Scarlet & Brown Stories

Paul Doty & Paul Haggett

October 11, 2021 St. Lawrence University Season 1 Episode 5
Paul Doty & Paul Haggett
Scarlet & Brown Stories
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Scarlet & Brown Stories
Paul Doty & Paul Haggett
Oct 11, 2021 Season 1 Episode 5
St. Lawrence University

Who burned down the original St. Lawrence gymnasium?  Curious about one of a kind collections and manuscripts?  What were Fisher Hall and Laurentian Hall?   Listen to this month's episode featuring Paul Doty, Special Collections & Archives Librarian, and Paul Haggett, Archivist's Assistant, from the Owen D. Young Library's Special Collections and Archives to find out more and test your knowledge of Laurentian lore.

Learn more about St. Lawrence's Special Collections and Archives here:

Contact Information:

Paul Doty,
Paul Haggett, 

Show Notes Transcript

Who burned down the original St. Lawrence gymnasium?  Curious about one of a kind collections and manuscripts?  What were Fisher Hall and Laurentian Hall?   Listen to this month's episode featuring Paul Doty, Special Collections & Archives Librarian, and Paul Haggett, Archivist's Assistant, from the Owen D. Young Library's Special Collections and Archives to find out more and test your knowledge of Laurentian lore.

Learn more about St. Lawrence's Special Collections and Archives here:

Contact Information:

Paul Doty,
Paul Haggett, 

[Theme Music]

Amelia:  Hi, everybody. Welcome to another episode of Scarlet & Brown Stories. This is your host, Amelia Jantzi, with my lovely co-host, Beth Dixon. We are so excited to show you this interview with Paul Doty, our special collections and archives librarian, and Paul Haggett, the archivist's assistant.

Beth:  I'm so excited to show this interview. We're going to affectionately dub this episode the Paulcast. Paul Haggett and Paul Doty are two just incredible staff members that we have on campus. They have a wealth of knowledge about St. Lawrence and its history. They got me thinking about some of the facts I used to say when I was an admissions ambassador and tour guide at St. Lawrence. One of them that they didn't talk about to a certain extent that I wanted to just drop this little factoid about was that the Brewer Bookstore actually used to be the gymnasium.

Amelia:  Oh, really?

Beth:  Yeah. In the first floor, the wood that is used on the ground, most of that is the wood from the basketball court.

Amelia:  Really?

Beth:  Yeah.

Amelia:  Oh, that's so fun.

Beth:  The crowd would watch from above on the second floor. The game would be played on the first floor and they would all watch from the second floor. I've had a few older alumni tell me that it was not uncommon for them to, it's wintertime, maybe drape their wet boots over the opposing team's bench and make them drip on the opposing team.

Amelia:  Well, that's not our most welcoming habit.

Beth:  We don't encourage that nowadays, but I will say this is quite amusing to think about way back in the day.

Amelia:  Very true.

Beth:  But I'm excited to get to this interview. They had so many wonderful nuggets of information and chatted a little bit more about what special collections and archives are. Let's kick it on over to our interview with Paul Haggett and Paul Doty.

[Music Plays]

Paul Haggett:  This will be edited for content and brevity and-

Beth:  It will.

Amelia:  Yeah, it will.

Paul Haggett:  ... vulgarity and so forth.

Beth:  We're going to keep the vulgarity in there because that's... No, I'm just kidding. No, of course we'll edit it down. We'll make it nice and fun, hopefully. [inaudible 00:02:31].

Amelia:  Do you guys have any other questions before we jump in?

Paul Haggett:  This is audio only. I'm liking that because I have a radio background, so I know i have a face for radio.

Beth:  [laughter] Oh my goodness!

Amelia:  There we go.

[Music Plays]

Beth:  All right, we are here with Paul Doty and Paul Haggett. We are very excited to chat with them a little bit about not only how they interact with the St. Lawrence community, but also to learn a little bit about special collections, which is the area of the ODY Library they work in and have worked with students, other faculty, staff members and greater Laurentian community members. Paul and Paul, welcome on into the Scarlet & Brown Stories podcast. How are you doing today?

