Friday, July 03, 2015

Errol G. Hill's Bookplate,Dartmouth College Library

Rauner Special Collections, Dartmouth College Library

Errol G. Hill’s   Bookplate
Created for Rauner Special Collections, Dartmouth College Library
2011, sheet: 2 ½ x 4 inches

Errol G. Hill (1921-2003) 


The bookplate was made for Dartmouth College Professor Errol G. Hill’s library.  Hill’s personal papers and library were acquired in 2003 by the Dartmouth College Library.  The collection comprises primarily books and papers on Trinidad Carnival and Caribbean, African, African American and European theatre.  Professor Hill, born in Trinidad & Tobago, was the first tenured professor of African descent at Dartmouth College.

The image on the bookplate is of “Negue Jadin,” a historical Trinidad Carnival character from the time of Emancipation.  The figure is a full-length image of a man of African descent in a costume of tight-fitting green satin or velvet knee-length breeches, bright yellow shirt with heart shaped panel of contrasting color adorned with rhinestones and mirrors over the chest.  A scarf is tied around his waist.  The man is brandishing a stick with his hands on either end.  The costume is completed by “alpargatos” (rope sandals) and a cap or paper crown decorated with spangles worn over the head pad.  The outfit would be trimmed with little metal bells that would tinkle as the stick fighter moved.

The image was derived from a watercolor drawn by Trinidad artist Carlisle Chang (1921-2001), who also designed the Trinidad national flag.  Carlisle Chang was a friend of Professor Hill’s and served as costume and set designer for a number of Hill’s theatre productions.  Chang’s signature can be seen below the right foot of the character.

A blue border surrounds the figure and the words “Ex-Libris Errol G. Hill 1921-2003” is printed above the image.  The text at the bottom of the bookplate reads “John D. Willard Professor of Drama and Oratory,” Professor Hill’s title, and “Dartmouth College Library.”

Grace Hope Hill, Hill's widow, selected the image and Dean Bornstein designed the plate for Dartmouth College. The image was scanned and printed by four-color offset lithography on acid-free Mohawk Superfine paper.


Carnival Subject Guide, Trinidad and Tobago, National Library and Information System Authority

Description of “Negue Jadin” from:  Errol Hill, The Trinidad Carnival (London, England: New Beacon Books Ltd), 1997, 28.

Errol Hill Obituary, Dartmouth College

Guide to the Papers of Errol G. Hill

Note From Lew- I want to thank Claudia Hill, Professor Hill's daughter for sending me this information compiled and written by her mother Grace Hope Hill

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