Takeaways from the Society of North Carolina Archivists Annual Conference

Professional development is integral to all of the library staff here at Davidson College, so with that in mind, the Discovery Systems team sent three of its members to the Society of North Carolina Archivists (SNCA) annual conference last week – myself, Jan Blodgett, and Susan Kerr. While we all often attend meetings, conferences, and other trainings, we usually reserve our discussion of takeways, thoughts, and interesting ideas to in-person weekly departmental meetings. We thought that my first SNCA meeting would be a great opportunity to compare and contrast what the Davidson attendees got out of the meeting. So, first up: my takeaways!

To start off the morning, Jan moderated the “Publishing and Managing Digital Collections without CONTENTdm” session, which I presented at. The session was a great opportunity to talk about our ongoing development and roll-out of our institutional repository, as well as to hear about how two other institutions are dealing with increasingly larger and larger digital collections.

Moderator and presenters at the "Publishing and Managing Digital Collections without CONTENTdm" session. From left to right: Jan Blodgett, Caitlin Christian-Lamb, Chelcie Rowell (Wake Forest University), and Molly Bragg (Duke University).

Moderator and presenters at the “Publishing and Managing Digital Collections without CONTENTdm” session. From left to right: Jan Blodgett, Caitlin Christian-Lamb, Chelcie Rowell (Wake Forest University), and Molly Bragg (Duke University). Photo via Craig Fansler (Wake Forest University); see his post on SNCA here. Molly Bragg also wrote a post about this session – read that here.

One of the sessions that made the biggest impact on me was “North Carolina and the Digital Public Library of America.” I’ve long been fascinated by the DPLA, and hearing about contributing to the DPLA from the point of view of the staff of a service hub (the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center) and from a contributing institution (Wake Forest University) definitely inspired me to think about whether an agile development cycle like the one employed at Wake Forest might work for Davidson. We currently have contributed 404 items to the DPLA, but this is a great time to plan what our next contributions and digitization projects will be.

Another one of my favorite parts of the day was the plenary luncheon presentation by Sarah E. Koonts, Director of the North Carolina Division of Archives and Records. Koonts filled in SNCA members on trends from archives around the U.S., with a focus on advocacy and outreach. Throughout the day of the SNCA conference, I was liveblogging as part of my participation in Day of DH, a digital humanities community-building project. I wrote a bit more on my blog there about what I got out of the plenary, but my main takeaway is that archival advocacy is incredibly important to the field, yet often hard to teach in graduate programs.

When I asked Susan about what she felt the biggest takeaways from SNCA were, she emphasized the serendipitous nature of discovering new tools and methods when at professional gatherings. In particular, she’s been playing around with Jason Ronallo’s (North Carolina State University) CSV-to-EAD conversion application, Stead, and freeformatter.com‘s CSV-to-XML convertor since SNCA.

Jan also got a lot out of attending SNCA this year – in her own words:

I’ve never stopped to count but I’ve probably been to 30+ SNCA meetings during my time at Davidson. Over these years I’ve gained much support, information, professional growth and new ideas from SNCA and this meeting was no exception. My official duties in relation to this springs’ SNCA meeting included being a part of the nominating committee and moderating a panel. Unofficially, it was a time to reconnect with colleagues, chat at poster sessions, and gather ideas for new projects.

After a presentation by archivists at UNC Greensboro, highest on my “let’s do” list is getting our scrapbooks digitized. We have scanned individual images but have yet to tackle the trickier process of scanning whole pages. My first thoughts were of our student scrapbooks – and following UNC-G’s example, I began mentally counting all the scrapbooks from student organizations and campus departments.  The numbers could be a bit daunting but bringing Davidson history online through the scrapbooks is an exciting prospect.

A few of the scrapbooks that Jan referred to - plenty of material to work with!

A few of the scrapbooks that Jan referred to – plenty of material to work with!

We each left the SNCA conference with a different set of takeaways… now to get to work figuring out what we can implement!

5th Annual Poetry Reading in the RBR

Poetry Reading

Poetry Reading

Tomorrow night, Thursday April 10th at 8:00 we are celebrating National Poetry Month with our 5th annual Poetry Reading in the Rare Book Room of the E.H. Little Library.  Last year was great fun, and we’re looking forward to this year’s event.  Davidson students, faculty members, and town poets —talented all— will read from their own works.  There will also be time afterwards for refreshments and chatting with the poets.

