It is sometimes called Bishop Brownell’s Book, or the Commencement Book. Peter Knapp in his Trinity College in the Twentieth Century simply calls it, “The Book.”
Not to be confused with the Matriculation Book, “‘The Book’ is a small, early-19th century record book that all recipients of Trinity degrees touch during Commencement ceremonies,” Knapp states. The Book remains unnamed due in part to its contents: its pages contain details of the Commencement exercises and degrees, prayers for graduates in Latin, and include signatures from more recent Trinity College presidential inaugurations. It is a curious and important piece of Trinity history, originating from a legendary mix-up during the first Commencement ceremony in 1827. College President Thomas Church Brownell intended for students to place their hands on a Bible during commencement exercises, but either couldn’t find one or realized he didn’t bring it with him to the ceremony, and so he used his personal record book instead.
“By chance, the Book became one of the college’s oldest traditions,” Peter Knapp writes. “The Book’s use at Commencement appears to have been inconsistent in the years following the Bishop’s Presidency, but it can be said with certainty that all Trinity graduates have touched it” since the 1946-47 academic year.
Thanks to the efforts of College Archivist Eric Stoykovich, the Book was recently retrieved for digitization and is now available to view in the Digital Repository. The physical book resides in a safe location on campus in order to ensure its preservation for annual use at Commencement.
Source: Trinity College in the Twentieth Century by Peter Knapp, pages 232-33.
In July the Trinity Library switched from an instant access model to a mediated access model for the Kanopy Film Streaming Library. While the immediate access to films in Kanopy was very appealing, rapid increases in use and associated costs made the service financially unsustainable for the library. Trinity is not alone in this: other institutions who are going to a mediated or very restricted access include Stanford, the University of Michigan and many others.
Kanopy’s pay-when-viewed model charges the library an annual licensing fee when a certain percentage of the film has been viewed or the film has been viewed three times. The mediated access model gives viewers the option to request access to films that that library has not purchased a streaming license for in the last twelve months. These requests are sent to the librarians for evaluation, who will look for the most cost-effective way to provide the film. In most cases when a request is made during normal business hours it will be processed within 24 hours.
Because of costs the library will only authorize use of Kanopy films for academic use. For any other film requests we will do our best to direct the interested user to an alternate viewing method. We encourage you to browse the media collections of the Trinity, Wesleyan, and Connecticut College libraries.
What does this mean for you?
- Faculty must contact the library ahead of time if they wish to screen a film in class or assign a film for class viewing. We’ll try activate titles quickly, but we’ll need a minimum one business day lead time.
- For any film content, please just tell us the title and version, director, etc. of the film. We’ll figure out the best platform to deliver the content in a way that minimizes costs.
- Once a film is licensed through Kanopy it will be discoverable in OneSearch. Search for the title and follow the links in the record to view the streaming content.
If you have any questions about these changes please contact Kim Rinaldo (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Katie Bauer (email@example.com)
College students today face high costs in more than just tuition–increases in textbook prices have far exceeded the rate of inflation. This puts an unnecessary burden on students, and Trinity is looking for ways to ease that burden. You can learn more about the issue in this Tripod article, contributed by Matthew Boyle ’19. The Dean of Faculty and Information Services are sponsoring a pilot project for faculty to investigate available open resource textbooks which would be free or very low cost for students to use. With funding from the Dean’s Office, seven faculty have applied for and been given OER grants:
Harry Blaise, Engineering
Clayton Byers, Engineering
Stefanie Chambers, Political Science
Carol Clark, Economics
Jack Dougherty, Educational Studies
Troy Helming, Economics
Todd Ryan, Philosophy
We thank the Dean and these faculty for their support of this program, and we hope it will only be the start of more programs like it at Trinity in the future.
Nearly 50 years of Resist, Inc. bi-monthly newsletters are now available in the Trinity College Digital Repository as text-searchable PDFs, soon to be joined by documents from Resist steering committee meetings. Part of a large archive recently donated by Resist, Inc. to Trinity College’s Watkinson Library, the newsletters provide a window into activities of the organization and into broader national and international resistance efforts as well.
Founded in Boston to support and promote resistance to the Vietnam War and draft, Resist authored “The Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority,” published 9/28/1967 in the New York Review of Books. Primary signers of this first “Call” included intellectuals and scholars such as Noam Chomsky, Dr. Benjamin Spock, William Sloane Coffin Jr., Dwight Macdonald, Allen Ginsberg, and Rev. Robert MacAfee Brown, and Trinity College’s Paul Lauter. The “Call” asked for universities, religious institutions, groups and individuals to “raise funds to organize draft resistance unions, to supply legal defense and bail, to support families and otherwise to aid resistance to the war in whatever ways seem appropriate” (“Call to Resist,” 1967). Monies received by Resist from monthly contributions and other sources were primarily channeled into grants for petitioning organizations, and much of the monthly steering committee meetings was dedicated to accepting or denying these numerous grant applications.
See the Paul Lauter ‘Sixties Archive in the Watkinson Library for related materials, and see also Trinity Tripod issues dated 1968-1970.
Cristina Bleyer at the Watkinson. Photograph by Julie Bidwell.
