Tag Archives: Special Collections

Middlebury College named in grant to convert rare and historic audio collections

Helen Hartness Flanders

Helen Hartness Flanders

Middlebury College’s Library & Information Services (LIS) will participate in a federal grant rewarded to the Northeast Document Conservation Center to digitize wax cylinder recordings in the Flanders Ballad Collection, one of the nation’s great archival collections of New England folksong, folklore, and balladry.

Working in partnership with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the grant will use IRENE/3-D, a system that uses digital imaging to retrieve sound from historical recordings made on discs and wax cylinders that might otherwise be unplayable. IRENE/3-D was used at the Library of Congress in 2012 to extract sound from discs produced by Alexander Graham Bell whose contents hadn’t been heard since they were made about 125 years ago.

HHFBCcyl 2013.10

Wax cylinders, Middlebury’s Special Collections & College Archives

Middlebury College will make available over 200 wax cylinders and more than 1,000 records from the Helen Hartness Flanders Ballad Collection. This new technology will make it possible to capture sound even from broken and cracked cylinders and records, making it possible to play ballads not heard for over 80 years.

Along with Middlebury College, The Woody Guthrie Archives and The Carnegie Hall Archives will make historical records available to the project.

Learn more

The Library of Congress Blog post on IRENE/3D

Playback: 130-Year-Old Sounds Revealed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Press Release for the NEDCC Grant Project

About Middlebury College – Helen Hartness Flanders Collection

About Carnegie Hall Archives Collections

About the Woody Guthrie Archives

Two New Civil War Collections Won for Special Collections

Erastus Hibbard Phelps Collection

The winning bid on the Archive of Civil War paymaster Erastus Hibbard Phelps, Middlebury Class of 1861, was made at auction by Andy Wentink, Curator of Special Collections & Archives. The archive was one among nearly 350 lots of American History, including Civil War, materials offered by Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati, OH, last Friday morning, December 2. The Phelps Archive comprises 334 letters, 4 diaries (3 from Civil War years), 2 bound volumes including a photo album containing portraits of graduates of the Middlebury Class of 1861, many of which are inscribed to Phelps. The archive also includes two photos of Phelps previous to his years at Middlebury, his paymaster sidearm (a Colt 1851 Navy 36 caliber pistol), what is believed to be his sheepskin winter jacket worn on duty, and a leather documents trunk carried during his service.

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New Special Collections Summer Hours

A change in Summer Hours for Special Collections on the Lower Level  of the Davis Family Library was approved by the LIS Area Directors at their recent meeting. The following hours will be in effect immediately:

Tuesday, May 31-Thursday, June 2      By Appointment Only

Friday, June 3                                           Open 1-5 p.m.  for Reunion Weekend

Saturday, June 4                                      Open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for Reunion Weekend

June 5-19                                                  CLOSED

Monday, June 20-Friday, August19     By Appointment Only

Monday, August 22-Friday, September 2    CLOSED

CLOSED WEEKENDS DURING THE SUMMER

Open House for the Rutland Railroad Archives

On Saturday afternoon, April 30 our Special Collections hosted an Open House for members of the Rutland Railroad Historical Society as part of the 25th annual convention of the group.  The Open House provided an opportunity for society members to see some of the most interesting material that has been acquired for the archives in the past decade.

Rutland Railroad Archives Open House

Rutland Railroad Archives Open House on April 30, 2010

A two page summary of material in the Rutland Railroad Archives can be found at http://midddigital.middlebury.edu/rutland_railroad/Summary%20of%20holdings%20of%20the%20Rutland%20Railroad%20Archives.doc and a more detailed 25 page listing of holdings can be found at http://midddigital.middlebury.edu/rutland_railroad/RRAGuide.htm.  A two page gateway to other resources relating to the Rutland Railroad Archives can be found at http://midddigital.middlebury.edu/rutland_railroad/RutlandRailroadArchivesHandout.htm.

