Audio Culture: A Sonic Travelogue to debut on WPEA


Music Librarian Drew Gatto is the host of a new radio program, Audio Culture: A Sonic Travelogue, set to debut on Thursday, January 18th from 9:00 until 10:00 pm on WPEA, 90.5 FM, the campus radio station.  The program will be broadcast in the same time slot each Thursday for the duration of the winter and spring terms.

Each week Audio Culture will feature music from a specific country or region of the world. The show will be organized around the theme of “cultural connections,” wherein all of the tracks played will reflect the relationship between a locale’s music and one or more significant aspects of its cultural life. Mr. Gatto will provide brief explanations of these connections between tracks, and playlists (including links to sound files with descriptive text) will be available on the program’s blog for those who are interested in further exploring the music featured on a particular show.  The first program will feature a tribute to the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. as a supplement to the Academy-wide celebration of his birthday held on Friday, January 12th.

Mr. Gatto welcomes suggestions for future programs and hopes that you’ll join him “on the air” on Thursday nights!

Ferguson Voices: Disrupting the Frame

The Class of 1945 Library is hosting the multimedia traveling exhibit Ferguson Voices: Disrupting the Frame January 4th through January 26th. The multi-panel exhibit features text and audio from interviews with people who participated in or were affected by the 2014 Ferguson protests following the death of Michael Brown. The interviews were recorded by students in Ferguson, Missouri in May 2016 as part of the Moral Courage Project — a collaboration between PROOF: Media for Social Justice and the University of Dayton Human Rights Center.

Photographer: Mark Katzman

Ferguson Voices highlights the contributions of average people who found the courage to stand up during moments of unrest. The stories and images captured in Ferguson Voices are a testament not only to the systemic discrimination that the Ferguson protests laid bare, but also to the power of transformative action taken to foster community, accountability and justice.

Exhibit visitors can use their own mobile devices to listen to the voices of the subjects featured on each panel. The interviews have also been remixed as a podcast series available on SoundCloud.

The exhibit is on display in the Class of 1945 Library’s Rockefeller Hall. It is free and open to the public during Library Hours.

Books for Break

Before you head out for break, there’s still time to stop by the library to stock up on books to read over the holidays.  Browse our new books in Rockefeller Hall or head up to the 3rd floor to wander through our fiction collection.

Looking for for some reading suggestions?  Take a look at our Leisure Reading Guide where you’ll find some book finding aids like NoveList and Teen Book Finder and links to awards and end-of-year book lists.

Want to do some quick reading on your mobile device? Try out our magazine offerings on Flipster. 

Lamont Poet Tyehimba Jess

Phillips Exeter Academy’s Class of 1945 Library opens its 2017–2018 Lamont Poetry Series on October 18th with a reading by award-winning poet Tyehimba Jess. Jess is the author of leadbelly (2005), named one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005” by Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review, and Olio (2016), winner of the Pulitzer Prize. A two-time member of the Chicago Green Mill Slam team (2000-2001), Jess was also Chicago’s Poetry Ambassador to Accra, Ghana. His work has been featured in numerous anthologies, including Soulfires: Young Black Men in Love and Violence (1996), Slam: The Competitive Art of Performance Poetry (2000), and Dark Matter 2: Reading the Bones (2004). He is the author of African American Pride: Celebrating Our Achievements, Contributions, and Enduring Legacy (2003), and Of Poetry & Protest: from Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin (2016).

Additional honors and fellowships include a Whiting Writers’ Award in Poetry (2006), the Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Poetry Award (2001), the National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship (2004), the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship (2000-2001), The Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Award (2001), a Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center (2004-2005), the Whiting Fellowship (2006), as well as a Lannan Literary Award in Poetry (2016).

A former artist-in-residence with Cave Canem (1997, 1999, 2001), Jess has presented his poetry at the 2011 TedX Nashville Conference, taught at the Juilliard School, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and is the Poetry and Fiction Editor of African American Review. He is currently a Professor in English at College of Staten Island in New York City. Jess earned his BA from the University of Chicago and his MFA from New York University.

As the poet Nikky Finney writes, “Tyehimba Jess is inventive, prophetic, wondrous. He writes unflinchingly into the historical clefs of blackface, black sound, human sensibility. After the last poem is read we have no idea how long we’ve been on our knees.”