Information Services is very excited to welcome Christina Bleyer, the new Director of Special Collections and Archives at the Watkinson Library. Christina brings to Trinity a wealth of knowledge and experience managing special collections. Most recently she was the Head of Special Collections and Senior Archivist for the Benson Latin American Collection at the University of Texas, Austin. Her notable achievements include securing grants to make collections discoverable through digitization, and the creation of a “virtual museum” to showcase archival material. She is the principal investigator on a Latin American Materials grant “Digitizing the Los del Valle Oral History Collection,” and a Latin Americanist Research Resources Project “Illuminating the Genaro Garcia Collection through Digital Preservation Metadata Collection.”
In 2011 Christina was awarded a PhD in Philosophy by the University of Southern Illinois at Carbondale, where she then worked until 2016 managing their special collection. She received undergraduate degrees in Philosophy from Loyola and Russian Language and Literature from Tulane. She is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and German, along with reading knowledge of Latin and French.
In a field that included several outstanding candidates, Christina impressed the search committee with both her passion for her work and her warm personality. We are thrilled to have her here and know that she will help write the next great chapter in the development of the Watkinson.
The library is pleased to announce the opening of our new exhibit, “Freedom of Speech, the Right of Expression”. This exhibit showcases some of the resources held by both Trinity and Watkinson libraries focusing on the issues of freedom of speech and expression. You can view this exhibit in the left display case in the library atrium and online at http://tclibrary.omeka.net/exhibits/show/freedom-of-speech
The resources in this exhibit include a multitude of books and essays discussing and analyzing freedom of speech and expression. While some of these are general treatments of the topic others delve into more specific aspects, such as how freedom of speech is perceived on college campuses, arguments both for and against censorship, freedom of speech as it relates to wartime, specific discussion of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, analysis of how freedom of speech is used for oppression, and more.
Also included are sources from the special collections like John Milton’s influential work Areopagitica, which has been used as the basis for defining freedom of speech in several Supreme Court cases, Martin Luther King Jr.’s letter from Birmingham City Jail, in which he responds to criticisms of those who feel the protests he engaged in were uncalled for and the unjustness of the laws that led to his arrest for taking part in non-violent direct action, and examples from archived volumes of The Trinity Tripod, of Trinity students expressing their rights of freedom of speech and protest by participating in major anti-war rallies in protest of the Vietnam War.
Freedom of speech and expression is valued by people and nations worldwide. Yet despite widespread acceptance of its importance one would be hard pressed to find a location or time period where it was not a contentious subject. What actions fall under freedom of expression rights? What topics or concept are and are not protected? What constitutes suppression of these right? Though the answer to these questions is not clear, that should not stop individuals from educating themselves in order to come to their own conclusions. We invite you to begin this process by examining the resources featured in this exhibit, as well as the many others held by the Trinity and Watkinson libraries!
The student staff working for Digital Collections & Services has been busy this semester completing two projects: the George Watson Cole Postcard collection, and the Trinity College Bulletins, housed in Watkinson. Students have digitized hundreds of postcards this semester, with just a few hundred remaining which will complete Trinity’s digital collection of Cole’s 10,000 postcards. The postcards already digitized and cataloged are available for view in Shared Shelf Commons and Artstor. George Watson Cole was a librarian and bibliographer, friend and contemporary of famous librarians Melvil Dewey and Charles Cutter, who traveled through France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and England in the early 1900s and collected every postcard he could find. As a result, Trinity houses one half of his 20,000 postcards, primarily depicting pre-WWI Europe and some of California. These postcards show a slice of life: people, towns, maps, and churches as they appeared at the turn of the century and before two world wars devastated Europe.
The Trinity College Bulletins are also nearly complete, with a few volumes left from the 1940s and 50s, on which the students are currently working. During Fall 2017, the students completed digitization of Bulletins from the early 1990s to 2010.
The Bulletins include annual reports of the College President, Treasurer, and Librarian, the yearly library catalog and curriculum, necrology lists, faculty publications, photographs, summer school and graduate school information, among other booklets. The digitized bulletins stem from 1829 and are available to view on the Digital Repository. To get to the digital repository, visit the college library catalog –> Digital Collections –> Digital Repository –> College history, archives, and publications.
A biography of James Williams (1790 – 1878), who served as janitor to Trinity College for over 50 years, is also now available in the Digital Repository.
The Library is pleased to report that the Get It Now service is back online. If you have any questions or problems, please contact Jennifer van Sickle or Kim Rinaldo.
On Tuesday December 12 at 8:00 pm, take a break from your studying in the library and have some pizza! Free soda, snacks, and pizza will be available in the Phelan room, Level A in the library.
What do you like to read in your spare time? The library wants to know!
While staff is doing some selection of additional volumes to add to the leisure reading collection, our goal is to create a collection filled with books recommended by the collection’s primary audience, the students themselves! Recently, at a student’s request, the library purchased twenty-three additional books for the collection, including Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Sympathizer, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, Wax and Wayne, and Stormlight Archives series, Sue Monk Kid’s The Secret Life of Bees, Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves, and several books from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. These books can be found in the library’s new book shelves on Level A.
If you have suggestions for books, authors, or genres you would like to see added to the collection, let us know! You can email Kim Rinaldo, firstname.lastname@example.org, with your suggestions.
Since we estimate significant growth in the leisure reading and graphic novel collections, both collections will be moving from the periodicals reading room on Level 1 to the shelves on Level A across from the new books area. You can expect to see the collections in their new location in early 2018.