Paul Haggett:  Oh, I'm doing great. Thanks for having us.

Beth:  Of course, I'm sitting here with Amelia Jantzi as always. Paul Doty, how are you doing today?

Paul Doty:  Good. Thanks, Beth.

Amelia:  Well, we'd love to get things started with just a little bit about you both, your background, how you came to St. Lawrence. What are those top things that our listeners need to know about both of you?

Paul Haggett:  Go ahead, Paul. You're the old timer.

Paul Doty:  Well, I have been at St. Lawrence for 23 years working in various capacities in the library. I have been in my current position for only about three years and actually have none of the prerequisite qualifications [laughter].

Paul Doty:  My moving into this position was very much a late middle age reinvention at a point in my life where I was really hoping for some sort of dramatic change just as one way to get from Monday to Friday. This position became open and it worked out that I could step into it. So my holding this position and doing this particular work has been as much a learning experience for me as anything else.

Beth:  See, I think that's really important to hear about because I think a lot of students in particular, but even young alumni feel like, "I need to know what I'm going to do for the rest of my life as soon as I graduate." We so often reinvent ourselves, whether it be through the various different kinds of work that we do or through the various different kinds of activities that we're involved in throughout our lives and our hobbies and such. I think that that's really important to hear.

Paul Doty:  As a matter of fact, that's one thing I think St. Lawrence is very good for, particularly for faculty, is opportunities to reinvent yourself.

Beth:  Absolutely.

Paul Doty:  I've taught a number of courses in the first-year program, for example on the history of internet, the history of canoes, et cetera, which is then a way to really reconsider some sort of topic for the first time or reconsider a topic anew, which of course is very intellectually exciting.

Amelia:  What about you, Paul Haggett? We'll switch it to the other Paul.

Paul Haggett:  Well, it just came to me that Paul and I have a similarity in that I have no training whatsoever as an assistant to an archivist. I started out about 14 years ago at St. Lawrence working with Beth, actually, in the book store.

Beth:  Yes, I remember.

Paul Haggett:  Basically hired as the night supervisor at the book store, one of two, and worked at the bookstore for about two and a half years. During the late 2000s when some changes were happening in employment levels and so forth as a result of the recession, my position at the bookstore was downsized to part time. I was able to come over here at that time in fall of 2010 when Mark McMurray was the archivist and director of special collections. He took me on and agreed to work with me and bring me along and show me the ropes and teach me all of the ins and outs of the wealth of information that we have here, diversity of information that we have here, and been here ever since and absolutely love it.

Amelia:  Well, I think it'd be really interesting for you both to just really briefly tell us what is an average day working in special collections. What does that mean?

Paul Doty:  Are you going to make me go first again?

Paul Haggett:  I'll make you go first because I'd love to know what your day is like.

Paul Doty:  Well, to a certain extent, your question's a little bit of a loaded one insofar as the pandemic has really disrupted our operations. It's a little bit like the restaurant whose business model is based on having people in. The normal day does take one getting into one's memory a little bit.

Paul Doty:  To a great or lesser extent, I would summarize by saying that a normal day, as with many elements of the library, is helping students with their assignments and helping faculty with research interests that happen to be about special collections, that touch on our special collection. We also do a great bit of work, and actually Paul Haggett does a lion's share of this work, interacting with various offices around campus who want information of the archive, information about the university, about personalities in the university, periods of time, buildings, et cetera. And again, Paul does a lot of truly outstanding work with those folks on getting them the information they need and then very often, for example, complementary to that, digital images of materials.

Paul Doty:  As I mentioned, I'm learning the job so I have been, in a variety of context, researching a lot of the collection and coming to understand what are the various component pieces of special collections and to what extent they cohere into a whole. And also in my case, it was coming to grips with things like understanding what is the study of bibliography. In other words, what does it mean to study the book as object and then turn around and talk to a class about this? Why is it significant to think about this first edition, who printed it and how it was printed and questions like that.

