We’re moving our blog + a new user spotlight post, to boot!

Hello All,

We are excited to report we’re making a move to a new home for our blog! With our new WordPress host, the University of Vermont Libraries, we can present our content to viewers without any advertisements, as well as gain greater controls over our blog’s layout and design. All previous posts have been moved to our new blog. We hope you’ll find our new space easy to navigate and view content!

To kick off our new blog website, we have a brand-new user spotlight interview with the Vermont Department of Transportation’s Brennan Gauthier, who serves as the Archaeologist for the Department. He has made some amazing discoveries with Chronicling America, and we were delighted he was willing to share just a few of his research successes with us.

OUR NEW BLOG: http://library.uvm.edu/vtnp



The VTDNP Team

P.S. While this WordPress account will no longer be updated by our team, it will remain up and available for the time being. We will eventually, and perhaps sooner than later, have this link directly over to our new blog site.

P.S.S. If you have any suggestions, comments, or questions, please feel free to contact us.




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Historically Speaking Rutland TV Appearance

We would like to dedicate this television appearance to Birdie MacLennan, our Project Director and Principal Investigator, who passed away earlier this week. For this television episode, and as with all else she did, she dedicated a great deal of time, inspiration, and enthusiasm into making this program appearance be the success it is. As with the project itself, it would not have happened without her integral leadership and dedication to Vermont’s history and its historic newspapers. There is so much to be thankful for. We hope you enjoy the episode.


The Vermont Digital Newspaper Project traveled to Rutland, Vermont, a few weeks ago to be guest presenters on the Rutland Historical Society’s public access television show, Historically Speaking. Every month, the Rutland Historical Society produces a new program on their local public access television station, PEGTV, on various historical topics.

Director and Principal Investigator Birdie MacLennan, Project Librarian Erenst Anip, and Digital Support Specialist Karyn Norwood, met with the curator of the Rutland Historical Society and host of the show, Jim Davidson, to introduce the Vermont Digital Newspaper Project, Chronicling America, and highlight some intriguing local history stories, as well as offer some helpful search tips.


Photo by Erenst Anip of the PEGTV main office space.

The half-hour episode can be viewed on tv now until the end of the month on PEGTV, Rutland’s Community Access television channel Public 15, on Wednesdays at 4 pm, Thursdays at 1:30 pm, and Fridays at 7:30 pm.

The video can also be viewed on demand online here: Historically Speaking Episode #132

As well, you can also view this episode, and the 131 past episodes, through the Rutland Historical Society’s webpage by visiting this page: Historically Speaking. Then, click on the highlighted link, “Rutland Community Access PEGTV’s On Demand.” Type in “Historically Speaking” in the search box, and the episode will be listed.

We hope you enjoy the show! It was a great deal of fun to film and prepare for. We are very thankful to Jim Davidson, who is also a member of our Advisory Committee, for the invitation to talk on his program. He is a wonderful host. A sincere thank you, as well, to the PEGTV staff who made this all possible! Innumerable thanks to Birdie MacLennan, for her powerpoint expertise (which we were all wowed by!) and leadership in the coordination of the episode’s content. We will miss you.

Finally, we encourage you to view past episodes of the show through the Rutland Historical Society’s webpage (where our episode will eventually be archived), as well as visit the historical society’s museum in downtown Rutland.


Photo by Erenst Anip of the television set-up.

More photos of the visit can be found on our Flickr account here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vtdnp/sets/72157641864279663/

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Our Project Director and Principal Investigator, Birdie MacLennan

With immense sadness, we write to inform of the loss of our Director and Principal Investigator, Birdie MacLennan. Without Birdie’s leadership, expertise, dedication, and passion for Vermont’s history and its historic newspapers, our project would not be the great success that it is today.

Below, we share the announcement made today by the University of Vermont’s Dean of University Libraries and Resources, Mara Saule. Please join us in celebrating Birdie’s life, contributions, and achievements. She will be greatly missed.

Very Best,

Karyn Norwood, Erenst Anip, and Prudence Doherty


It is with great sadness that we share that our colleague, Library Professor Birdie MacLennan, passed away after a brief illness on March 10, 2014.

Birdie began working in the Libraries’ Cataloging Department in 1990, after working at Harvard University and Merrimack College and receiving a Master of Library Sciences from Simmons College. Since 2008, she served as Director of the UVM Libraries’ Resource Description and Analysis Services Department.  Her service to the library profession resulted in widespread recognition from her peers around the world. She was also an active member of the UVM faculty, with many years of service on the Faculty Senate’s Professional Standards Committee.

In 2005 she received a Master of Arts in French from UVM; these studies greatly informed her teaching and scholarship. She was the Libraries’ subject liaison to the Romance Languages department, where her growing proficiencies in French and Italian benefited faculty and students and satisfied her deep intellectual curiosity. Birdie was an accomplished and internationally recognized scholar, with particularly strong ties to Québec. Her in-depth research on the Grande Bibliothèque of Québec resulted in published works on libraries and cultural identity. She was an active member of the Burlington Italian Club and the Alliance Française Lake Champlain Region Chapter.

Birdie leaves behind a powerful and passionate legacy as a steward of Vermont history. Through projects funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, she helped to ensure preservation copies and digital access for Vermont’s historic newspapers. Most recently, she served as Project Director and Principal Investigator for the Vermont Digital Newspaper Project, securing multiple rounds of funding and overseeing the creation of 250,000 pages of digital content, much of which is now available on the Library of Congress Chronicling America website.

Birdie was a devoted colleague and mentor, dedicated to serving students, faculty, staff, and librarians-in-training. She was compassionate, generous, and supportive to all who knew her.  She will be profoundly missed in the faculty and staff of the University Libraries and as a valuable faculty member at the University of Vermont. She is survived by her sister Anne MacLennan Perkins, her niece Dominika Perkins, and her brother-in-law Donald Perkins of Nantucket, Massachusetts.

The Libraries are establishing a fund to further Birdie’s work preserving Vermont’s newspapers and will create a local digital collection in her name. Checks can be made payable to the UVM Foundation and directed to the UVM Libraries, in honor of Birdie MacLennan (The University of Vermont Foundation, 411 Main St., Burlington, VT 05401). Memorial services are pending and will be announced soon.


Mara Saule
Chief Information Officer and
Dean of University Libraries and Learning Resources


Birdie after a Chinese calligraphy lesson in Singapore last year. She wrote, “The character represents: Longevity, Life, Vivacity 壽 in the traditional Chinese script.”

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