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West Virginia Libraries and Watts Museum Collaborate to Celebrate May Day

Posted by jetapia@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
April 26th, 2017

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—The history of labor organizing in West Virginia has much to teach us about this moment in our country. What better way to dive into this history than a celebration of one of its heroes?

Monday, May 1, is traditionally a day of international worker solidarity. It is also believed to be the birthday of Mary Harris “Mother” Jones. Jones, a labor organizer in several industries, became most well known for her work with coal miners during an era of unsafe mining practices and few labor laws. She touched the lives of many miners and their families around the country and became a symbol of workers’ struggles.

For more information visit: http://www.statler.wvu.edu/news/2017/04/12/west-virginia-libraries-and-watts-museum-collaborate-to-celebrate-may-day.

"Do they want recognition?": Activism in the WVRHC's Collections

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
April 24th, 2017

Blog post by Ashleigh Coren, Visiting Librarian.

 

What happens when you search for “activist” in the West Virginia & Regional History Center? You’ll see the usual suspects like Mother Jones or John Brown, but, there are a few other gems worth exploring. Last fall I had the pleasure of interviewing bookseller and Appalachian scholar George Brosi, owner of Appalachian Mountain Books in Berea, Kentucky. George, who spent some time in Morgantown in the 1970s, spoke a great deal about the various examples of activism that took place during that time and also in the 1960s.  After our conversation I thought about what I might find in our collection, and as it turns out there’s some pretty fantastic items.  Read the rest of this entry »

WVU alumnus donates historic newspapers to WVRHC

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 17th, 2017

Steve Wolfe (right) and his wife, Darla, along with WVU President Gordon Gee, display a copy of the Chicago Daily Tribune that erroneously reports Dewey Defeats Truman. This newspaper is one of large collection of historical newspapers Steve Wolfe donated to the WVRHC.

Newspapers have chronicled key events from throughout our nation’s history – from crowning achievements like the ratification of the U.S. Constitution and Neil Armstrong’s moon walk to our darkest moments such as President Kennedy’s assassination and the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

West Virginia University alumnus Steve Wolfe, BA ’81, Political Science, is quite familiar with those historic moments and their media coverage. He spent more than two decades acquiring more than 150 newspapers that reported on these and other pivotal happenings.

Wolfe is now donating the impressive collection to the WVU Libraries’ West Virginia & Regional History Center.

To read more, visit WVUToday.

A Two-Faced Villain: John J. Davis and the Political Ideology of the West Virginia Statehood Movement, 1861-1863

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
April 17th, 2017

By Casey DeHaven, Graduate Assistant, WVRHC.

Ananymous letter to John J. Davis from March 9, 1863, letting him know his political opinions about the possible new state of WV were putting him in danger

In March 1863, an anonymous author penned a foreboding letter to Harrison County delegate John J. Davis, warning the politician that his opposing stance on the West Virginia statehood movement was not well received among his constituency. “Sir, you’re in danger…your course is entirely ‘repulsive’ to all true patriots & sensible men…I advise you to desist from being too ambitious in your new state feelings – or rather anti-new state sympathies.”[1] Conceptualizations of loyalty during the West Virginia statehood movement became incredibly skewed as politicians and their constituents struggled to balance law and reason with moral principles. The movement created a fire storm that forced western Virginia citizens to redefine democracy, which consequently became so convoluted in nature that politicians at the helm of the movement began to lose former constituents and even turn on one another.
Read the rest of this entry »

Easter Greetings from the 1900s

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
April 16th, 2017

Blog post by Jessica Eichlin, Photographs Manager and Preservationist, WVRHC.

Easter is this weekend, and with it comes time spent with family and friends, good meals, and holiday symbols such as rabbits, baby chicks, and flowers.

Items related to Easter can be found in our Reading Room, in Archives and Manuscripts collections, and in our photograph collections.  We hope you enjoy this small selection of items celebrating the holiday.  Happy Easter!