Paul Haggett:  I guess I would piggyback on what Paul Doty has said to the third branch of that would be doing much the same with members of the greater Laurentian community, as you guys have termed it, as well as outside researchers that find a reference to a holding that we have in our special collections that they need for either their personal research or their professional work or things of that nature. Whereas Paul, as essentially a faculty member, is much more engaged with working with students, I would certainly work with students in a supportive role to that as well as individually and students that we may have working actually in the department as well. But my role would be a point of first contact with the majority with the outside researchers that are looking for information from our collections.

Amelia:  I can imagine that you get all kinds of very niche requests in terms of research. I'm just really curious, what is one of the most unexpected or one of those questions that really stuck with you in those requests that have come to you both?

Paul Haggett:  I guess a couple come to mind for me. It's not so much the specificity of what was requested. Our flagship manuscript collection are the papers of Owen D Young, who was obviously the namesake of the library, a titan of industry in the early 20th century, St. Lawrence University trustee, a diplomat, all these various crowds that he ran with. On a couple of occasions, researchers, in one case from Japan and another case somebody from Australia, contacted us. This was pre-COVID. They actually came to Canton, New York. In the case of the Japanese researchers, they were here for a week.

Amelia:  Oh, wow.

Paul Haggett:  I remember their particular research had to do with Owen D Young's work in the Radio Corporation of America. Just understanding that we have some resources that people from all corners of the world may find vital to their research. We had another researcher just recently who was making every attempt that he could to dodge the pandemic and actually make a personal appearance to come here because we had this one issue of a certain 19th century newspaper, and moved heaven and earth to allow him to come and spend a couple of hours with this periodical that he desperately needed for his professional research.

Paul Doty:  It was an abolitionist newspaper called Cry Freedom. Indeed, we owned the only volume of any library in the United States, apparently. I have a smallish Owen D Young story, too. I was contacted by a gentleman from Buffalo who was writing a multiple-volume bibliography of Arthur Conan Doyle. What he wanted was the provenance on a manuscript that Doyle wrote that Owen D Young owned at one point in time. Owen D Young was one of the most celebrated book collectors in his day. He had an absolutely wonderful collection of books, many very rare editions of authors such as Edgar Allen Poe and other major authors. It's now part of the Berg Collection, New York Public Library.

Paul Doty:  But he needed to know where Young acquired this particular manuscript, so I went through box after box after box of the papers we have on Owen D Young book collection, which again was for me, my particular circumstance, a very useful exercise in getting to know that part of the collection and truly understand what a bibliophile Owen D Young was. I found what the gentleman was looking for.

Beth:  Wow.

Paul Doty:  He had bought it somewhere in Cincinnati and there was the receipt. I could confirm not only where he bought it, but when.

Beth:  So you had the receipt as well?

Paul Doty:  He had the receipt for the particular manuscript. The gentleman from Buffalo was elated. He said, "I thought you would just give me a hint. Gave me the whole banquet." [crosstalk 00:13:06].

Beth:  That's amazing.

Paul Haggett:  It's always a thrill when you're set out on a quest like that from somebody from the outside our somebody from the administrative offices or even... It doesn't matter who it is. If you're looking for something like this receipt buried in the Owen D Young papers somewhere, it's not like you can go to our finding aid and say, "Okay, receipts." It doesn't say where the receipt is. You're pawing through boxes. When you find something like that, it really is a thrill.

Beth:  I thought it was fun when you would find, "Oh, here's a dollar in a coat that I had three years ago," that kind of thing. But this brings it to a whole other level.

Paul Haggett:  Oh, I remember the last time I wore that.

Amelia:  This is a real treasure hunt.

Beth:  Or when you find the receipts there and you just throw them away. Now, I'm just going to have to keep them hidden in all of my things just in case it's-

Amelia:  Some day.

Beth:  ... of significance someday.

Paul Haggett:  Eventually, both of y'all's personnel files may end up here.

Beth:  Ooh.

Amelia:  We got to get more interesting, Beth.

Beth:  Okay, well I'll try. I'll try.

[Music Plays]

Amelia:  Hi, everybody. We're taking a brief break from our chat with the Pauls to talk a little bit about our LINC mentorship program, which you might remember from when we were talking with Jeff Byrne from the class of '74 and his experience being a LINC mentor, or maybe you might remember it from when we spoke with Sonja Jensen, class of 2019, when we spoke to her in August about her experience as a LINC mentee. But Beth, I would love for you to tell us a little bit more about the program and how our alumni community can get involved.