Hans Raum served as co-chair of the two day convention held at the Middlebury Inn, which drew attendees from as far away as California.  Greg Pahl, an expert on the Beldens Falls Branch Railroad (and Joy Pile’s partner) spoke about the railroad at a program on Saturday, in preparation for a field trip on Sunday morning to visit traces of the short-lived railroad which ran from Beldens Falls, north of Middlebury, to a marble quarry about four miles away, east of Middlebury.

A JACK LONDON SYMPOSIUM

Sponsored by
The Abernethy Series and Friends of the Davis Family Library

Thursday, April 28, 2011
4:30 – 6pm
Davis Family Library 201 – Watson Lecture Hall

James L. Haley, author of Wolf: the Lives of Jack London, and Anne Trubek, author of The Skeptic’s Guide to Writers’ Houses, join Reginald L. Cook Professor of American Literature Brett C. Millier, to discuss the legendary American author from a variety of perspectives.

This event is being held in celebration of recent Jack London materials gifted to the Abernethy Collection in Special Collections, by Whit Bond, grandson of the man whose dog inspired Call of the Wild. There will be an exhibit of these materials in conjunction with the symposium.

Join us for the opening of a
Jack London Exhibit in the Atrium of the Davis Family Library
and a reception in Special Collections
immediately following the symposium.


Special Collections spotlight

Watch this for a lovely feature by the Addison Independent on Middlebury College Special Collections and Andy Wentink’s journey to his current place as Curator!

Also of local/Middlebury College interest: the music on the video is by Middlebury alumna Anaïs Mitchell from her recent “folk-opera”, Hadestown.

Annual Special Collections Open House, August 31-September 2, 2010

PLEASE JOIN US FOR OUR ANNUAL SPECIAL COLLECTIONS OPEN HOUSE, August 31-September 2, 2010, 9 am-5 pm

On view in Special Collections, Davis Family Library, Lower Level

Faculty and Staff are welcome fo review our most recent acquisition of primary source materials incuding rare books and first editions, historic periodicals, manuscript collections, journals, diaries, antique maps, ephemera, etc.

Everything from the Illustrated London News to American travel letters to Victorian hair jewelry to NY Poet Frank O’Hara.

Special Collections materials are selected for their relevance to courses taught across the curriculum as well as for faculty research.

  • Suggestions for future acquisitions are welcome.
  • Tours of the closed stacks available upon request.

Please stop in anytime  9:00 AM-5:00 PM,  Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, August 31-September 2, 2010

We look forward to seeing you.

Special Collections sponsors new exhibit : The Two Pointers of Dead Creek — A Tradition of Trapping and Boat Building in Addison County

In collaboration with Vergennes boat builder Douglas Brooks, Special Collections is offering a new short-term exhibit The Two Pointers of Dead Creek : A Tradition of Trapping and Boat Building in Addison County.  Assistant Curator Danielle Rougeau is working with Douglas Brooks on mounting the exhibit on the Lower Level of the Davis Family Library. The exhibit officially opens on Wednesday, September 1, 2010, and will be on view through Friday, October 1.

During the 2009-2010 academic year, Brooks and three Middlebury College students, Renee Igo ’11, Christian Woodard ’11 and Ben Meader ’10.5, interviewed trappers and their descendants in an effort to document the culture of muskrat trapping in Addison County, with an emphasis on the “two pointers”, the double-ended boats that trappers built.

After a training program with the Vermont Folklife Center, the researchers began recording interviews and examining historic boats. Over twenty historic trapping boats were identified in the region.  Eventually several boats were carefully measured and one was chosen for replication. The students displayed an historic boat at the 2010 Middlebury College Student Research Symposium.

In the 2010 spring semester, Igo, Woodard, and Meader, guided by Brooks, built this trapping boat in studio space at Middlebury’s Old Stone Mill. The boat was launched on Commencement day, May 27, 2010.