Quips, Cranks, and Wanton Wiles: Origins of the College Yearbook’s Title

In yesterday’s issue of the campus newspaper, The Davidsonian, an article by Emma Brentjens ’21 profiled the two women behind the school’s yearbook–Quips and Cranks. Mariah Clarke ‘18 and Hayley Atkins ‘18 are currently co-Editors-in-Chief of the 123 year-old publication. The Quips and Cranks was founded in 1895 and, according to College Archivist DebbieLee Landi, the yearbook originally served as a creative outlet for students, becoming the second campus publication of student work and interests beyond the Davidson Monthly. Since 1895, Quips and Cranks has connected students, archivists and alumni with Davidson College’s past.

Cloth book cover. Colorblocked with one thick teal stripe on the left side, the rest is beige. "QUIPS AND CRANKS" is written in gold lettering.

Quips and Cranks 1895, volume I.

While most members of the Davidson community are more than familiar with the college yearbook, Quips and Cranks, they may be less familiar with the origins of its title.  

The title comes from a line of Milton’s poem L’Allegro as published in his 1645 anthology, Poems. The poem is a companion to another Milton piece, Il Penseroso. As Jennifer Hickey and Thomas H. Luxon of the John Milton Reading Room at Dartmouth College describe the pairing, “l’allegro is the “happy person who spends an idealized day in the country as a festive evening in the city, il penseroso is “the thoughtful person” whose night is filled with meditative walking in the woods and hours of study in a ‘lonely Towr’.” The poem puts at odds the sensations of mirth and melancholy through the perspectives of a man enjoying the wonders of nature in the countryside and vibrant city life.

Specifically, the yearbook title comes from this passage:

Haste thee nymph, and bring with thee

Jest and youthful Jollity,

Quips and cranks, and wanton wiles,

Nods, and becks, and wreathed smiles,

Such as hang on Hebe’s cheek,

And love to live in dimple sleek;

Sport that wrinkled Care derides,

And Laughter holding both his sides.

Here, Milton is idolizing the joys the nature brings to one who walks within it, such joys indeed are also brought to the students of Davidson College by one another. For those who seek to share some of that joy, digitized copies of the Quips and Cranks dating back to the 1895 edition and as recent as 2011 can be found on the Davidson College Archives & Special Collections website.

Matte silver book cover featuring shiny lowercase cursive writing reading "davidson" up the right side of the cover and the wildcat logo. "Quips and Cranks" is featuring on the lower left diagonal side of the logo.

Quips and Cranks 2017, volume CXIV.

The full version of L’Allegro can be found here.

The John Milton Reading Room article on L’Allegro can be found here.

The article from The Davidsonian can be founds here.

 

Digital Mapping at the Davidson Archives

Inspired by the newly-established campus Digital Mapping Learning Community, we’ve been creating more digital map-related resources this semester. Regular Around the D readers have likely heard of Under Lake Norman, our mapping project that includes crowdsourced stories and images related to what lies beneath Lake Norman.

ulnscreenshot

A screenshot of the Under Lake Norman project’s map – you can see all of the sites under the lake here, and share stories or add sites here.

One of our faculty members, Dr. Anelise Hanson Shrout (who wrote a guest post for Around The D last year), has been creating mapping projects centered around Davidson, and taught DIG 360: Digital Maps, Space and Place last semester, which resulted in two student digital mapping of Davidson projects as well. Check out Dr. Shrout’s Mapping Davidson’s Past project on her website.

A screenshot of a HistoryPin tour of Main Street that Dr. Shrout created.

A screenshot of a Historypin tour of Main Street that Dr. Shrout created.

Last week, in preparation for the Archives & Special Collections participation in Digital Charlotte, I created a map of the Charlotte locations featured in our collections postcards. The Charlotte Postcards maps is actually my first Neatline (an Omeka plug-in) project, and was a fun way to learn more about early 20th century Charlotte history.

Charlotte postcard locations, 1900 - 1920 - Davidson has roughly 20 postcards featuring Charlotte locations in our collections.

