College creates collage of the campus's culture

by Edward Thomas | 5/8/97 5:00am

Seventy students and faculty went to Fairbanks Hall to make a collage yesterday, and nobody thought to bring scissors or glue.

Luckily, none was needed. That's because the Dartmouth Collage, an innovative patchwork of photographs, sound and movie clips, exists only on the World Wide Web.

In an open event in North Fairbanks Hall, students and faculty contributed "images" converted to electronic format.

The result is a Web site aimed at capturing the essence of the Dartmouth community. One feature of the page is a randomizer, which juxtaposes eight random images from the collection on a single screen.

People contributed items such as pictures of themselves, sound bites of their favorite songs, quotes from selected writers, amateur photographs and other items of personal relevance.

The Collage's purpose is to provide a perspective on Dartmouth life using a web site, said Associate Director for Academic Information Resources John Hawkins.

As stated on the first page of the site, the Collage's goal is to "tell of the harmonies and paradoxes that comprise the spirit of the College."

Regardless of whether the internet experiment achieved this goal, it has provided a new and superb location to view many aspects of student and faculty life.

Sarah Horton, a Multimedia Applications Specialist, who conceived the idea to create the Collage, said she hopes to have the event moved to a more prominent location.

"I think everyone is talking about having it in Collis next year," said Horton. By the time the event was wrapping up yesterday afternoon, Horton, the chief organizer and planner of the Collage, called it a great beginning.

"In testing out a new idea, it was very successful," she said. "Everything worked out perfectly."

What made the event special to those who participated was the flexibility: participants could add whatever they wanted.

Horton said the atmosphere remained 'lively' throughout the day, and she was happy to see people putting real thought into what they wanted to include on the web.

Computing Services Scheduling Assistant David Choates, contributed a photograph of an antique phonograph. "I thought it would be neat to share," he said. "I have an interest in old phonographs."

Horton said "everyone has their own story to tell and that has made the site a pretty cool place to hang out."

One concern of the event's organizers was that turnout would be too low to provide a realistic portrayal of the Dartmouth community.

Mark Zanatta '98, who helped organize the event and provided a picture of an old Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity room said had the event taken place in Collis, more people would have gotten the chance to participate, making the web site stronger.

However, others disagreed. Ned Holbrook '00, a member of the College Webmasters which helped to run the program yesterday, said the 70 or so people who did contribute provided plenty of diversity.

"I think no matter what the number of people is who contributed to the Collage, it would still represent the College," Holbrook said.

The site can be found at