Looking at Thoreau’s Personal Copy of Walden

Thoreau scholar, Associate Professor of Religion and Environmental Studies Rebecca Kneale Gould guides us through some of Thoreau’s pencil-written notes in the margins of the author’s personal copy of Walden at the College’s Special Collections.

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  1. Many thanks to Professor Gould, Todd Balfour, and all those who contributed to create and showcase this audio slideshow. I came across this link through the MiddNews email, and I was interested because I am currently reading about Masters programs in library science and archives.

    Many voices in this field have expressed a desire to preserve historical documents and simultaneously increase their availability through digital media. As I sit in front of a computer in another part of the country, enjoying the chance to learn more about Thoreau’s Walden, I can’t help but reflect on how well your presentation fulfills such desires. Thank you!

  2. Shouldn’t you be wearing gloves?

  3. Clean dry hands are generally considered better than gloves these days. Gloves can cause clumsiness and potentially tear edges of leaves

  4. Thanks for the clarification on glove use, Kevin.

  5. http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/lib/libcollections/collections/special/resources/policy
    “White gloves (provided by the Monitor) are required for handling archival materials.”

  6. Thank you all for leaving your impressions. Kevin is correct in this case. The Society of American Archivists states, “In most cases clean hands free of lotions or perfumes are sufficient for handling materials. Gloves may be necessary for handling objects or photographs in order to protect the materials from the oils and other residues left by hands.” Our Special Collections and Archives web page now reflects our actual practices, which have always been based on the varying conditions and fragility of the items in our collection.

    Glovingly,

    Rebekah Irwin
    Director of Collections & Archives and Interim Curator of Special Collections, Middlebury College

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We hope to create a lively discussion on MiddMag.com and invite you to add your voice. Please keep comments civil and relevant to the news item at hand. MiddMag.com may remove comments that do not follow these guidelines.

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