Archive for December, 2014


Collaborating with HPL

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

IMG_3013“Bound to Maintain Them”: Prisoners of War and Humane Captivity in the German Empire, 1916-1917 is an exhibition of materials on loan to the Hartford Public Library, which are entirely from the papers of Jerome P. Webster, Trinity Class of 1910. As a special assistant to the American Ambassador in Berlin from March 1916 – March 1917, Dr. Webster inspected over 40 camps and medical facilities across the empire, and the collection holds reports, correspondence, and over 400 photographs related to these inspections.

Shown here installing the show in the Hartford History Center is volunteer curator and Trinity library staffer Jillian M. Hinderliter. From September to December the exhibition was displayed in the atrium of the Raether Library and Information Technology Center, and was one of the “walking tour” stops during President Berger-Sweeney’s inauguration.

img077The exhibition opens officially on January 9th, and copies of the published booklet, researched and written by Ms. Hinderliter, will be available.


Six Pack Student ExhibitionsIt is somehow fitting that my 300th post to this blog is about our student exhibition opening on Wednesday night (12/10), which was a solid success, and drew almost 30 students and staff who heard the presentations with interest.

Filling the occasional gaps in conversation, and providing an excellent backdrop as always, was our resident piano player Romulus Perez.

All six shows will be up through June 30th, and catalogs will be available for those who stop in to see them (Monday – Friday, 10:00am – 4:30 pm).

Six Pack Student ExhibitionsThe shows are:

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)

Six Pack Student ExhibitionsSix Pack Student Exhibitions


“This was a man!”

   Posted by: rring    in Classes, Events

Charles_Promo_021The Watkinson (with support from the English Department) hosted a dual celebration–both of the acquisition of the 2nd Folio of Shakespeare in 2012, and of the life and work of Charles Keating, who among many other achievements, had a special Trinity connection in that he worked with generations of Prof. Milla Riggio’s Shakespeare students for almost 30 years.

Three of Milla’s former students came back to talk about the influence that Charles–and Shakespeare–has had on their lives.

IMG_3007Shown here are Kirk Peters (center, who played Othello, and was then the Associate Dean of Trinity; he is now Dean of Student Affairs at Tunxis Community College); Chris Andersson (left, who played Iago, and who is now Director of Admissions at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU); and Kara Molway Russell (right, who played Bianca, and is an English professor at CCSU, teaching Shakespeare!). Also shown here is the original cast of Othello, ca. 1990. Each special guest spoke of Charles’s profound impact on their lives as students of Shakespeare, and it was clear that he served the function of a grand mentor to all of them in different ways.img049

Also present were Charles’s son (Sean) and widow (Mary), and about 25 students from Milla’s current Shakespeare class.



A gift in honor of our new President

   Posted by: rring    in book history, Gifts

IMG_3003At the fall meeting of the Trustees of the Watkinson Library, Board member John William Pye ’70 gave us an excellent gift of a special copy of his fascinating and detailed book on a major 19th-century publishing figure, James T. Fields, Literary Publisher (Portland, ME: The Baxter Society, 1987). His inscription reads:

“This unique Extra-Illustrated copy of my book on James T. Fields is given this day to the Watkinson Library at Trinity College in honor of the new College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney by the author, John William Pye, November 6, 2014.” It is wonderfully bookish gift from a great bookman.

For those not “in the know” (take my course on rare books!), an “extra-illustrated” book is a special thing. The practice of extra-illustration (also known as “Grangerizing” for reasons too detailed to get into here), began in the late 18th century and enjoyed its greatest popularity during the 19th century.

You begin with a favorite book (often it was the Bible, the works of Shakespeare or an author of similar stature, or a seminal national history, etc.); take it out of its original binding; add in things that relate to the text (portraits, letters, etc.) that are then mounted on leaves (pages) of the same size, then put it into a new, custom-made binding.

img047The original binding of John’s book looked like this, and it is about 1/3 as thick as the extra-illustrated copy, which of course was swelled to its current thickness by the insertions John made. Tthe difference is shown here, with a shot of the fore-edges of each book, side by sideimg048. The left-hand book is the extra-illustrated version.

Inside are manifold and unique bits and pieces that relate to the text. For instance, opposite page 6 is a tipped-in engraving of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, under which is likewise affixed an original autograph signature of that author. The relevant text, on pp. 6-7, discusses how Longfellow, a “young professor of languages at Bowdoin College who was seeking a publisher for his recently translated collection of Spanish poems,” approached the firm Allen & Ticknor, and a deal was made.

Other images included here are a photograph of Dickens with an original envelope which held one of his letters to Ticknor & Fields, a binding cloth sample from an edition of Tennyson, and a royalty payment check.