 

Three children in field of chickens Read the rest of this entry »

19th Century Memorabilia: Autograph Books

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
April 13th, 2017

Blog post by Michael Ridderbusch, Associate Curator, WVRHC.

 

Recently at the History Center, when cataloging a collection, I encountered two 19th century autograph books kept by students from Clarksburg, West Virginia and Toboso, Ohio.  Having previously encountered this type of material in my work here, I was inspired to sample our holdings of these books in order to learn more about our collections, and to delve a bit into the history of this genre.  Read the rest of this entry »

WVU HSC Library hosts 'Imagining the West Side' Exhibit

Posted by jetapia@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
April 5th, 2017

West Virginia continuously falls at or near the bottom of national statistics when it comes to the social determinants of health including employment, poverty, education, and healthy food access…but why is that? Dr. Lauri Andress, assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy, Management, and Leadership in the West Virginia University School of Public Health, is exploring this question through her research on low wealth communities, community and economic development, and nontraditional ‘ policy analysis tools’.

People may now get a glimpse into her work through an exhibition, Imagining the West Side: Constructing Health through the Built Environment, on display at the WVU Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center April 10-27, with a tour and panel discussion April 19.

Incorporating participatory photoanalytics, GIS mapping, and video with an aim of  integrating the voices of   vulnerable groups into  public policy decision-making, the exhibit sheds light on the built environment and population health status of Charleston, W.Va.’s west side, with photos and narratives supplied by community members and WVU School of Medicine students.

“This exhibit reveals important issues, but also provides solutions,” said Dean of WVU Libraries Jon Cawthorne, “We are honored and privileged to showcase Dr. Andress’ research in the WVU Libraries.”

The exhibit provides a visual display of her research on social determinants of health, inequities, and the built environment of low wealth regions undergoing economic development and possibly displacement.  As viewers reach the end of the exhibition they will find suggested policy solutions to help ensure equitable development.

Viewers are then encouraged to contribute their ideas on population health, economic development and the built environment with a survey.

Said Kathleen Bors, Assistant Dean for Student Services at WVU School of Medicine, Charleston Division: “The West Side Photovoice project was a powerful experience in partnership with West Side community leaders and mentors, along with their stories and tours of the neighborhood. The group discussions between medical students and neighborhood residents offered us all a helpful overview and perspective on the impact of community factors on population health, from toxic stress due to crime ridden, dangerous neighborhood features to hopeful interventions..  The medical students learned a great deal, and were very touched by the event.”

On April 19, Andress will present a narrated tour of the exhibition at 11 a.m., followed by the panel discussion at 12 p.m. The panel will be in Okey Patteson Auditorium while the narrated exhibition tour will start in the Pylons area of the Health Sciences Center.  An exhibition video is available at https://tinyurl.com/mhopfv9.

Lunch will be available to the first 40 people who RSVP at mrobin10@hsc.wvu.edu.

The exhibit is jointly facilitated by the West Virginia School of Public Health, West Virginia University Libraries, and the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute. The project described was supported in part by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, U54GM104942. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

Matthew P. Purtill, a WVU Ph.D. student in Geography, also contributed to the curating of the exhibit, which will travel to the Downtown Campus Library this fall.

The Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center is located at 1 Medical Drive, Morgantown, WV, 26505.  For more information, visit www.hsc.wvu.edu/.

Images attached for use: credit West Virginia University School of Medicine in Charleston photographer Adam Cunningham.

 

-WVU-

 

sd/4/6/17

CONTACT: Sally Deskins, Exhibits & Programs Coordinator, WVU Libraries
304.293.0369; sbdeskins@mail.wvu.edu

The Robert F. Munn Library Scholars Award For the Humanities and Social Sciences

Posted by jetapia@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
April 4th, 2017

The Award

The Robert F. Munn Library Scholars Award is presented annually to a graduating Honors student for outstanding research contributions in the humanities or social sciences that have culminated in the production of an exceptional thesis.