Beth:  Absolutely. The LINC mentorship program is a wonderful opportunity for alums with various different career backgrounds and locations across the United States, and honestly the world, to get connected with a student or two, if that happens to work out that way, who is interested in potentially getting into the career field that they're currently employed in or have experience in. These are traditionally younger students, mostly sophomores, but there will be a first-year program students in there as well who are taking our Careers 101 class. That is relatively new to the curriculum. It's a wonderful opportunity just to provide mentorship, get some insight into some of the things that they could benefit while they're students at St. Lawrence, how to go about connecting and making networking connections in their desired fields. It's about an hour's worth of mentorship a month, although some pairs decide to extend that out.

Beth:  This year, the program is going to run from January through the fall. We're looking for more mentors to sign up. If this sounds like something that you would like to do to make an impact on a student, feel free to reach out to Sarah Coburn in the Center for Career Excellence office. Her email is scoburn, which is C-O-B-U-R-N, She can help point you in the right direction of how to sign up. Or, you can even log into your Laurentian Connection profile and find the mentorship program tab and fill out the form there to sign up for the program. There is no guarantee that we'll have a student for you, but we try to match people based on first their industry, and then other identifying factors like what they were involved in at St. Lawrence, geographical area and even some things like identity.

Amelia:  Wonderful. Thank you so much, Beth. Now, let's kick it back to the Pauls.

[Music Plays]

Beth:  Well, one of the things that you mentioned was you have people from all corners of the world that are coming and asking for things in your special collections. Do you have a lot of alumni that reach out and ask about things about St. Lawrence for the archives in special collections, or is there a way, if people are interested in potentially working with you, is there a way for them to reach out to you?

Paul Haggett:  Well, yes and yes.

Beth:  Great.

Paul Haggett:  I think probably because I've been here longer, I tend to be the first point of contact for a lot of people that do reach out and on any number of occasions. I think probably the top reason for alumni that have reached out, the reason they've done so, has to do with athletics. Someone was on a sports team or one of their teammates went on to become a coach somewhere and they wanted a picture of them or get some background information on what their undergraduate athletic career was like here in St. Lawrence. That type of thing has often happened. There are lots of other examples, too.

Paul Haggett:  The short answer is if you want to find out any of that information, the easiest thing to do is just to send either Paul Doty or myself an email. It's the preferred way because then we would have a direct line to you to get whatever information you're looking for in your hands as quickly as possible through return email.

Beth:  One of the things that we were talking about as we prepared for this was oh, there have been buildings like Fisher Hall that we know burned down. Some people don't even know about that. But were there things about the university that you've learned since taking on these roles and your office?

Paul Doty:  Well actually, Beth, as I look out into the reading room, we have a display on our Milburn collection of [inaudible 00:18:24]. That is to say, and/of pertaining to Nathaniel Hawthorne. I knew we had some very interesting Hawthorne editions. I actually thought they were part of the Piskor collection but in fact, they were gathered together by a Ulysses Milburn, who was a graduate of the class of 1891.

Paul Doty:  He came here to study theology and was successful. He had a long career as a Unitarian minister in Massachusetts. But he fell in love with books when he got here, and not just reading, but books themselves, and then went out and created this absolutely wonderful collection of Hawthorne materials which includes manuscripts, it includes letter. We have on display a letter in which Hawthorne writes about Henry David Thoreau. It also includes first editions of The Scarlet Letter, American and British first editions. It includes a first edition of Fanshawe, which is a very rare edition.

Paul Doty:  They would be cool books just in and of themselves if happened to have them, but what was really fascinating was to discover who this Ulysses Milburn was and how he came to become a book collector and apparently, really credits St. Lawrence with this lifelong passion because in 1949, he gave us his collection, a truly first-rate collection of material by and about Nathaniel Hawthorne. I started in on this in the late summer with learning something about St. Lawrence, that this collection has an identity not because they're simply rare copies of these particular books, but it has an identity insofar as Reverend Milburn pulled them together and then having had them for the better part of his life, gave them to St. Lawrence.

