Dimond Library

Whalebone to Steel: The Shape of Fashion

Posted September 3, 2015

September 18 - December 18

Take a peek at what lies beneath, in Whalebone to Steel: The Shape of Fashion, a new textile exhibition at the University of New Hampshire Museum.

Past exhibitions have focused on lovely gowns and surface details, but Whalebone to Steel: The Shape of Fashion, the latest effort by guest curator Astrida Schaeffer, lifts skirts and unbuttons bodices to reveal the true ‘Victoria’s secrets’ — the corsets, hoops, bustles and more, that shaped and supported the changing silhouettes of women’s clothes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries.

Some of the foundation garments displayed are designed to reshape the body, while some added to the body to change the profile. Early corsets and their precursors, called “stays,” were stiffened with reeds, cords, or whalebone (actually baleen) as a means of supporting the torso and bust. As technology advanced in the mid-19th century steel boning became the norm and the hourglass figure emerged as a result of steel’s shaping qualities.

According to Schaeffer:

Contrary to urban legend, that didn’t mean fainting ladies and rib removal; the exhibition makes the case that much of what we think we know about what it was like to live in a corset is a myth. In fact women lived quite active lives while corseted and could even be fairly athletic.

Where corsetry physically altered the body, hoops and bustles affected women’s shapes by building out artificially from it with cages of steel and other materials. The exhibition showcases a range of these items, as well as contemporary attitudes towards women's’ fashionably ballooning forms.

The core of the items on view comes from the Irma Bowen Textile Collection at UNH, which holds some 700 textile pieces donated to the university by Bowen. These pieces were originally gathered as teaching tools for the home economics dressmaking classes she taught at UNH from the 1920s to the 1940s.

In addition, generous loans from collections at the Brick Store Museum, John Paul Jones House, Museums of Old York, Strawbery Banke Museum, and the Wentworth Lear Historic Houses help fill out the story of how women’s clothes were shaped by their underthings.

The exhibition is sponsored by the University Museum and funded in part by the E.Ruth Buxton Stephenson Memorial Fund.

The University Museum, located in the Dimond Library, is open Monday through Friday, 12 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesday noon to 8 p.m. Closed November 11, & 26 to 28.

Visit our Museum page for directions, parking information, photos, and more information on the exhibition and related programs.

Media contact: Dale Valena
University Museum, UNH
603-862-1081

Participants Needed for Usability Study in September

Posted August 31, 2015

The Library is working to improve the usability of our space and we need your help. The usability study will take approximately one hour in Dimond Library.

For your hour of participation, you will receive a $15 Dining Services card, good at any Dining location on campus, or a USB flash drive.

Please note:
Current or former UNH library employees will not be eligible for the purposes of this study.
Participants will be asked to wear a GoPro while carrying out tasks during the study.

If you’re interested in helping us with our study, please contact Kristin Parker for more information.

Scheduled Power Outages in Dimond - Aug 8th

Posted August 6, 2015

Planned Campus Power Outages will be happening around campus on Saturday, August 8th. The Library will be open 10:00am-5:00pm.

Dimond Library will not have power from 8:00am-9:00am, and again from 5:00pm-6:00pm. During these times, the website will not be available.

While the site is down, you can access our catalogs directly:

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New Book Room Receives Makeover

Posted August 5, 2015

The Milne New Book Room—located on Level 3 of Dimond Library—is looking great thanks to some recent renovations. In addition to being a lovely place to sit and work, this room is where you can browse newly acquired books, magazines, and newspapers.

New paint, shelving, and furniture have brightened things up, so the space is more inviting and functional than ever. USB ports in the comfortable chairs make it convenient to charge your devices.

We welcome you to come check out our new, New Book Room!

American Ancestors - New Genealogy Resource

Posted August 3, 2015

We now have a subscription to American Ancestors, provided by New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS).

American Ancestors provides access to genealogical records spanning the U.S. and beyond. This resource features collections of early American records, and the largest searchable collection of published genealogical research journals and magazines. Content includes English, New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont), New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia materials.

Please note: this resource is accessible only on workstations in Dimond Library; there is no wireless access.

Dimond Book Stacks Are Open

Posted July 6, 2015

The book stacks in Dimond Library have undergone some big changes recently. They have recently re-opened, and are ready for you to explore.

Some highlights include:

  • Contents of levels 2, 4 and 5 were rearranged so that the call number ranges begin on Level 5, continue on Level 4, and end on Level 2
  • Direction of stacks changed to make materials easier to find
  • Bound periodicals and books are now together (no separate area for journals)
  • Shelves are loaded to meet current fire codes
  • Seating on Level 2 increased

We also have a great time-lapse video that shows how much work goes into moving so many books around.

Thank you for your patience during the project. We hope you enjoy the new space!

Participants Needed for Usability Study in July

Posted July 2, 2015

The Library is doing a usability study of our space and we need participants. It will take about an hour of your time in Dimond Library.

For your participation, you will receive a $15 Dining Services card, good at any Dining location on campus, or a USB flash drive.

Please note:
Current or former UNH library employees will not be eligible for the purposes of this study.
Participants will be asked to wear a GoPro while carrying out tasks during the study.

If you’re interested and available, please contact Kristin Parker for more information.

Dimond Library to reorganize book stacks starting May 21

Posted May 20, 2015

Beginning May 21st, 2015, the stacks in Dimond Library will be rearranged to meet fire code regulations. In addition, bound periodicals will be integrated into the stacks rather than housed separately on another floor.

During this time, stacks on Levels 2, 4, and 5 will be closed to the public. Circulation staff will assist patrons in accessing the materials. Other patron seating and computing areas will remain open:

Level 1

  • Entire floor open

Level 2

  • Stacks: closed
  • Natural Sciences Resource Center: closed
  • Micromedia (210): closed
  • Restrooms: closed
  • Parker Media Lab: open (access via West Stair)
  • Multimedia: open (access via West Stair)
  • Multimedia Classroom: open (access via West Stair)

Level 3

  • Entire floor open

Level 4

  • Stacks: closed
  • Zeke’s Cafe: closed
  • Restrooms: open
  • Balcony reading areas: open
  • Room 421: open
  • Graduate carrels: open (access via West Stair)

Level 5

  • Stacks: closed
  • Faculty Lounge: open
  • Restrooms: open
  • Studio 521: open
  • Faculty carrels: open
  • Room 537: closed
  • Courtyard Reading Room: open

All items on Levels 2, 4, and 5 will be requestable in the UNH Library Catalog during this time. Monday through Friday, requested items will be paged three times daily and may be available for pick up at 10:00 am, 2:00 pm, and 4:00 pm. It could, however, take up to 24 hours for us to locate some items.

Items requested from Friday afternoon to Sunday will be available for pick up on Monday. Patrons will receive emails notifying them when items have arrived at the Circulation Desk and are ready to check out.

The project is expected to take four to six weeks. Progress reports for visitors and patrons will be made public via the library’s webpage, social media, and signs in Dimond Library.

May Multimedia Displays

Posted May 7, 2015

To honor Military Appreciation Month and National Physical Fitness & Sports Month, we have 2 new displays. These displays will remain up for the month of May.

Come to the Multimedia Center (on level 2) to check out these items and many more.

Here are some examples of items on display:

Military Appreciation Month

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month