Hours Today: 06/27/17
8 am - 8 pm | see all hours

Ask a Librarian

Archive for August, 2011

New England to Gold Rush California: The Journal of Alfred and Chastina W. Rix

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Archivist and author Lynn A. Bonfield will talk about her new book, New England to Gold Rush California: The Journal of Alfred and Chastina W. Rix 1849-1854, on September 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm in the Special Collections Reading Room.

In 1972, Bonfield discovered the Rixes’s journal at the California Historical Society. Beginning on their wedding day in July 1849, the Peacham, Vermont couple alternated journal entries in a leather-bound copy book. In the unusual “double gender” journal, they wrote about life in Peacham, where they both taught at Peacham Academy; Alfred’s involvement in the California Gold Rush; and the couple’s subsequent life in San Francisco, where Alfred became a successful lawyer. The journal touches on many general themes and events of the time, including political struggles over slavery, migration out of New England, temperance, the value of education, and much more. New England to Gold Rush California includes the journal, commentary by Bonfield based on many years of research, and photographs of the family and their homes in Peacham and California.

Lynn A. Bonfield is retired director of the Labor Archives and Research Center at San Francisco State University. She is coauthor of Roxana’s Children: The Biography of a Nineteenth-Century Vermont Family, among other publications.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information about the event, call 656-2138 or email Special Collections

Maps and directions

Great Billings Book Sale!

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

A Homecoming and Family Weekend Event

Billings Apse
Saturday, October 15, 10 am – 5  pm

Come and explore an interesting selection of classics of literature, history and the arts, Vermont history, unusual collectibles, and just plain good reads.  From trifles to treasures, interestingly priced!

Free and open to the public.  For more information, call 656-2138 or email uvmsc@uvm.edu.

Sponsored by the Friends of Special Collections in honor of the department’s upcoming 50th anniversary.


Bailey/Howe & Dana Medical Libraries Closed on Sunday & Monday, August 28-29, 2011

Friday, August 26th, 2011

With hurricane Irene on its way, the Bailey/Howe & Dana Medical Libraries will be closed on Sunday & Monday, August 28-29, 2011. Saturday hours are as scheduled; noon – 5pm at Bailey/Howe and 9am – 9pm at Dana Medical Library. Stay tuned to our news blog for any changes. Apologies for any inconvenience the two day closures might cause.

Walk-in Service at the Library Research Annex Ends

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Walk-in service at the Library Research Annex will no longer be available as of August 29, 2011.

You can continue to request journals, monographs, and theses and dissertations that are located at the LRA through the library catalog.  Faculty and students who have special requirements for access to journals should contact Access Services (656-2023).

Please contact Special Collections (656-2138) for information about University Archives and Special Collections materials housed in the LRA.

Porter Thayer and the History of the Town Photographer

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Porter Thayer and the History of the Town Photographer at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

August 26, 6:45 pm, Newfane, Historical Society of Windham County

Porter Thayer, a lifelong resident of Williamsville, immortalized the area in the photographs he took between 1906 and 1920. His horse, Lady, helped transport his camera, tripod, and boxes of glass plates over the 25-mile territory he covered.  His business was so popular that more than 1,000 of his postcards were sold at the Williams store over a six-month period.

Jessica Weitz and Vermont Humanities Council scholar Forrest Holzapfel will describe the effort to digitize Thayer’s 1,300 photographs. The Porter Thayer digital collection is available through the University of Vermont’s Center for Digital Initiatives. The event is hosted by the Brooks Memorial Library.

For more information, contact Jessica Weitz, (802) 254-5290 x101.

Pellerin Collection of Franco-American Song

Monday, August 8th, 2011

The UVM Libraries’ Center for Digital Initiatives and the Vermont Folklife Center have created the Martha Pellerin Collection of Franco-American Song, an online database of French and English language songs. The collection is drawn from nine song-book manuscripts collected by Martha Pellerin that date to the mid-twentieth century, and a series of six interviews that Martha conducted with Alberta Gagné of Highgate, Vermont in 1998. The songs that make up the collection include traditional French Canadian materials, commercial popular songs from Canada, France and the United States, family songs, personal songs, bawdy songs, and religious songs.

The database is a collaborative project between the UVM Libraries’ Center for Digital Initiatives and the Vermont Folklife Center. The original materials are from the Vermont Folklife Center’s collection.

The fragile, hand written notebooks and audio recordings preserve music vitally important to each of the individuals who took the time to record them on paper or audio tape. These are songs that were shared socially and tied to the identities of the individual performers, their families, neighborhoods, ethnicity and the periods in time in which they were learned and sung. Whether they are songs that traveled from France to Quebec with the earliest Francophone settlers to North America or songs learned from the radio while driving between Highgate, VT and Montreal, these songs and the communal performances were a fundamental aspect of what it meant to be Franco-American in northern New England in the middle part of the twentieth century.

William Upson, Alexander Botts, and the Earthworm Tractor

Monday, August 1st, 2011

An exhibit in Special Collections highlights the works of William Hazlett Upson, a Vermonter who wrote over one hundred stories about an extraordinary salesman that were read and loved by millions.

After a stint in the army during World War I and a short career with the Caterpillar Tractor Company as a service mechanic, Upson turned to writing. Between 1927 and 1975, he wrote 112 stories for the Saturday Evening Post, as well as numerous books and other articles. Many of his stories and books featured the character Alexander Botts, a tractor salesman for the fictional Earthworm Tractor Company. Botts–“an indomitable (though sometimes deluded) fellow American well acquainted with the sweet uses of adversity and adept at the fine art of plucking victory from the jaws of defeat”–became a folk hero to a generation of Americans.

Upson’s works reached his audience in many forms. The exhibit includes examples of his comic strip “Alexander the Great” and publicity posters for the 1936 movie “Earthworm Tractors.” The stories were adapted for radio during the 1930s and 1940s. He also wrote several plays, including “Middlebury on Parade,” which was produced at Middlebury College.

Upson lived in Middlebury and Ripton, Vermont from 1928 until his death in 1975. In 1965, he donated material relating to his personal and professional life to Special Collections at the University of Vermont. The William Hazlett Upson Papers contain articles, news clippings, notes, photographs, plays, scripts, and miscellaneous material relating to Upson’s published and unpublished writings, his presidency of the Middlebury Maternal Health Council (an affiliated chapter of the American Birth Control League), and his life in Middlebury.

The exhibit is free and can be viewed when the Special Collections reading room is open. For more information, call 656-2138 or email uvmsc@uvm.edu