Charlotte postcard locations, 1900 – 1920 – Davidson has roughly 20 postcards featuring Charlotte locations in our collections.

As we all learn new methods for digital mapping, we’ll be creating even more maps of Davidson (and the surrounding area)! Currently, College Archivist and Records Management Coordinator Jan Blodgett and Kyle Goodfellow from the Center for Civic Engagement are working on translating the freshman orientation community walk to an interactive map,  making the stops along the walk and information about getting involved in the Davidson community available year-round. Current student Sarah Roberts (Class of 2015) is working on physically mapping the environment of Davidson, and I am partway through mapping Davidson’s National Register of Historic Places sites – look out for all of these projects to be linked on the Archives & Special Collections website when they’re completed!

Santas of Davidson Past

Classes are out for the semester, and E.H. Little Library is closed until January 2nd, but not being in the building won’t stop us from sharing some historic Davidson holiday cheer! Since today is Christmas Eve, here’s a post of my favorite Santa-related images from our collections:

The Davidson College Wildcat mascot as Santa, 1986.

The Davidson College Wildcat mascot as Santa, 1986.

A Santa and a skeleton from an unknown play., 1967.

A Santa and a skeleton from an unknown play, 1967.

The Admissions Department Christmas card, taken outside Chambers Building, 1987.

The Admission and Financial Aid Department Christmas card, taken outside Chambers Building, 1987.

A message to Santa, written on a door inside of Alumni Gymnasium (built 1916, remodeled into the Ovens Student Union in 1952, and demolished in 1972 to make space for E.H. Little Library).

A message to Santa, written on a door inside of Alumni Gymnasium (built 1916, remodeled into the Ovens Student Union in 1952, and demolished in 1972 to make space for E.H. Little Library).

Part of our mystery photo parcel, this scary Santa dates from winter 1960-1961.

Part of our mystery photo parcel, this scary Santa dates from winter 1960-1961.

Cover of the Winter 1950 edition of Scripts 'N Pranks, depicting a freshman student (Class of 1954) wearing the traditional beanie, telling Santa what he would like to get this year.

Cover of the Winter 1950 edition of Scripts ‘N Pranks, depicting a student (Class of 1954) wearing the traditional freshman beanie, telling Santa what he would like to get this year.

Two unknown students wear Santa hats and holidays pins while in the College Union, 1991.

Two unknown students wear Santa hats and holidays pins while in the College Union, 1991.

E.H. Little Library staff's annual holiday gathering - this picture, which includes current library staff (Susan Kerr, ) dates from the mid to late 1990s and was taken in front of Beaver Dam.

E.H. Little Library staff’s annual holiday gathering – this picture, which includes current library staff (Susan Kerr, Michael Forney, Denise Sherrill, Trish Johnson, Joe Gutekanst, Alice Sloop, Denise Torrence, Mittie Wally, Kim Sanderson, and Around the D’s own Jan Blodgett and Sharon Byrd), dates from the late 1990s and was taken in front of Beaver Dam. The man in the Santa hat is Frank Molinek, a library employee from 1992 until 2006.

We hope you enjoyed our Santas of Davidson Past! Have a great winter break, and happy holidays!

A (Brief) History of THATCamp Piedmont

This Saturday, October 18th, Davidson will play host to the third THATCamp Piedmont. THATCamp, short for The Humanities And Technology Camp, “is an open, inexpensive meeting where humanists and technologists of all skill levels learn and build together in sessions proposed on the spot,” according to the official website. The first THATCamp was held at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University in 2008. THATCamps are often organized either around a theme or geographic location, and provide a space for learning, sharing, and collaboration across a range of disciplines and specialties.

cropped-THATcamp-logo21

 

THATCamp Piedmont was first held in 2012, at Davidson College, and again in 2013 at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  You can read reactions and reflections related to the events by Roger Whitson, Donna Lanclos, Barry Peddycord, and Davidson’s own Mark Sample.

This year’s THATCamp sessions will be split between E.H. Little Library and the Knobloch Campus Center, with the day’s activities starting at 8:00 AM with breakfast and registration, and wrapping up at 4:30 PM with post-THATCamp drinks and conversation at the campus coffee house, Summit.

Register online for this Saturday’s free unconference, and please contact Mark Sample (masample@davidson.edu) with any questions. We hope to see you there!

A Summer of Scanning, Editing, Uploading, and Researching

This week’s post is written by Vera Shulman ’15, a student assistant at Davidson College’s E.H. Little Library. She wrote this entry on August 22, 2014.

This summer I worked as a library information desk assistant. My days were split between staffing the desk, shifting the Library of Congress stacks in the basement, and completing various tasks in the  Archives & Special Collections. My archives duties ranged from perusing local newspapers for filing (in which I was immersed in the excitement and ultimate disappointment of 2008’s college basketball championship) to transcribing oral interviews. I re-housed and filed massive decades-old maps (with help from student coworker Ellyson) and skimmed through Davidson’s 1914-1919 yearbooks and weekly newspapers for references to WWI.

Senior student profiles in the 1915 Quips and Cranks.

Senior student profiles in the 1915 Quips and Cranks.

The latter task interested me thoroughly due to the very polite and dry humor. By modern standards, though, a slim but noticeable portion of that writing was insensitive to concerns with race and gender. During that time, Davidson College became preoccupied with supporting the national war effort with Liberty Loans and stamps and by training students in the freshly formed Student Army Training Corps (which following the war, turned into our current ROTC).

Page from the 1918 Quips and Cranks.

Page from the 1918 Quips and Cranks.

My favorite tasks, though, were the ones that played to my strengths in visual media. I had a whole set of these responsibilities that all boil down to scanning, editing, and uploading an image for use on the archives website. I processed Davidson’s 2010, 2011, and 2012 yearbooks (called Quips and Cranks); dozens of recent school newspapers (named The Davidsonian), and old editions of July-born author’s works.

Covers of the 2010, 2011, and 2012 editions of Quips and Cranks.

Covers of the 2010, 2011, and 2012 editions of Quips and Cranks, available in the Davidson College Digital Repository.

Because the yearbooks are recent, working with Quips and Cranks allowed me to reminisce about friends and events (and grimace in the case of ex-boyfriends) and better associate formerly unknown peers’ faces with their names. The editing required for the yearbook scanning is very similar to the photo editing I do for leisure, so I actively enjoyed cropping and re-angling those pages. I didn’t form a solid connection with The Davidsonian because I used a closed scanner which didn’t allow me to browse as I scanned.

Trail of a bookworm.

Trail of a bookworm.

The old editions of July-born author’s works are beautiful. The pages were thick and a few grazed on by literal book worms. Some of the covers were marbled in a way that seemed similar to a technique I’d used in primary school for my own book covers. Some illustrations were cartoon, in some the strokes were sparse, and others were both intricate and realistic.

From Student Letters to College Letters

A small group of student letters became one of the earliest digital collections on our website.  The first letters were selected because we had transcripts available (a result of Mary Beaty’s work in researching and writing her history of the college).

The latest letters were selected because they did NOT have transcripts. They became part of a class assignment to transcribe, annotate and create online access to previously “hidden” correspondence.  With 2 classes working on the project, we expanded beyond student letters to include letters written by faculty, faculty wives, and young women who were tutored by Davidson faculty and renamed the collection College Letters.

The students in Professor Shireen Campbell’s writing classes contributed 24 new letters to the site. In a tip of our archival hats to Dr. Beaty, some of the selected letters came from the research done by Cornelia Shaw for her history of Davidson College.  She contacted former students and faculty asking for their memories of college life and events.

Last page of Professor William Carson's letter written to Cornelia Shaw

Last page of Professor William Carson’s letter written to Cornelia Shaw

Her correspondents include mathematics professor William Carson, Anne Sampson, whose husband John taught French and Latin in the 1870s and 1880s; Mary Scofield Clifford, daughter of a local boarding house owner and aspiring student,  Lucy Russell, daughter of Professor Charles Phillips, and alumni Colin Munroe (1872) and  William Smith (1865).

Carson’s memories include interactions with local African-Americans in his role of supervisor of the college grounds, while Sampson provides some history for Davidson College Presbyterian Church’s change from a college church to a town church.  Clifford reports on her dismissal by Lucy Russell’s father:

I went to Dr. Phillips and asked him to take me as a private pupil in math, but he questioned me as to what work I had done in math, and after I gave him a statement he said I had done fully enough for a woman. I have always felt that it was hard for a woman to be cut out of a chance for a college course of study that stood for something. In my day the schools for girls were not at all thorough.

Portion of Clifford letter

Portion of Clifford letter

Lucy Russell, Colin Munroe and William Smith offer details of daily life but also moments of excitement including a cattle stampede, student trials and the arrival of Colt pistols on campus.

Another set of letters from two brothers, Charles and Walter Leverett, were recent additions to the archives from a Davidson professor (and their relative) Greta Munger.

The writing students did amazing work, deciphering some times difficult 19th century handwriting, learning about Davidson history and college education in general as well as Civil War generals, Yale philosophers, and train travel.

Additional letters transcribed and annotated by the class:
William Johnson (1842) – describing college curriculum
Robert Hall Morrison (1860) – family news, including a report on his father, Davidson College’s first president
Calvin McKeown (1874) – describing faculty and classes
James McLees (1876) – commencement plans
Oni Davis McNeely (1840) -homesick and asking for winter clothes
Professor E. F. Rockwell  asking advice from Benjamin Silliman
Neill A. Smith (1840) b- dispelling rumors of student dismissals
John J. Stringfellow (1860) – memories of pranks
Rev. Samuel B. Wilson – turning down presidency of Davidson College

The Twelve Days of Davidson

For this Christmas Day edition of Around the D, we offer a play on “The Twelve Days of Christmas” – The Twelve Days of Davidson, collapsed into a single post:

On the first day of Christmas

Davidson College Archives & Special Collections sent to me

12 Original Houses on Patterson Court

Patterson Court, circa 1960s

Patterson Court, circa 1960s.

11 Seniors Graduating at the First Commencement Exercises (1840)

A young E. Constantine Davidson, one of the those eleven graduates in 1840, and the diploma of Oni Davis McNeely (Class of 1840), currently on display in the Library's Davidsoniana Room

A young E. Constantine Davidson, one of the those eleven graduates in 1840, and the diploma of Oni Davis McNeely (Class of 1840), currently on display in the Library’s Davidsoniana Room.

10 Wins in the Undefeated 2000 Season for the Football Team

Excited Wildcat fans tear down the goalposts after the last game of the undefeated season; a few fans hang off the posts

Excited Wildcat fans tear down the goalposts after the last game of the undefeated season; a few fans hang off the posts (from Quips and Cranks 2001).

Those goalposts ended up in the senior apartments, as seen in this photo from Quips and Cranks 2001 - shown here with Chris Thawley, Jeff Larrimore, Rob Neuman, and William Childs (all Class of 2004).

Those goalposts ended up in the senior apartments, as seen in this photo from Quips and Cranks 2001 – shown here with Chris Thawley, Jeff Larrimore, Rob Neuman, and William Childs (all Class of 2004).

9 Decades of Wildcat Logos

Top row, left to right: 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Middle row: 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Bottom row: 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

Top row, left to right: 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.
Middle row: 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.
Bottom row: 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

8 Teams Left in the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship when Davidson Reaches the “Elite Eight” in 2008

Davidson Men's Basketball Team in 2008

Davidson Men’s Basketball Team (from Quips and Cranks 2008).

Poster advertising a celebration of the 2008 basketball team, after March Madness

Poster advertising a celebration of the 2008 basketball team, after March Madness.

7 Cemeteries Under Lake Norman (that we know of!)

Original site of Baker Cemetery

Original site of Baker Cemetery.

Current site of Baker Cemetery, at Centre Presbyterian Church in Mooresville, NC

Current site of Baker Cemetery, at Centre Presbyterian Church in Mooresville, NC.

6 Deep South Field Hockey Championships in a Row (1990 – 1995)

Team photograph of the 1990 field hockey team, the first in the run of 6 championships

Team photograph of the 1990 field hockey team, the first in the run of 6 championships (from Quips and Cranks 1991).

1995 field hockey team, the last in the conference title run (Davidson's field hockey team currently plays in the NorPac conference, not Deep South)

1995 field hockey team, the last in the conference title run (from Quips and Cranks 1996; Davidson’s field hockey team currently plays in the NorPac conference, not Deep South)

5 Years of “Ghosts in the Library”

Posters from the first three years of Ghosts in the Library (2009 - 2011)

Posters from the first three years of Ghosts in the Library (2009 – 2011)

Posters from Ghosts in the Library, 2012 and 2013.

Posters from Ghosts in the Library, 2012 and 2013.

4 College Library Directors

Cornelia Rebekah Shaw, 1907 - 1936; Chalmers Gaston Davidson (Class of 1928), 1936 - 1975; Leland M. Park (Class of 1963), 1975 - 2006; and Gillian Gremmels, 2007 - present.

From top, left to right: Cornelia Rebekah Shaw, 1907 – 1936; Chalmers Gaston Davidson (Class of 1928), 1936 – 1975; Leland M. Park (Class of 1963), 1975 – 2006; and Gillian Gremmels, 2007 – present.

3 Students Taking One of the Earliest X-Rays (1896)

Eben Hardin, Pender Porter, and Osmond L. Barringer snuck into Dr. Henry Louis Smith's lab to X-Ray: a cadaver finger wearing a ring and stuck with two pins; magnifying glass; a pill box containing two 22 cartridges, one pin, two rings, and six Strychnine pills; and an empty egg with a button inside.

Eben Hardin, Pender Porter, and Osmond L. Barringer snuck into Dr. Henry Louis Smith’s lab to X-Ray: a cadaver finger wearing a ring and stuck with two pins; magnifying glass; a pill box containing two 22 cartridges, one pin, two rings, and six Strychnine pills; and an empty egg with a button inside.

2 Chambers Buildings

Original Chambers Building

Original Chambers Building (1860 – 1921), before the fire of November 28, 1921.

New Chambers Building, completed in 1929.

New Chambers Building, completed in 1929.

and the First Woman President at Davidson College

Dr. Quillen receives the College mace (photograph from the Davidsonian)

Dr. Quillen receives the College mace (photograph from the Davidsonian).

Happy Holidays (and a merry winter break) from Davidson College’s Archives & Special Collections!

Physical to Digital and Back to Physical Again: 3D Scanning and Printing

Davidson recently unveiled a new makerspace, Studio M, which will provide a wealth of opportunities for students and the college community to experiment with new technologies. After attending the open house two weeks ago, we began to think about archival collaborations with the makerspace – how can we leverage these new resources with those already existing in the library?

The cuneiform collection has already been scanned and added to the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI), but what if the college’s oldest objects were 3D scanned and printed in a more durable, lend-able form? The Archives & Special Collections team rolled up our sleeves and began to brainstorm about items from the college’s collections that could use a good scanning, for either preservation or use (or both). The Smithsonian Institution’s 3D digitization work provides inspiration what the affordances of this kind of digital inquiry could be:
One of the first collections we thought of was that of  Gordon Clift Horton (class of 1942) – Horton was the engine behind the first Annual Student Exhibition, and he went on to study interior design at Parsons School of Design (now Parsons the New School for Design). When his mother, Florence Clift Horton, passed away in 1975, she willed her estate to Davidson College, and several of Gordon Horton’s collections can still be found on campus. Horton’s collection of jade figurines could be an interesting scanning project…

A jade Budai from the Horton collection

A jade Budai from the Horton collection

Student medals and badges also provide a unique 3D digitization opportunity – these medals were created for the Eumenean and Philanthropic Literary Societies, and each comes imbued with stories of previous generations of Davidson students. A literary society badge could be scanned, and the resulting 3D model could be altered to reflect the name of a current student organization, providing a physical manifestation of the past of Davidson’s student groups for those in the present.

A tray of Eu and Phi medals from the 19th century

A tray of Eu and Phi medals from the 19th century

A Eumenean Society badge, which belonged to Joel Mable (class of 1864)

A Eumenean Society badge, which belonged to Joel Mable (class of 1864)

While these are just ideas at the present, we’ll have more news to share in a few months.  Watch this space to see which of these visions becomes a reality!

We’re on the Map

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) map that is.  A new online project, the DPLA’s goal to provide access to archival materials from across the country.  You won’t have to know the address for Davidson’s archives or the state portal for Georgia or a small public library in Wisconsin to find wonderful images, letters, newspapers and more. The DPLA site also has creative tools to allow users to make photo montages, use timelines and develop new approaches to research.

Frank Baker

Photograph of Frank Baker from the Archibald McKeithen scrapbook the Davidson College Archives

This image can be found by anyone searching for violins – they don’t have to know that Davidson College has an 1916 photo with a student carrying a violin case. It’s one of several hundred of our images and texts that are now part of the DPLA.  The best part of  this –for the Around the D folks– is that we didn’t have to do any extra work. Since we were already a part of DigitalNC and they are now a DPLA hub, our materials were there and ready to go from a state-wide portal to a national one.

We will be working on more items to add to DigitalNC and the DPLA as well as to the Davidson Archives and Special Collections website.  For example, we recently discovered 12 issues of a Charlotte newspaper – Beasley’s Weekly.  We have those issues because the paper published parts of William Ardrey’s diary but they also contain local news and stories about World War II events.

Beasley's Weekly

These issues of Beasley’s Weekly will be microfilmed as part of a statewide newspaper project

Although we recently acquired some gently used digitization equipment for converting slides, videos and even LPs, newspapers are beyond our scope. We’ll take these to DigitalNC so they can add them to their newspaper project and then we can add them back to our website.

SAM_0318

New (to us) digitization equipment

Davidson (college and town) has a rich history. The Archives and Special Collections staff are grateful to all the individuals and offices that have sent their records our way. And we’re grateful for technologies that allow us to share this history with current student through class projects and with people around the world.

Wish You Were Here

Postcards offering the sentiment “wish you were here” have been a staple of summer travel. They have also served to carry back memories, replacing or adding to photographs taken.

Most of the postcards in the Archives are images of the college and town.  We’ve put them online to supplement our photograph collection.  But there are other postcards hidden in manuscript collections, particularly student scrapbooks.

While these scrapbooks usually have a few postcards of college scenes, they often will have a set of pages in the back with memento postcards – cards that the students did not receive from friends or intend to mail but rather to mark trips taken.

nc postcard

A scenic view of North Carolina mountains, look closely for the hikers.

Daniel Gibson Wilson, class of 1926 came to Davidson from Atlanta. His postcard set included two different groups.  The images were either of patriotic scenes (signing of the Declaration of Independence) and Washington, DC or they were from the mountains of North Carolina and beaches and towns of South Carolina.

gate postcard

Daniel Wilson kept this postcard from Charleston, SC.

tunnel

A tunnel in the Blue Ridge

Washington, DC

A scene from Washington, DC

 

Aubrey Neblett Brown, class of 1929, traveled farther afield with a dozen or so postcards of New Orleans and Tennessee. He also had one postcard from his hometown of Mineral Wells, TX.

new orleans

New Orleans street scene collected by Aubrey Brown

tulane

A Tulane postcard to go along with the Davidson postcards of the era

MIneral Wells

A scene from Brown’s home town of Mineral Wells