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What's New

Faculty Focus Group on New Prospect Collection

Published: February 09, 2011 by Robin M. Katz

Faculty Focus Group

On the new Prospect Archive of Children's Work and related research fellowships.

Friday, February 18, 2011
3:00 PM - Waterman 455

Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to

We'd like to hear your ideas for its application in teaching and research.
Participants may want to read these short pieces on the collection's Methodology page:

  • “A Letter to Parents and Teachers on Some Ways of Looking at and Reflecting on Children” by Patricia F. Carini, pp 13 – 19
  • “Collecting and Describing Children’s Works at Prospect” by Patricia F. Carini, pp 27 - 29

New Online Resource

The UVM Libraries' Center for Digital Initiatives is pleased to announce the launch of the Prospect Archive of Children's Work. This unique collection offers a longitudinal look at the art and writing of nine children, as well as teacher records and information on Prospect's unique methodology. It is now available online at

Upcoming Fellowship Opportunities

Beginning in 2012, the Prospect School and Center for Education and Research Fund will support two research fellowship initiatives that are designed to encourage faculty, independent researchers, students, classroom teachers, principals, administrators, and other community members active in school affairs to benefit from the Prospect School and Center for Education and Research Archives located at the University of Vermont Libraries Special Collections department.

About Prospect

The Prospect School (1965-1991), deeply influenced by the philosophy of John Dewey, and in particular his commitment to the agency for the learner and his conviction that the desire for learning is inherent in every person, enrolled children from all walks of life, from age 4 through 14, with tuition waived or adjusted according to need.

The Prospect Center (1979-2010), under the leadership of co-founder Patricia Carini, developed a disciplined, collaborative method for understanding children as thinkers and learners called the descriptive review of the child. The descriptive review is a mode of inquiry that draws on the rich, detailed knowledge teachers and parents have of children and on their ability to describe those children in full and balanced ways, so that they become visible as complex persons with particular strengths, interests, and capacities.

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.

Tommy DeFrantz Discusses Kake Walk

Published: September 21, 2010 by Robin M. Katz

Former Alvin Ailey dancer and MIT Professor of Music, Theater Arts, Comparative Media Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies Dr. Thomas DeFrantz will situate UVM's Kake Walk in the broader context of American performance history. His most recent book is titled //Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance and Dancing//. His most recent creative works include /Queer Theory! An Academic Travesty/ commissioned by the Theater Offensive of Boston and the Flynn Center for the Arts & "CANE," an immersive environment dance theater experience that explores black sharecropping after the Civil War. He created historical choreography, including a Juba Dance, for the second iteration of the New York History Workshop's award-winning exhibition /Slavery in New York/ on display at the New York Historical Foundation since 2007.

Part of the launch announcing Kake Walk at UVM, the newest digital collection from the Center for Digital Initiatives.

UVM’s Kake Walk, a synchronized dance competition during the annual Winter Carnival, featured fraternity brothers in blackface and kinky wigs high-stepping to the tune “Cotton Babes.” The event, abolished in 1969, occupies a controversial position in the university’s institutional memory; it is, for some, a hallowed tradition and for others, overt racism.

To read more about student contributions to the digital collection, see this recent story in UVM Today.

Bamboozled, Kake Walk, & Blackface

Published: September 01, 2010 by Robin M. Katz

BAMBOOZLED the movie

KAKE WALK the tradition

BLACKFACE the issue

Join us as we examine blackface and UVM's once popular minstrel tradition Kake Walk through a film screening of Spike Lee's Bamboozled. A pre-screening presentation will include a brief history of Kake Walk, an exploration of racist visual vocabulary, and a look at the resurgence of these themes. A discussion will follow the film.

7:00 PM - THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2010 - Lafayette 108

Organized by the Center for Digital Initiatives, the Fleming Museum, and the Center for Cultural Pluralism. The CDI's forthcoming collection Kake Walk at UVM will featured digitized archival material, and will launch on September 16th.

Long Trail Photos On Display at Vermont History Expo

Published: June 18, 2010 by Robin M. Katz

Come visit the University of Vermont Libraries at the tenth annual Vermont History Expo.

Special Collections and Center for Digital Initiatives staff will join other research organizations in the Floral Hall at the Tunbridge World's Fairground to show off our new Long Trail photographs collection.

This year's theme is "Back to the Land Again! Vermont Heritage Ways for Today." The expo will include exhibits from local historical societies, museums, and cultural heritage organizations. There will be presentations, demonstrations, heritage animals, music, dancing and great food.

New this year, on Saturday the Tunbridge School Club will be offering a community dinner of traditional Vermont foods incorporating local, seasonal ingredients. After dinner, restored films on Vermont agriculture from the 1930s-1950s will be shown in the Tunbridge Library.

Vermont History Expo
June 26 - 27 :: 10 am - 5 pm
Tunbridge World's Fairgrounds

CDI Librarian Presents “Metadata: The Basics and Beyond"

Published: April 28, 2010 by Dan DeSanto

This morning, Sibyl Schaefer from the Center for Digital Initiatives presented “Metadata: The Basics and Beyond" to over 20 staff and faculty of the University of Vermont Libraries. The presentation was hosted by the UVM Staff and Faculty Development Committee and provided a description of metadata fundamentals, practical metadata applications, and possible future uses of encoded metadata. Sibyl provided examples from everyday sources like ITunes, library catalogs, and even the CDI’s own collections. With the popularity of digital collections continuing to grow and collections themselves becoming more sharable, an understanding of how these collections are created, organized, and shared is becoming ever more important in libraries and archives. Thanks to Sibyl for sharing her expertise with the rest of the Bailey Howe Library!

