You know your friends…

   Posted by: rring   in College Archives, Events, exhibitions, Trinitiana

20151006_123341…When you hold an event with minimal marketing and the die-hard supporters come out.

Roughly a dozen folks came to our opening today, but we had a rather lively game of Trivia, some excellent cider and pumpkin bread (if I may say so), and dicoursed on how many themes in Trinity’s history seem to recur every few years! Look for this event again in a few weeks during Family Weekend and Homecoming!

[Posted by Peter Rawson, Associate Curator of Archives & Manuscript Collections]
Museum (003)The survey of the College Archives continues!  I happened upon a box on a high shelf that was deteriorating, crumbling, and very heavy.  As I pulled it off the shelf the box came apart.  I managed to place it in a secure location on another shelf before all of the contents fell to the ground.  To my surprise I found over 150 glass plate photographic negatives dating from around 1850-1923. Clements Room East (002)These images include portraits of faculty, campus exteriors, interiors–including some dorm rooms, track practice, and a photograph of the Cabinet Room in Seabury Hall, which was the college museum.
Library in WilliamsWith assistance of Naty Bush, a first-year student, and Special Collections Assistant Henry Arenth, we were able to temporarily re-box the slides and evaluate their condition.  Next steps include more permanent re-housing and printing the slides.



Exhibition opening

   Posted by: rring   in Events, exhibitions, News, Trinitiana

IMG_3262Now that our 20-foot timeline for “Ten Decades of the Trinity Tripod” has been installed, we can finally open this exhibition!

The Watkinson Library invites the campus community to our opening during Common Hour (12:15-1:30) on Tuesday, October 6th, 2015. We will have light refreshments, and the event for the hour will be a running game of Trin-Trivia, a game devised by Head Curator Rick Ring to test your knowledge (and teach you a little something) about Trinity College history.

For those who show up and play, you will be able to win a “vintage” edition of the Tripod, or other cool bits of Trinitiana!IMG_3261


A teaching two-fer

   Posted by: rring   in Americana, Classes, students, Tours

This week saw a rare happening in the Watkinson: two presentations using the exact same materials for separate classes at separate institutions!

IMG_2575On Monday night, profesor Scott Gac (Trinity) brough his HIST 354 class in to look at materials related to slavery in the Watkinson, which included a set of slave shackles recently donated to us, two manumission documents, and two bills of sale for slaves.

IMG_3252On Tuesday night, professors Bryan Sinche and Sarah Senk (University of Hartford) brought the students in a Senior Capstone Course to look at the very same items, with the addition of published slave narratives and publications of the American Colonization Society–including our very fragile issues of The Liberia Herald.



Thanks to our NERFC Fellow!

   Posted by: rring   in Americana, book history

IMG_3250I’d like to give a shout-out to our wonderful NERFC Fellow Amy Sopcak-Joseph, a PhD candidate (History) at UConn, who gave a well attended lunch-time talk in the Watkinson on Tuesday entitled “Before Pinterest, Oprah, and Vogue: Godey’s Lady’s Book in the Nineteenth Century.” In her own words:

Have a question about how to style your hair? Need a recipe for something healthy? Want recommendations for interesting new books? Or where you should buy new clothes and shoes? Twenty-first century American women have the answers to these questions and more at their fingertips. In the nineteenth century, most women turned to one source for all of these items: Godey’s Lady’s Book. Published by Louis Godey in Philadelphia from 1830 to 1877, this monthly magazine arrived in the homes of hundreds of thousands of women to answer these needs, and more. This talk explores how Godey adapted his marketing of and the advertisements in his Lady’s Book to women’s changing tastes prior to the Civil War. The ads in the magazine initially encouraged far-flung readers to purchase more reading materials, while Godey enticed readers with fiction by famous authors.  By the 1850s, readers received fashion plates sponsored by retailers, could order fashionable goods directly from Godey, and could even purchase Godey-branded sewing needles. At the same time, Godey advertised his magazine as “Useful, Ornamental, and Instructive,” promising women recipes, clothing patterns, and tips for healthy living that would save them money.




We lent some cool stuff for their party!

   Posted by: rring   in exhibitions, News

[Associate Curator Sally Dickinson attended a recent event opening the Wadsworth Atheneum after a long period of renovation. Some of our books are featured in their exhibition.]

The evening began with a walk up the red carpet to the Wadsworth Atheneum’s opening celebration for its “museum family.” The cause was the completion of a 5-year renovation and reinstallation of its impressive collections of European art. Shown here is the Watkinson’s contribution to the Cabinet of Art and Curiosities: Konrad Gesner’s Historiae Animalium (1617,) Johann Gottfried’s Newe Welt und Americanische Historien (1655) and Joannes Jonstonus’s Historiae naturalis (1657). The books were selected by Atheneum curator Linda Roth. A personal favorite is the engraving of a unicorn. The gallery was visually arresting. Picture natural history specimens, painting, and decorative arts informing one another. The installation (puffer fish mounted about the door, drawers of manuscripts and portraits, etc.) was as remarkable as the art itself. This show is one not to miss. Link to the New York Times review.

atheneum 3atheneum 1athenuem 2

[Posted by Peter Rawson, Associate Curator of Archives & Manuscript Collections]

IMG_3248While conducting a survey of the archives I came across two 19th-early 20th century collections.

The first are the papers of the Reverend Frederick William Harriman, D.D, Class of 1872. Harriman served for over thirty years as the rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Windsor, CT, retiring in 1920.  The collection contains several of his hand-written sermons, information pertaining to his father, the Reverend Frederick Durbin Harriman, Class of 1845, personal correspondence, and family genealogy.
The second are the papers the Reverend Abner Jackson, Class of 1837, and eighth President of Trinity from 1867-1874. The papers contain three of his diaries from 1860-1864, personal correspondence, 1840-1874, certificate of ordination as a priest by Bishop Brownell (first President of Trinity), and a published volume of his discourses, 1875.
Both of these collections give us insight into Trinity’s early roots in the Episcopal Church, and the lives and perspectives of members of our community in the 19th and early 20th centuries.



Persian gifts, part 3

   Posted by: rring   in Gifts

Haight0024What appears to be a 17th century collection of poetry–apparently the commission was not completed, as tere are some blank spaces for miniatures and other ornaments.



Persian gifts, part 2

   Posted by: rring   in Gifts

Haight0013Two (2) books related to the necessary observances of a religious life, dating from the early 19th century.



Persian gifts part 1

   Posted by: rring   in Gifts, New acquisition

Haight0004From a family in Litchfield, CT who have been giving rare books (for literally generations) to Trinity College, we have received a few absolute gems!

A small Qu’ran, dated 1805, with the fabric pouch into which it was placed, to be hung round the neck, near the heart of the devotional reader.