Beth:  Wow.

Paul Doty:  I talked with Paul Haggett about this on and off over the last couple weeks because on my mind has been the whole idea of a collection and what constitutes a collection and how do you think about and talk about a collection beyond just the greater, well, special collection, all the stuff that happens back there. What are the collections within? How do you think about them and speak about them? This Milburn collection and the story of their acquisition is, again, shaping my thinking on this and in that way, was a real discovery for me in this last little bit.

Beth:  It also really illustrates well, I think, that in this case with Milburn, the connection that people who have taught or graduated from St. Lawrence have with this place that they want to leave something so significant behind and gift that to this university so that others may benefit from what they've been able to gather as well. [crosstalk 00:21:25].

Paul Doty:  Absolutely. If I didn't mention, again he was class of 1891.

Beth:  Fantastic.

Paul Doty:  Very obviously, this collection was truly a part of his self-identity, something he had as his assertion of self out there for the world, but your point's well taken.

Beth:  Are there other kinds of collections or things like that that it would be really interesting the St. Lawrence community knew a little bit about some of these gifts in kind? Do others come to mind?

Paul Haggett:  Paul's already mentioned there's another large book collection that we have that came to us from, I believe he was the 14th or 15th president of the university, Frank Piskor, that is all to do with Robert Frost. It's not a hugely scholarly collection, but Dr. Piskor was a fan of Robert Frost. I believe Dr. Piskor had ties to Middlebury College where Robert Frost was educated. He spent a lot of his life in that area so he, over the years, acquired a large collection of books about Frost, books by Frost, books having to do with people that wrote about... Just everything having to do with Robert Frost. And he left this significant collection of Frost material, which includes letters and items of manuscript nature, to St. Lawrence University.

Paul Doty:  It also includes a typewriter. And I happen to have in my hands a first British edition of Robert Frost North of Boston. It is inscribed... Oh, where is the inscription? Hold on just a second. Inscribed, "To Frank Piskor, my gratitude for several things, but particularly for what he has done for many young poet. This book, in this edition, takes me back to when I was a young poet, a phrase I would never have used for myself until others gave me that title. Robert Frost, Cambridge, Massachusetts. April 1962."

Beth:  Wow.

Amelia:  Wow. That's fascinating.

Paul Doty:  That happens to be one of the signed Frosts in the rare book edition which again, as Paul very accurately alludes to, is one of our also real kind of pillars of our rare book collections, the Piskor Frost collection. Dr. Piskor also in 1980, as part of the opening of the [Tory Wing 00:23:43], donated a Kelmscott Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. This is-

Amelia:  Oh, wow.

Paul Doty:  ... probably the most important books within the fine press movement. It's very much considered perhaps the finest of the Kelmscott Press. I don't happen to have in front of me how many were published, but it's a rare edition. That we have one is really quite remarkable. In fact, down in the lower level there is a book titled The Census of Kelmscott Chaucers. Somebody took the time to run around and figure out who owned all of this particular edition and where they are. We, indeed, are in this particular book.

Amelia:  Oh, wow.

Paul Doty:  As an example of fine press printing, this is [absolute par excellence. Again, this also came from Dr. Piskor in 1980.

Beth:  That is truly amazing. As somebody who wasn't always the biggest reader until I got to college, to hear that there are other Laurentians who found their love of books there, too, here at St. Lawrence is fascinating. And to see what they've done with their legacy.

Amelia:  It really shows that there's a character to the St. Lawrence that has existed throughout all of the different eras of the university. That's really fascinating to see the proof of that.

Paul Haggett:  I wanted to mention Beth, you piqued my interest in this when you mentioned Fisher Hall, which is among the older St. Lawrence buildings that are no longer with us. Fisher Hall was the location of the theological school, was the headquarters of the theological seminary and near as I can determine, was located about where the MacAllaster 24-hour room is currently.

Beth:  Oh, okay.

Paul Haggett:  You mentioned that it burned. That was in 1951. We had an earlier fire in St. Lawrence history that really is fascinating to me. That was the original gymnasium.

