U.S. Trade Policy (University of Chicago Press, 2017).  The book has already received an enthusiastic reception from the media and academic peers, particularly in this era of intensifying debate around steel tariffs and other trade policies.  In spite of a busy schedule of media appearances, research, and teaching, Irwin made time to speak with the Library about his book.  And what he likes reading!

What is your book about?

The history of US trade policy from the very beginning (1763 or so) up to now.

Where do you get your ideas?

Often by thinking about the work of others.

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

Could not work at all without the resources of the Baker-Berry Library!

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

No idea, but I hope it always remains a place for discovering things and meeting people.

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

Persistence: the key to writing is rewriting, and if you do a little every day it adds up over time.

And finally, what do you read for fun?

Aside from obscure and boring economics books, usually history, or instead of that...more history!  I just checked out The Year without Summer about a volcano eruption in 1816 that darkened and cooled the globe for a year and cause big crop problems in America, leading to food shortages and hard times. A great case of the environment affecting the economy.

Jones Media Center’s “What’s Wrong with This Picture?” Campaign!

Recently Jones Media Center revealed the second series of posters in its "What's Wrong with This Picture" campaign, alluding to the fact that a small hidden object or figure was placed in selected archival photos. The first set of images focused on Dartmouth's Winter Carnival (think Cinderella's glass slipper hidden on the steps of an ice castle sculpted in 1972). In the current series on display near the entrance of JMC, the images showcase the Dartmouth Green through the decades.

The creative team at Jones sifted through hundreds of options from Rauner Special Collections Library’s digital photo archives. The chosen photos were carefully restored using Photoshop, and the hidden objects were blended into the black-and-white images, inviting viewers to take a closer look. While the campaign offers the fun factor of uncovering a hidden object, its goal is to educate as well as engage. “The photos themselves speak volumes about Dartmouth’s rich past,” says JMC’s Learning Spaces Manager Helmut Baer, who conceived the concept and design for the campaign, “but we also made a point to include meaningful, sometimes little known facts in each caption.”

Make sure to visit JMC to discover for yourself what’s “wrong” with these (new) old photos of the Dartmouth Green on display.  And stay tuned for an animated version of the poster series coming to a library screen soon.

 As part of Preservation Week, we're highlighting the Dartmouth Library programs that can help you preserve your professional, personal, family, and community collections.

Today we’ll hear from Digital Scholarship Librarian Jen Green about how we can preserve Open Access articles, student publications and more.

Describe your role in the Library.

I work with faculty, students, and staff to help them share the results of their research, scholarship, teaching, and learning. I am involved in the planning, design, and development of Dartmouth’s emerging online scholarly repository, the Dartmouth Digital Commons.

Tell us about the Dartmouth Digital Commons.

The Dartmouth Digital Commons (DDC) is an open repository for Dartmouth produced scholarly, research, and educational output.

The collection that I work with most closely is the Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Articles collection. Open Dartmouth provides a space for implementing the Dartmouth Faculty Open Access Policy. This enables anyone in the world to find, read and download legally available, full-text materials authored by Dartmouth faculty.

Working papers, the results of locally held symposia, and student-led publications are other examples of scholarship that can be published- and preserved- through the DDC.

How does the Dartmouth Digital Commons support preservation?

DDC is a robust system that supports high-level backups of content. This means that if the system fails, the content has been saved multiple ways and multiple times so that it can remain available.

DDC supports preservation by providing a stable location for Dartmouth student, faculty, and staff to share their work. We know that there are many places online to share our work with the world, but the future of those services and resources is not always certain.  When Dartmouth Library makes an investment in collecting and managing physical and digital items, the Library commits to preserving those items long-term. DDC is a system that the Library has researched and vetted as one that is safe for gathering, storing, and presenting items now and into the future.

Who can use the Dartmouth Digital Commons?

Because is it a fully open repository, anyone in the world can search and download content from DDC.  

However, if users would like to share their own work on DDC, they must be affiliated with Dartmouth as a student, faculty, or staff member.  There are a variety of ways to use the DDC to share your work. Some examples so far:

  • Dartmouth student publication editors are able to openly publish student journals.
  • Dartmouth faculty in Arts & Sciences, Geisel School of Medicine, and the Thayer School of Engineering can submit their final peer reviewed versions of closed access articles or final versions of open access articles to Open Dartmouth.
  • Dartmouth Librarians recently adopted a Dartmouth Library Staff Open Access Policy and will be sharing selected published or presented works within the DDC.

Other Dartmouth users have expressed interest in sharing content with the world. We are working with new communities for sharing student projects, department scholarship and more. Collections continue to grow and become more diverse.  We always welcome questions about whether items Dartmouth student, faculty, and staff would like to share would be appropriate for the DDC.

