Archive for the ‘College Archives’ Category

16
Sep

Reynolds collection pics

   Posted by: rring

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

reynolds2As mentioned in a previous post, we received a rich set of material from Jon Reynolds last fall.  Mr.  Reynolds has sent us more material over the last year and we are integrating it into the collection.  Michelle Sigiel, an archives intern from Simmons College has come across a set of approximately 75 slides depicting Vietnam in 1963.  These images give us a fascinating look into the American war in Vietnam.

Montagnards, also known as “The Degar” are indigenous people of the Central Highlands of Vietnam.  Many Degars worked with American Special Forces and were a critical part of the American military effort.

We are in the process of making this collection available for research and plan to complete this phase late this term.

The first two images picture Montagnards. Pic 3 is of a US plane flying over South Vietneam; pic 4 is of South Vietnamese troops; pic 5 is of army helicopters, and the final pic is of Vietnamese children.

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12
Sep

Cool physics professor

   Posted by: rring

Dadourian1Dadourian2A recent gift to the archives is what appears to be an early, self-published “edition” (ca. 1930s) of H. M. Dadourian’s Introduction to Analytic Geometry and the Calculus. We have a copy of a photo-reduced (“Lithoprinted”) typescript, slightly altered and dated 1947, as well as a copy of the 1949 edition published the Ronald Press (New York).

Dadourian, born in Turkish Armenia in 1878, emigrated to the United States in 1900, took three degrees at Yale and then taught physics there for 10 years, served as an aeronautical engineer at Princeton during WWI and a few years after (1917-23), and was appointed Seabury professor of mathematics and natural philosophy at Trinity College from 1923–1949. He retired in 1949 but remained very active—supporting our intervention during WWII to prevent Germany from conquering Great Britain, and opposing nuclear testing, the development of nuclear weapons, and our involvement in Vietnam. He died in West Hartford in 1974.

“Among his most highly regarded courses at Trinity was one in advanced physics in which classical mechanics were studied by means of the mathematics of the 17th and 18th centuries. The mathematics were used as a tool to understand physical principles which in turn were reduced in large measure to a single principle called The Action Principle. Most of the course was devoted to furthering understanding of this principle by using it to solve problems. The course demonstrated that a great deal could be learned about nature from detailed and general examination of relatively simple problems, and that hypotheses could be proved wrong, although not right, without actual experiments. In his teaching, Dadourian emphasized the importance of stating a problem accurately in terms simple enough to permit mathematical translation.”

[From volume 58 of the National Cyclopedia of American Biography]

19
Jul

Papers of Ben Bernard Barber ’65

   Posted by: rring

BarberOn June 30th Peter Rawson and I drove down to Potomac, MD to pick up a great gift to the Archives–several decades of the professional papers of Ben Bernard Barber ’65, who last year received the Alumni Achievement Award for his book Groundtruth: Work, Play and Conflict in the Third World (2014).

Ben came to Trinity from New York City, joining the fraternity QED, serving as the College’s delegate to the Connecticut Intercollegiate Student Legislature and on the staff of The Trinity Tripod, and was also involved with Hillel and the Political Science Club. He majored in French, and following graduation, his “gap year” turned into 15 years of traveling, writing poetry, and occasionally working as a carpenter throughout India, Asia, Europe, and the United States. He earned a master’s degree in journalism at Boston University, a certificate in French studies from the Sorbonne in Paris, and a certificate in Asian studies as a Gannett Fellow at the University of Hawaii.

He found work as a foreign correspondent for The Observer, USA Today, the Washington Times, and The Christian Science Monitor, among other publications, and later served as State Department bureau chief for the Washington Times and then as a senior writer for the U.S. Agency for International Development, where he reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, and Egypt. He continues to write on foreign affairs today as a columnist for The Huffington Post and The American Legion Magazine.

Ben has also taught as an adjunct professor of foreign policy at Georgetown University and George Mason University, and has delivered lectures on foreign affairs at institutions such as the U.S. Naval Academy, the National Defense University, and Johns Hopkins University. For the U.S. Information Agency, he designed and taught seminars for journalists in 10 African countries, and has appeared as a foreign policy expert on several television networks, including CNN, Fox, and BBC.

img195In 2014 he published Groundtruth: Work, Play and Conflict in the Third Worlda collection of photographs and vignettes about the development of dozens of countries in the Third World, often portrayed in the media as a cliché for poverty, war, and injustice. “For every trouble-making gunman you find in the turbulent corners of the Third World,” he writes, “you find a million decent hardworking men and women raising their children with eyes full of sunshine and hope.”