Beth:  Oh.

Amelia:  Oh.

Paul Haggett:  In 1896, St. Lawrence finally built a relatively kind of sort of adequate gymnasium for the first time. It was just a big wooden barn. They called it the wooden gym. That's the name of it.

Beth:  We were real creative back then.

Paul Haggett:  That's correct. It didn't take too long for students to really start complaining about how inadequate this wooden gym was. One night in 1925... I know this isn't visual program, but I'm going to show you this picture. This is a picture of the wooden gym going up in flames rather spectacularly. Those flames have got to be 50 feet high. It was never determined what the cause of this fire was.

Paul Haggett:  A few years later during one of the 1930s, say, alumni parades, here's another picture that shows a car. People are holding class of 1924 placards. It says on the front of the car, "We didn't burn the gym."

Beth:  What? 

Paul Haggett:

We have another picture here of a class of 1926 reunion. These are much older folks. But one of the signs reads, "1926," they got the year wrong but anyway, "1926 the gym burns wonderful."

Beth:  Oh my.

Paul Haggett:  There's always been this undercurrent theory that maybe, just maybe, the wooden gymnasium was burned down by human hand. Nobody really worried too much about it because not too long after that, just within a few months, they started work on what's now the Brewer Bookstore. Life went on at St. Lawrence and they finally had rid of this antiquated old gym.

Beth:  St. Lawrence will always find a way to leave a legacy, whether it be a mystery of who burned the gym/if anybody did. That's one of those things that I wish that we continued to talk about that turned it into a lore of who done it. Has anybody written a book about it?

Paul Haggett:  I don't know if a book was ever written. I've never seen one.

Beth:  Are there other buildings or structures, facilities that used to be on St. Lawrence's campus that no longer is?

Paul Haggett:  Oh, absolutely. Lots of them. Laurentian Hall, it's kind of like the equivalent of the student center today. It was the student union back in the post-World War II era. It was actually a surplus World War II recreational barracks that was moved on to campus. The university was very fortunate to get it because there just wasn't a lot of resources to just up and build new buildings in those days. That was located about where Priest Hall is today.

Paul Haggett:  Another World War II surplus building, which I'm not exactly sure where it was, but it was called South Hall. The music department was located there back in the day. The old bookstore, before the bookstore was moved to Brewer Bookstore, was in East Hall which was torn down shortly after the completion of the 2007 student center. There was an outdoor performance space called the Gaines Open Air Theater which was in the area of the commencement quad.

Beth:  Oh, okay. Creasy Commons area.

Paul Haggett:  Creasy Commons. Oh, there's, gee, a couple of others.

Paul Doty:  There was Vet Ville, right Paul?

Paul Haggett:  Vets Ville, yep. Veterans village was, again, built after World War II. There were hundreds of men coming back from World War II that were non-traditional students. They were older than college age and there was no room to house them on campus and no real room in the local community, either. So again, these surplus Army barracks were brought in to house these young men and some with young families. It was quite a time.

Beth:  I actually have a question about that. A number of years ago, probably five or six years ago, I met with one of our, she's still incredibly involved, alumna [A G Ellison 00:30:03], class of 1945. She was talking a little bit about the Navy and how the Navy basically saved St. Lawrence during World War II. Could you talk a little bit about if you know much about that?

Paul Haggett:  Yeah. That was the US Navy V-12 program. That was a Defense Department initiative whereby college students were taken into the program. They were educated in a stepped up fashion. They were made officers in the Navy and possible the Marine Corps as well, but certainly in the Navy. It was like a fast track officer training type of thing.

Beth:  Oh, wow.

Paul Haggett:  It's not an exaggeration that it helped to sustain St. Lawrence during the war when otherwise, these men that went through the V-12 program would've had to go elsewhere to get their military training before they were shipped off to go to war.

Beth:  Wow.  

Amelia:  It's so funny to hear stories like that because I grew up in the North Country, and so I'm always shocked when people know anything about the North Country. I'm like, "How do you know where Potsdam is?" Hearing these stories and these more major national institutions knowing about St. Lawrence is really fascinating. I mean, obviously earlier in our history, the North Country had different economics but it's still just fascinating our little corner of the world on the Canadian border has this history.

