Don’t forget to write your mother, circa 1932

Our own Professor of Psychology at Middlebury College Barbara Hofer writes about the modern day iConnected Parent, constantly in touch with their College-bound kids through cell phones and Skype…well, the archives recently turned up a connected parent, but from 82 years ago.

Here’s a letter from October 18, 1932. The mother of Charles Edward Stevenson, Jr., Class of 1936, writes to the Director of Admissions (scroll down for the full transcription):


Stevenson 1936

Stevenson 1936b

Dear Sir

I am writing you to find out if Charlie Stevenson is alright and if he is I want to know why he does not write his mother it will be to [sic] weeks Friday since I had any word from him I sent him his laundry and a little pocket money post office money order I am trailing that now to see if he cashed it. I know that boys are dilatory about writing sometimes but I never knew Charley Stevenson to do that before that is why I am worried about him if I do not get a letter from you I am going up there to find out what is going on.

Please answer right away

Very truly yours

Mrs C.E. Stevenson

 

One day later, Mrs. Stevenson received a typescript reply (again, transcribed below to help with the faded ink):

ResponseStevenson

Dear Mrs. Stevenson,

Your letter of October 18th is at hand and I have seen your son this morning and sent you the following telegram: “Your son is well and says has written you today”. I trust that you received the wire promptly so that you have not had to worry longer as to your son’s welfare. He seemed to be in perfect health when I saw him this morning but said that he had been very busy for the last few days. As you know, the fraternity rushing has been going on for the last two weeks and the boys have little spare time, as a rule, during that period. I presume that your son had not realized how long a time has elapsed since he wrote you, but you will doubtless receive his letter right away, if it  has not already reached you.

Very truly yours,

E.J. Wiley

A recipe to keep mites off your cheese, circa 1778

In the same year that Captain Cook sailed to Hawaii and Great Britain declared war on France, Helen Weldon started her recipe book in Bath, England on January 29, 1778. In addition to keeping mites off your cheese, she includes recipes for Mock Turtle (Calves head) soup, Onion Soop [sic] and raspberry vinegar “for those who want a pleasant cooler” in the summer. Remedies like Teeth Water, Poison for Rats & Mice, and Diuretic Balls for Horses are included too. Her handwritten notebook was acquired by Special Collections this summer. Learn more in our online catalog or by visiting Special Collections.

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Receipts Cookery, 1778

 

WeldonPage

Baked Calfs head

Summer Language Schools, looking back

Explore our newest online archive: Middlebury Language Schools. This collection includes archives from Middlebury’s Summer Language Schools, which began in 1915. When completed, the collection will include all the annual bulletins from 1915 through 2007, a history of the Language Schools up to 1975, annual reports, photographs, and scrapbooks.

Language School bulletin, 1949

Language School bulletin, 1949

Good Things to Eat! A new exhibition at the Davis Family Library

Good Things to Eat: Recipes and Communities from 1827 to the Present

Guest curated by Emily Bogin ’16, FoodWorks Fellow

This new exhibit focuses on the ways in which food has, and continues to facilitate community, both at Middlebury and beyond. Items on display are drawn from Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives, the Stewart-Swift Research Center at the Sheldon Museum, and Middlebury College Dining Services.

Join Emily Bogin for an exhibition talk Friday August 1, 2014, in the Library atrium. The talk will begin shortly after 11:00am.

 

Middlebury College home economics class, 1913

Middlebury College home economics class, 1913

Vintage Robert Frost on film

Luckily, 16 mm film, common from the 1920s through the 1960s, is relatively durable stuff. This particular reel of film, which sat in the Middlebury College archives for over forty years, depicts Robert Frost for two glorious, full color minutes. For the first time in nearly half a century (thanks to a film preservation lab in Philadelphia), watch as Frost harvests vegetables from his garden at his Ripton, Vermont cabin (down the road from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference), frolics with his dog Gillie, and walks his mare Steeplebush and her colt Shadbush. Frost and Kay Morrison pop fresh berries into their mouths. Summer time on the mountain!

Read the Middlebury NewsRoom story about this film.

Henry David Thoreau died today, May 6 (1862)

How will you observe the life and death of Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862), the American writer and naturalist?

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Thoreau, August 1861 © Wikimedia Commons

By taking a quiet walk?

By turning off your cell phone? Your computer?

By having a deep conversation with a friend, colleague, or family member?

By getting out a sheet of paper and writing a letter? (Yes! By hand.)

By randomly squeezing a Thoreau quote into a conversation today?

Or, by visiting Special Collections in the Davis Library 101 to visit our display of Thoreau artifacts: his inkwell, bricks and timbers from his cabin at Walden Pond, books from his cabin library, and more.

 

 

Physics and Special Collections featured in the Boston Globe

What do experimental physics and Middlebury Special Collections have in common?

The Boston Globe featured the work of experimental physicist Carl Haber, the Northeast Document Conservation Center, and Middlebury College Special Collections as well as Harvard University and the Woody Guthrie Archives in a recent article, “Technology saves echoes of past from silence.” Our newly scanned sound files will start arriving this summer, Stay tuned!

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A little look at Middlebury’s dwarf-sized books

We’ve been talking a lot about little things in the College’s Special Collections & Archives as we pay extra attention to pocket-sized books in our midst. Our smallest book (so far) is a 2 inch tall History of the Bible, published in Cooperstown, New York, in 1836 (pictured below).  The general definition of a miniature book is anything under 3 inches. We’re assembling miniature books up to 5 inches, since we’ve found big books and tiny books don’t play nicely on the shelves together and can cause damage to each another over time. You can learn more about miniature books here or visit us and ask to see our mini books yourself.

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Thanks to our hand-model, Joseph Watson, Preservation Manager and Special Collections and Archives .

“2-D printing, meet 3-D printing.”

The Korean American novelist Chang-rae Lee’s newest novel, On Such a Full Sea appeared in January with a technological twist: Lee collaborated with the 3-D printing company MakerBot to create a first-of-its-kind, limited edition 3-D printed cover, formed from a corn-based bioplastic and made on a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer.

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© Riverhead books

On Such a Full Sea

Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives, copy number 465

“What I like about this project is that it re-introduces the idea of the book as an art object. Content is what’s most important, but this [3D edition] is a book with a physical presence too.” Chang-rae Lee.

 

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Chang-rae Lee using a MakerBot Replicator 2 Photo © MakerBot

Middlebury’s limited edition copy, number 465 of 500 copies, will be on display in Special Collections and Archives in the Davis Library this spring.