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WVRHC Exhibit on Storer College

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
June 29th, 2015

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

West Virginia University Libraries and the WVRHC marked the 150th anniversary of the origins of Storer College with a celebration and the opening of a new exhibit in the WVRHC galleries.  Stewart has written a great blog post on the importance of Storer College, Storer College, Celebrating 150 Years of Education, 1865 to 1955.  Today, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite pieces of the exhibit:  Read the rest of this entry »

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WVU Libraries partners with Wikimedia foundation to create first Wikipedian-in-Residence to focus on gender gap

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
June 25th, 2015

West Virginia University Libraries is working with Wikipedia to address the gender gap in its encyclopedia articles through a new grant-funded position.

The Wikimedia Foundation has awarded the WVU Libraries a $27,100 grant to support a Wikipedian in Residence for Gender Equity. A Wikipedian in residence is an editor placed at an institution to facilitate the creation and improvement of Wikipedia articles related to that institution’s mission.

“We’re excited to partner with WVU to create the first gender-focused Wikipedian in Residence. This role will help us get significantly closer to Wikimedia’s vision of sharing the sum of all human knowledge,” said Siko Bouterse, director of Community Resources for the Wikimedia Foundation.

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Muhammad Ali Visits WVU in 1969

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
June 23rd, 2015

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

 

In November 1969, Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali spoke to WVU students as part of the Festival of Ideas speaker series.

 

Muhammad Ali at podium, speaking at WVU

Ali faces the audience on November 5, 1969 in the Mountainlair Ballrooms.

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Recent Acquisition of Historical Photos of Extension Work by the WVU School of Agriculture

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
June 18th, 2015

Blog post by Michael Ridderbusch, Associate Curator, WVRHC.

 

The West Virginia and Regional History Center recently acquired many photographs documenting the beginnings of agricultural and other extension work in the state from around 1910 to 1920.  The University’s extension service grew out of its inception under the Morrill Act of 1862.  Read the rest of this entry »

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WVU Libraries to Honor Storer College for West Virginia Day Celebration

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
June 10th, 2015
storer students 1916

Storer College students, circa 1916.

The West Virginia University Libraries and the West Virginia and Regional History Center will mark the 150th anniversary of the origins of Storer College during a two-day West Virginia Day celebration on June 18-19.

One of the first institutions of higher learning open to African Americans south of the Mason-Dixon line, Storer College in Harpers Ferry played a key role in providing minority education from its origins as a mission school in 1865 to its close in 1955. The school also made significant contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. A particularly notable occasion in Storer history occurred in 1906 when the college hosted the second meeting (and the first on U.S. soil) of the Niagara Movement, a precursor to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP.

“It is almost impossible for us to comprehend today how revolutionary the establishment of an African American school was at the close of the Civil War,” West Virginia and Regional History Center Director John Cuthbert said. “Just a few years earlier, education of slaves was potentially a capital offense in Virginia. The education of even free blacks was forbidden by law.”

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Storer College, Celebrating 150 Years of Education, 1865 to 1955

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
June 8th, 2015

Various Buildings at Storer College, Harpers Ferry W. Va.

Blog post by Stewart Plein, Rare Book Librarian.

From its humble beginnings as a mission school founded in 1865 by the Reverend Nathan Cook Brackett to educate former slaves, to its development as a fully fledged college granting degrees to African American men and women, Storer College became the first institution of higher learning for African Americans in the state of West Virginia.  Located in Harpers Ferry near the site of John Brown’s 1859 attack on the Federal Armory, Storer College represented the freedom Civil War African Americans hoped to achieve.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Library Staff Association Honors Two Staff Members

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
June 2nd, 2015

The WVU Library Staff Association (LSA) has presented Thea Browne with the Library Staff Association Staff Person of the Year Award and Joe Morasco with the Library Staff Association Continuing Excellence Award.

Associate Dean of Libraries Myra N. Lowe and LSA Chair Jennifer Dubetz presented the honors during a ceremony Monday in the Robinson Reading Room.

Thea Browne, Library Staff Association Staff Person of the Year, and Joe Morasco, Library Staff Association Continuing Excellence Award winner, pose with Associate Dean of Libraries Myra N. Lowe and LSA Chair Jennifer Dubetz.

Thea Browne, Library Staff Association Staff Person of the Year, and Joe Morasco, Library Staff Association Continuing Excellence Award winner, pose with Associate Dean of Libraries Myra N. Lowe and LSA Chair Jennifer Dubetz.

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Fashion Forward – Facial Hair of the Late 1800s

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
June 1st, 2015

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

The variety of styles of dress, hair, and facial hair that we see in the WVRHC’s online photographs database, West Virginia History OnView, never fails to surprise me.  Today, I’d like to focus on a few of the many ways men expressed themselves thru facial hair in the late 1800s.  Read the rest of this entry »

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The Tradition of Memorial Day

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
May 26th, 2015

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

 

By the time this is posted, most readers will be back to work after a long weekend.  Although the holiday has passed, the purpose and practice of observing Memorial Day is worthy of reflection every day of the year.

 

The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a Union veteran’s organization, established Decoration Day to honor the veterans who lost their life in service during the Civil War.  On May 30, 1868, 5000 people attended a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery and decorated the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.  Read the rest of this entry »

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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.

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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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