You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2010.

Sometime in December 1971, Homer Babbidge, President of the University of Connecticut, spoke to the Monday Evening Club on the subject of stone walls, Robert Frost and the meaning of “Good fences make good neighbors.”  One of the more charismatic individuals associated with the University, Dr. Babbidge used the imagery of practical New England tidiness and poetry to illuminate broad interpretations of international borders, hint at the intellectual foundations  of education and extoll the virtues of physical labor–in nine and a half short pages!

This talk, and many other speeches, presentations, reports and studies, is available in the Babbidge papers in the University Archives housed in the Dodd Research Center.

"How to build a stone wall," Homer D. Babbidge, Jr., December 1971

 A PDF version of the complete talk is available here and a partial description of the materials to be found in the Babbidge papers can be accessed via the finding aid for the collection ( 

A more recent, artistic interpretation of the classic New England stone wall can be found in professor Olu Oguibe’s recent installation at Real Art Ways in Hartford (scheduled through March 2011).

Connections between past and present are frequently discovered in the archives.  Please consider this an open invitation to come in and find out more about the history of UConn in the University Archives in the New Year!

     Betsy Pittman, University Archivist


The deadline is fast approaching for nominations for the next biennial Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights, to be awarded in Fall 2011 at the University of Connecticut.  Information about the nomination process and past winners is available on the Dodd Center’s website.

The winner of the 2009 Dodd Prize, the Committee to Protect Journalists, has been in the news lately after releasing their annual year-end analysis of violence against journalists worldwide.  Pakistan topped the list of the deadliest countries for journalists, with high numbers in Iraq, Mexico, and Honduras as well.

 Nominations will be accepted through December 31, 2010.

Ken Noll and Jerry Krasser reading from "3000 Years Among the Microbes" by Mark Twain, December 6, 2010

You might have noticed that I posted last week about an exhibit a INTD class constructed about Mark Twain and Connecticut microbiologist H.W. Conn.  The exhibit depicts the work of the two men, particularly about how Conn’s work on microbes was influential for Twain’s essay “3000 Years Among the Microbes,” written in 1905.  The exhibit is currently up in the Plaza Alcove in Homer Babbidge Library until December 17.

Yesterday, in the library’s Class of ’47 room, was a celebration of the exhibit, where Professor Ken Noll acknowledged the work of the freshmen honors students of the class.  A wonderful bonus to the program was a reading of Twain’s essay, by Prof. Noll and Emeritus Professor of Dramatic Arts Jerry Krasser.

The local NPR affiliate interviewed Prof. Noll prior to the event and taped the reading, and information about the event was aired this morning on WNPR out of Hartford.  You can find information about the spot at

Laura Smith, Curator for Business, Railroad and Labor Collections

Moon Bear (Title page illustration)

Ed Young, a children’s book author/illustrator and winner of many prestigious awards including a Caldecott Medal for Lon Po Po:  a Red Riding-Hood Story from China, two Caldecott Honor Awards, and two nominations for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, has added to his Papers held in the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection.  Mr. Young was born in Tientsin, China and raised in Shanghai and Hong Kong, where he was interested in drawing and storytelling from an early age.  He moved to the U.S. in 1951 to study architecture but quickly changed his focus to art.  Mr. Young has illustrated over eighty books, many of which he also wrote. 

The 19 beautiful collage illustrations for his 2010 book, Moon Bear, written by Brenda Z. Guiberson and published by Henry Holt, are new to the NCLC and were deposited following his recent appearance at the 19th Annual Connecticut Children’s Book Fair.  Moon Bear is the story of one moon bear, or Asiatic black bear, as she goes through the annual cycle of hibernation, awakening, foraging, and procreation.   In the author’s note, Ms. Guiberson describes the tragic plight of thousands of Asiatic black bears who are imprisoned in tiny cages on bear farms throughout Asia.  For over 3,000 years bears were hunted in Asia for their gall bladders and bile, thought to cure disease.  Laws enacted in the 1980’s took steps to ban bear hunting but wild bears are still caught and farmed.  

Moon Bear (pg. 6/7 illustration)

Several organizations are working to create sanctuaries where sick bears can be treated and rehabilitated, such as Animals Asia Moon Bear Rescue Center in China.  For more information, go to  A portion of the proceeds of each book is donated to this worthwhile organization devoted to ending animal cruelty and restoring respect for animals throughout Asia.  Mr. Young says in his dedication:  “To Integrity, ‘the Spiritual Bear,’ so that we may reclaim green humanity lost to unharnessed ‘wants’ disguised as our needs.”

Terri J. Goldich, Curator, Northeast Children’s Literature Collection

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