The Norwich campus has come to life with students once again–and believe it or not, the leaves are already starting to turn up here in Vermont! Get in the mood for a new school year with these images of new student arrival from years past. Some things change (like plaid pants) and some things stay the same!
With less than a week to go until the Rooks join us on campus, we’re preparing a variety of exhibits and orientation activities to welcome the students. One of the topics we are highlighting is the front-line war experience of Norwich graduates.
We came across this fascinating document in the papers of Allen Wilder, a member of the Class of 1931 who served in the North African theater during World War II. It’s a guide distributed by the US Army that gives an overview–not necessarily in the most progressive or sensitive tone–of the cultural differences and traditions that they thought troops should be aware of while serving in the “Arab” or “Moslem” territories of North Africa.
This image is just one page from a pamphlet that also includes information about weather, disease, geography, cuisine, and even local gender politics. Come read the rest in our reading room today!
Have you ever wondered what projects people use the University Archives for? One of the projects that keeps us busy every summer is preparing historical photographs for use in the fall ceremony for new Norwich Athletic Hall of Fame inductees.
We work hard to help the Athletics staff locate just the right images from our collection of over one million photographs. We’ve also been adding them to our Digital Collections site so that the whole University community can enjoy looking back at our great stars. Here are some of the highlights:
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.”
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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