Author Archives: Rebekah Irwin

About Rebekah Irwin

Director of Collections & Archives at the Middlebury College Libraries.

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?


Thoreau, August 1861 © Wikimedia Common

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.



Ebooks for Kindle Fire, Android, iOS

New versions of OverDrive app for Android and iOS (iPhone/ iPad/ iPod touch).

What’s Overdrive? It’s Middlebury’s ebook and audiobook collection of prize-winning fiction, non-fiction, and popular reading…(go/Overdrive).
If you already have the app installed, you’ll see an “update” prompt the next time you open it. Otherwise, download the updated apps here:

New to the Library for 2012-2013

Selected new books and DVDs for 2012-2013

New journals subscriptions for 2012

New audiobooks for iPod/mp3 players and new ebooks for Kindles, Nooks, etc.

New Library collections in Environmental Studies

New library acquisitions for the study of China

New Library acquisitions for Latin America, the Caribbean, South and East Asia, & African history

New library collections for American history

New library collections: women’s history

JSTOR is on steroids

National Geographic online archive (1888-1994)

New Library acquisitions for the Sciences

New to the library: statistics and GIS data

New to the library: technology and computer science resources

Consumer Reports online

Put a book in your ear (or your iPod) and on your Kindle (or Nook)

Middlebury students, faculty, and staff can “check-out” from the Library eBooks for Kindles (or the Kindle app), Nooks, or other eReaders and audiobooks for your iPod (or any other mp3 player).

Visit our eBook & AudioBook Home, or visit go/bookstogo (

(Very soon, all of these books with be in our library catalog too.)

You can also download a special app for your Mobile device (Android, Blackberry, iPhone/iPad, etc.) and check-out eBooks and audiobooks directly. Download the right mobile app here. From the app, search for “Middlebury College” when you’re asked to Add a Library.

These eBook and audiobooks are available with support from an ACE/Alfred E. Sloan Faculty Career Flexibility Award to promote Work/Life Balance at the College. So download a book, and then relax, or take a walk, go for a run, cook a meal, or take a very long drive, all with a book playing in the background.

Download library ebooks to the Kindle Fire

In addition to the iPad, iPhone, Android devices, and Nook, tens of thousands of our ebooks can be downloaded directly to the Kindle Fire with the free Bluefire app.

Here are the steps:

  1. With the Bluefire app on your Kindle Fire, access our ebooks at go/ebooks.
  2. If you don’t have the Blurefire app installed, our ebook site automatically links to Bluefire instructions for download.
  3. Once the Bluefire app is installed and authorized, click ‘download’ and your ebook will download and open.
  4. You can also transfer downloaded content from your PC or Mac to your Kindle with Adobe Digital Editions.
  5. We’ve got step-by-step directions on downloading ebooks to your desktop here. Or, if you’d rather not download, you can read ebooks online through the Kindle browser.

Enjoy, and look out for LIS’s very own Kindle Fires, available at a library circulation desk near you. (Sometime this summer we hope.)

Discover new books, without stepping foot in the library

Though we love to see you in the library, we’ve added a new website where you can view a changing sampling of new books, DVDs, and other materials as we acquire them for the College’s Libraries. Check out our new feature and then check those books out and start reading. You’ll have to come to the library for that.

A facelift for Middlebury’s Digital Collections archive

The Middlebury Libraries pulled back the curtain today to reveal a new face for our Digital Collections archive. Please visit and search through thousands of historic books, postcards, photographs, maps, illustrations, manuscripts, and recorded campus lecture videos from the holdings of our College Archives, Special Collections, and Vermont Collection. Here are a few to whet your apetite for our rich and varied digital archive. Enjoy!

View of the Battell Block, ca. 1905

Cyanotype of the Emma Willard House, circa 1890

Vermont Marble Works, Middlebury, VT, date unknown


International Women’s Day (at the Library)

Today, March 8th, Middlebury College Library celebrates 102 years of International Women’s Day. (And March is also Women’s History Month, so what the heck, let’s celebrate all month long.) The U.N. has a helpful timeline detailing the history of this day and the theme of International Women’s Day 2012: Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty.

Women's Day 1914, Germany

The Library has endless ways to celebrate women, so today, we’ll name but a few. Please add your own comments below and add to the festivities.

Visit our Women’s and Gender Studies (WAGS) Research Guide

Search Women and Social Movements a research archive organized around the history of women in social movements in the US between 1600 and 2000.

Listen to Biophilia, by Björk, the Icelandic pop star, or anything by Björk, for that matter. Request her CDs at the Davis Library’s circulation desk.

Watch the first season of Xena, Warrior Princess, the French film Séraphine, about a self-taught, middle-age painter, or How to Be a Woman, a compilation of school classroom films of the 1940s-1980s including Let’s make a sandwich (1950) and Why study home economics (1955).

Stream an audio recording by Sofia Gubaidulina, the ground-breaking Russian/Tatar composer known for combining bongos, cymbals, tam-tams, among other percussion instruments.

Or simply browse Midcat for books, DVDs, and more, all about: Women.