Ask A Librarian

Libraries Redesign Website to Enhance Use

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 15th, 2015

The West Virginia University Libraries have redesigned their website to make it easier to use from wherever someone connects.

“More and more people are using mobile devices, and our mobile site was out of date,” said Tim Broadwater, web designer for the WVU Libraries. “We wanted to create something with responsive design so people can use our resources on whatever device they have.”

Responsive design involves creating one website that can adapt its layout to conform to the viewing environment.

“It doesn’t matter if users are on a desktop with 1,900 pixels of resolution, a tablet with 768 pixels, or an iPhone with 320 pixels, they’ll get a comparable experience that’s customized for that device,” Broadwater said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Reed College of Media, WVU Libraries to tackle Wikipedia gender gap

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 12th, 2015

WVU Today

Wikipedia is one of the most commonly referenced encyclopedias in the world – more than 450 million people visit the website each month. Unlike other encyclopedias, Wikipedia’s content is written by volunteer editors from around the world. However, the site faces a serious gender gap that can influence that content.

Some Wikipedia visitors may be surprised to learn that nearly 90 percent of the site’s volunteer editors are male. The editors also tend to be mostly white and college educated. As a result, users are more likely to find more information about men and male-related topics than they are about women and female-related topics.

On March 4-5, the West Virginia University Reed College of Media and the WVU Libraries will co-sponsor a panel discussion and faculty workshop addressing the gender gap. Read the rest of this entry »

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Historical Photographs of a Charleston Restaurant that Became an Empire

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
February 9th, 2015

Blog post by Michael Ridderbusch, Associate Curator, WVRHC.

 

Sometimes the cataloging of archival collections yields discoveries that document an interesting moment in history.  The Gravely and Moore archive is such a collection, its photographs capturing much of the history of Charleston, West Virginia.

 

Without knowing it, Gravely and Moore documented the beginning of a culinary empire in the Mountain State — the drive-in known as “Parkette,” which opened in 1947 in Charleston, West Virginia.  After successfully spreading across the state, it then franchised the name Shoney’s in 1953 and spread across the nation.  According to a 2012 article in the magazine West Virginia Living, the chain’s success peaked in the late 1990s, with 1,400 Shoney’s restaurants and 400 Captain D’s restaurants.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Celebrating Groundhog Day

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
February 2nd, 2015

Audubon Lithograph of Three Groundhogs

Blog post by Stewart Plein, Rare Book Librarian.

The humble groundhog.  Few animals have had such an interesting history.  The lowly critter has been the subject of both good and bad intentions.  On the plus side, the groundhog was painted by Audubon, starred in a Hollywood blockbuster movie, and revered as a weather prognosticator.  However, the flip side of the equation sees the groundhog vilified as a garden thief as well as a tasty addition to a hunter’s stew.  Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flood of 1937

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
January 26th, 2015

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

On January 26, 1937, the Ohio River’s floodwater in Parkersburg, WV reached a peak of 55.4 feet, which was 19.4 feet above flood stage.  Two days later, the floodwaters at Huntington, WV would also peak at more than 19 feet above flood stage.  Thankfully, the flood was not an overnight surprise, but it was also not without cost.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Visited West Virginia 55 Years Ago

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
January 19th, 2015

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

 

Today we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who championed equality and justice and espoused non-violence, unconditional love for our enemies, tolerance and service.  His words are just as poignant today as they were in the 1960s.  And his dream is still something we strive to achieve.  He is certainly someone that inspires me to be an optimist, to cherish love and to forgive – to be a better person.  Thinking about my blog entry for today, I wondered if Dr. King had any West Virginia connection.  I found that he spoke in Charleston 55 years ago this week.

 

Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument

The MLK Memorial in Washington, DC taken during my visit there in 2012.

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Best Friends

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
January 6th, 2015

Blog post by Stewart Plein, Rare Book Librarian.

Boy, dog, and fishbowl

Boy with goldfish

For well over a hundred years photographs have documented the moments that make up our lives, from the celebrations to the everyday.  These photos often include our faithful companions as important members of the family.  While man’s best friend may be a dog, other creatures of fur and fin were also considered good companions.  Here’s a look at West Virginians posing with their best friends.

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From Modern Recycling Bins to Old Medicine Chests

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
December 30th, 2014

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

 

Have you ever heard the expression “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”?  Those words ran through my head when I processed a recently acquired scrapbook here at the WVRHC.  The individual who gave it to us got it from someone who rescued it from a recycling bin in a local building.  This scrapbook is now A&M 4065, Worthington Pharmacy Scrapbook, with contents dating from ca. 1926-1935.

Read the rest of this entry »

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This Day in History: The Liberty Bowl

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
December 19th, 2014

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

 

50 years ago today, December 19, 1964, the WVU Mountaineers football team faced the University of Utah’s Utes in the Liberty Bowl at Convention Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Unfortunately, WVU lost that game by a wide margin.  Let’s hope our return to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl redeems us. In the meantime, we can glimpse back at the 1964 game through yearbooks, newspapers, and photographs available at the West Virginia & Regional History Center.

 

Mountaineer Mascot Ed Pritchard looks on during the 1964 Liberty Bowl.

  Read the rest of this entry »

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Ragtime in WV: Researching Digital Newspapers

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
December 15th, 2014

Blog post by Michael Ridderbusch, Associate Curator, WVRHC.

 

Thousands of pages of newspapers at the West Virginia and Regional History Center have been digitized and are now searchable, with additional installments to be added in the future.  They’re available via the Library of Congress website “Chronicling America.”  Read the rest of this entry »

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Books Make the Perfect Gift

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
December 8th, 2014

illustrated holly leaves and berries

Blog post by Stewart Plein, Rare Book Librarian.

