Thinking INSIDE the box!

GibbsAs part of our preservation efforts in the Watkinson, we sometimes hire a conservator to make a clamshell box to protect an extra-special, fragile book. Stephanie Gibbs, a bookbinder from Easthampton, Mass., is making a linen clamshell box for an incunable with delicate, exposed sewing. The fit of the box is important so that the book doesn’t shift when being shelved and get damaged.

An “incunable” (the English form of the Latin incunabula = “cradle”) is a book from the “infancy” of printing, covering the years 1455 to 1500. Why doesn’t Stephanie just repair the binding? Several reasons: being able to see the original structure of the book is a window into the history of the artifact; appropriately restoring a binding is time intensive, requires a high level of expertise, and is therefore very expensive. This type of treatment would be reserved for a book that is very rare indeed or that needs to be handled fairly often for teaching or research. Boxing is a practical way to protect an artifact for the future.

—Sally Dickinson, Associate Curator & Preservation Librarian

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Spring Break Hours

The Library will have adjusted opening hours over spring break.  They are:

  • Saturday-Sunday, (March 14-15), closed
  • Monday-Friday, (March 16-20), 8:30am-4:30pm.
  • Saturday (March 21), closed

We will resume normal hours on Sunday, March 22nd.  However our 24 hour study spaces will remain open to Trinity users throughout this period.

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New Access Services Librarian


We are pleased to announce that Kellie O’Donnell has joined the Library staff on as our new Access Services Librarian.  Kellie comes to us after several years with Hartford Public Library, most recently as one of their senior managers in their downtown branch.  At Trinity, she will oversee our circulation, course reserves, and interlibrary loan services.  You will find her ready to help near the Circulation Desk in LITC A28.

Kellie succeeds Jeff Liszka, who is fortunately still working for us but is now one of our Research and Instruction librarians supporting the Arts and Humanities.  Jeff can be found in his new office near the reference area in LITC A37.



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Library Media Group Study Rooms


Two of our four Library Media Group Study Rooms on Level 1 have completed their renovations.  Rooms 113 and 114 now have table seating for six, 65″ TVs, multiregion DVD players, and laptop hookups.  The new arrangement better allows for collaborative work in addition to media viewing.  Rooms 115 and 116 still have their original setup with lounge seating and a range of other types of media playback equipment.

Room keys for all four group study rooms can be checked out from the Circulation desk on Level A.  Usage is limited to 3 hours each on a first-come-first-serve basis.

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J-Term class on Downton Abbey visits the Watkinson

During J-Term, history professor Jennifer Regan-Lefebvre taught a class on the historical contexts of Downton Abbey, and the students come into the Watkinson twice in one week to look at maps of London, books on etiquette and house architecture, British war (WWI) propaganda posters, view stereoscope photographs of the front (a sort of “3-D” picture process popular in the 1920s), and to listen to the music of the time on one of the phonographs we have in the Watkinson.

Downton class Gramophone in WatkinsonDownton class Maps and posters in WatkinsonDownton class Stereoscope and WW1 photos


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Edward Stratemeyer book display


Our current display in the Library’s Level A atrium are a selection of books from the early 20th century children’s series produced by Edward Stratemeyer. Familiar names such as Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew), Frankin W. Dixon (Hardy Boys), Victor Appleton (Tom Swift), Laura Lee Hope (Bobbsey Twins), and scores of others were all pseudonyms invented by Stratemeyer who either wrote the books himself or contracted them out to freelance writers for a flat fee.

Some 1,300 titles were produced for these series and sold and estimated 200 million copies by the 1980s, forming a massive portion of the strata of American popular literature for young people.

Included are selections from a gift to the Watkinson Library of a “study collection” of these series, numbering almost 800 volumes, from a collector in the southwest.

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Library Systems Updates – Jan 7-9th

The Library has two systems updates scheduled between January 7-9th that may affect user access:

The Library catalog will be down Wednesday January 7th, but should be back up by mid-day Thursday, January 8th.

ILLiad interlibrary loan access will be down Thursday January 8th, but should be fully restored by the afternoon of Friday, January 9th.

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Six Pack Exhibitions in the Library

Watkinson Student Exhibition 2-2

On December 10th at 5:00pm we will open a show of SIX STORIES told by the students of AMST 835/435 with books, manuscripts, prints, etc. found in the special collections at Trinity College:

  • Voices for the Vote: What Women were Saying and Reading during the Fight for Suffrage (Gaia N. Cloutier ‘16)
  • The Impossibility of Translating Culture (Alix A. de Gramont ‘15)
  • Aotearoa: The Land of the Long White Cloud (Quirin A. Sackmann ‘15)
  • Vinegar Valentines (Meghan E. Shaw, graduate student)
  • Shall We Dance? The Evolution of Etiquette on the Dance Floor (Karen J. Tuthill-Jones, graduate student)
  • Functional Pottery in America (Mariah J. West, graduate student)

Please join us to explore and celebrate these student projects in the Watkinson Library.

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Research Librarians Available on Sundays


Research Librarians will be available 1-9 pm to provide individual research assistance on the following three Sundays:

11/30   Erin Valentino

12/7     Katy Hart

12/14   Rob Walsh

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Unique Spring Course! COLL-220 Research Methods


Image by Nomadic Lass via Flickr

Do you want to be great at researching information for your courses and field of interest? If your answer is yes, then you should take this course.

Information is everywhere. But, let’s face it – it’s not always easy to find the exact information you need, when you need it.

Sign up for this Spring 2015 course and learn the tools and concepts to become an expert researcher!

  • Fridays, 1:15-2:30 pm
  • ½ credit course
  • Open to first-years, sophomores, juniors
  • Useful to ALL majors
  • Taught by librarians

Contact Erin Valentino ( in the Library for more information.

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