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1797 Document Shows Payment of Scouts in 1795 at end of Northwest Indian War

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
May 20th, 2015

Blog post by Michael Ridderbusch, Associate Curator, WVRHC.

 

Recently, during the course of work on the Harrison County Court Records collection (at the West Virginia and Regional History Center), a document was discovered that gives tangible evidence of the frontier war between native Americans and the United States in the Ohio country, a region west of the Appalachian Mountains between the northern Ohio River and Lake Erie.  Described as a “pay abstract,” it documents the names of seven scouts “ordered into service” in 1795 by General Benjamin Biggs (ca. 1752-1823), a militia commander with responsibility for defending the Virginia frontier.

 

Document describing the payment of scouts in 1795

“Pay Abstract” for Scouts Hired in 1795,
1798 Copy of Document Created in 1797.

 

Although the Northwest Indian War (1785 to 1795) had concluded with the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794, and officially ended with the Treaty of Greenville on 3 August 1795, this document apparently attests to lingering doubts, since the scouts, according to the text, were hired “for the defense of Harrison County in the year 1795.”

 

Oil Painting of Treaty of Greenville

Treaty of Greenville Negotiations,
Between General Anthony Wayne and Native Americans, 1795.
An officer of Wayne’s staff is believed to have created this oil painting.

 

General Biggs, who hired the scouts, was a native of Ohio County, Virginia, and was a veteran of Indian warfare.  Having fought in Lord Dunmore’s War in 1774, and in the Revolutionary War as a Captain in the 7th Virginia Regiment (defending Fort Henry from Indian attack in Wheeling, among other duties), he was a seasoned soldier who brought needed experience to his role as a commander during the Northwest Indian War.  Documents found on the Papers of the War Department website give some additional evidence of the role Biggs played during this time.

 

The West Virginia and Regional History Center looks forward to the continued processing of the Harrison County Court Records Collection to see what further historical treasures may be uncovered.

 

Pile of assorted Harrison Cuunty Court Records

Example of documents typically found in the Harrison County Court Records Collection.
The pay abstract featured in this blog was found filed among papers like these.

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Online Webinar on Tackling the Gender Gap in Wikipedia a Great Success

Posted by Carroll Wilkinson.
May 15th, 2015

WVU Libraries did not let March winter storm Thor set us back permanently on the Wikipedia Initiative. Though we had to cancel part two of the program planned for March 5, we came back strong on April 30 with an online webinar called “Tackling the Gender Gap in Wikipedia.” Over 100 online and in person registrants joined Cindy Liberatore and Carroll Wilkinson for the session featuring Jami Mathewson of the Wiki Education Foundation and Dr. Adeline Koh of Stockton University.

Wiki Education Foundation Image 3

In addition to a thorough overview of the Wikipedia’s gender gap problem, ideas for teaching with Wikipedia, assignment examples, links to resources for instructors, and many useful techniques for effective instruction were provided.

People who missed the class may now view the recording on YouTube at this address:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqhcNwWy-H4

 

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Libraries name two Munn Scholars

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
May 13th, 2015

The West Virginia University Libraries selected Jordan Lovejoy and Matthew Trickett as 2015 Robert F. Munn Undergraduate Library Scholars for their research at the Libraries as part of their undergraduate theses.

“All of us at the WVU Libraries are pleased to name Jordan Lovejoy and Matthew Trickett as Munn Scholars,” Dean of Libraries Dr. Jon E. Cawthorne said. “Jordan and Matthew produced impressive works of scholarship. Both did a tremendous job researching their topics and presenting their findings.”

Munn Award winners Matthew Trickett and Jordan Lovejoy pose with Dr. Jon E. Cawthorne, dean of the WVU Libraries.

Munn Award winners Matthew Trickett and Jordan Lovejoy pose with Dr. Jon E. Cawthorne, dean of the WVU Libraries.

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Charley Harper, Wildlife Artist

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
May 11th, 2015

Blog post by Stewart Plein, Rare Book Librarian.

