The Bookmark forms...

Nine different bookmark forms were chosen to represent subjects taught at Bennington College. Patrons can associate a message with any bookmark, program the LED light sequence and place on a book currently in the library. To view images of the bookmarks, please visit the gallery section of this website.


Apollo Lunar Module

The Apollo Lunar Module, originally called the "Lunar Excursion Module" or LEM, was the portion of the Apollo spacecrafts to land on the moon. One astronaut would remain in the Apollo spacecraft orbiting the moon, while the two remaining astronauts would land on the moon using the Module. During the initial planning stages of the Lunar Module, prior to landing on the moon, very little was known about the moon's surface. This meant that the Lunar Module had to be designed to land properly on any type of surface. The legs were made out of aluminum honeycomb to help absorb shock.

~ Richard, Lewis S. Appointment on the Moon: The Full Story of Americans in Space from Explorer 1 to the Lunar Landing and Beyond. 1968. New York: Ballantine Books, 1969.
~ Murray, Charles, and Catherine Bly Cox. Apollo: The Race to the Moon. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989.


It is likely that one of the first instruments used by humans was a drum. Ears work similarly to a drum, they are sensitive because of a stretched membrane which translates sound waves into nerve signals. In the past drums have been used not only for their musical qualities, but also as a means of long distance communication, through drum telegraphy. The talking drums of Africa can imitate the inflections and pitch variations of a spoken language. Drums are widely used in music therapy. Heart rhythm is often compared to the beat of a drum.

~ Alcamo, I. Anatomy and Physiology the Easy Way. Woodbury: Barron's Educational Series, 1996.
~ Blades, James. Precussion Instruments and their History. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1970.
~ Schullian, Dorothy M. Music and Medicine. New York: Henry Schuman, 1948.

Duchamp's Fountain

One of Duchamp's readymades, Fountain is considered one of the most important works of art from the 20th century. Physically consisting of an overturned urinal signed "R. Mutt", Duchamp described his purpose with the piece as shifting the focus of art from physical craft to intellectual interpretation.  A testament to the importance on the conceptual not the physical, Fountain was lost after its initial showing. Fountains seen in museums today were commissioned later. The work is attributed with the conception of conceptual art, creating a dialoged that lasts to this day, some ninety years after Fountain's showing in 1917.

~ Tomkins, Calvin. Duchamp. New York: H. Holt, 1996.

Martha Graham

Graham invented a new language of movement, and used it to reveal the passion, the rage and the ecstasy common to human experience. In 1936, Graham made her defining work, "Chronicle", which signaled the beginning of a new era in contemporary dance. The dance brought serious issues to the stage for the general public in a dramatic manner. Influenced by the Wall Street Crash, the Great Depression and the Spanish Civil War, it focused on depression and isolation, reflected in the dark nature of both the set and costumes. She taught at Bennington College, helping to create a modern dance haven in rural Vermont. Graham often collaborated with famed artist, and designer Isamu Noguchi.

~ Stodelle, Ernestine. Deep Song. New York: Schirmer Books, 1984.
~ Horosko, Marian. Martha Graham. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2002.

Jocasta's Brooch

Oedipus Rex, the mythical Greek king of Thebes, fulfilled a prophecy that said he would kill his father and marry his mother, and thus brought disaster on his city and family. On discovering all of his crimes, Oedipus rushes into the palace, where he finds his mother and wife, dead by her own hand. Ripping the dress pin from her dress, Oedipus blinds himself with it. This legend originated in the oral tradition and has been retold in many versions, most famously Sophocles' Oedipus the King. The story was used by Sigmund Freud as the basis for the ''Oedipus complex''.

~ Sophocles. Oedipus the King. Trans. Albert Cook. An Anthology of Greek Tragedy. New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1972. 101-148.
~ Mullahy, Patrick. Oedipus Myth and Complex: A Review of Psychoanalytic Theory. New York: Grove, 1948.


Minerva's Owl

Ancient Egyptians used a representation of an owl for their hieroglyph for the sound "m". The owl of Minerva is the owl that accompanies Minerva in Roman myths, seen as a symbol of wisdom. The nineteenth-century idealist philosopher G.W.F. Hegel famously noted that "the owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk" meaning that philosophy comes to understand a historical condition just as it passes away.

~ Budge, E. Ancient Egyptian Language. Chicago: Ares Publishers, 1975.
~ Hegel, Georg Willhelm Fredrich. Hegel's Philosophy of Right. Trans. T M Knox. London: Oxford University, 1942.


Ockham's razor

Attributed to the 14th-century English logician and Franciscan friar William of Ockham. "entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem", or "entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily" or "All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best." In other words, when multiple competing theories are equal in other respects, the Ockham's principle recommends selecting the theory that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities. Originally a tenet of the reductionism philosophy of nominalism, it is more often taken today as a heuristic that advises economy, parsimony, or simplicity. It is often used in scientific theories.

~ Baum, Eric. What Is Thought?. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004.


To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee's 1960's novel deals with racial injustice, the destruction of innocence, class tensions, courage and compassion, and gender roles in the American South. Siblings Scout and Jem with friend Dill are terrified by and fascinated with, their neighbor, the reclusive "Boo" Radley. Dill, Scout and Jem find that someone is leaving them small gifts in a tree outside the Radley place. Objects found in the tree include soap carvings of a boy and girl, gum, an Indian head penny, twine, and pocket watch.

~ Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1991.


Yeast Cell

Saccharomyces cerevisiae- a fungi that has been used in baking and fermenting for 1000's of years. Several yeasts, particularly Saccharomyces cerevisiae, have been widely used in genetics and cell biology. This is largely because the cell cycle in a yeast cell is very similar to the cell cycle in humans, and therefore the basic cellular mechanics of DNA replication, recombination, cell division and metabolism are comparable.

~ Strachan, T. and a. Read. Human Molecular Genetics 2. New York: Wiley, 1999.
~ Scott, Thomas. Concise Encyclopedia Biology. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1996.