Currently populating the glass cases of Davis Family Library are Margaret Armstrong book covers and historic postcards. Don’t miss the chance to see them before heading out for the summer!
As part of American Studies professor Ellery Foutch’s AMST 101 course, American Holidays, students researched holiday postcards from our collection, exploring how symbols and themes reflect the cultural mores of turn-of-the-century American life.
The postcards they studied and their comments are on display in the library atrium.
To compliment this exhibit, college archivist Danielle Rougeau curated and designed an exhibit featuring postcards and scrapbooks from the archives. The postcards capture Middlebury College’s landscape and characters as well as the role of postcard correspondence through history.
Rounding out our summer exhibits is a tribute to Margaret Armstrong, curated by Joseph Watson and designed by Danielle Rougeau. Margaret Armstrong (1867-1944), one of the most accomplished book cover designers of the early twentieth century, produced cover art and illustrations for over 270 books.
Come to Special Collections to see a selection of her cover designs and learn more about her life!
As part of SC&A’s latest guerrilla advertising campaign, we infiltrated the Senior tradition of posting crush lists on the bulletin boards outside of the dining halls in the hopes of garnering submissions to the Web Archive.
The College’s new ArchiveIt subscription allows us to collect and store Web-based projects created by faculty and students, notable blogs and social media by members of the Midd community, student organization websites, and materials donated to Special Collections and Archives.
This advertisement aims to target online presences related to campus culture but not directly affiliated with or endorsed by the College in order to create a more comprehensive view of student life for future generations to look back on.
The Middlebury College Community Web Archive, a transinstitutional collection, is intended to document life at Middlebury outside the official channels of communication, to archive diverse points of view and student activities, and to create a historical record of dynamic and engaging discussions that define our collective experience at Middlebury College. We hope our crush list conveys the spirit of the submissions we wish to receive!
In celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the completion of Mead Chapel and Hepburn Hall, Special Collections presents a series of posts featuring interactive before-and-after imagery of these Middlebury icons.
Built with the help of a $60,000 donation from former governor Dr. John Mead to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his graduation from Middlebury in 1864, Mead Chapel was dedicated on June 18th, 1916 and marked “the completion of two years’ work and its entrance into the history of Middlebury as a meeting place for religious worship by faculty and students.”
Below is an interactive slider with images of Mead from the archives (tap or drag the bar to the right and left to slide between images). The before image comes from the scrapbook of Arthur Thomas Vaughn, Class of 1917, and shows scaffolding around the spire. The after image is a 1916 postcard marking the completion of the chapel.
Stameshkin, David M. 1985. The Town’s College: Middlebury College, 1800-1915. Middlebury, VT: Middlebury College Press.
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, April 29th from 9:00 pm-10:30 pm.
Can’t wait that long to howl at the moon? Tune in to WRMC this Wednesday, 12 pm-1 pm for Stacks and Tracks, the Special Collections radio show. We’ll share historical tidbits and play music with celestial themes. With special guest DJ, Sam Cartwright.
With a Middlebury College Observatory Open House Night scheduled for this Friday, April 29th from 9:00 pm-10:30 pm, we’re looking to the stars and sharing more astronomical history from the archives.
On June 16, 1806 a total eclipse of the sun cast a shadow across much of the northeastern United States, including the town of Mansfield, Connecticut. Known as “Tecumseh’s Eclipse” for the role it played in the Shawnee chief’s efforts to form a tribal confederacy, this astronomical event would have been visible to sixteen-year-old Mansfield native Samuel Mosely. Mosely went on to study at Middlebury College where in 1817, he made an annotated drawing of the eclipse with detailed notes on its timing and geometry:
After graduating in 1818, Mosely, like many early Middlebury graduates, became a missionary. He died in 1834 while working among the Choctaw Indians in Mississippi.
In 1936, Middlebury chemistry professor John Haller spent three months grinding a 12.5 inch parabolic mirror which he donated to the College under the condition that an observatory be built on the knoll north of Pearsons Hall. A simple frame was soon constructed and the mirror was installed in a 10-foot-long Newtonian telescope under a dome built by Guatemalan amateur astronomer A. R. Ibarguen.
Astronomy had been studied at Middlebury since the early 1800s when the Old Chapel cupola served as an observatory. Upon its completion in 1937, the new observatory hosted weekly meetings of an extra-curricular course called Romance of the Skies, which combined celestial observation with lectures on the history of astronomy and mythology of the constellations.
This recently rediscovered 16mm film reel in the College archives shows unique interior and exterior shots of the observatory as well as students using sextants near Voter Hall.
Despite these promising beginnings, by 1970 the observatory was little-used and had fallen into disrepair. Settling of the foundation made rotating the leaky dome difficult and wasps had built nests in the barrel of the telescope. But interest in astronomy was growing at Middlebury after the recent successes of NASA’s Apollo program and the building was refurbished. Professor Heller’s original mirror and other optical instruments had thankfully been safely stored away from colonizing wasps and were reinstalled.
Although Middlebury’s octagonal dome on the hill was torn down to make way for the construction of McCardell Bicentennial Hall, a new observatory was built atop that same science center and has been serving stargazing students, faculty, and the public since 2001.
Be sure to visit the Middlebury College Observatory during one of their Open House Nights this spring to get your own glimpse into the Romance of the Skies.
Join us this Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 12p-1p when Stacks & Tracks, the Special Collections & Archives radio show, celebrates National Poetry Month with Karin Gottshall, poet, Visiting Assitant Professor in English and American Literatures, and director of the New England Young Writers’ Conference at Bread Loaf. It will be music to your ears.
Wednesdays 12p-1p, live at 91.1FM or live-streaming through iTunes or online.
As part of the 93rd annual Winter Carnival, Special Collections & Archives will continue a new tradition, a screening of historic film footage from Winter Carnivals past!
Join us in Crossroads Cafe Friday February 26th from 4:30pm-6pm to enjoy a free hot chocolate sponsored by MCAB and films from the archives!
Though this tradition was established just last year, it celebrates the legacy of Middlebury’s Winter Carnival with sound and silent footage spanning the 1920s to 1950s, capturing the spirit and magic of our very own winter wonderland.
If you can’t make it to the screening and hot chocolate bar, be sure to check out our vintage videos on Vimeo!