As the holiday season approaches, let’s take a look back at gift books from the rare book collection in the West Virginia and Regional History Center.  These books were designed to capitalize on the holiday season or they were given as holiday gifts.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Extended Library Hours Begin Sunday

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
December 5th, 2014

The WVU Libraries will begin operating under extended hours this Sunday. The Downtown Campus and Evansdale libraries will remain open from 9 a.m. Sunday through 10 p.m. Friday, December 12. Both libraries will be open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. December 13. They will then remain open from 9 a.m. December 14 through 8 p.m. December 17.

The Health Sciences Library will be open from 10 a.m.-1 a.m. December 7, 7:30 a.m.-1 a.m. December 8-11, 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. December 12, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. December 13, 10 a.m.-1 a.m. December 14, and 7:30 a.m.-1 a.m. December 15-17.

Semester Break hours are available on the Libraries’ website: www.libraries.wvu.edu.

 

 

 

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The Story of the USS West Virginia

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
December 2nd, 2014

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

 

Ninety-one years ago, on December 1, 1923, the battleship USS West Virginia was commissioned.  The ship was actually christened two years earlier, on November 19, 1921, and was the second ship to be named for West Virginia (the first was an armored cruiser later renamed USS Huntington).

 

U.S.S. West Virginia Being Launched

Image of the USS West Virginia battleship being launched after christening.

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Two Students Win Tablets

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 25th, 2014

Sharing their thoughts paid off for two students. Holly Hunsberger, a graduate teaching assistant in psychology, and Chris McBride, a secondary education graduate student, eachabout the general usability of the WVU Libraries’ website.

They were selected in a random drawing of participants. The Libraries are using the comments from the survey as they redesign their website.

McBride

McBride

 

 

Hunsberger

Hunsberger

 

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4H Scrapbook Shares Memories of the Summer of 1925

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
November 24th, 2014

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

 

This fall I have had the pleasure of displaying a small exhibit on the History of Extension at WVU to two events, the Smith-Lever Act Research Symposium and the WVU Extension Annual Meeting.  The exhibit contained photographs, books, and early extension bulletins, but the item that generated the most interest was a scrapbook that documents camp life at Jackson’s Mill in 1925.  The scrapbook contains fantastic images of campers at work and play at the state 4H camp in Weston, W. Va.

 

Cover of 4H Scrapbook

 Scrapbook cover

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Silk Top Hat Still Distinctive

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
November 17th, 2014

Blog post by Michael Ridderbusch, Associate Curator, WVRHC.

 

While not a museum, the West Virginia and Regional History Center sometimes acquires artifacts, most of which accompany collections of family papers, business records, and related material.  The top hat of teacher, newspaper publisher, prosecuting attorney, and Parsons, West Virginia mayor James Porter Scott (1857-1938) is such an item, filling a unique niche in our collection.  Though over a century old, its brown silk outer layer still has a reflective sheen.

 

Brown silk top hat

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Libraries Modifying Hours for Kansas State Game

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 11th, 2014

The West Virginia Libraries will make a few changes in operations for the football game versus Kansas State on November 20.

The Downtown Campus Library will close at 10 p.m.

The Evansdale Library will remain open, but users will be required to have their ID cards after 10 p.m.

The Health Sciences Library will remain open, but staff will not be available to assist users after 5 p.m. Users will be required to swipe their ID cards after 5 p.m.

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Downtown Campus Library to host International Games Day on Saturday

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 10th, 2014

West Virginia University’s Downtown Campus Library will host activities for International Games Day on Saturday, November 15, from noon to 5 p.m.

The WVU Libraries and the Morgantown Public Library will join hundreds of libraries across the country in celebrating the popularity and educational, recreational and social value of games.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Pearl S. Buck and Her Several Worlds

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
November 10th, 2014

Blog post by Stewart Plein, Rare Book Librarian.

 

The works of Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning author Pearl S. Buck have found a permanent home at WVU in the West Virginia & Regional History Center, thanks to a partnership with West Virginia Wesleyan College, which housed Buck’s manuscripts for many years, and the Pearl Buck Birthplace Foundation, the manuscripts’ original home.

 

Pearl Buck books in front of a window

WVU Libraries’ Dean Cawthorne’s collection of the works of Pearl Buck, as displayed in his office.

  Read the rest of this entry »

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WVU announces new school, gallery honoring Jay Rockefeller as his senatorial archives find forever home

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 8th, 2014

By Marissa Sura
University Relations/News

It began with a fight. A fight for a school bus, then a small library, a park and a baseball team.

Over two years, they didn’t win a single game.

But it didn’t matter to him or to the people of that small coal mining community in southern West Virginia. What mattered was the opening of opportunities for the people, the sense that they mattered and the feeling that they counted.

As U.S. Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV remembered his first experience in public service in West Virginia – an experience that would change his life forever – he described how everything he has done since has been grounded in his time in Emmons, located on the Boone and Kanawha County line. In those families. In those children. In the people that fed him in their homes and helped him fight to restore their community.

His story is forever intertwined with the stories of the people of West Virginia. And those stories will continue at West Virginia University, thanks to a historic gift.

Rockefeller and WVU today (Nov. 8) announced the naming of the John D. Rockefeller IV School of Policy and Politics at WVU. In addition to the landmark announcement, Rockefeller and WVU designated the WVU Libraries as the permanent home of the John D. Rockefeller IV Senatorial Archives and dedicated the John D. Rockefeller IV Gallery in the WVU Downtown Library in honor of the Democratic senator’s nearly 50 years of public service to the citizens of West Virginia.

“West Virginia is where I found my life’s purpose, my spiritual calling,” Rockefeller said. “My life’s journey led me to West Virginia, and it is in West Virginia that I hope my legacy will be remembered, and my journey as a public servant understood.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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