Charley Harper saw shapes.  He didn’t see birds, or trees, bear, or fish.  He saw shapes.  And shapes in the natural world are what he painted.  His art was minimalistic, modern, and playful; a style Harper called “minimal realism.”  It was a style that was perfectly suited to the Mad Men era when his work was at its peak of popularity, the ‘50’s, ‘60’s and ‘70’s.
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Reading Other People’s Mail: Sue Patton

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
May 4th, 2015

Blog post by Jane Metters LaBarbara, Assistant Curator, WVRHC.

 

Confederate Colonel George S. Patton of Charleston, W. Va.

We have a photo of George S. Patton, but none of his wife Sue

 

I intended to write a very different sort of blog post, but Susan Thornton Glassell Patton’s letter to her first husband, George (grandfather of the George Patton of WWII fame) was so interesting that I transcribed it.  Sue’s letter reveals a lot about her life and the world she lived in.  She talks about the “irregularity” of mail delivery, visits from relatives, and trying to keep her spirits up in difficult times.   In a turn of phrase that may have been less alarming in 1863 than it may be today, she writes “This strain [?] however does not become one who is endeavoring to cultivate a cheerful or [?] thankful frame of mind, but you must remember my dearest that to all complicated and useful machinery as woman, there must be a safety valve, or else an explosion.”  She also talks about the financial hardships she faces, and the reality that she may not be able to afford living where she currently does if George is sent south.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Celebrate Preservation Week, April 26 to May 2, 2015!

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
April 28th, 2015

Preservation Week is April 26-May 2, 2015

Blog post by Lori Hostuttler, Digital Projects and Outreach Archivist, WVRHC.

At the West Virginia & Regional History Center, a critical part of our mission is to preserve the treasures of the state and region. We are actively working to make sure our collections will be available to future generations. Preservation Week, sponsored by the American Library Association’s Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, encourages everyone to think about the preservation of their personal, family, and community collections and also seeks to provide educational information and resources. Do you have a plan for preserving your old photos, scrapbooks, diaries, letters, or home movies? Does your neighborhood association, church, or social group have records that need to be organized and cared for so others can use them?

Basic preservation doesn’t have to be scary or hard. There are some simple ways you can extend the life of materials. Here are some easy and quick preservation tips compiled by ALCTS that can help you preserve your personal collections:  Read the rest of this entry »

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University dedicates tree to honor Sen. Rockefeller legacy

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 23rd, 2015

newton tree

The University community gathered on Wednesday (April 22) to dedicate the planting of the Newton apple tree, a direct descendent of the one that inspired Sir Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity. The tree was awarded to retired Sen. Jay Rockefeller by the National Institute of Standards and Technology earlier this month in honor of his science policy leadership and his strong commitment during a 30-year career in the United States Senate. Rockefeller has bestowed the tree upon the University to inspire future generations to pursue scientific and technological discovery.

Visit the WVU Today page to read event coverage.

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A Walk in the Woods: The Earl L. Core Arboretum

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
April 20th, 2015

Purple flowers in the Earl L. Core Arboretum

Blog post by Stewart Plein, Rare Book Librarian.

In 1948, Biology professor Earl L. Core had the foresight to envision a place where students in the biology and botany departments could do field research  He envisioned students and faculty engaging in botanical research right in the heart of the city.  After a discussion with then WVU president Irwin Stewart, ninety one lush acres of undeveloped woodland, rising at its base from the banks of the Monongahela River to its height bordering Monongahela Boulevard, were set aside to preserve and to study the distinctive biodiversity within this realm of river bottom and ridge line.  The Arboretum was born.  Read the rest of this entry »

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West Virginian in the South Pacific: A Seebee in the New Hebrides

Posted by jetapia@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
April 15th, 2015

Blog post by Michael Ridderbusch, Associate Curator, WVRHC.

