The More You Know

Photo Courtesy of the ALA

While attending a class session in the Rauner Special Collections Library this past week I noticed a strange molded oval plaque on the wall of the study room I was in. The text read “DARTMOUTH MEDAL” and featured a classicized female head of Athena, garlanded by grape vines, along with a small notation, ‘1973.’ Curious about the simple but beautiful piece’s origins, I took to the internet, where I learned that the Dartmouth Medal is an award sponsored by the College and given out yearly by the American Library Association to recognize achievement in the creation of “a reference work of outstanding quality and significance.” How appropriate then, that the medal graced the room where I had the pleasure of turning the pages of an original edition of the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493), perhaps the West’s first significant reference book. Like those old commercials say, ‘the more you know.’ Read more about the Medal at the ALA’s website.


–Benjamin M. Riley