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Free Cake and Cider!

Published: January 10, 2011 by Robin M. Katz

McAllister Photographs Digitization Completed

It's taken three years, but we have finally digitized over 9,000 photographs by Louis L. Mcallister!
Come celebration the culmination of this huge collection.

McAllister Photographs Reception
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Bailey/Howe Library
3:00 - 5:00 pm

Meet the folks who worked hard on this collection, view some of the images, and enjoy free cake and cider!
The cake will even feature one of the photographs from the collection.

Collaboration with Brooks Memorial Library Featured in The Commons News

Published: November 30, 2010 by Robin M. Katz

Over Thanksgiving, The Commons News did a fairly extensive piece on our forthcoming collaboration with Brooks Memorial Library of Brattleboro, VT. We're currently working with Jerry Carbone, Director, and Jessica Weitz, a library school student, to digitize about 1,250 photographs of Windham County taken by Porter C. Thayer between 1906 and 1930.

This collection will add to our growing strength in local photography, will provide easy access to unique materials, and serves an excellent model for collaborative digitization. An initial 50 photographs will launch in just about a week, and will be added to on a continuous basis.

This is our fourth collection to launch after going through the CDI's collection proposal process, and the first of those involving collaboration with an outside institution.

Read more about the photographer and our collaboration in the full article. A PDF can also be downloaded here. Many thanks to Olga Peters and Jeff Potter at The Commons!

New Collection Image Featuring Tennie Toussaint

Published: July 07, 2010 by Robin Katz

Today we got an unexpected call from Tennie Toussaint's great-grandaughter Kim Prior.

Her mother, Mary Langmaid Prior, knew about the CDI collection. She wanted us to use a photo of her "Grammie Tennie" in place of the generic portrait which had served as the collection's thumbnail.

We had chosen that portrait because it was one of the more interesting photos in the collection. We didn't realize, however, that the casual user might infer that the portrait pictured Toussaint herself.

Tennie Toussaint was a columnist for The Burlington Free Press in the 1960s and 1970s. Her collection of photographs, however, dates to the turn of the century

Unfortunately, Mary Langmaid Prior recently passed away, but her daughter wanted to fulfill her wish. Kim Prior sent us a new digital photograph, as well as some genealogical information.

The new collection thumbnail was cropped from this photo of Tennie Gaskill Toussaint and her two sisters. It was taken by Jenks Studio in St. Johnsbury, VT.

Long Trail Video Featured in UVM Today

Published: May 06, 2010 by Robin Katz

This video, featuring the UVM Libraries' Dan DeSanto and Chris Burns, was created by University Communications and was prominently featured in this week's edition of UVM Today. See the slides digitized for our Long Trail photographs collection, and the "magic lantern" projector used for Dean and Congdon's presentations of the images.

How much has time altered the nation's oldest long-distance hiking trail? A new collection available on the UVM Libraries' Center for Digital Initiatives (CDI) website helps answer that question. With more than 900 images, the site offers a glimpse into the early days of the trail.



View more University Communications videos.

Silent films in our Hay Harvesting Collection get audio commentaries!

Published: April 08, 2010 by Sophia S. Lloyd

Our collection Hay Harvesting in the 1940’s contains several instructional videos produced by UVM’s Agricultural Experiment Station. Produced in the ‘40’s, these short films illustrate different methods of collecting cut hay from the field and getting it into the barn. They range in degree of mechanization and technological advancement, showing machinery that deals with loose hay as well as baled hay, and comparing horse-drawn mechanisms with those powered by tractors.

This past January, Kurt Reichelt of the UVM Extension recorded voice-overs for these films with Lucien Paquette, a former UVM Extension agent and graduate of the class of 1940. One of seven children, Mr. Paquette grew up on a small dairy farm in Crafstbury Common. He founded the Addison County Fair - now the largest agricultural fair in the state - and last year he continued his practice of competing in the Field Days' hand-mowing competition! Mr. Paquette’s narration enriches these films, drawing from his vast professional and personal experience as well as his perspective on the history of agriculture in Vermont.

The post-WWII age saw an explosion in agricultural technologies, but these technologies reached farmers at differing paces. Thus, many small farms still used horse power and needed lots of human labor in order to get a cutting of hay safely into storage for the winter. One video demonstrates the pick-up baler or square baler, which was a machine drawn behind a tractor and deriving its power from the tractor’s power takeoff shaft (PTO). The advent of this sort of baler allowed the entire baling operation to be done by one person - the driver of the tractor - or two if the hay was simultaneously being loaded onto a wagon.