The West Virginia and Regional History Center recently acquired a collection of photographs shot by West Virginian Marshall L. Williamson, a member of the US Navy Medical Corps assigned to the 57th Naval Construction Battalion.  Trained in Gulfport, Mississippi in February of 1943, they were deployed in March and April to Espiritu Santo, the largest island in the New Hebrides.  This island served as the location for a supply and support base during WWII, but it’s also the fabled island featured in James Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific, which was later memorialized in the Rogers and Hammerstein musical, South Pacific.  On evidence of these photographs, Williamson took an active interest in the sights around him when based at Espiritu Santo, including not only scenes of his life as a naval medic, but also of the native people and landscape, some of which we include in this blog.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Evansdale Library Hosts Altered/Manipulated Book Exhibit

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 13th, 2015

By Beth Royall, Creative Arts Librarian, Evansdale Library

altered books

Evansdale Library welcomes an exhibit of altered and manipulated books created by students in Assistant Professor Dylan Collins’s Art 212, a multimedia course in the School of Art and Design.

For this project, students focused on altering or manipulating a book or series of books in order to create new meaning from an existing text. Some of these artworks take pleasure in animating the timeless stories contained within the pages of a beloved tome, while other pieces use books as building blocks that can be shaped to fit a student’s conceptual idea.

In all cases, students paid careful attention to the way their artworks were made, focusing on issues of craft, technique, and material. The exhibit is located on the main and 2nd floors, and will be up through May 10th.

 

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Thank You to Our Student Employees!

Posted by jetapia@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
April 13th, 2015

National Student Employee Appreciation Week runs April 13-19, and the Libraries are helping to celebrate.  The Libraries currently employ 72 students to work on all three campuses—Downtown, Evansdale, and Health Sciences. Our student workers have a variety of job duties, including answering questions, checking out materials, processing books, and more.  Student workers are vital to make the Libraries run as smoothly as possible for WVU faculty, staff, and students.

dean&students2

Myra Lowe, Associate Dean of Libraries; Dr. Jon Cawthorne, Dean of Libraries; Judith Meyers, Research Services Graduate Assistant; Nick Marabeti, Multimedia Services Student Worker; Cassie Semler, Access Services Student Worker.

The University is honoring student employees with a celebration on Tuesday, April 14 in the Mountaineer Ballroom.  In addition to activities and refreshments, President Gee will be giving an award to the Student Employee of the Year.  Two students who work in the WVU Libraries, Nathan Snedden and Jazz Delos Santos, are among the five finalists for the award.

More information about campus events for National Student Employee Appreciation Week are available on the Office of Student Employment website.

 

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24-hour Insomnia Video Contest starts Friday

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 9th, 2015

seats

Participate in a 24-hour race to write, shoot, edit and post a video and win fabulous prizes! The contest will be held from 5 p.m. Friday to 5 p.m. Saturday. Teams of up to four undergraduate or graduate students will compete for two prizes of $400 in Amazon gift cards each—Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice.  Use equipment and software available at the Downtown Campus Library’s Multimedia Services Department in this race to create a 3-minute video. Only the first 10 teams to sign up will be eligible. The winning films will be selected at our video screening on April 12. For more information and to register, please visit: https://lib.wvu.edu/services/multimedia/insomnia/

 

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West Virginians and the End of the Civil War

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
April 6th, 2015

Guest blog post by Brandi Oswald, Graduate Student Assistant, WVRHC.

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War in Virginia. This blog post focuses on West Virginians present at the war’s end, at both the evacuation of Richmond, the Confederate capital, and the surrender at Appomattox Court House.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Lemon Gingerbread from Lucy Washington

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
March 30th, 2015

Blog post by Lori Hostuttler, Digital Projects and Outreach Archivist, WVRHC.

 

The WV & Regional History Center is truly filled with treasures – one of my favorites happens to be the Lucy Washington Cookbook, A&M 3212.  Lucy Washington’s grandfather was a nephew of President George Washington.  She lived in Jefferson County, West Virginia, where many Washington family members held land and built homes.  In 1840, Lucy married John Packett.  Their home, Locust Hill, was located near Charles Town.   Read the rest of this entry »

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WVU Press publishes fifth volume in its West Virginia Classics series

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 30th, 2015

melville cover

By Abby Freeland, WVU Press

West Virginia University Press has published Uncle Abner: Master of Mysteries by Melville Davisson Post, the fifth volume in its West Virginia Classic Series.

