The Vermont Digital Newspaper Project was delighted that the University of Vermont’s Special Collections hosted Robert McCullough, Associate Professor of Historic Preservation, last Wednesday, the 21st, at 5:30 pm, for a special talk entitled, Good Roads & Good Sidepaths: Tracing Bicycle History on the Land. This talk was in conjunction with the newspaper project’s summer/fall exhibit at the Bailey/Howe Library, Cycling Through the News: The Rise of Bicycling in Vermont and the Nation.
McCullough’s talk explored the rise of bicycling in the late 19th century in the United States and how pioneering wheelmen and wheelwomen shaped the landscape. In particular, he addressed the creation of sidepaths and the push for good roads, starting in the late 1880s. Sidepaths were created, particularly in New York state, alongside roads as special paths for bicyclists only. Many of these paths required bicyclists to purchase special bicycle tags in order to ride on them! Unfortunately, few of these original sidepaths remain extant today in the country–and none are known extant (or known ever to have been created) in Vermont.
McCullough’s new book, Old Wheelways: Traces of Bicycle History on the Land, is out now. You can find it on the MIT Press’s website and on Amazon.
If you haven’t seen it, there’s a few more days yet to view the exhibit! We’ll be taking it down on Friday, October 30.
Another year, another National Digital Newspaper Program Conference! Last month, Jeffrey Marshall, project director and principal investigator, Erenst Anip, project librarian, and Karyn Norwood, digital support specialist, traveled to Washington, DC, for the annual conference for the National Digital Newspaper Program between September 16th and 18th. Below, a recap of just a few of the exciting moments of the conference!
There are some exciting developments on the national level for Chronicling America: significantly, on October 7th, the program celebrated the surpassing of 10 million newspaper pages freely available online, which is a huge accomplishment! Vermont alone has contributed around 260,000 pages from 59 newspaper titles to this number.
And we are back with our User Spotlight Series feature! We are delighted that Richard H. Allen, a Vermont-based historian and author, took the time to share his experience with Chronicling America and how it helped with the research for his upcoming book: Ambition and Grit: The Life of Truman Naramore, Civil War Veteran and Entrepreneur.
Richard H. Allen is a native of Plattsburgh, New York and has lived in Vermont since 1973. He received his B.A. from Harpur College, State University of New York at Binghamton, and his M.Ed. from the University of North Dakota. He taught elementary school for 40 years, 37 of those years in Williston, Vermont. He lives with his wife Lucille in Essex Center and they have three grown children. He has authored or co-authored five other books: The Vermont Geography Book; The History of Williston Central School, 1950-2000; Essex and Essex Junction, with his wife Lucille; North Williston: Down Depot Hill; and Williston, Vermont: Commemorating 250 Years of Town History.