The archive documents his career as a journalist, and comprises electronic files, correspondence, photos, notes and press clippings. It will be processed and available for use by students, faculty and outside researchers as soon as possible.

24
Jun

Coffee for Chemists!

   Posted by: rring

chem1Two days ago we held our second annual summer STEM event–this time focusing on the chemistry students and faculty who work in their labs all summer. On display were some of the 19thC prize essays in chemistry mentioned in the previous post, and half a dozen faculty and almost 30 students came by to delve into this collection, and see what was expected of a Trinity student studying chemistry more than a century ago. Those who broke free from their labs got a voucher for a free coffee at Peter B’s.

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25
May

Prize-winning Chemistry Essays

   Posted by: rring

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

chem paper1The Chemical Prize Essay collection in the Trinity College Archives contains 327 chemical essays submitted by students at Trinity between 1858 and 1905.

These essays were submitted as part of a competition among students in to win the first place prize of $30 and the second place prize of $20.

The prize began in 1858 as a contest for seniors and became a junior prize in the mid-1880’s.

Essays were submitted to the Professor of Chemistry.  These included Rev. Thomas R. Pynchon, Scoville Professor of Chemistry and Natural Science, 1854-1879; H. Carrington Bolton, Scoville Professor of Chemistry and Natural Science, 1880-1887; Robert B. Riggs (pictured here), Scoville Professor of Chemistry and Natural Science, 1888-1929.Riggs Robert B ca 1900

 

 

 

 

 

 

chem paper2The assigned essay topic each year was predetermined, with topics concerning chemicals, new technology, plants, light, or the metric system. The essays are organized in alphabetical order of the essayists’ last names, and they include both the winning essays and the other contestants’ essays.

Jarvis Laboratory interior undatedJarvis Lab (undated)

11
Nov

Veteran’s Day gift

   Posted by: rring

Reynolds w planeIt is a fitting day to announce the recent gift of a small but fascinating archive from Jon Reynolds ’59 (Hon. D.H.L. ’15), a decorated veteran and an honored son of Trinity College.

Reynolds Hon D.H.L. 2015Mr. Reynolds is shown here in front of his fighter jet in the early 1960s, and in May when he received his Hon. D.H.L. from Trinity.

Commissioned via the USAF ROTC program after he graduated in 1959, Mr. Reynolds was a seasoned fighter pilot when he was deployed to Vietnam in 1963; he was shot down on November 28, 1965 while flying an F-105 fighter-bomber, was captured and survived as a POW for seven years. After his repatriation in 1973 he had a distinguished career in the military and later with the Raytheon Company.

The archive we have received can be broken down into three parts: official and non-official correspondence related to his capture and imprisonment (including a dozen or so letters he sent to his parents during his captivity), as well as news clippings and published materials; letters he received after repatriation as a result of the VIVA campaign (see below); and printed epehemera and a small amount of official materials related to his post as air and defense attache at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China from 1984-1988.

img046One of the most interesting aspects of this archive are the hundreds of letters Reynolds received as a result of the VIVA campaign–from total strangers, even from elementary schoolchildren, expressing support and good wishes, and shared stories. Initially an acronym for Victory in Vietnam Association, VIVA was incorporated in 1967 by a conservative student group who preferred the lectern and the party caucus to the picket line. In 1969 the name was changed to Voices in Vital America, to reposition VIVA’s aims to support the war’s troops and prisoners. The bracelet was the goose that laid the golden egg. In 1972 VIVA took in $3.7 million, much of which was spent on a massive POW/MIA public awareness campaign that included newspaper ads and billboards, tens of millions of buttons, brochures, bumper stickers, and matchbooks, as well as newsletters sent to a mailing list of over 150,000 (there are examples of many of these ephemeral items in the collection).

The collection will soon be processed for research, and is a welcome addition to our archives!

 

21
Oct

Out & about

   Posted by: rring

DAR1aIt was my pleasure to give a talk last week to a local chapter of the DAR on the life of John James Audubon, and specifically our copy of Audubon’s Birds of America, and its donor, Dr. Gurdon Wadsworth Russell, Trinity Class of 1834.