Hope to see you there!

And, through April 30th, you still have a chance to come to the Rare Book Room, Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm, to see our exhibit of poetry broadsides from the Iron Mountain Press.

Iron Mountain Press Display

Iron Mountain Press Display

The Davidsonian at 100

The speed with which mason jars and cupcakes disappeared at the Davidsonian Centennial Celebration yesterday suggests that the college’s student-run newspaper holds an important place in the campus culture. Since its inception, the paper has served as both “the flagship student publication” and as an important historical resource on campus, national, and international events.

The front page of the first issue of The Davidsonian - April 1, 1914

The front page of the first issue of The Davidsonian – April 1, 1914

The inaugural Editor-in-Chief, Frank W. Price (class of 1915), touched on the central role the student newspaper can play in the first editorial:

“[The Davidsonian] should be in close touch with every phase of college life and the life of the community about it. Even in a small college, life becomes more and more complex, and as the students are broken up into an increasing number of groups, there is a tendency not to look beyond the questions and the matter in which one man is directly interested. The college newspaper should give live information about every group and department of college activity, keep them acquainted with each other, and thus promote a feeling of mutual interest and encouragement. In addition, these are the things which vitally concern every student, and yet which are not well know or misunderstood.”

It is this “close touch” with the college and community that makes The Davidsonian such a valuable archival resource, in addition to its more immediate value as a news source and teaching tool. The Archives & Special Collections team frequently digs into both the print and digitized issues of The Davidsonian (and starting this year, The Davidsonian staff have been digging through these archives too – for a running feature where an archival article is re-published in each issue), and in celebration of this momentous occasion, we’d like to share a few lesser-viewed archival gems.

Ever wondered how The Davidsonian gets written? Well, in 1961, Editor-in-Chief Wallace B. Millner compiled “The Davidsonian Style Book and Short Course for Freshman Reporters,” in “a long overdue effort to catalog and standardize some style points” for the paper. In addition to setting parameters as to grammar and style, this guide included helpful tips on how to conduct interviews and write news stories, including how to construct a lead:

How to Write a Lead for The Davidsonian in 1961

“Earl Jones, Davidson economics professor, was apprehended by police last night while attempting to force entry into Charlotte’s Wachovia Bank.”

Another look behind the scenes of newspaper production can be provided through reporters’ assignment sheets or cards, such as the ones found in the scrapbooks of Hugh H. Smith (class of 1923) and Thomas T. Jones (class of 1928):

Smith's assignment sheet

Smith’s assignment sheet

A sample of Jones' assignment cards

Two of Jones’ assignment cards

The college archives holds the page layouts for the 75th anniversary edition of The Davidsonian:

Front page layout for the April 1989 75th anniversary

Front page layout for the April 1989 75th anniversary

Although many things have changed at Davidson (and elsewhere!) over the past 100 years, as Jan Blodgett pointed out, some issues have remained consistent, as the program from The Davidsonian banquet in 1920 makes clear:

Timely issues, and and interesting look at 1920s cuisine

Timely issues, and and interesting look at 1920s cuisine

As a counterpoint, the 1966 banquet featured a less detailed program and menu:

The 1966 Davidsonian banquet

The 1966 Davidsonian banquet featured less punch, at least on the menu

The Davidsonian has served as the campus news source for a century, including providing much-needed comic relief – a role currently filled by The Yowl. A glance through our archival holdings reveals issues of The David’s Onion, The Davidphonian, and The Devoidsonian, among others:

This column appeared in The Devoidsonian, vol. 666, no. ∞, published "Post-Trustee" (based on the content of the articles, this was most likely sometime between 1978 and 1983)

This column appeared in The Devoidsonian, vol. 666, no. ∞, published “Post-Trustee” (though undated, based on the content of the articles, this was most likely during the 1981-82 academic year)

Front page of The Davidphonian, "The Nation's Third Worst College Weekly," published May 5, 1998

Front page of The Davidphonian, “The Nation’s Third Worst College Weekly,” published May 5, 1998

If this week’s Centennial activities have piqued your interest in the past, present, or future of the college’s newspaper, check out the Davidsonian Reunion on April 12. As Marcus Bailey pointed out in his February 2013 editorial, “Why I write for the Davidsonian and you should too,” The Davidsonian is an excellent gateway to getting involved, both on the campus and with the world – just as it has been for the past 100 years.

