New Database of Newspapers Added to Our Collection

America's Historical Newspapers

The Academy Library has just added a new database to its collections.  “America’s Historical Newspapers, 1690 – 2000”  is a NewsBank, Inc. database that includes primary source articles covering topics in government, politics, social issues, culture, literature, discoveries, inventions and more from hundreds of primary sources. Includes news and eyewitness accounts of events, issues and daily life in the colonies or during the Revolutionary War, westward expansion, the Civil War, Reconstruction, industrialization, the Progressive Era, World War I, and other eras. Also included are illustrations, advertisements, classifieds, birth and marriage announcements, obituaries, stories about historic people and other articles exactly as they appeared in print. Let us know what you think!

Introducing ARTstor

The Academy Library is pleased to announce a new subscription to ARTstor, the latest addition to the Library’s database holdings. ARTstor is an online database featuring over 1.2 million images from a variety of museum collections, professional photographers, libraries, scholars, photo archives, artists, and artists’ estates. The contents are arranged by geographic location, collection title, and “image groups” sharing similar attributes. The ARTstor learning environment includes tools for helping students and teachers browse for images on sample topics, such as Maps and Geography and Native American Studies, and study these images closely. For example, the database features a “zoom tool” that facilitates close visual analysis, and users are able to export image files for use in papers, presentations, or elsewhere in their studies. In addition, teachers can organize and upload outside images into course folders, which students can access both at school and from home. You can find the link to it here, and once you’re on the ARTstor landing page, click the orange “Go” button near the upper right to begin searching.

Looking for Harmony: Technology and Music Instruction

Jung Mi Lee instructing a student

Any discussion of technology in the music classroom is bound to include thought-provoking commentary and intriguing anecdotes. The abundance of software programs and Web-based social media outlets available today intensifies the opportunities and challenges of incorporating technology into teaching. While some music teachers have embraced these offerings as a way to diversify their instructional methods, others have proceeded more slowly, questioning the role of technology in a process that has long been characterized by face-to-face interaction. While it appears that most classroom music teachers have come to terms with technology as a teaching tool, there is still considerable debate over its proper role in the private teaching studio.

Charlie Jennison

Recently Drew Gatto, the academy’s music librarian, interviewed two PEA adjunct music faculty members, Jung Mi Lee and Charlie Jennison, to find out how technology—specifically sound recordings, digital music files and notation software — has impacted their private teaching studios.

Please click here to read the complete interview.

The Library Sparks an Artist’s Imagination

A digital artist who goes by the alias Alex Roman has created an exceptional short film inspired by Louis Kahn’s design of the Academy’s library. Working only with computers and special software as his tools (no still- or motion cameras were used), Roman has created a dreamlike view of the library’s interior spaces. It’s worth noting that Roman has never actually been to our library, and some of the details in the film don’t represent the actual physical reality of the space. It’s more a brilliant visual poem than an exact blueprint, and after watching it, we hope you’ll agree that Roman is an extremely talented young man.

We asked Roman to give us a little bio for this entry, and here’s his reply:

Jorge Seva, aka Alex Roman
Jorge Seva, aka Alex Roman

“I was born in 1979, in Alacant (Alicante), a city in Spain. I would first like to say that my real name is Jorge Seva, but I use ‘Alex Roman’ as an artistic alias for publishing independent work. After being trained in traditional painting at a few academies, I discovered this other world called CG. After school, I made the move to Madrid and began working at a visual effects company. That stint did not last too long due to the lack of demand for visual effects in the Spanish market at the time. It was then, that I switched into the VIZ business. I have been working for several companies since. Currently, I work on an “already-built work” visualization series which will be stitched together into a short animated piece.”

A few notes about the film:
– After clicking the play button, you’ll see a box that say “HD is On.” You can click it to see the non-HD version if you find that it’s taking to long to load properly.
– Click the box with the four arrows (in the bottom lefthand corner of the player) to see the film in fullscreen.
– The falling pieces of paper that you’ll see near the end of the film are Kahn’s blueprints for the library.

Breathing New Life into Old Films

We’ve recently been looking into digitizing some of our old 8mm movies, for a variety of reasons:

1. Increasing access and deliverability: Almost everyone has a way to watch DVDs and access video clips on the internet. It’s much harder to locate a working 8mm projector.

2. Preservation: Old film deteriorates over time. While digital materials can also degrade, the ability to store them in multiple physical formats (e.g., DVD, hard drives, etc.) is certainly better than having a single medium to rely on.

3. The capture of stills: Sometimes our photographic record of the Academy is incomplete. But with digitized “home” movies, we can easily grab, save, and print individual stills, greatly increasing our photographic collection.

The drawback to digitizing old films is that doing it well requires some very specialized equipment. The process must be outsourced and it’s not inexpensive.

We thought you might like to see a short, fairly low-resolution clip of a 48-minute film we recently had digitized thanks to the Richard W. Leopold Fund, Class of 1929. The approximately 50-second clip shows the build up to an Exeter/Andover baseball game  (while the exact date of the game is unknown, it probably dates from around 1940). Towards the end of the clip you can see 8th Principal Lewis Perry being directed to his seat in the stands by a student.

Listening Room Combines Music with Multimedia

Music faculty member Eric Sinclair with a student in the Listening Room
Music faculty member Eric Sinclair with a student in the Listening Room

The PEA Music Library is pleased to announce a new resource for music students and their teachers: a multimedia listening room. Located in Room 111 in the lower left corner of the Forrestal-Bowld Music Building, the listening room includes a networked Macintosh computer with a 20-inch screen and external speakers. This equipment allows users to listen to audio recordings – either on CD or through Naxos Music Library, an online streaming music service — and view DVDs or Web content in the privacy of an enclosed, sound-proof area, removed from the traffic of the Music Library.

A special feature of the listening room computer is its ability to build and manage playlists with iTunes, the digital jukebox included on all Macintosh computers. A playlist is a collection of audio tracks stored in a single file folder and assigned a descriptive title (i.e. “Debussy Preludes”). By creating playlists, students and teachers are able to share recorded music from different sources without the need for physical CDs.

For students, the listening room is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00am to 1:00pm (when the Music Librarian is on duty) and at other times with the permission of a Music Department faculty member.

Audio from the Archives

The 1955 album cover
The 1955 album cover

Late spring is always a busy time in the library. Students are working on papers, end-of-the-school-year events take place in many of our larger spaces, and class reunion season begins. Alums often request materials that they and their classmates can use during the reunion celebrations. Most frequently, they’re looking for images, old yearbooks, and other published materials that date from the time that they attended Exeter. But occasionally they request audio, such as a recording of the student vocal ensemble known as the Peadquacs*. A couple of years ago we received a request for a CD copy of a 1955 split LP featuring both the Peadquacs and an instrumental group known as the Royal Exonians. Since we only had the  vinyl version of the album, and we had the equipment in-house to digitize the recording, we were happy to oblige.

To hear a track from that recording – it’s the 1955 Peadquacs singing the “Old Cherry Orchard” – please click the play button below.

*Peadquacs stands for Phillips Exeter Academy Double Quartet After Concert Society