In 1839, after finishing the production of the plates, Audubon’s engraver Robert Havell moved to America. Almost forty years later in 1878, shortly before his death, he held an exhibition and sale at his home in Tarrytown of paintings and books—including our copy of Audubon’s Birds of America. They were purchased at the sale by a New York book dealer/publisher, C. S. Francis & Co., who in 1856 had charge of the sale of all of Audubon’s works. The set was sold the same year to Dr. Gurdon Russell, Trinity Class of 1834. Mention of this sale was made four years later in the December 1882 issue of Ornithologist & Oologist; the article stated, “The Doctor (G. W. Russell, 490 Main Street, Hartford, CT) also owns the Robert Havell copy of Audubon’s Birds, Double Elephant Folio. The copy cost $1150 and the table and roller drawers in which to keep it $100 new. Some years ago we furnished to the Doctor a letter from Robert Havell to one of Audubon’s sons stating that every plate was carefully selected as he was colouring the work, making it one of the best, if not the best, copy known.”

22 years later, an article ran in the Hartford Courant on July 11, 1900:

Fine Gift to Trinity / Dr. Russell Presents his splendid copy of Audubon Birds

Dr. Gurdon W. Russell of this city yesterday gave to the library of Trinity College the most valuable single work ever received by it in the course of its history. The work is none other than that monument of American genius and enterprise, “The Birds of America: From Original Drawings, by John James Audubon.” Dr. Russell visited the College in person yesterday morning and formally presented the work to President Smith. The extreme rarity and costliness of Audubon’s “Birds” has long made it famous in the book-world, and its deserved reputation of being by far the most sumptuous single ornithological work ever published has rendered its name well known to the general public, though few ever see a really fine and complete copy.

DAR4From 1897 until 1909, when Dr. Russell died at the age of 93, he enjoyed the status of being the oldest living graduate of both Trinity College and the Yale Medical School—he entered Trinity College (then named Washington College) in 1830, six years after its founding. Russell was born on April 10, 1815 in Hartford, the same year that Audubon’s daughter Lucy was born in Louisville, KY (she died 2 years later). His father was a printer who was born in Litchfield in 1790 and came to Hartford in 1812; his paternal grandfather was John Russell, a soldier in the Revolution who served in Boston, Long Island, and White Plains. Dr. Russell’s mother was the daughter of Gurdon Wadsworth, a lineal descendant of William Wadsworth, one of the first settlers of Hartford who came with Thomas Hooker.

Needless to say, Dr. Russell was one of the patricians of Hartford, and the list of his accomplishments was long and illustrious—having worked for Aetna for some 60 years. At his death he gave the College the REST of his natural history collection, numbering over 275 items of British and North American flora and ornithology, and including some of the great rarities we have at Trinity, including Audubon’s famous Quadrupeds of North America (folio) and the first and third editions of Mark Catesby’s Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands, containing the figures of birds, beasts, fishes, serpents, insects, and plants, published in 1738–100 years before Audubon’s Birds of America, and a cornerstone of any collection of American natural history.

8
Oct

Teaching literature @ Trinity

   Posted by: rring

Burke 1-1As I continue my survey of the College Archives I recently discovered two large three-ring binders containing typed notes for “A Survey of American Literature” taught by Kenneth Walter Cameron in the 1950-51 school year.  These notes were donated to the archives by Hollis S. Burke, Class of 1951.

This led me to discover History of English and American Literature, by Charles F. Johnson, Professor of English Literature at Trinity from 1900-1931.  Johnson 1This work was published in 1900 and is part of the Trinitiana Collection.  These archival treasures opened up some questions for me:

What were the works read in the literature classes?
What were the themes of the classes and questions posed by instructors?
How did this all change over time?
How were the classes taught?—lecture, seminar.
The Burke notebooks contain many transcribed passages from various literary analyses and critical works.  Did students in the early 1950’s spend time transcribing these works themselves?Burke 2

 

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

7
Oct

Back to the Future!

   Posted by: rring

IMG_3272 This morning we happily responded to a last-minute request to pull copies of the College yearbook (Ivy) dating from the 1950s and the 1980s for Jen Jack Gieseking’s American Studies 203 (“Conflicts & Cultures in American Society”) course. The students had recently seen the movie Back to the Future and were fascinated to look at what Trinity “looked like” in the 1950s vs. the 1980s, as professor Gieseking led them through the themes he wanted to cover–coeducation, racial equality, social norms and conflicts, etc.

All of the Ivy’s are available online through our digital repository.

6
Oct

You know your friends…

   Posted by: rring

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!

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