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What's New

Now Available: The Louis L. McAllister Photograph collection

Published: December 17, 2007 by Winona Salesky

The CDI has started working on an ambitious digitization project involving the Louis L. McAllister Photograph collection. The Louis L. McAllister Photograph collection provides a window into 60 years of Burlington area history.

Louis Lloyd McAllister was born in Columbus, Ohio on October 16, 1877, the son of Rosa (Gould) and William G. McAllister. His father, a native of Warren VT, was a maker of tintypes in Bristol prior to the Civil War. L.L. returned to Vermont and began photographing in Randolph in 1897. His 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. McAllister died April 28, 1963, ending a sixty-year career as a Burlington area photographer.

The collection will take several years to digitize and describe. Read more about the collection and view the first 150 photographs here. Additional photographs are published on a regular basis.

Now Available: Hay Harvesting in the 1940's Collection

Published: November 05, 2008 by Chris Burns

We are pleased to announce a new collection which documents Hay Harvesting in the 1940's

In the 1940’s, Robert M. Carter, of the University of Vermont Agricultural Expriment Station, conducted a study of hay harvesting techniques and costs in Vermont. This collection documents that work which resulted in several published studies and three films showing different hay harvesting techniques.

The films capture hay harvesting at a time when there was an increasing use of power machinery, and they show a range of techniques including older methods of hand harvesting, as well as newer tractor driven methods. In Carter’s study he writes, “While nearly half of all farmers contacted relied upon horses for handling some field equipment, combinations of horse- and motor-operated equipment were frequent. Forty-one percent of the farmers owned tractors, and 21 percent had trucks.” These films capture hay harvesting right in the middle of the transition from horse to machine driven equipment.

Preservation and digitization of these films was made possible through a generous grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation.

View the collection here.

Now Available: Fletcher Family Letters

Published: March 06, 2009 by Chris Burns

Thanks to a generous gift from Frederika Northrop Sargent, a new collection of nineteenth-century family correspondence is now available through the University of Vermont’s Center for Digital Initiatives.

The letters were collected by Vermonter Ruth Colton Fletcher (1810-1903) and are part of the Consuelo Northrop Bailey Papers. Many of the letters are from family members who moved west to New York, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Kansas and sent reports full of interesting details about the people, economy, institutions, and activities to family back home. The correspondents recount the hard work they faced as they created and managed farms in new states and territories and often share meticulous lists of the prices of land, grains, stock, and groceries. Writers document the burdens of sickness and death that their families endured and often provide accounts of their medical treatments. Enos Fletcher and Charles Hogan write about their military experience during the Civil War, and other correspondents refer to the war and its effects on their communities. In one letter, Ruth's son Andrew describes the 1864 Confederate raid on the banks in the border town of St. Albans, where he was working.

The digital collection includes images of 148 letters, encoded and searchable transcriptions of the letters, and a collection overview with a list of the correspondents and their relationships.

View the collection here.