Gone but not Forgotten: The Abbot Hall Bicycle Race

Raphael Colb, Class of ’68, recently loaned the Archives a film reel he created of the 1968 Abbot Hall Bicycle Race (this annual event ceased when the area in front of Abbot Hall was re-landscaped and the circle was taken away). We had the film digitized, and created a 90-second clip to share with you here.

Please click the play button below to see the video (it has no sound); it may take a few moments to load.

CinemExeter Makes a Move

The film collections are among the most popular collections in the Library, and until recently, among the hardest to browse. Newer films were kept in two wooden racks with slide-out drawers, older films were kept behind the Circulation Desk, and a large assortment of television shows and other films were kept near the music CDs on floor 1M. Not only did this cause a great deal of confusion among patrons, it even befuddled the staff a bit when trying to determine where to reshelve a returned DVD.

Thankfully, over the summer, different sections of the collection were combined and given a new home on the Library’s main floor. Located behind the row of computer terminals on the main floor of the library, the entire CinemExeter collection is now shelved in straight alphabetical order. Whether you’re looking for a new movie, a classic film, or a television series, you’ll find them all in the same place. (The educational programs and some of the older foreign films are still located in the room above the Circulation Desk.)

Integrating the collection opened up a lot of shelving in the Lawrence Music area (outside the Computer Lab on 1M), so we moved the entire paperback collection to this space for good measure. The paperbacks include fiction and non-fiction, are shelved alphabetically by author, and are selected as quick reads rather than research tools.

The CinemExeter collection in its new location

Part of the paperback collection on floor 1M

Old School Fun in the Snow

We have a bit of snow around campus and it’s getting rather chilly around here. While hanging out in the nice warm Library is always a good choice for escaping the cold, it can lead to a certain sense of cabin fever. Before DVDs and the internet, Academy students had little choice but to embrace the outdoors, even in depths of winter. From the same film we’ve shown clips from before (please see our posts Breathing New Life into Old Films and More Video from the Archives), we bring you a little taste of Exeter winter fun 1940s-style. This silent video features academy snowplows, on-campus cross-country skiing, and even a little local downhill and tobogganing on a nearby property in Kensingston that unfortunately is no longer host to such activities.

Film Update – What’s Old is New Again

Last July we reported that after replacing 120 films missing from the CinemExeter collection, we would embark upon a large-scale project to replace all VHS films in the Library with DVD (where available and appropriate.) We are happy to report that the first stages of this project – replacing VHS films in the ever-popular CinemExeter collection – are nearing completion. After evaluating titles to determine recent demand as well as availability in the DVD format, we ordered close to 300 DVD replacements for a variety of great films. Many of these DVDs have already made their way onto the shelves, with many more to appear in the coming months as they are processed. Most will be reshelved in the CinemExeter collection, but some will find new homes in Classic Films (now housed behind the circulation desk) or the Lawrence Room /1M collection. We are hoping that patrons will rediscover old favorites as well as make new ones!

We anticipate that the VHS replacement project will continue throughout the school year and into next summer, as we work our way through the video collection on 1M (above the circulation desk) and in Lawrence Room/1M (above the old card catalog.)

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.

Mind/Body Collection finds a permanent home

About 150 items, originally housed throughout the Library, have been pulled together to create the Mind/Body collection over the past year. The collection has a lot to offer the campus, from DVD’s on beginner yoga and tai chi, to books on the need for sleep and healthy eating, to audio CD’s of soothing sounds and music. These items have been kept on a cart in the library’s Rockefeller Hall but are now shelved in the Map room on the main floor.