Where art thou, art books?
The very first time I stepped into Sherman Art Library was twenty weeks into my time here at Dartmouth. As someone who does not like a lot of change, I find myself gravitating towards familiar spots on campus, for studying, eating, and just hanging out. But one day, my friend suggested that we study there, so I followed her. To my surprise, Sherman Art Library was developed in 1929, and many parts of it echo the historical and musty feel of a typical Ivy League library. Now that I am taking a class related to art history, I have developed an even greater appreciation for the dedication of a library solely to art of all forms, including sculpture, fashion, and painting.
For my class, we have a final project on a topic of our choice, as many First-Year Seminars do. I decided to focus on the personification of ideals such as justice and liberty as women in art and its role in political/nationalistic agendas, inspired by Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People. After doing a bit of research, I found a book that covered a lot of what I was interested in, and a few days later, it was waiting at the circulation desk for me. It was actually the first book I had checked out from Dartmouth's extensive library collection. And even better, I don't have to worry about returning it until August! But hopefully, that won't be the extent of my relationship with Sherman Art Library. As my professor said, you would be surprised by what you stumble upon while walking through a library. My younger self attests to that, having strained my neck almost every week by scanning the titles of row after row of books. I'm thankful to be able to experience that kind of childhood adventure and joy in searching through libraries once again.