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What's New

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!

Watch for the CDI on TV

Published: November 11, 2009 by Robin M. Katz

Watch for our pilot PSA on RETN. It highlights the types of materials in our current collections, shares our URL with the Vermont public, and emphasizes one of the best aspects of the CDI: "Anyone can use it, from anywere, for free!"

RETN Channel 16 is a local educational cable access station serving Vermont's Champlain Valley. If you're outside of the viewing area, you can still catch us on RETN's channel.

Many thanks to RETN's Doug Dunbebin for his support and to the UVM Libraries' Jake Barickman for lending his voice.

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.