Thoreau and Walden Pond

Thoreau and Walden Pond

If you’re anywhere in the vicinity of campus, you are not so very far from Walden Pond and the many haunts of the New England transcendentalists. Thoreau in particular is in the limelight this year, as it is the bicentennial anniversary of his birth.

Concord, MA is where most of the movement was centered, the “biggest little place in America,” so Henry James once said. Concord is worth wandering for all manner of reasons, but I wanted to highlight the bicentennial events in case anyone wants to explore Thoreau in more detail this year.

There is, of course, Walden Pond. Its a state park these days, with hiking trails and swimming allowed, along with the requisite guided tours. You can check out more info on the Pond here.

The main event is probably the Concord Museum, one of the main locations to find all things Thoreau. They have several exhibits this year on Thoreau, and they’ve got an event for Thoreau’s birthday (July 12th, just around the corner!). The Museum also has exhibits on the other notable events and residents of Concord, and online exhibits as well for those farther afield.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t link to this article in the Paris Review. I must confess, I didn’t remember that this was the bicentennial on my own. The article popped up in my RSS feed, but I’m glad I did. Its an interesting read, whether you are a fan of Thoreau or not.

4th of July in New Hampshire

4th of July in New Hampshire

A Happy 4th of July to you all! I hope you have a day to sit back and relax. Me personally, I’m planning to watch baseball later today with hot dogs for dinner (a grand American tradition to be sure).

If you have a few minutes to spare, you can certainly review the resources from last year. This year I thought it would be fun to see what I could find specific to New Hampshire and the Revolutionary War.

Can you believe not a SINGLE battle occurred in New Hampshire? Seriously, none. There was a patented Paul Revere Midnight Ride to Portsmouth, NH to warm them about a plan to attack the Fort of William and Mary (now Fort Constitution, in the midst of a lovely park in Portsmouth that you can visit), and two of the warships captained by John Paul Jones were built in Portsmouth as well. Beyond that? The militia fought at several battles including Bunker Hill, and there’s General John Stark of course.

Beyond that my favorite little anecdote is one that I learned of because a brewery named themselves after the man who started the riot. No, really. And the beer’s pretty good too. It seems to be a New Hampshire thing. It’s called the Pine Tree Riot, and you can read a bit about it here. (If you follow the College, I’m sure you saw the students who went around NH and toured 30 breweries in 30 days. They started at the one I mentioned, Able Ebenezer.)

Good to Know: Harvard digitizing case law collection

For all the budding lawyers out there, WBUR has a write up on a digitization project going on at Harvard:

Historically, libraries have been collections — books, multimedia materials and artwork. But increasingly they’re about connections, linking digital data in new and different ways. The Caselaw Access Project is a state-of-the-art example of that shift.

“So what’s going to result from this project is a huge database of electronic, digital court decisions,” Ziegler explained. “And the world of law has never seen that before.”

I like the idea that all of the case law will be freely accessible (far more so than the books that are in storage currently.) And per the article, the physical books will still be kept in storage should anything go wrong.

New Hampshire poetry Festival

I know there’s been a bit of silence in this area of cyber space. Preparations for the new semester are underway, and an update on the catalog conversion will be forthcoming. In the meantime, check out the NH Book Blog for details on the Poetry festival coming up in September! 

2nd Annual NH Poetry Festival — September 24

NH Poet Laureate hosting reading at Robert Frost Farm

NH Poet Laureate hosting reading at Robert Frost Farm

From The Book Notes NH Blog:

DERRY, NH, July 6, 2016 – The Robert Frost Farm’s 2016 Hyla Brook Reading Series features New Hampshire Poet Laureate Alice B. Fogel on Thursday, July 14, 2016, 6:30-8:30pm. Hyla Brook Poet Sara Backer will also read.

The series, held in the Frost Farm located at 122 Rockingham Rd (Rt 28), is free and open to the public. An Open Mic follows the readings and all audience members are invited to share their work.
Read more here. Note the reading is this Thursday, so coming up quick. Confession time: I’ve never been to the Frost Farm. I’ve known scads of folks who have gone and all have had only good things to say, so the venture would be worth your time. If you’re looking to check out the Robert Frost Farm in general, the Robert Frost Farm poetry website is here.

Treasures from the Library: Sonnets on Shakespeare

Welcome to the new blog series! Hopefully you guys get as much of a kick out of the random, weird, and wonderful things in the collection as I do. First though, a quick word to clarify: when I feature something as a treasure of the collection, it may or may not have monetary value. It may be a book with an interesting story or it may be a first edition of an author that is a favorite of the college. There are many types of value, after all.

Now, onto our first find!

My first question for you is, have you ever heard of Major General Ethan Allen Hitchcock? If the answer is no, don’t worry, I hadn’t either. Ethan Allen Hitchcock was born in Vergennes, VT in 1798. As an aside, you should visit Vergennes if you ever get the chance. Its a beautiful little town about 7 miles away from Lake Champlain. Seriously difficult not squee at the quaint nature of the town when you drive through. But back to the task at hand. Vergennes was named after the Comte de Vergennes at the suggestion of Ethan Allen. Ethan Allen being the grandfather of Ethan Allen Hitchcock, and famous for a great many things in his own right.

The son of a judge/delegate to the Constitutional Convention/part of the group who founded the University of Vermont and the grandson of the man who captured Fort

General Ethan Allen Hitchcock. He doesn’t have time for your shenanigans.

Ticonderoga and helped found the state of Vermont, the good (eventual) General had a lot to live up to. After graduating from the US Military Academy, Hitchcock moved through the ranks, serving in the Seminole War and the Mexican-American War. He was out of service for a time before returning to serve in the Civil War, attaining the rank of Major General.

He was a military man, through and through. And yet, somewhere in between marching all over the country and commanding troops during a war that was the bloodiest to date, he found time to write. The flute and alchemy were his two loves, but he clearly had a soft spot in his heart for Shakespeare, as this little volume attests.

Remarks on the Sonnets of Shakespeare was published in 1867, four years before Ethan Allen Hitchcock passed away. It was the last book he wrote that was published in his lifetime. His journals, Fifty Years in Camp and Field and A Traveler in Indian Territory would only be published posthumously.

The copy we possesses is not in the best condition: it has visible wear on the spine and there are sections that are detaching from the spine. Its to be expected of a little book from 1867 that has rattled around for almost 150 years. There aren’t any distinguishing marks on the book, so I can only guess where it might have come from. Most of our library books began their library career elsewhere before retiring to our collection, and that very well may hold true for this little volume as well.


For those looking to read the work, this volume has been removed from general circulation until we can decide how best to proceed. However, the Internet Archive has a digital copy that can be found here.