Jul 212014

In case you missed it, there’s a great video up of the NU drill team performing at the invitation-only International Military Tattoo in St. Gallen, Switzerland earlier this month. It happens that we just added some equally great historical photos of the drill team to our Digital Collections website. Check them out below:

Drill team in formation

Norwich University drill team, circa 1954. Click on the image to view in our Digital Collections.

Drill team marching in formation

Norwich University drill team, circa 1960s. Click on the image to view in our Digital Collections.

Drill team performing on a football field with their rifles mid-air.

Norwich University drill team, 1975. Click on the image to view in our Digital Collections.

Drill team performing on a football field with their rifles in mid-air

Norwich University drill team, 1985. Click on the image to view in our Digital Collections.

Jul 152014

This letter from our collection of Alden Partridge’s correspondence is a great example of damage caused by the pests often referred to as “bookworms.” In this case, the little bugger has chowed down on the wax seal that held the letter closed as it traveled through the postal system of 1814. If you look closely, you can see that the damage is limited to the dark areas where the seal once sat.

Handwritten letter with two dark circles on the edges showing small holes

1814 letter to Alden Partridge showing bookworm damage on the wax seal. Click on the image to view in our Digital Collections.

There is actually no single species called a “bookworm.” A wide variety of insects can set up shop in library and archival collections. They include silverfish, cockroaches, and psocids, also known as booklice. Most of them don’t feed on paper, but rather on the adhesives, starches, and other non-paper materials that go into the making of a book–the damage to the wax seal on this letter is a great example.

The good news is that there’s lots that the Norwich University Archives can and does do to prevent this type of damage. We secure entry points for pests by keeping windows shut; keep storage spaces for important documents cool to discourage pest activity; and avoid attracting pests with food or liquids. Don’t worry, the Alden Partridge collection is safe with us!

Have you ever caught a “bookworm” red-handed? Let us know in the comments below!

Information about pest management in archives courtesy of the Northeast Document Conservation Center.

Jul 082014

Did you do some spring cleaning this year and are wondering what to do to protect old family documents and photographs? The American Library Association has put together some great resources for military families who want to learn more about preserving their history, including this handy reference sheet to get you started.

Here are some great items from our collection that we are able to present to researchers because members of the Norwich community recognized the importance of preserving their own stories, big and small:

Four photographs depicting everyday life with United States troops in France during World War 1

Photographs taken by duVal Allen, Class of 1919, while stationed in France during World War I


V-Mail written from John Finn, Class of 1946, to his family when he was stationed in France during World War II

Propaganda leaflets from the Korean War, one describing "What Truman's Arms Budget Could Buy"

Propaganda leaflets from the Korean War. Donated by Peter Cuthbert, Class of 1951

If you’re a Norwich graduate of any stripe, we want to help you tell your story. Please contact us if you are interested in donating your personal papers.

Jul 012014

July 4th has been marked by celebration in this country since 1777, just one year after the Declaration of Independence was signed. Check out this flyer from 1857 advertising 4th of July festivities, presumably in Norwich, Vermont, that featured the NU cadets. Perhaps you should consider “toasts, sentiments, and short speeches” as a feature of your barbecue this year!

Flyer advertising 4th of July exercises in Norwich, Vermont, 1857

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Jun 242014

Summer can be a quiet time on college campuses, but for many it’s the perfect time to visit the Archives Reading Room and get some research done. Our primary sources can help you out with projects almost as diverse as Norwich itself. And with the continued expansion of our digital collection, we are excited that our collections can now reach users around the globe.

White board showing the word "Archives" translated into various language

The picture above shows a white board that hangs in the Reading Room here on the 5th floor of the Kreitzberg Library. We encourage contributions from any and all visitors who know the word for “archives” in another language. From the fate of the Iranian students of the 1970s, to Indian revolutionary Taraknath Das who attended Norwich in the early 20th century, to the University’s history of collaboration with military academies across the world…University Archives is a great resource for getting to know the international side of Norwich!

We hope you’ll consider stopping by to visit us and learn about Norwich history. Our summer hours are 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday. See you soon!


Jun 172014

This blog gets a lot of traffic from people who are interested in the connection between Linda McCarntey (née Eastman) and Vermont College–namely, that she attended from 1959 to 1961. This is a fact that was more or less missing from public accounts of her life until we shared it in a 2012 blog post, which has since been cited on her Wikipedia page.

Article from the Vermont College alumni newsletter headlined "VC Alum Marries Beatle"

This year would have been the McCartneys’ 45th wedding anniversary, and we thought we’d share this surprisingly brief announcement of Linda and Paul’s marriage from the 1969 Vermont College alumni newsletter. The best part, in our estimation, is the quotation from a VC freshman: “Wow, like that’s wild. It’s unreal. Paul’s my favorite Beatle.”

Jun 032014

Have you ever felt punch-drunk as summer approaches? You are in good company with the editors of the 1929 Guidon, who put together a top-notch “joke issue” for their May 31st edition. Practically every element but the date is fictional, including the title of the publication–The No Wits Stridon.

Check out the images below (you can click on them to view them larger) to read some of the joke articles. Some of our favorites are about Tiddlywinks becoming an official sport and Norwich becoming co-ed (how shockingly implausible!).

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May 262014

Norwich University officially became co-educational in 1972 after merging with Vermont College. Two years later, Norwich admitted women into its Corps of Cadets, a milestone that celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. The 1974 landmark was a year before the U.S. Service Academies admitted women by act of Congress.

Female cadet standing on the Upper Parade Ground talking to two male cadets, all in uniform.

This photo was taken in 1979 of the highest-ranking female Corps member to date (at that time), Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Mary Conway. Click on the image to view in our digital collection.

Among the Senior Military Colleges, Norwich admitted women into the Corps the same year as Texas A&M and a year after the University of North Georgia and Virginia Tech. The Citadel and VMI would maintain all-male Corps until the mid-1990s.

As we celebrate this milestone throughout 2014, we look forward to bringing you more great content about how women have contributed throughout Norwich history. Share your story in the comments below!

May 222014

At this time of year, we all take a moment to remember our fallen heroes, especially those members of the Norwich family. We are struck by emotional image from a 1929 Memorial Day graveside ceremony in Northfield that included the Norwich Corps of Cadets.

World War I veterans in uniform, Norwich cadets, and local adults and children gather in a cemetary

Memorial Day, 1929

World War I veterans in combat uniform are featured prominently, and the Norwich cadets are visible in the background. One local man near the right edge of the frame appears very emotional.

Memorial Day has been observed in one form or another, sometimes under the name Decoration Day, since the Civil War. Federal law established Memorial Day as the holiday’s official name in 1967, and the current date of observance was codified by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968.

May 192014

George Colvocoresses Partridge was Alden Patridge’s firstborn son, who tragically died of unknown causes at the age of 16 in May of 1855, about a year after his father’s death. His portrait, shown below, is one of the early daguerreotypes we have in our photograph collection, and it has recently been added to our digital collection.

Daguerreotype portrait of George Colvocoresses Partridge, shown in a bronze-colored case.

George Colvocoresses Partridge, circa 1850-1855. Click on the image to view in our digital collection.

Note: This blog post previously included a poem by Henry Kent ’54 that was believed to be on the subject of George C. Partridge’s death. We have since learned that this was an erroneous attribution; the poem was about the death of Cadet William George, who was wounded by an accidental gun discharge and died in May 1855.