How do I get started?

  1. Send us a note with your question or ideas for sharing:
  2. Dartmouth Faculty may send us recently published articles on the “Submit Work” link located on this page:
  3. Read more about us and find our contact information:


As part of Preservation Week, we're highlighting the Dartmouth Library programs that can help you preserve your professional, personal, family, and community collections.

Today, we’ll hear from Media Collections and Preservation Librarian Noah Skogerboe about how the library can help you preserve your audio-visual collections.

Describe your role in the Library.

As a member of the  Jones Media Center team, I provide access to our media and equipment collections and assist students, faculty and staff with media projects. I also work on audio-visual preservation projects, both for library collections and items belonging to students, staff, faculty and the local community.

What types of media can you preserve?

Much of what I handle are “obsolete” formats: things that do not have readily available playback mechanisms. For instance, we have playback equipment for VHS, Beta, Umatic video, Hi8 video, DVCAM, MiniDV, laserdisc, 8mm film, Super8 film, 16mm film, DAT tapes, various sizes of analog magnetic tape…the list goes on and on!  

Can you describe the connection between "preserving" and "migrating" media?

Older video and audio formats are decaying so rapidly that all of their recorded information will soon be lost if we do not convert it to another more stable medium. The practice of transferring something to another more stable format is called “migration”, and its something that preservationists have been doing for a long time. For instance, some of the oldest audio recordings were made on wax cylinders. These recordings are so fragile that every playback causes some damage and the sound quality gets worse and worse. Wax cylinders were migrated onto high quality reel-to-reel magnetic audio tape in the 1970s in order to preserve the content for future listeners. Now those reel-to-reel tapes are in a similar condition of fragility, and we are migrating content onto high quality digital files. So, preservation and migration go hand in hand. When you migrate media for preservation you always use the best quality formats available.

So, once I have converted my old media to a digital file has it been preserved?

Migration to a high quality digital file is only the first step in the preservation process- now you have something new to preserve. Digital files must be carefully managed over time. Storing multiple copies of your media file in different locations- such as on an external hard drive and “in the cloud”- is one important way to ensure your media’s survival into the future.

What preservation services do you offer to the Dartmouth community?

If a researcher needs access to something in the Library’s collection that is in an old media format, I will convert the item into a digital format. I can then provide digital access to the content for the researcher.

Jones Media staff can help empower you to migrate your own older media to digital files. We have two editing suites that have all the equipment necessary to digitize audio and video cassette formats, as well as vinyl records. We are available to provide instructions and assistance throughout the migration process.

The Library also offers digitization services for a fee, but because resources are limited, we prioritize efforts that support student and faculty scholarship.

I am also happy to consult and advise on best practices for preservation of media in any format.

Who can access these services?

Our media preservation services are available to anyone who comes through the doors of the Jones Media Center. Happily, all members of the Dartmouth community, including students, staff, faculty and alumni are welcome to avail themselves of all that we have to offer.

How do I get started?

Come and see us at the Jones Media Center, visit our web page to learn more about the equipment and services that we have to offer, or email us at or me personally at with any questions!


The Library states in its Strategic Objectives and Priorities that we want to ‘stimulate innovative thinking through user-centered design approaches’.  We are excited to be introducing our first initiative.

Background: User-Centered Libraries

A user-centered library is oriented to the people who use libraries in teaching, learning, and research; that is, to faculty and students as well as other community members who work in the library or rely on it. A user-centered library is one in which continually refreshed information about people’s use of the library, its programming and services guides planning and decision-making.

We recently launched a new initiative to develop a more user-centered library by learning and implementing a user-centered design process. This initiative will allow us to realize our Strategic Objectives & Priorities (Partners in Research; Co-Educators in Teaching and Learning; and Inspiring Environments for Inspiring Ideas) in new and innovative ways.

Our First Project: User-Centered Design of Research Service Hubs

The objective of the initial project is to devise ways to bring the best possible research services to Dartmouth’s faculty members, graduate students, and professional school students, online and in person, collaborating with key partners to enhance services. We are doing this through two main sets of studies. One set of studies is reviewing current services at Dartmouth and peer institutions. The other set of studies will focus on the practices of Dartmouth researchers.

Members of the project team are:

  • Jennifer Taxman, Associate Librarian for Research & Learning
  • James Adams, Data & Visualization Librarian
  • Laura Barrett, Director of Education & Outreach Program
  • Laura Braunstein, Digital Humanities Librarian
  • Lora Leligdon, Physical Sciences Librarian
  • George Morris, Director of Research Computing
  • Mina Rakhra, Cataloging & Metadata Services Librarian

Once the team has completed data gathering, it will conduct analytic and interpretive activities to understand the needs of our researchers and the kinds of services we may be able to deliver to them. We will then implement some focused changes based on what we have learned beginning Fall 2018.