The reading will be held from 7:30-8:30pm in the Assembly Hall, located on the second floor of the Academy Building on Front Street. The event is free and open to the public.

The Entire Historical Archive of The Exonian is Now Available Online

In the spring of 1878, two roommates in Abbot Hall got the idea of starting a student-run newspaper. They soon invited a third Exonian to join them. None of them seemed dissuaded by their complete lack of experience in newspaper work or even in managing a business. Their first obstacle was overcoming the solid opposition of the powerful PEA faculty, which had rejected all past initiatives to give student journalism a foothold: they doubted a student newspaper could succeed financially, believed that it would interfere with the students’ studies, and (probably not least of all) didn’t want to invite scurrilous attacks and bumptious opinionizing.

However, a somewhat more liberal, experimenting attitude with regard to extra-curricular activity seemed to be taking hold at Exeter at this time: the first baseball and football teams were both organized that same year. The three Exonians’ persistence won the faculty over, and The Exonian was born. It now has the distinction of being the oldest continuously running secondary school newspaper in the country.

The Exonian is an invaluable historical resource for the history of our school, and indeed for the history of secondary education. Until now, access to back issues has been limited to fragile bound volumes in the Academy  Archives, but we are now happy to announce that the entire run of the newspaper, back to volume 1, issue 1 of April 6, 1878, is available online at!

Visitors to the site will be able to search and browse the entire historical archive of the newspaper, and clip and save articles as images or text. We invite you to explore the length and breadth of Academy history from the student’s perspective and satisfy your curiosity about questions like these:

  • In what year would you read, “Telephones have made their appearance among the students. There’s nothing like keeping abreast of the times”?
  • How long were tobacco advertisements featured in The Exonian, and when did they go away?
  • What did Exonian editors say about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Harkness gift, coeducation, and visitation policies?
  • How awesome a hockey player was Exeter’s new Admissions intern Yuna Evans ’13 really?

All but the last ten years of issues were created from scanning microfilm copies from the Academy Archives (more recent issues were derived from PDFs). The text rendered from the scanning process (optical character recognition, or OCR) is about 99% accurate. This means that inevitably some of the searchable text was inaccurately captured. Users of the archive are therefore invited to register and help improve its quality even more. (Try it out – you may find the “work” of text correction to be strangely satisfying and habit-forming!)

Peter Nelson
Head, Archives & Special Collections

Library Proctors 2017-2018

This year we have nine proctors helping out at the library during our evening hours.  From 7-9pm, these senior day student leaders will take turns helping library staff monitor our upper floors to ensure a comfortable and quiet study environment.

Top row, left to right: Conor Moriarty, Gavin Hickey, Reed Ouellette, Curtis Haas, and Peter O’Keefe; Bottom row, left to right: Jordan Hillyard, Cora Payne, Emily Coombs, and Victoria Glidden.

In celebration of LGBTQ History Month this October, the Class of 1945 Library will host the exhibition Pioneering Voices: Portraits of Transgender People, a touring photo-text display created by the award-winning Family Diversity Projects of Amherst, Massachusetts.  Pioneering Voices coincides with the Lamont Gallery’s exhibition of Queer Kids which will be on display from September 12 through October 21st.

Pioneering Voices, with photographs by Jack Pierson and Gigi Kaeser and interviews edited by Peggy Gillespie and Jack Pierson, introduces people who identify as transgender or gender queer, and their partners and children. Through first-person interviews and color photographs, this exhibit seeks to challenge damaging myths and stereotypes about transgender people, and to educate viewers about this often marginalized group of people and the challenges they face.

Family Diversity Projects (FDP) is a non-profit educational organization founded by exhibit creators, Peggy Gillespie (interviewer/editor) and Gigi Kaeser (photographer). They have created seven photo-text exhibits (three of which have been published in book form including Love Makes A Family: Portraits of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People and their Families) to help eliminate prejudice, stereotyping, and harassment of people discriminated against due to race, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, gender, class, and disability. The mission of FDP is to propel forward a world where all people and family structures are recognized, valued and fully supported.

The photographs will be on display in the Library Commons on the ground floor, during the entire month of October. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

More information on Pioneering Voices and the Family Diversity Project can be found here: