Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Permit us to be amazed

Volume 1, No. 1 of Inter-Nos, dated
January 13, 1927. 
The fruits of last year's massive scanning project are almost all online now. Our capable volunteer and colleague Hilary Swett is cataloging and uploading the last of the PDFs from the LYRASIS-Sloan Foundation mass digitization project, and we are down to the digital version of some of the oldest, most fragile documents in the College Archives. These required special handling by the scanners and have taken the longest to make available.

It is one of the numerous joys of an archives job to pull a nondescript box off a shelf and find a treasure. Such was the case with a blue box labeled "Inter-Nos – Incomplete," shelved with the bound volumes of the newspapers and Mount-published journals, Westwords and, of course, Inter-Nos.

But this box wasn't the Inter-Nos we'd already seen in teal softcover binding. This was a handful of 8 1/2 by 11-inch sheets of yellowed, soft paper with columns of mimeographed typewriting and a hand-drawn Inter-Nos flag. Below these in the box were professionally printed editions dating from 1929.

Inter-Nos continued as a small 4- or 8-sheet imprint for many years –  until 1945, to be exact, the year The View newspaper was launched, followed by The Mount yearbook in 1947. By popular demand, though, Inter-Nos returned in 1949 in the new softcover form. The later model is a treasure trove in itself, with faculty essays, scientific research reports, student writing and poetry, letters from traveling Sisters, students and alumnae. Inter-Nos continued publication until 1959, when it was replaced by Westwords.

But it is the older collection that is amazing to see online. Somehow, even with the faint typescript, the geniuses at scanning company DCS managed to extract searchable words. They captured the yellow of the paper, the faded edges, and the Internet Archive reading interface captures the gentle turning of the fragile pages.

Volume 1, No. 1, above, welcomes the students back after winter break and reports that fall enrollment had risen to 40 students. A report on a community outreach project tells of Christmas stockings collected and filled for the students at Presentation Parish School. It mentions that "Miss Fitch" has joined the drama faculty, a name that will occur frequently in the future pages of Mount publications.

We have barely publicized the existence of our freely available Internet Archive collection, and yet people are making their way to it. Several copies each the later Inter-Nos, View and Westwords have already been downloaded. You're welcome – urged! – to visit the collection (click on the link in this paragraph) and start exploring our treasures for yourself.

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