First published in 1918, Uncle Abner: Master of Mysteries is an anthology of detective stories written by Melville Davisson Post. The popular stories within this collection were serialized in national magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post in the early twentieth century.

Read the rest of this entry »

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WVU Libraries joins Greater Western Library Alliance

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 24th, 2015

GWLA logo

West Virginia University Libraries has been granted membership in the Greater Western Library Alliance, expanding the reach of both organizations and giving researchers easier access to a multitude of resources.

“Being a member of the Alliance will immediately benefit WVU faculty and students by giving them access to a wider array of special collections and resources,” Provost Joyce McConnell said. “It also will open the door to many more projects and partnerships with other member institutions.”

Membership in the Alliance, approved at the organization’s spring membership meeting earlier this month, will bring faster access to research collections complementing the WVU Libraries’ own collections. Read the rest of this entry »

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Where are All the Women? Wikipedia and the Gender Gap

Posted by Carroll Wilkinson.
March 19th, 2015

Submitted by Carroll Wetzel Wilkinson, Director of Library Strategic Initiatives, WVU Libraries

The first public program in the Talking Publicly series sponsored by the University Libraries (in partnership with the Reed College of Media) was launched on March 4, 2015 at 7:30pm at Ming Hsieh Hall on the Downtown Campus of West Virginia University.

Winter storm Thor prevented delivery of both parts of the two part program on the gender gap in Wikipedia. The Thursday morning workshop on writing for Wikipedia will be rescheduled at another time. In spite of the dreadful weather, we were successful with part 1 which was the panel discussion “Where Are All the Women?” on Wednesday March 4 at 7:30pm.  Maryanne Reed, Dean of the Reed College of Media, opened the program and Jon Cawthorne, Dean of the WVU Libraries, moderated.

 

 

Maryanne Reed, Dean of the Reed College of Media, introduces the program.

Maryanne Reed, Dean of the Reed College of Media, introduces the program.

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Office Technology: Then and Now

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
March 17th, 2015

Blog post by Michael Ridderbusch, Associate Curator, WVRHC.

On the 18th of December, 1930, a photographer from the studio of Gravely and Moore appeared at the offices of the West Virginia Department of Health in Charleston, West Virginia to document their workplace.  The resulting photos, some of which are presented here, can be viewed and understood in any number of ways.  For this blog, however, we’ll chose to view them through the lens of technology, thereby throwing into relief the advantages of the modern office that we all enjoy today.   Read the rest of this entry »

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24 hour Insomnia Video Contest at the WVU Libraries

Posted by jetapia@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
March 11th, 2015

seats

Participate in a twenty-four hour race to write, shoot, edit and post a video and win fabulous prizes! The contest will be held from Friday April 10, 2015 to Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. Teams of up to four undergraduate or graduate students will compete for two prizes of $400 in Amazon gift cards each—Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice.  Use equipment and software available at the Downtown Campus Library’s Multimedia Services Department in this race to create a 3 minute video.  Only the first 10 teams to sign up will be eligible.  The winning films will be selected at our video screening on April 12. For more information and to register, please visit: https://lib.wvu.edu/services/multimedia/insomnia/

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Patriotism in Print: The American Union in the Civil War

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
March 10th, 2015

Guest blog post by Zachery Cowsert, graduate student assistant, WVRHC.

Masthead of the American Union Newspaper

The night before the Fourth of July, 1861, a dozen Union soldiers (self -described “disciples of Faust”) broke into the offices of the Virginia Republican—a decidedly secessionist organ—and appropriated the newspaper’s office for their own use.  The next morning, the first issues of the American Union hit the streets of Martinsburg, Virginia (now West Virginia).  The newspaper—composed and printed entirely by Union soldiers—enjoyed a brief existence in Martinsburg; today, the newspapers’ pages are housed in the West Virginia and Regional History Center, and they offer a glimpse into soldier life and patriotism early in the Civil War.[i]   Read the rest of this entry »

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