Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for December, 2014

"2000 times square ball at waterford" by Hunter Kahn (talk) 02:57, 8 October 2008 (UTC) - Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2000_times_square_ball_at_waterford.

Make room in Times Square: the Class of 1852 is ready to party with you and ring in 2015 dressed in spanking new glass.

This group of 42 men has been the subject of two posts, the first about their wild and crazy Philopogonian ways, and the second about a project to reseal the individual daguerreotypes from the class. I recently resealed the last daguerreotype in the group, so we begin 2015 with a sparkling set of nice, clear photographs.

D. J. Sprague: plate showing photographer J.D. Wells stamp at bottom right.

D. J. Sprague: plate showing photographer J.D. Wells’ stamp at bottom right.

First, a few details about the daguerreotypes themselves: All 42 daguerreotypes are sixth plate size (approx 2.75″ x 3.25″). The plates have a variety of damage but most looked pretty good after merely replacing the old cover glass (with its fascinating variety of gunk) with new Electroverre low iron glass that I cut to size. I do not rinse or otherwise treat the plate except to gently blow off dust. Class member Daniel J. Sprague’s plate had the photographer’s name (J.D. Wells) stamped on the plate itself — an unusual practice — and another plate had Wells’ name on the mat. All others were unmarked but most were also probably by Wells. (more…)

Read Full Post »

The other week, while perusing our oversize materials, I ran across a drawer that had previously escaped my notice. It was labelled “Dr. Phillips’ Figure Study Charts” and was full to overflowing with great big pages of simply drawn figures, obviously advocating for the health and aesthetic benefits of proper posture and unrestrictive clothing. These charts are a fantastic example of the complicated, contradictory character of nineteenth century science, medicine and health advice.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

There are two places on the Amherst College campus I have never been to but would give my eyeteeth to visit someday: the tower of Johnson Chapel and the 4th floor southwest corner of South College. The Johnson Chapel thing is easily explained: the building is the most iconic structure on campus, and its bell tower affords the finest views of the college and the surrounding town of Amherst. South College, its next-door neighbor, is less obvious. Aside from this dormitory being the first structure built on the campus (1820), its 4th floor, southwest corner room is said to have been the site of a number of important (or infamous) occurrences.

South College in 1878

South College, 1878 (Buildings and Grounds Collection, box 19, folder 29)

South College today (December 12, 2014)

Southwest corner of South College as it looks today (December 12, 2014). Johnson Chapel is behind it.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

As we have mentioned in earlier posts, newly digitized material from the Archives will be added to Amherst College Digital Collections on a regular basis. This week I want to call attention to the nearly complete run of Amherst College yearbooks — The Olio — now available online.

(more…)

Read Full Post »