The award will be presented during a ceremony held at the Downtown Campus Library. In addition, there is a monetary award of $1,000.

The Robert F. Munn Library Scholars was established during the fall of 2008 in honor of Dr. Robert F. Munn, Dean of Library Services from 1957 – 1986. Dean Munn nurtured the West Virginia and Regional History Collection, the Appalachian Collection, and a unique East Africa collection. He maintained strong collections in the humanities, especially American history and literature. The Libraries’ collections in these areas today are remarkably complete and are a legacy of Dean Munn’s consistent care.

Munn was born in Seattle and grew up in Pittsburgh, where his father was director of the Carnegie Library. He received his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin, his master’s degree from the University of Chicago, and his doctorate from the University of Michigan.

Eligibility

To be eligible to win, applicants must:
• Be an honors student enrolled at West Virginia University as a full-time undergraduate student in good academic standing who will graduate in December 2016 or will graduate in May 2017.
• Have conducted original research using resources from the West Virginia University Libraries and used this research to produce a written thesis that reflects individual work, not that of a group or class project.
• Have completed the research project for a credit course at West Virginia University fall semester 2016 or spring semester 2017.
• Have a cumulative GPA of no less than a 3.4 and have met the additional requirements for graduation as described by the Honors College of West Virginia University.
• Agree to permit West Virginia University Libraries and the Honors College to use their name, photographs, video images, etc., to promote The Robert F. Munn Undergraduate Library Scholars Award to future participants.
• Agree to attend the award ceremony.
• Agree to have his/her work published in the Mountaineer Undergraduate Research Review.

Completed Thesis:

The completed thesis must be submitted no later than 4:00 p.m. on Monday, April 17, 2017. Applicants should submit an electronic copy of their thesis to Associate Dean of Libraries, Myra Lowe, Myra.Lowe@mail.wvu.edu and Associate Dean of the Honors College, Ryan Claycomb, Ryan.Claycomb@mail.wvu.edu.

Subject

The research topic must be in the realms of the humanities or social sciences.

Criteria

Judges will read the theses for:
• Potential impact/contribution to the academic field.
• Significance of thesis.
• Quality of thesis/theoretical value.
• Development of the subject/topic.
• Technical merit.
• Novelty*/generation of new knowledge.
• Use of West Virginia University Libraries resources.

*Work that is attributed to a student’s own initiative, rather than to assist a faculty member’s current research interests, will be considered more favorably by judges.

A Visit to the Rare Book Room: A Tweet Story

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
April 3rd, 2017

Blog post by Stewart Plein, Rare Book Librarian

When Sharon Kelly, WVU Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English, reached out to me to ask if her class could come to the Rare Book Room as an extra credit activity I jumped at the chance to share WVU’s rare book collection with Sharon’s students.  The following is a series of tweets between the instructor and her class documenting the process of arranging for a class to visit the Rare Book Room and the students’ excitement once they began to experience the collections.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

New Collection, New Discovery: Mr. Jones and the Student Army Training Corps

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
March 27th, 2017

Blog post by Jane Metters LaBarbara, Assistant Curator, WVRHC

 

I recently processed a new collection for the archives here at the WVRHC – A&M 4179, the Larry Jones, Collector, Postcards and Photographs.  Among this lovely collection of West Virginia related postcards and holiday postcards are three mounted photographs of the Student Army Training Corps (SATC) of West Virginia Wesleyan College–two of them include Ralph Jones. One of them is below.

 

Group of WV Wesleyan SATC with hands raised as if for an oath

Ralph Jones is behind the right shoulder of the fellow in the “C” sweater—can you tell which one?

  Read the rest of this entry »

It's Green-up Time: the Arrival of Spring and Louise McNeill's The Milkweed Ladies

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
March 23rd, 2017

Blog post by Lori Hostuttler, Assistant Director, WVRHC.