Compressing hay into tightly bound squares allowed for more efficient storage in the haymow (the dry upper portion of the barn where hay is customarily stored), but also necessitated modified techniques for moving the hay, since square bales can be very heavy and unwieldy. Farmers used hay picks to quickly and ergonomically chuck bales without hurting their hands, built their own hay elevators to convey the bales from the wagon up to the haymow, and some rigged pulleys and winches to haul several dozen square bales at a time up into the hay loft. One video demonstrates older haying techniques; hand raking, stacking hay by hand on the wagon, and pitching it into the haymow – all accomplished with the mighty pitchfork!

"Hand Methods of Harvesting Hay," narrated by Lucien Paquette from University of Vermont Libraries on Vimeo

You can out rest of these films in their narrated versions on the UVM Libraries’ Vimeo page.

Supplementing primary materials like these silent films with the commentary of a local expert is a great example of combining two valuable resources into one. Enriching our media in such ways to create multi-modal research experiences for our users is an important objective for the CDI. Thus we are always on the lookout for opportunities to add value to items in our collections. If you have any ideas or suggestions in this regard, please contact us!

New Collection Documents the Long Trail’s Early Years

Published: March 09, 2010 by Robin M. Katz

The UVM Libraries’ Center for Digital Initiatives is pleased to announce our newest collection, the Long Trail Photographs, is now available online. This collection documents the nation’s first long-distance hiking trail and is comprised of over 900 digitized glass lantern slides dating to the 1910s – 1930s.

The images capture the landscapes seen by early hikers, document recreational and maintenance activities on the trail, and provide an historical record of people associated with the trail’s formation. The photographs were taken by early Long Trail advocates Theron S. Dean and Herbert Wheaton Congdon.

This collection launch coincides with the March 11, 2010 centennial of the Green Mountain Club, the member organization which built and maintains the Long Trail. The CDI will present the collection to Green Mountain Club members at their Birthday Gala celebration. This GMC event is open to the public, but RSVP soon - space is limited.

CDI to Present Local History Resources on TV This Thursday

Published: February 23, 2010 by Robin M. Katz

Mark your calendars!

Live at 5:25 - Thursday, February 25, 2010 - Channel 17

The CDI will share some of its excellent local history resources with the audience of Preservation Burlington's "Live at 5:25." Outreach Librarian Robin Katz will be joined by two UVM Libraries staff members who have helped create CDI collections.

Mary Van Buren-Swasey of the Cataloging department uses her local history expertise to create rich museum-level descriptive records for the ongoing additions to the McAllister photograph collection. Dan DeSanto, a staff member in Reference and Instruction and a recent graduate of the University of Alabama's School of Library and Information Science, is currently working on our forthcoming collection of Long Trail photographs.

Robin, Mary and Dan will highlight collection materials, share anecdotes about the research involved in digital collection production, and invite viewers to further explore the CDI.

Update: Watch the Video Online


See how the CDI was mentioned on a previous "Live at 5:25" show entitled "Researching Your Old House" and featuring historian and museum consultant Erica Donnis.

Our Most Used Items of 2009

Published: January 04, 2010 by Robin M. Katz

10. Circus People, McAllister photographs


9. Burlington Lakefront, McAllister photographs


8. A.D. Pease Grain Co., McAllister photographs


7. Using the One-Man Pick-Up Baler, Hay Harvesting in the 1940's


6. Andrew Craig Fletcher to Andrew and Ruth Fletcher, 1864 October 20, Fletcher Family papers


5. Burlington Dump, McAllister photographs


4. Deer Hanging Upside Down Surrounded by Hunters, Tennie Toussaint photographs


3. Hand Methods of Harvesting Hay, Hay Harvesting in the 1940's


2. The Buck Rake, Wind Stackers, and Field Chopper in Use, Hay Harvesting in the 1940's


1. Horses Pulling a Snow Roller, Tennie Toussaint photographs

Louis McAllister Audio Slideshow in UVM's The View

Published: October 09, 2008 by Chris Burns

Amanda Waite, from UVM's The View has put together a wonderful article and audio slideshow in The View, a UVM publication, featuring images from the The Louis L. McAllister Photograph collection.

McAllister's photographs of the Burlington area span a large area of topics, including, group and individual portraits, documentation of building construction and Burlington Street Department projects, and more.

The CDI has been adding digital images to the McAllister Collection for the last year. There are now over 1600 images available, with more being added on a regular basis.

See the audio slideshow below.