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West Virginia Univeristy

Stephen Foster: 150th Anniversary and Recent Acquisitions

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
March 17th, 2014

Just recently, January 13th to be exact, occurred the 150th anniversary of the death of Stephen Foster (1826-1864), who passed away in Bellevue Hospital, New York City.  Even after the passage of more than 150 years, many of his songs are still well-known, so well-known in fact that they are characterized as folk music, and are considered a central part of America’s cultural heritage.  They include such titles as “Oh Susanna” (1847), the unofficial theme song of the California Gold Rush, “Camptown Races” (1850), “Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair” (1854), and “Beautiful Dreamer” (1864). Read the rest of this entry »

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Women’s History at WVU

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
March 4th, 2014

In recognition of March as Women’s History Month, the WVRHC is pleased to highlight a recently inventoried collection focusing on the history of women at West Virginia University:  the Women’s Centenary Records collected by the WVU Women’s Studies Center, now the Center for Women’s & Gender Studies. Read the rest of this entry »

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Download BrowZine

Posted by ppugh@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
February 28th, 2014

Now you can easily read and follow favorite scholarly journals from your iPad or Android tablet.

The WVU Libraries are providing access to journals from many major publishers in a format specially designed for tablets, through the BrowZine app.

BrowZine allows you to save journals to a bookshelf, browse tables of contents, download articles and set up alerts when new articles are published.

It is easy to get started. Download the free app from http://thirdiron.com/download/, launch the app, and select West Virginia University from the list of schools. Login with your WVU MyID credentials and begin browsing.

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Frank Holme, Employed Artist and Illustrator

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
February 27th, 2014

Born in 1868, Frank Holme grew up in the small West Virginia town of Keyser, Mineral County, in the 1870s.  From this inauspicious beginning he became one of the most successful newspaper artists of his era, achieving success as an illustrator just before the advent of newspaper photography. Read the rest of this entry »

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Libraries Staff Member Wins Writing Contest

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 17th, 2014

Here’s a story with a happy ending: A WVU Libraries staff member has won first prize in a literary magazine’s writing contest.

Douglas Campbell, a Library Technical Assistant II, caught the judges’ attention in Ardor Literary Magazine’s Flash Fiction Contest with his short story “Home to Laughter.”

Douglas Campbell

“It’s a wonderful affirmation,” Campbell said. “There are a lot of good writers out there, so the competition is tough. When I win a contest, I’m greatly honored.”

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Black History in the WVRHC

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
February 17th, 2014

In this week’s post, the WVRHC celebrates three African American West Virginians whose achievements in business and education contributed to the betterment of our society:  businessmen Charles H. James and John Hunt, and teacher and librarian Victorine Louistall Monroe. Read the rest of this entry »

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Applications Being Accepted for 2014-2015 Information Literacy Course Enhancement Program

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 17th, 2014

Imagine your students turning in well-researched term papers rather than essays based on Wikipedia or a handful of questionable sources plucked from Google searches. That’s one of the goals of the West Virginia University Libraries’ Information Literacy Course Enhancement Program (ILCEP).

ILCEP, a joint initiative between the Libraries and the Provost’s Office, connects instructors with librarians to enrich student learning by incorporating information literacy concepts into established courses. It addresses the first goal of WVU’s 2020 Strategic Plan: “engaging undergraduates in a challenging academic environment.”

Interested? There are five spots available for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Pete Seeger, “Fifth Face on Mount Rushmore”: In Memoriam

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
February 10th, 2014

The recent passing of folk singer Pete Seeger on January 27, 2014 is commanding the attention of media everywhere, including the New York Times (with a reminiscence by Neil Young), The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, and countless other news outlets, big and small.  This is what we expect when a figure of iconic significance is no longer with us.  The folk musician Paul Metsa, who performed with Seeger at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of a Woody Guthrie tribute, said he should be the “fifth face on Mount Rushmore.” Read the rest of this entry »

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New Dean Appointed for WVU Libraries

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 7th, 2014

Jon E. Cawthorne, associate dean for public services and assessment at Florida State University Libraries, has been named dean of libraries at West Virginia University.

“Dr. Cawthorne brings a winning combination of experience and visionary thinking to WVU,” said Michele Wheatly, WVU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “As we work to achieve some ambitious goals for our libraries, I am excited to know that we will do so under his leadership.”

Cawthorne said, “I am thrilled to join a great institution at this time in their history. With so much support from the students, faculty and administration, I look forward to working with everyone to advance WVU Libraries in the years to come.”

