Over the past year, the CTW Digital Projects Group, which encompasses staff from Connecticut College, Trinity College, and Wesleyan University, came together to consider how the three schools might collaborate on digitizing and publishing archival or other materials owned by each school.
For its pilot project, the group selected student-made scrapbooks from multiple eras: those of Linda Abel, a student at Connecticut College from 1965-1969, Lynn Smith Miller, a student at Wesleyan from 1910-1914, and Phillip DeWitt Phair, who attended Trinity College from 1890 – 1894. The scrapbooks offer a glimpse into college student life during these periods through ephemera such as playbills and athletic event tickets, dance and social cards, artwork, valentines, invitations and letters, newspaper clippings, menus, and miscellaneous objects.
Utilizing the University of Southern California’s open-source platform, Scalar, members of the group scanned and uploaded an image of each scrapbook page, jointly decided on metadata fields, and added metadata and descriptions for each page, as well as a biography and introduction to each scrapbook.
“Connecticut Connections” was recently presented at the CTW Retreat in downtown Hartford and is publicly available online at: http://scalar.usc.edu/works/ctwscrapbooks.
The Enders Ornithology Lantern Slides Collection comprises over 800 hand-tinted glass plate photographs, produced by Herbert Keightley Job from 1896 to 1925. Job was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1864 and was a minister, lecturer, author, ornithologist, and pioneer wildlife photographer.
Job’s slides are digitized and make up part of the Ostrom and Alice Talcott Enders Ornithology Collection, a comprehensive collection of over 5,000 items including books, original artwork, periodicals, and more in the Watkinson Library.
While many of Job’s slides are of birds, he photographed this deer in Canaan, CT jumping over a fence on March 12, 1908! Other slides include scenes of everyday life as well as architecture, landscapes, and animals, some of which were taken throughout Connecticut. What you find may surprise you!
Visit the Digital Collections page and select “Enders Ornithology Lantern Slides” under “Image Collections in Shared Shelf Commons” to view the collection. Learn about lantern slides here.
Supported by The Mellon Foundation and others, Digital Public Library of America provides scholars and the general public with access to 18 million items from cultural heritage institutions. Trinity contributions from Watkinson Library and Trinity Archives collections include ornithology lantern slides, early British theater playbills, George Watson Cole pre-WWI postcards, Renaissance manuscript illuminations, and Trinity College “old campus” photos. They can be located in “DPLA” by searching “trinity college” or by more focused searching. The collections can also still be accessed from our library Digital Collections page. Within the Cole postcard collection are 325 views of 1907-1914 California, including this one titled “Greetings from Venice California. On the Road of a Thousand Wonders.: Daily Scene on the Salt Water Canals,” by Souvenir Publishing Co. It shows one of the man-made canals built in 1905 to bring the feel of Venice, Italy, to southern California.
To make space for new book and manuscript collections (acquired by gift or purchase), we have been shipping College administrative records to offsite storage during the summer & fall. Peter Rawson, Associate Curator of Archives and Manuscript Collections in the Watkinson Library, has been working with students and interns since June to create contents lists for the boxes, and to put barcodes on them, so that they can be easily called back if needed. Today’s load was 64 of a total of over 350 cartons of records which we will have sent off site by the end of December. Most of these are non-current records (prior to the year 2000) of the President’s office and the offices of the Dean of Faculty.
Just acquired for the College Archives from an online estate auction in Pueblo, Colorado–a postcard photo of the 1891 Trinity football team! For those who want to know who is pictured, there is a team photo with names in the 1892 IVY (opposite page 100), which can be found online here, or you can visit the Watkinson to see a physical copy!
We are thrilled to show you a series of pics (before-during-and-after) of a small expansion to the Watkinson’s existing compact shelving units, which will allow us capacity for 8,000 more volumes. This is critical, as the Watkinson has taken in (by gift and by purchase) no less than Fourteen (14) collections this year totalling well over 16,000 items (approximately 1,950 books, 10,000 comic books, 1,000 science fiction magazines, 700 film reels, 100 manuscript letters, and over 2,600 pieces of ephemera). For more info on the new collections and acquisitions coming in, see the curator’s blog.
Playbill for 1834 performance of King Henry IV at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, with plan of orchestra
Given to Watkinson Library by Nathan H. Allen in 1916, the collection comprises nearly four hundred 18-19th Century British theater playbills for performances in London and other locations. Plastered about town, playbills displayed a wealth of information promoting upcoming shows. Our collection may be searched by title, name, or terms such as “ballet,” “opera,” “pantomime,” or “comedy,” for example. Visit our Digital Collections page for this and other collections published to Shared Shelf Commons and Trinity College Digital Repository.
Trinity College dorm room ca. 1875: William Mather (right, 1877) & Joseph Buffington (left, 1875). Mather was donor of Trinity College Chapel and his bequest funded Mather Hall! Buffington created Trinity’s Bantam mascot! For more like this, visit our Digital Collections page for “Trinity College Archival Photos” and other “Image Collections in Shared Shelf Commons”
As 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
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.