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Civil War letters from the Middlebury College Archives featured on VPR.

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Last week Jane Lindholm from Vermont Public Radio visited the Middlebury College Archives to find out more about a recent gift of Civil War letters. To listen to the story and see more images, visit the VPR web site here!

C-120-1868-03_01

Reading Rowland Out Loud

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UncleLishasShop

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

Seeking 1948 film “Sno’ Time for Learning”

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

The Middlebury College Archives is searching for a movie about the College filmed in 1948.  It features scenes shot at the Snow Bowl in the winter and the main campus in the spring.  We’ve placed a request with Paramount Picture, which originally produced it, and we’re waiting to hear back from them.  But we also thought it was possible that somebody associated with the College might have a copy somewhere.  If you know where a copy can be found, please let us know.  SpecialCollections@middlebury.edu   802-443-3028.

Article in the Nov. 4th issue of The Campus about the release of Sno' Time for Learning

Article in the Nov. 4, 1948 issue of The Campus about the release of Sno’ Time for Learning

Two New Civil War Collections Won for Special Collections

Categories: Midd Blogosphere
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.

Andy also made the winning bid on another Civil War archive, 54 Letters of 2nd Lieut. Ephraim L. Hackett, Wisconsin 1st Light Artillery. Born in Maine in 1837, Ephraim L. Hackett was living in Baraboo, Wisconsin, in August 1861, when he enlisted as a Sergeant in the 1st Independent Battery, Wisconsin Light Artillery. Small in number and mobile, the Battery recruited barely over 100 men before being sent into the field in Kentucky that Fall, then went on to fight up and down the Mississippi Valley until the end of the war.

These two important Civil War collections significantly enhance Middlebury’s already impressive Civil War era archival holdings including the Aldace Walker (Middlebury Class of 1862) Letters, the Calvin Parker Letters, the Civil War Archive of Professor Kit Wilson, and nearly 100 Civil War era letters from individual writers.

The purchase of the Phelps and Hackett archives was made possible through the generous partial funding from the Friends of the Davis Family Library, the Middlebury College Museum of Art, the Julian W. Abernethy Fund, and the Davis Family Library.

Special Collections spotlight

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

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.

LIS Collection Management has a new name!

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

With the merger of Collection Management and portions of Academic Consulting Services, it became clear that the area needed a new name to reflect its expanded scope.

I’m therefore pleased to announce that the name for this area is now Research and Collection Services (RCS). While many portions of the website still reflect the old names — and it will take a while before we’ve eradicated all remnants of Collection Management/Academic Consulting Services from the website, email distribution lists, HR/Banner information, etc. — please consider the name to be effective immediately.  We’ll try to get the changes made expeditiously.

As a reminder, RCS includes:

  • Reference and Instruction Librarians
  • Special Collections
  • Vt. Collection
  • Government Documents
  • Inter-library Loan
  • Cataloging/Acquisitions/Serials
  • Preservation & Processing
  • Collection Development

Library Hours

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

clockAll Midd Libraries begin 9 – 5 hours today.

Library hours are reduced during the period between spring and summer semesters. Check here for hours.

PLEASE NOTE! The Libraries will close at 12 noon on Monday 5/24.

Special Collections will be closed Monday 5/24 through Friday 6/4; opening Saturday 6/5 from 10-2 for Reunion weekend, and resuming regular hours Monday 6/7.