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“To attract the public, we must show them pictures,” wrote Green Mountain Club President Mortimer Proctor in 1928. Between 1910 and 1930, dedicated members of the Green Mountain Club established Vermont’s Long Trail, a footpath in the wilderness that extends along the ridgeline of the Green Mountains. Club members actively promoted the trail, and their presentations and publications relied heavily on photographs to attract hikers and club members. Long Trail photos are featured in an exhibit in the Bailey/Howe Library lobby this summer.
UVM’s Special Collections holds several collections of glass slides that document construction and use of the Long Trail during its first three decades. The collections illustrate widespread enthusiasm for the Long Trail project, and for hiking in general. The image collections chronicle the views and landscapes seen by early hikers and provide a record of people associated with the Green Mountain Club’s formative years.
Over the years, images from the collections have been used to illustrate publications about the trail, but the obsolete slide format limited general use. This year, the UVM Libraries’ Center for Digital Initiatives greatly improved access by creating the Long Trail digital collection. The collection was launched in March to coincide with the Green Mountain Club’s centennial celebration.
For more information about the Long Trail and Green Mountain Club research collections, visit Special Collections on the ground floor of Bailey/Howe. View the Long Trail Collection online at http://cdi.uvm.edu.