Summer in the Archives

June 17, 2016

norwich campus from window

Summertime view from the 5th floor

Campus sure is quiet this time of year, but the fun never stops on the 5th floor of the library! In addition to enjoying our spectacular views of the Green Mountains and Norwich’s historic campus, we are all keeping busy with a variety of projects that further our goal of preserving and providing access to the university’s historical records in new and exciting ways.

Mary Margaret is hard at work on the 200 Things About Norwich project as part of the lead-up to our 2019 bicentennial. Each week, an email with an interesting fact about the university’s history is sent to thousands of alumni and friends. Recent weeks highlighted the accomplishments of James Burt, one of our distinguished Medal of Honor recipients, and the Peace Corps Preparatory Program that Norwich pioneered in 1986. Contrary to what her hat says, the project is far beyond “Thing 1”–Thing 51 went out this week!

IMG_1523

Mary Margaret and her “200 Things About Norwich” thinking cap.

Kelly is planning a transcription workshop that will take place during CGCS residency next week. Dozens of graduate students will visit the Archives to get hands-on with primary sources and help us transcribe letters from Alden Partridge’s correspondence so that future researchers don’t have to struggle with 19th century handwriting in order to learn about our founder’s legacy. We are so excited about bringing together Norwich’s storied past with the students that represent its future through our innovative online learning programs.

manuscript letter

Example of a letter that our CGCS students might be transcribing. Click to view in our digital collections and try giving it a read!

Gail is our guru on all things digital. In addition to getting the University Owl and Regulator online earlier this spring, she’s got the back issues of the Norwich Record online all the way up through June 1940. If you need a break from the sunshine, the old Records truly are a delightful read that provide insights like no other into the life of the Norwich community on campus and around the world. With Gail’s leadership, we added over 2,000 items to our digital collections in the last year!

Alison has been hard at work helping our patrons in the reading room, which is still open from 1:00 to 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Term papers may be a thing of the past, but summer always brings opportunities for faculty and other researchers to dive into more complex projects. This summer, she’s working with a faculty member who’s using our World War I alumni surveys to develop a class project centered on Norwich alumni who fought in France. Alison also completed her Master of Library and Information Science degree this summer! Congratulations, Alison!

Whether you’re vacationing at a beautiful historic site, bringing the hottest historical reads to the pool, or checking out Vermont History Expo this weekend, we hope you’re having as much fun with history this summer as we are!

–Mary Margaret

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