In honor of the Vermont primary tomorrow, we remember that every vote counts – even in a small town.
The tiny Vermont town of Somerset (which still exists!) could not be silenced despite losing 50% of their voting population in 1924. In one fell swoop, the town clerk, treasurer, tax collector, constable, and school director departed, leaving the other two legal voters the only residents eligible to cast their ballots.
Though the town currently boasts a similarly small population, we hope they, and all voting Vermonters, make it to the polls tomorrow!
While our February Folio fever has passed, the Shakespeare celebration continues with the theater department’s upcoming production, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Come watch the latest show in the long legacy of Shakespeare at Middlebury with performances at 7:30pm Thursday-Saturday, May 5-7 and 2pm Sunday, May 8th in Wright Theater!
And be sure to catch Special Collections’ archival exhibit featuring historic costume and set designs of past Middlebury Shakespeare productions! On display for a limited time in the atrium of Davis Family Library.
The Middlebury College Observatory, GIF-ified here by Special Collections Film Preservation Assistant Sam Cartwright, opened in 1937 and was torn down to make way for the construction of McCardell Bicentennial Hall. Read Sam’s blog post, Romance of the Skies to learn more. Then, get your celestial body to the new Middlebury College Observatory during one of their Open House Nights. The first is scheduled forFriday, May 29th from 9:00PM-10:30PM.
A brown-bag lunch will be held on May 3 at 12:30 pm, in the Crest Room of the McCullough Student Center, to explore the subject of the library’s approval profile. Douglas Black, the library’s Head of Collections Management, will be presenting, with some sweets and coffee to augment your own lunch. He’ll give some history of the approval program in library acquisitions over the years and lead discussion on its role in the academic library collection of the 21st century.
For context, the library selects, acquires, and provides access to materials in many different ways:
upon request by students, faculty, and staff
automatic purchase of e-books and streaming media based on usage
package deals on journal subscriptions and purchased journal archives (“backfiles”)
one-time purchases of electronic databases, which often require annual maintenance fees
and through automatic purchase via an “approval profile.”
Under the approval model, the library utilizes a library vendor (in our case, YBP Library Services) to purchase automatically books that meet certain criteria (e.g., subject, hardbound only, no workbooks, scholarly publishers only, within a certain price range, etc.). Middlebury typically purchases about 3,000 volumes/year this way, at an average annual cost of $97,000 in the last few years. We recently conducted a thorough analysis of the program’s effectiveness, finding that print books purchased through the approval profile are used much less than those specifically requested. The library believes some of that money could be spent more effectively and would like to gather input from members of the campus community on reshaping the profile.
Please feel welcome to contact your liaison or Douglas Black (firstname.lastname@example.org or x3635) with any questions (whether or not you can attend the meeting), or comment here in the blog.
Join us this Thursday February 18th to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and the First Folio! exhibit at the Middlebury Museum of Art.
Starting at 4:30pm in the Center for the Arts lobby, there will be musical and theatrical performances, guided tours of the exhibit with professors of English and American Literature Timothy Billings and James Berg, children’s activities with Page One Literacy, and sweet and savory Renaissance refreshments.
This February, one of the most important books in the history of English literature is coming to Middlebury. This year marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, and to honor the centuries of the bard’s influence, the Folger Shakespeare Library is sponsoring a national tour of their collection of First Folios.
Considered one of the most influential books in the world, the First Folio includes 36 Shakespeare plays, 18 of which had never been printed before the First Folio in 1623. Without the First Folio, all of those plays – including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, As You Like It, and more – might have been lost forever.
From February 2-28, Middlebury College will serve as the Vermont site of the national tour, displaying the First Folio at the Middlebury Museum of Art.
To kick off this month of celebration, James Shapiro, Columbia University professor and renowned Shakespeare scholar, will give a lecture on Shakespeare’s role in American history on Wednesday February 3rd at 7:00pm in the Concert Hall.
Visit go/shakespeare for more information about events throughout the month of February, including a First Folio Festival on Thursday February 18th at 4:30pm in the Center for the Arts Lobby.
Two distinguished alumni are returning to Middlebury as the faces of the Anderson Freeman Resource Center, celebrating its opening weekend to coincide with Alumni of Color and Martin Luther King Weekend, January 15-17, 2016.
Mary Annette Anderson and Martin Freeman represent the struggles and triumphs of the beginning of diversity at Middlebury College, and Special Collections & Archives is pleased to see their impact on College history continue in the form of the new Resource Center.
The opening weekend festivities begin with a keynote address by UCLA and Columbia Law School professor Kimberlé Crenshaw at 7pm in Mead Chapel. On Saturday professors, alumni, staff, and students will speak about the “History of Diversity and Student Activism at Middlebury College” at 12:30pm in Wilson Hall, followed by an official opening ceremony at Carr Hall and a talk by Professor of History William Hart on these two iconic alumni at 2:30pm.
To mark Founder’s Day, the original Middlebury College Charter signed by the Governor of Vermont on November 1st, 1800 will be on view in Special Collections, 101 Davis Family Library, on Nov. 2nd. from 1p-5p.
Can’t make out the cursive? Read the transcript here.
The charter represents both the incipit of our College's narrative as well as the laborious road to the college charter itself. After two failed petitions to the Vermont General Assembly in 1789 and 1799, Middlebury faced opposition from the institution that received the first university charter, the University of Vermont. Though UVM had been chartered in 1791, it's doors had yet to open. Fearful of losing their state funding, UVM tried to block Middlebury's establishment.
However, due to the state's population increase (Vermont's population grew from 84,000 to 154,000 between 1791 and 1800) and UVM's slow start, there was a clear need for another institution to educate Vermonters at home. Middlebury, with its newly constructed Academy Building (a $4,150 project funded by public subscriptions) founded by Gamaliel Painter, proved the perfect place to serve the College and Vermonters at large. Thus, the town's college was founded with the signing of the charter, just 39 years after the town of Middlebury itself was chartered.
Source: Stameshkin, David M. 1985. The Town's College: Middlebury College, 1800-1915. Middlebury, VT: Middlebury College Press.