Musical Movements and Moments

A recent transfer of recordings from the Music Library to the Archives prompted a little reflection on Davidson student’s enthusiasm for making music. Student letters describe impromptu concerts and  student choirs in the 1860s.  A Jug Band formed and played on campus –and when allowed– off campus in 1888-89.

More long lasting was the Glee Club, which served as the home to orchestras and subgroups including Guitar and Mandolin Club and the Double Quartette.

Glee Club in 1897 - incorporating the Guitar and Mandolin club

Glee Club in 1897 – incorporating the Guitar and Mandolin club

 

Although starting small, the orchestra would grow over the years.

Although starting small, the orchestra would grow over the years.

  Members of the Double Quartette in 1907Members of the Double Quartette in 1907

Several groups have shared names over the decades. In 1908, the guitars and mandolins took on the name the Serenaders.  By 1926,  the Wildcat Serenaders were on the scene — only to be reorganized as the Sunnyland Serenaders in 1928.

Formerly Guitar and Mandolins, now Serenaders

Formerly Guitar and Mandolins, now Serenaders

Article from 9 February 1928 Davidsonian announcing the change from Wildcat to Sunnyland

Article from 9 February 1928 Davidsonian announcing the change from Wildcat to Sunnyland

The name change brought on a spirit of adventure on the part of the musicians. Not content to play just on campus and in nearby towns, they hoped for a contract with a steamship line to play while crossing the Atlantic.

Guitars and Mandolins gave way to banjos, drums and sax

Guitars and Mandolins gave way to banjos, drums and sax

The Lamplighters started in 1954 as a quartet with Sandy McGeachy, Leighton McCutchen, Joe Garrison, Bob Martin. By 1964, the Lamplighters were a double quartet (without the extra e’s and t’s of the  1907 group) within the Male Chorus

Lamplighters (Double Quartet) in1965

Lamplighters (Double Quartet) in1965

When coeducation officially arrived at Davidson, women students were quick to follow the musical tradition.  In 1973, they joined the Madrigal Singers and a Women’s Chorus was founded in in 1975 with a student leader, Pat Morris.

With women's voices on hand, a campus madrigal group could be formed.

With women’s voices on hand, a campus madrigal group could be formed.

It should be noted that Davidson musicians  did not wait for coeducation. In 1940, the Davidson-Queens Little Orchestra was formed combining talents from Davidson and Queens College.   These are but a few of the musical moments at Davidson.  In 2014 along with the college sponsored choirs, orchestras and ensembles, there are a capella  groups, rock bands, and soloists sharing their talents. This summer student musicians and mathematicians will spend time together in the new Davidson College Venture Lab coming up with ways to create and distribute online music.  Let Davidson’s musical adventures continue.

Harvey’s Anatomical Exercises

 

Title Page

Title Page

The anatomical exercises of Dr. William Harvey, professor of physic and physician to the Kings Majesty, concerning the motion of the heart and blood / with the preface of Zachariah Wood, physician of Roterdam.  To which is added Dr. James De Back his Discourse of the heart, physician in ordinary to the town of Roterdam.  London: Printed by Francis Leach for Richard Lowndes…, 1653.

William Harvey, a physician and medical theorist, is best known for his pioneering work on the circulation of the blood.  Although he gave his first lectures demonstrating blood circulation in 1616, his famous work, De Motu Cordis, was not published until 1628.  His handwritten notes are housed in the British Museum.

"To the King"

“To the King”

  

Harvey was born on April 1, 1578.  He was educated at King’s School, Canterbury, studied at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and then studied medicine in Padua.  He was a physician to kings, first to James I and then to Charles I, and became a Fellow of the College of Physicians.  In his honor, the College of Physicians established the annual Harveian Orations, still being given, and always dealing with some aspect of Harvey’s work.  Harvey’s research established the basic principles of blood circulation, and he is known as one of the great men of science.

Index of Chapters

Index of Chapters

The library’s copy of Harvey’s Anatomical Exercises is the first English edition, published in 1653, of his landmark work De Motu Cordis.  It was given to the library by Dr. Carleton Chapman, class of 1936.