The Library is working with Nancy Fried Foster, a design anthropologist, who is facilitating the project and providing outside expertise. Nancy helps libraries, colleges, universities, and cultural institutions use ethnographic and participatory methods to understand their users and then design spaces, services, and technologies to meet their needs. She has supported projects at Yale University, the University of Maryland, Purdue University, Central European University, Lebanese American University, and many others. Her work at the University of Rochester is best known through the book she edited with Susan Gibbons: Studying Students.


Current research services

The project team is developing a picture of current research services at Dartmouth that includes an inventory of services offered by the library as well as a review of services considered relevant and important by key administrators and service providers. Our conversations took place with several key stakeholders at Dartmouth.  We also talked with colleagues at peer institutions to learn about their practices and to get additional ideas and information.

Studies of Dartmouth researchers

The research process varies across disciplines and from one individual to another; but it is possible through user studies to characterize the process and identify common research activities, preferences, and needs. During the week of May 7th 2018, we will interview faculty members, graduate students, and professional school students, asking them about an ongoing or recent research project. We are recruiting representatives of science, social science, and humanities departments and professional schools for these interviews.

Separately, we are holding drop-in activity sessions (30-40 minutes) in which we ask respondents to depict an ideal research hub comprising both physical and online services. Team members will conduct a structured debrief of these depictions. We are recruiting faculty members and graduate and professional students who represent a range of departments and professional schools.


After gathering, analyzing, and interpreting the data, we hope to:

  • Develop models of the local research lifecycle and the full range of services that have emerged as relevant and important for current and emerging research practices;
  • Develop concepts for coordinating and delivering those services in a way that is integrated across Dartmouth Library and partner units of the College;
  • Draft a plan to implement small-scale improvements in pilot service hubs; and
  • Reflect on the user-centered design process and envision how this approach may be incorporated into planning and decision-making at Dartmouth Library.

The Project Team welcomes your questions and comments at:  Library Research Service Hubs





Images of Food Across Borders book cover and co-editor Matt GarciaHolding Court is an interview series that features the authors of the new books on display in the King Arthur Flour café in Baker-Berry Library.

In this week's edition, we talk with Matt Garcia, Professor of Latin American, Latino/a & Caribbean Studies and History.  He is a co-editor, along with E. Melanie Dupuis and Don Mitchell, of Food Across Borders (Rutgers, 2017).  Their introduction sets the stage for a diverse group of essays, exploring how "the way we produce food, the way we eat, and what we eat have frequently hinged on the flow of people, foods, memories, and worldviews across borders."  On Thursday, April 26 at 4:30 PM in the East Reading Room of Baker-Berry Library, the Dartmouth Library will host a book talk featuring Food Across Borders, with co-editors Garcia and Dupuis and contributor Teresa Mares presenting the volume.   The event is free and open to the public, and promises to be a fascinating look into the intersections of military and/or labor history, trade policy, immigration, and digestion.  And yes, food will be served.

What is your book about?

We seek to overcome generalizations about the ills of a globalized food system and the uncritical valorization of local producers to understand the history and possible futures for food production in a modern world.

Where do you get your ideas?

All three editors have been working at the crossroads of food and labor or food and digestion. We began to see that all of our approaches involved border crossings: either immigrants or food stuff moving over borders and bodies of water, or food breaching the barriers that separate the outside of our bodies from within. We thought others might be working on these same issues. This volume proves that our hunch was right.

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

For this book, research required an appreciation of taste as a form of evidence. The unique flavors that constitute a cuisine also provide hidden clues to our pasts and recent transformations in our trade regimes.

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

It is fitting that the King Arthur Café resides in Baker-Berry Library, and our book is on display there! We believe that libraries will incorporate a more complete sensory experience. I recall using the music and video libraries at UC Berkeley as an undergraduate. I think we ought to imagine how tastes and smells can be catalogued and displayed. It may not be appropriate for every campus library, but one or some should consider catering to senses other than sight and touch.

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

Never hesitate to transgress boundaries. We radically transgress disciplinary boundaries in this book, which includes considering evidence (taste) that traditional approaches to scholarship might dismiss.

And finally, what do you read for fun?

I am currently reading books about how to farm. We own a 12.8 acre farmstead in Thetford, Vermont, and I intend to return cows to the land this spring. My favorite book in this genre is The Independent Farmstead by Beth Dougherty.