As of Monday, spring is officially here!  Every year when the time changes and we have evening light, I look forward to blooming buds and the appearance of leaves on the trees, also known as “green-up time.”  I was not familiar with this colloquialism until I read poet Louise McNeill’s memoir, The Milkweed Ladies.  McNeill describes all the activity that took place on the farm just before and during springtime in the chapter, “Green-up Time.”  It is nostalgic and beautiful, revealing a routine unknown to most in our modern times.

 

“Soon after sassafras time, it was green-up time, with the first shoots coming up out of the ground.  We watched the sprouts hopefully, for this was the time of year for Granny to go to the fields and woods to pick her wild greens, the “sallets” of the old frontier. Granny Fanny taught us all the plants, and how to tell the good greens from the bad. We gathered new poke sprouts, always being careful not to snip them too close to their poison roots; and we gathered “spotted leaf,” leaves of “lamb’s tongue,” butter-and-eggs, curly dock, new blackberry sprouts, dandelions, and a few violet leaves.”  — The Milkweed Ladies, page 45.

 

Portrait of Louise McNeill in 1941
Louise McNeill in 1941  Read the rest of this entry »

The War in Words: Union and Confederate Civil War Military Camp Newspapers in Charleston, Western Virginia

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
March 14th, 2017

Masthead of newspaper titled The Guerilla

Blog post by Stewart Plein, Rare Book Librarian

Civil War Military Camp newspapers are few and far between, but the news they printed is still valuable to us today.  As troops came into town, if there were newspapermen among the regiment, they often took over the press to print their own regimental newspaper.  The press may have been abandoned by fleeing residents or it may have been taken over by the troops, in any case, these rare survivors of Civil War news often reflect the movement of troops, the availability of soldiers skilled as newspapermen, and the proximity of a usable press.  These papers document the continuing flux of the military during the war, the development of western Virginia as it strives for independence from Virginia, and the need to support and bolster troop morale.  Few copies survive and those that do are extremely valuable for their reports of daily life, the publication of popular songs and humorous sketches, and reports on battles, politics, and troop movements.  Read the rest of this entry »

Art + Feminism edit-a-thon celebrates Women’s History Month

Posted by jetapia@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
March 13th, 2017

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Wikipedia is calling on people around the world to celebrate Women’s History Month by participating in one of the many edit-a-thons planned throughout March.

Locally, West Virginia University Libraries, the WVU Art Museum and Arts Mon will co-host an Art + Feminism edit-a-thon on March 15 from 12:30-4:30 p.m. at the WVU Art Museum’s Great Hall.

“This is an exciting collaboration between these parties towards the shared goal of closing the gender gap on Wikipedia and raising awareness about women in art from our region,” said Kelly Doyle, WVU Libraries’ Wikipedian in Residence for Gender Equity.

Wikipedia has a well-documented gender gap – nearly 90 percent of the site’s volunteer editors are male – that has resulted in more content about men and male-related topics than about women and female-related topics.

The Art + Feminism edit-a-thon will focus on female artists on exhibit at the museum. Participants will have the opportunity to write about pieces on display and edit Wikipedia pages of female artists, painters, designers, and dancers.

Doyle will provide a brief tutorial on editing Wikipedia articles and help individuals create an account. Preregistration is not required, but people should bring a laptop. The event is open to the public and refreshments will be provided.

Over the past year, Doyle recruited volunteer editors at WVU to update 50 existing articles and write 20 new posts. A few examples include: Virginia B. Evans, a famous painter and art deco glass designer; Julia Keller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer and former journalist; and Dr. Mildred Mitchell-Bateman, the first woman and African-American to serves as West Virginia’s mental health commissioner.

Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtags #artandfeminism and #noweditingaf. For more information, contact Doyle at 304-293-0342 or kelly.doyle@mail.wvu.edu or visit the meetup page. Follow Doyle on Twitter, @WiR_at_WVU

-wvu-

mm/03/13/17

Jerry West Exhibit Now Available Online

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
March 13th, 2017

WVRHC's commemorative WV Day poster showing Jerry West jumping with a basketball

Just in time for March Madness, the West Virginia and Regional History Center is pleased to release the online version of our 2016 West Virginia Day exhibit, “Jerry West: An American Icon.”

The exhibit can still be viewed in person by visiting the WVRHC (in the back of the 6th floor, Downtown Campus Library) and will remain open through May 19, 2017. For those who cannot visit us in person, we have made PDFs that capture the exhibit objects, text, and links to videos found in both galleries of the display. The links to these PDFs can be found here: https://wvday.lib.wvu.edu/exhibits/2016.

PDF versions of our previous West Virginia Day exhibits, from 2009-2015, can be accessed from the Exhibits webpage.

 

Stansbury Hall: A Piece of Campus History

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
February 27th, 2017

Blog post by Jane Metters LaBarbara, Assistant Curator, WVRHC (with big thanks to Jessica Eichlin, Photographs Manager, for finding many of these great photos).

Since Stansbury Hall has been in the news recently, I decided to investigate the history of the building and the man for whom it was named.  The first thing I learned: Stansbury Hall was once the Field House for our sports teams.   Read the rest of this entry »

100 Year Old Artifacts Show the History of WVU

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
February 22nd, 2017

Blog post by Michael Ridderbusch, Associate Curator, WVRHC.

 

To help commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of West Virginia University, a historical photography exhibit featuring holdings of the West Virginia and Regional History Center is showing at the Erickson Alumni Center.  Read the rest of this entry »

President Taft Visits Morgantown and North Central West Virginia, 1911

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
February 21st, 2017

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Looking at Appalachia forum now available online

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 16th, 2017

A forum that focused on how images in the media affect the nation’s perceptions of Appalachia is now available online.

The event, held February 7 in the Downtown Campus Library, was inspired by Looking at Appalachia, a juried collection of images by amateur and professional photographers currently on display at the DCL as part of the West Virginia University LibrariesArt in the Libraries series.

Read the rest of this entry »

Booker T. Washington and West Virginia Salt Works

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
February 7th, 2017

Blog post by Stewart Plein, Rare Book Librarian

Bags of Charmco Feeds and Kanawha Salt

Along the banks of the Kanawha River lies an ancient deposit of briny saline, or salt deposits.  Their salty presence figures prominently over millennia and they have played an important role for centuries and for generations of people in West Virginia.

The Kanawha Salines, the name given to the salt fields of West Virginia, travel along both banks of the Kanawha River until the waters reach Charleston, a distance of approximately ten miles.  The origin of the region can be traced back to the earliest times, 600 million years ago, to an ocean that predates even the Atlantic, the Iapetus Ocean, so named for the father of Atlantis, whose own name was given to the Atlantic Ocean we know today. Read the rest of this entry »

Forum will explore how photographs define Appalachia

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 3rd, 2017

A panel of West Virginia University faculty from journalism to public health will discuss how images in the media affect the nation’s perceptions of Appalachia during a forum on February 7 from 4-6 p.m. in the Downtown Campus Library (DCL), Room 104.

The program is inspired by Looking at Appalachia, a juried collection of images by amateur and professional photographers, currently on display at the DCL as part of the WVU Libraries’ Art in the Libraries series. West Virginia native Roger May directs the ongoing Looking at Appalachia project that chronicles life in the 13-state region more than 50 years after President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.

“This forum is a great opportunity to use the Looking at Appalachia exhibit to spark conversations about how images in the media can affect a range of issues facing the region,” said Alyssa Wright, chair of the Art in the Libraries Committee.

Three friends pose for photographer Dennis Savage in Cabell County, W.Va. The image is part of the Looking at Appalachia exhibit.

Read the rest of this entry »