Beth:  And before an interstate program, too. [laughter].

Amelia:  Oh, yes.

Beth:  We're releasing this in October. One of the things that we were thinking about is there are a lot of urban legends about St. Lawrence, whether there are tunnel systems or haunted Herring-Cole or anything like that. Have you come across anything in your work or just myths and legends that you've heard that you could shine a light on that might interest some of our listeners?

Paul Haggett:  I have one. It's not a ghost story, I'm sorry.

Beth:  That's fine.

Paul Haggett:  Yes, there are catacombs under Herring-Cole that were used for storage. It had to be the worst storage in the history of storage.

Beth:  Probably very moist.

Paul Haggett:  Muddy and dirty and damp. There used to be stuff stored there. We've got any number of pictures of students in the catacombs. It looks spooky. But that's the closest thing I've got to a ghost story.

Paul Doty:  You did also mention simply an autumnal theme, Beth.

Beth:  Yes, yes.

Paul Doty:  One of our collections are called our artist books. These are books in which a book maker really uses the medium of the book to create a work of art in the same way a painter might use the medium of watercolor and paper to create a work of art. One of them is by Velma Bolyard, who is teaching now in our book arts program.

Paul Doty:  It's called November Song. It was published in 2013. It's a handmade book and it's a series of abstract images, but what she absolutely captures is the North Country landscape in November, the [inaudible 00:35:44], the purples, the browns, the grays, how that all bleeds together into a watercolor.

Paul Doty:   It's really a remarkable book in that when you pick it up and look at it again, the absolute visual aspect of the North Country, of the north in Vermont, is really beautifully captured by the book. Now that we're again open to the public, if someone wanted to come by and see it and have that experience of enjoying this piece of art here, they're certainly welcome into the Reading Room.

Beth:  That is fantastic. You know what? If you wouldn't mind, speak a little bit about the reading room itself because I don't know... When I was a student, I looked at it and I went, "What do you do, just sit in there and read?" I'm like, "I think that's about it."

Beth:  What is it about the Reading Room that people could utilize? It's not just that you sit down and read. I mean you do.

Paul Doty:  Actually, it kind of is.

Beth:  Yeah, yeah.

Paul Doty:  You sit down and read. We're open to the public. You don't need an appointment to come in. There are certain restrictions about how materials can be used. It's the Frank and Anne Piskor Reading Room which acknowledges, as Paul alluded to earlier, the importance of Dr. Piskor to the Special Collections area and to our special collections.

Paul Doty:  But I actually rather do like that idea, Beth, that it is where you come, you sit and read. I also sometimes try to talk about it as the great offline space on campus. We certainly do let people, if they wish, use their phones to photograph materials. Students are working with something. If they want to create an image, that's fine. A researcher is in and wants to get a photograph of a document so they can read it later, that's fine. But in a lot of ways, it is a great place to step back and get offline, get away from the constant electronic distraction that is sadly life at this time in the United States.

Beth:  Do you have favorite spaces either in ODY or across campus to take a step back and retreat? I know I have mine, but I would love to hear if you have places in mind.

Paul Doty:  Well, this actually is one of mine. Before I stepped into this position, that was 20 years I was doing something else, I would come up with reasons to come back here. I would be able to sit in the Reading Room and work on something.

Beth:  What about you, Paul Haggett?

Paul Haggett:  I think a lot of people feel like Herring-Cole is a similar type of a space. It always seems to be quiet in there. I guess I have been in there when there were lectures or something else going on, presentation or whatever, but by and large, that's what Herring-Cole is. It's another area to just go in and disconnect from the electronic world that we're immersed in all the.

Beth:  My favorite is the Ireland Room behind the dance studio and the NCAT in the Noble Center. It used to be a greenhouse, so you have lots of bright windows and spaces, but there's plenty of comfortable couches. There's plenty of space right there to just sit back, relax, read a little bit, look outside, have a good view of Hulett and Jencks and all the green space in between. But it's a nice space. What about you, Amelia?

