Recently, while digitizing some song recordings from the Helen Hartness Flanders Ballad Collection, we discovered an undocumented recording of a man reading from Rowland E. Robinson’s book Uncle Lisha’s Shop: Life in a Corner of Yankeeland. We recognized it as a Robinson story because of the characters mentioned, so we searched the online version of one of his most popular books for the word “voter”, which seemed unlikely to be a common word in the story, and we found that the text being read starts on pg. 13, seven lines from the bottom of the page. We recommend that you read along in the book while listening to the recording. Click here for the online text and listen to the recording by clicking the icon below.
The reader takes on the accent of two of Robinson’s classic characters, a “Yankee” and a “Cunuck”, aka French Canadian. Robinson wrote most of his fiction in the 1890s and it was very popular, particularly in Vermont, right up through the 1930s and 40s when Flanders was collecting her ballad recordings. Unfortunately we don’t know who the reader is or when the recording was made. The ballad recording that precedes it on the tape was originally on a disc, which means it was recorded between 1939 and 1950, but the story on the tape seems to be covered over by the ballad recording, and how that happened is a bit of a mystery yet to be solved, and we can’t be certain the singer of the ballad is the same person reading the story. We may eventually discover a more complete version of the reading.
For more about the Flanders Collection and to hear some of the recordings visit this site.
The home of Rowland E. Robinson is a museum open to the public in nearby Ferrisburgh. www.Rokeby.org
Thanks to a request by the New England Review, a new plugin called Simple Footnotes and Simple Footnotes EditorButton can be activated on your WordPress site for fast, elegant, hyperlinked footnotes.
First, activate Simple Footnotes under the Plugins menu at your WordPress Dashboard. When you create a new post or page, you’ll notice a new ab1 button in the editing toolbar.
When you’re ready to add a footnote, click that new button:
Type the text of your footnote in the Insert a footnote box that pops up and then Insert.
Use the Preview button to see how your footnotes look. While in edit mode, you’ll only see “tags” around your footnotes, like this = 1. Don’t fear! Your footnotes will look wonderful to the rest of the world once you publish your post or page, like this:
And at the bottom of your page, your footnote will look like this:
In the past, we have used OCLC’s “FirstSearch” web page to search WorldCat, OCLC’s database of worldwide library holdings, along with several other research databases.
Over the past years, OCLC phased out many of those research databases and launched a new public face for WorldCat – WorldCat.org – a more mobile device-friendly interface with social networking capabilities and other enhancements.
As of mid-July, we are pointing our links to WorldCat.org so that we can better understand how well this new search tool suits us.
Three month subscriptions to print versions of foreign titles for browsing during the Language Schools – Ogonek and Allure (Russian), Teva HaDvarim (Hebrew), Al Jamila and Sayidati (Arabic [at Mills College])
History of al-Tabari, State University New York series in Near Eastern studies (40 volume set) located on the third floor shelves of the Davis Family Library (call number: DS38.2 .T313 1985)
Google Reader Replacement
Attention, people saddened by the July 1 demise of Google Reader: I found a replacement that I (Carrie) like! The Old Reader. It’s in beta, but hopefully if enough people use it, it’ll last at least as long as Google Reader. I tried NetVibes but found it wasn’t syncing frequently enough. I tried Feedly but found that within categories, I wasn’t able to sort feeds manually (they sort alphabetically and it seems that can’t be changed). Here’s one blog (among MANY) that describes these readers: LifeHacker: Five Best Google Reader Alternatives.
The Oberlin Group of 17 Digital Library Unconference was held on May 21, 2013, at Mt. Holyoke College. With over 30 participants from 14 of the OG17 schools, there was lively discussion on topics including digital library planning and scope, organization and staffing, platforms and tools, data management and preservation policy, digital scholarship/digital humanities, outreach, and archiving born-digital records.
The format of the meeting eschewed the traditional speaker followed by a few questions in favour of a lightning round describing current projects at representated colleges, then brainstorming topics to be further discussed in a series of “break-out” sessions. The format felt more collaborative and productive than simply presenting information. Discussions were deemed successful enough to warrant follow-up meetings.
Attendees from Middlebury: Wendy Shook, Rebekah Irwin, Bryan Carson.