Dr. Jon E. Cawthorne

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
January 27th, 2014

On January 27, 1945, the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, was liberated by Soviet troops.  In 2005, that date was declared to be International Holocaust Remembrance Day by the United Nations General Assembly, to memorialize the victims of Nazi-led genocide during World War II.  Other concentration camps were liberated before and after Auschwitz, as Allied troops advanced into Nazi-held territory.  The first major camp to be liberated, Majdanek or KL Lublin, was discovered by the advancing Soviets on July 23, 1944; Theresienstadt was not officially liberated until May 8, 1945.  The West Virginia and Regional History Center preserves pieces of Holocaust and post-war history.  (Please note, this post includes an image of the dead.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Opera Star Publicity Photos Recently Acquired

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
January 22nd, 2014

The West Virginia and Regional History Center has acquired a major archive of photographs of the operatic singer Frances Yeend, who substantially contributed to the cultural life of America in the mid twentieth century.  In this collection of 300 photographs, we not only see Yeend costumed in the many operatic roles she rendered, but also her illustrious collaborators, including conductor Eugene Ormandy, tenor Richard Tucker, and composer Gian Carlo Menotti, among others. Read the rest of this entry »

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Remembering Louise McNeill Pease

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
January 13th, 2014

Today we celebrate the life and work of Louise McNeill Pease, a noted twentieth century Appalachian poet and author, poet laureate of West Virginia from 1979 to 1993, and professor of history and English.  She was born on January 9, 1911 in Buckeye, Pocahontas County, West Virginia.  Her writings and personal papers are held in the West Virginia and Regional History Center in A&M collections 2215 and 3201. Read the rest of this entry »

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Vintage Postcards and Postcard Albums

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
January 6th, 2014

A uniquely valuable resource for historical research is the picture postcard.  First introduced in the later 19th century as a novel method for convenient communication, the postcard soon became a collectible item in itself, apart from its function for conveying messages.  Millions of them were published at the height of the collecting “craze,” peaking in the period 1900-1920.  For present-day researchers, the sheer quantity of images produced during this period opens a wide window onto the material culture of the era, including the architecture, transportation, businesses, etc. of cities, towns, and even rural areas.

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West Virginia Christmas through the Decades

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
December 23rd, 2013

For our pre-Christmas post, we bring you images of Christmas in West Virginia from the 1890s through the 1970s.  These photographs, available through the West Virginia History OnView database, capture scenes of family and community life, the state’s diversity, caring for the sick, providing for those in need, and celebrating the holiday with pageantry and food.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Rare books curator receives I Love my Librarian award

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
December 17th, 2013

WVU Today

In a national celebration of beloved librarians, West Virginia University’s rare books curator is among the top 10.

Harold Forbes was named Tuesday one of 10 winners of I Love My Librarian Award by the Carnegie Corp. of New York and The New York Times, through the American Library Association. The award has been presented to just 60 librarians nationwide since 2008.

Forbes’ colleagues say he clearly deserves the award, which recognizes select librarians for service to their communities, schools and campuses.

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Sleigh Riding in West Virginia

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
December 16th, 2013

The advent of the holiday season evokes in the mind sights and sounds, even smells, related to food, music, and winter landscapes.  Certainly one such holiday image would be sleigh riding, and the mountain landscape of West Virginia provides an ideal backdrop for such imagery, such as that found in Randolph County around the small town of Helvetia.  Settled by the Swiss in the 19th century, this isolated community sustained its cultural identity well into the 1900s.

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Recipes from the Archives

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
December 9th, 2013

The winter season has long been associated with holidays, friends, family, and food.  For this week’s blog post, we bring you four recipes from the 1800s that show us how Appalachian people from that time would have made popular holiday dishes of today:  pound cake, fruit cake, corn meal rusk (a kind of corn bread eaten for breakfast), and mince pie.

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Major Coal Strike One Hundred Years Ago

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
December 2nd, 2013

Just over a century ago, in the spring of 1912, a fight broke out between labor and corporate interests in the coal fields around Paint and Cabin Creeks in Kanawha County.  When redress for apparent wage inequality was denied by the mine owners, the workers went on strike, a decision that eventually led to violence, property destruction, and many deaths. Read the rest of this entry »

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Authors in the Archive

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
November 18th, 2013

November is, among other things, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short.  West Virginians writing novels this month (or any other) can take inspiration from fellow Mountaineers who have written for pleasure and profit, some of international fame.  Aspiring novelists can explore the writing processes of these authors by examining collections of their papers, some of which have been collected and preserved by the West Virginia and Regional History Center.

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University and Local Communities Attend Read-In

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 13th, 2013

People from the University and Morgantown communities gathered together recently at the Downtown Campus Library to participate in a read-in and discussion focused on the Libraries’ new collection of Islamic culture books.

The event, hosted by the Libraries, the WVU Religious Studies Program, and the Islamic Center of Morgantown, promoted the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf, a collection of books, films, and an online database funded through an award by the National Endowment of the Humanities and the American Library Association.

Students from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds read selections from poetry, prose, and personal narratives. Participants took time to discuss each reading and offered their thoughts the on works.

“Sharing literature helps us recognize commonalities that transcend geographic origins or religious beliefs,” said Beth Toren, media and religious studies librarian for the WVU Libraries. “Recognizing our common humanity broadens and balances our perspectives.”

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