Amelia:  It's funny. I didn't have as much of an opportunity to explore the spaces on campus. But I have to say, I also really like the timelessness of Herring-Cole, of you just walk in and you could be in any era of the university. There's something kind of magical about that. That beautiful rose window just takes my breath away every time. So I would have to say while I haven't explored quite all of the nooks and crannies of campus that I would've had the experience to as a student, I would have to say Herring-Cole is probably my favorite.

Beth:  Well, it sounds like now you know who you can go to in case you would like-

Amelia:  True.

Beth:  ... to find things to explore especially. Paul and Paul, is there anything else that you want to share about your work or special collections and archives that listeners may not know at this point, or do we feel like we've left all the stones turned over?

Paul Haggett:  Well personally, I think with this interview, we're going to be overworked in terms of-

Beth:  You're going to be really busy.

Amelia:  You're going to have a few phone calls coming your way.

Paul Haggett:  Well, let's hope so. I certainly appreciate the occasional human interaction. Sometimes it's hard to come by-

Beth:  You should put that on a sampler.

Paul Haggett:  ... in this COVID era.

Beth:  I like that idea. You should put that on a sampler. I do enjoy occasional human interaction.

Amelia:  The occasional human interaction.

Beth:  I really liked that. Paul Doty, do you have anything else that you-

Paul Doty:  I think I'm good, Beth. I think the stones are turned over. The salamanders are running loose, et cetera.

Amelia:  There we go.

Beth:  Wonderful. Well, thank you both so much for-

Paul Doty:  Thank you.

Beth:  ... spending some time with us today. I know that I've learned a little bit. When I'm back on campus, I plan to make an appointment to stop by and see some of the collections that you talked about and take a look at them and utilize the Reading Room to unplug.

Amelia:  No, this was wonderful. Just the wealth of knowledge that you both have and clearly the passion for those treasure hunts in the history of St. Lawrence is really fascinating. Thank you so much for sharing that with us today.

Paul Doty:  Thank you.

Paul Haggett:  Thanks a lot. This was fun.

Paul Doty:  Thank you.

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Amelia:  Well, that wrapped up our fantastic interview with the Pauls. I have to say, Beth, this was one of my personal favorite interviews that we have done so far.

Beth:  I totally agree. I loved hearing a little bit more about some of the special collections that we have-

Amelia:  Oh, for sure.

Beth:  ... like the Hawthorne collection.

Amelia:  Yeah.

Beth:  I'm not the biggest bibliophile, and it sounds like we have such a huge history of alumni being bibliophiles, but I just found this absolutely fascinating.

Amelia:  And it's all just in our little corner of the world in Canton, New York. Who knew that we have these fascinating, incredible historical collections just tucked away?

Beth:  And that we have people from all corners of the world-

Amelia:  Japan.

Beth:  ... trying to come to campus? Japan? What? That's so cool. I really think that as we get the brand of St. Lawrence out there even more, I can't wait to see what and how our special collections grow-

Amelia:  For sure.

Beth:  ... in the future. Hopefully, this is something all of us can keep in mind as we're thinking about meaningful ways to give back to St. Lawrence. If you have something like this that you think the university could benefit from, or it would be better housed at SLU, hit up the Pauls.

Amelia:  Absolutely.

Beth:  [laughter].

Amelia:  They will be so excited, like kids at Christmastime.

Beth:  Absolutely. Or, if you want to know more, we're going to put in their contact information, their emails, in the notes here for the podcast. But I hope that you all enjoyed this as much as we did. What a great way to kick off the fall officially.

Amelia:  Absolutely. Thank you so much for all joining us. We'll see you all next month.

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Beth:  Bye. Scarlet & Brown Stories is edited and produced by Amanda Brewer, Megan Fry Dozier, Dennis Morreale, Beth Dixon and Amelia Jantzi.

Amelia:  Our music was written by Christopher Watts, inspired by Eugene Wright, class of '49.

Beth:  Subscribe to Scarlet & Brown Stories on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts.

Amelia:  If you have a story you'd like to submit to us, you can email us at Don't forget to subscribe, like and leave your five-star review wherever you listen to podcast.

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