Long Trail Panel Discussion Thursday Night

Published: April 16, 2010 by Jill Wharton

The Long Trail Photographs have recently gotten national attention.

The Scout Report, part of the Internet Scout Project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, selects and annotates valuable online resources. See the Long Trail photographs annotation here.

Join Us In Celebration

We'll be celebrating the Long Trail's centennial (and our collection's success!) on April 22, 2010 at 7:00 PM in the Special Collections Reading Room, Bailey/Howe Library. Three special guests will present a panel on the history and dynamic connections between the university community and the advancement of Vermont's Long Trail: Pete Antos-Ketcham from the Green Mountain Club; Daniel DeSanto, Collection Specialist at Bailey-Howe; and John Abbott from UVM Outdoor Programs.

Refreshments will be served, and free parking is available at the Visitor Lot on College Street. For more information on the reception, please call 656-2138, e-mail, or visit the website. We hope to see you there!

Update: View Dan DeSanto's powerpoint presentation on the CDI collection.

Browse or search the Long Trail photographs.

Bennington Battlefield, Long Trail Glass Lantern Slides

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.

Items of the Month: March 2010

Published: March 01, 2010 by Sophia Lloyd

The March Sugarmaking Tradition

Boiling sap outdoors, Tennie Toussaint photographs

View of an outdoor sugar making operation. Pictured are sap buckets, a boiler over a wood-fire, logs for the fire, and an axe for cutting wood.

Group with horses in front of a sugarhouse, Tennie Toussaint photographs

Horses pulling sap into the sugarhouse.

Did you know that Vermont produces more maple syrup than any other U.S. state? In 2009 we produced 920 thousand gallons of syrup - more than double that of the runner-up, Maine, which produced 395 thousand.

In New England, sugaring season happens between late February and early April, during the spring thaw. Sap flows most optimally when temperatures drop below freezing at night and rise to around 50 degrees F during the day. If you break a twig off of the end of a maple branch on a sunny spring day, chances are you'll soon see sap dripping out! Consequently, the best 'sugarbushes' consist of stands of sugar maples on south-facing slopes; these trees will have maximum exposure to spring sunlight during the day, and thus will ensure the longest possible sugaring season.

Before New England was settled by colonists, Native Americans were learned sugarmakers; collecting sap in birch bark buckets and heating it in earthenware containers in order to reduce it to syrup. Colonists soon caught on to the practice, eventually modifying sap collection technology through the use of metal buckets and evaporators. They also incorporated domesticated livestock, using draft animals in the transportation of sap from the woods to the sugar house.

Maple syrup and maple sugar are now gourmet food items, but in the 17th and 18th centuries maple sugar was the standard sweetener in New England kitchens!

Today, many maple syrup producers have outfitted their sugarbushes with vast networks of plastic pipelines that carry sap directly from every tree to a central holding tank. This circumvents the activity of outfitting each tree with its own bucket, and hence the involved process of transporting dozens of sap-filled buckets over the snowy forest terrain to the sugar house.

There is, however, still a thriving cottage industry, and many families and small farms still collect sap in buckets and boil it down in small sugar shacks. Some even still use horses or oxen! Despite the scale of our maple syrup industry today, small-scale sugarmaking and community maple festivals continue to represent sugaring season in Vermont.

Maple Week at the UVM Libraries

With the help of a grant from the Agriculture Network Information Center, UVM Libraries has undertaken several initiatives relating to the culture, history and ecology of maple syrup production. We have created a Maple Syrup Research Website and are celebrating its launch with Maple Week at the end of March.

Maple Week will feature many events, including a Library Exhibit, a Maple Cook Off, and a lecture by Middlebury College Professor John Elder on the impact of climate change on the maple industry. More information is available on the Maple Syrup website.

The CDI will be adding collections of maple-related materials in upcoming months, and will soon be contributing to the National Agricultural Library's digital library.

Library Colleagues Tour the CDI

Published: December 11, 2009 by Robin M. Katz

Fiften of our colleagues attended yesterday's noontime presentation on the CDI organized by the library's Faculty and Staff Development Committee. In addition to touring our beautiful facilities on the third floor of the Bailey/Howe Library, those in attendance heard librarians Robin Katz and Sibyl Schaefer present on:

  • A walk-through of the CDI website
  • A brief history of the CDI
  • The CDI's current goal of creating and better serving a participatory user community
  • Our collection development process
  • Our project development process
  • Metadata standards and workflow
  • The endless possibilities for additions to the CDI
  • A sneak preview of upcoming collections

Thanks to those who came for the great questions and conversation afterwards.
If you are interested in scheduling a CDI presentation, please write to

Open houses & iPod raffle launch Center for Digital Initiatives

Published: April 17, 2007 by Selene Colburn

The University Libraries will be introducing the Center for Digital Initiatives with open houses on Thursday, April 19th and Friday, April 20th from 1 to 3PM in Bailey/Howe’s Room 313. Visitors can enjoy light refreshments, learn more about the CDI, and enter a raffle for a chance to win an iPod.

The Center for Digital Initiatives Demo's Prototype

Published: November 01, 2006 by Winona Salesky

Learn more about the Center for Digital Initiatives at the Library Forum on Wednesday, November 8th.

Topics will include an overview of both the Center and the Vermont Online Congressional Research Center project, where we've been, how we got there, and where we're going. Highlights of the presentation will include a demo of the metadata entry tools, and the Center's website.