Category Archives: libitsblog

A phonograph record on a post card? A professor throws a curveball at Special Collections.

Recently Paul Sommers, Paige-Wright Professor of Economics, stopped by the archives with an unusual item: he had purchased a “melody card” online, a paper phonograph record first manufactured in the 1930s, most notably on cereal boxes or as inserts in magazines.

Baseball Hall of Fame "record" post card.

Baseball Hall of Fame “record” post card.

His postcard reads: Play this record on the PHONOGRAPH, 78rpm speed manual. Prof. Sommers doesn’t have a record player that plays 78s, so he got in touch with the Giamatti Research Center of the Baseball Hall of Fame to see what was recorded on the card. That’s when the story gets interesting. They couldn’t tell him because they don’t hold a copy of the card in their vast collection of baseball memorabilia.

So, Prof. Sommers turned to Special Collections. Armed with a 78 rpm turntable and some audio software, we were able to play his postcard (click on the audio strip below to hear for yourself) :

Every now and then somebody throws us a curveball and we’re thrilled when we hit it out of the park. (Aren’t you glad we resisted the temptation to pepper this post with baseball lingo until the very end?) Play ball!

Baseball Hal of Fame "record" post card

Baseball Hall of Fame “record” post card

We were greatly shocked with the news…

During a recent visit to the archives by Professor Ellie Gebarowski-Shafer’s Religion 130 class, The Christian Tradition, students plowed through 214 years of Middlebury College missionary history with College Archivist Danielle Rougeau. Amid the pages of 19th century cursive was this diary entry by Mary Martin, wife of a missionary to China and grandmother of Mabel Martin (later Mary Buttolph), Class of 1911. (Mary Martin is pictured below, circa 1865.)

Mary Martin


After the death of her husband and a young son in China, Mary returned to Vermont by way of San Francisco. After 69 days at sea, she writes her last diary entry on May 21, 1965:

We were greatly shocked with the news we heard on our arrival this morning of the assassination of president Lincoln but very glad to learn that the war is over and that slavery is abolished.

Postscript: Lincoln was assassinated on April 15, 1865. News traveled slowly in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Her mention of this news falls smack in the middle of the page below. To learn more about Middlebury missionaries, Mary Martin, or to cut your teeth on some 19th century cursive, visit Special Collections.

Martin.1965

Wireless Enhancements

We’re working to replace and upgrade many of the existing wireless access points across Middlebury campus. You may see staff or contractors working with cabling and ladders in various buildings over the coming weeks.

We are upgrading to keep with the best wireless technology and address coverage or performance concerns. Along with entire building enhancements including McCardell Bicentennial Hall and Davis Family Library, the model we’re wholesale replacing is pictured here. If you see one of these, know that it will be replaced soon!
ap-61

Thanks for your patience and support as we strive to keep our systems functioning optimally!

Sub Sandwich? No, Try a Subpage or Sidebar Instead! (Updated Drupal/Work Session Schedule)

Sub SandwichDo you need to learn how to edit your department’s website?  Would you like to know how to add sub pages, pictures and sidebars?  Our intro class will give you what you need to get started.  We’ll cover the basics of Drupal so you’ll be able to add links, pictures, and a host of other cool things to your site right away.

For you more advanced users who may be tackling needs beyond the basics (such as converting your forms), join us for a work session or two.  We’ll help you get the job done and you’ll leave with the “know how.”

Visit go/techworkshops/ to view the updated tech workshop schedule and sign up for the classes that fit your needs.

New Mac OS 10.10 (“Yosemite”) Released

Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10.x), released on 16 October 2014 and is available as an upgrade for faculty and staff who are currently running Mavericks (10.9.x).  If your machine is running Mavericks (10.9.x) or Mountain Lion (10.8.x) the upgrade will appear automatically in Software Updates under the Apple Menu.  If your machine is running Snow Leopard (10.6.x) or Lion (10.7.x), you will need to contact the Technology HelpDesk to discuss upgrade options.

As with all operating system upgrades, there are potential issues of compatibility with applications and services and we are currently neither promoting nor discouraging the upgrade.  New computers provided for faculty and staff will continue to have 10.9.5 (Mavericks) installed for now; public labs are not scheduled to be updated to Yosemite at this time.  Knowing that there will be “early adopters” who opt to upgrade right away, we have created a site to share known issues and areas of concern.  Visit go/yosemite/ to view — or add to — this work-in-progress.

Yosemite has several improvements, including better support of multiple monitors, handoff capabilities between Yosemite and iOS8 devices, and enhanced iCloud Drive capabilities.  See Apple’s complete list of what’s new in Yosemite or take a personal tour using lynda.com’s new, hour-long course, Mac OS X Yosemite New Features.

Library Hours for Fall break

The Libraries will have reduced hours this weekend for Fall break.

Davis will close at 8 pm on Friday and be open 9-5 Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. On Tuesday, we will open at 9 am and close at the regular 1 am.

Armstrong will close at 5 pm on Friday and be closed Saturday and Sunday. Hours Monday will be 9-5 and Tuesday will be 9-midnight.

Regular hours resume on Wednesday.

See go/hours for the full calendar.

Students learn the craft of medieval papermaking

Well, to be specific, medieval paper was actually parchment, made from animal hides, rather than trees and literally all of our knowledge of the Middle Ages was preserved on skins made from calves, sheep, or goats. To better understand the chemistry, art, and labor of parchment, Middlebury College’s Special Collections & Archives, together with Professor Eliza Garrison’s Medieval Manuscripts seminar, hosted Jesse Meyer from Pergamena. Watch us scud a goatskin (remove stubborn hair from the skin) and wield a lunarium (a crescent-shaped blade) to remove the fat and flesh. Follow this link to read a longer article about our adventure in medieval life.

 

Are you suffering from SSDS (Sidebar, Subpage, Drupal Syndrome)?

NervousIs your department head asking you to update the department’s web page?  Does the thought of adding a sidebar make you call the Helpdesk?  Fear not, join us for a Drupal Intro class.  We’ll cover the basics of Drupal so you’ll be adding links, pictures, and a host of other cool things to your page the very next day.

For you more advanced users who may be struggling with needs beyond the basics (such as converting your forms), join us for a work session or two.  We’ll help you get the job done and you’ll leave with the “know how.”

You’ll find all the upcoming workshop information at go/techworkshops; sign up for the class that fits your needs.  See you on the sidebar… or maybe in a subpage.