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Call for Art Created by Health Professionals at WVU

Posted by
March 13th, 2018

WVU Art in the Libraries, in collaboration with Health Sciences Center, is seeking visual artists in the health care field working at WVU and WVU Medicine to participate in a group exhibition to take place in the fall of 2018 in the WVU Health Sciences Library.

Through art, relationships of medical professionals and their patients and the impact thereof can come through, such as in Luke Fildes’ famous 1891 painting, The Doctor (below) or Thomas Eakins’ Gross Clinic (1875).  Too, artwork can prove a fun hobby, personal release or second creative profession for those in such a scientific, sociable profession as health, like mid twentieth century illustrator Frank Netter or the contemporary painter Lissa Rankin (Both Sides Now painting, below), who retired as OBGYN to make art.

The Doctor painting, tan and white with hourglass and colorful dots.

The Doctor by Luke Fildes

Man watching young girl sleeping on chairs with man in background

Both Sides Now by Lissa Rankin

We want to know what WVU health professionals are making visual art!

Any part or full time staff or faculty, may submit any media, ready-to-display, work of any theme for this exhibition.  We’re interested in all types of work addressing contemporary issues or concerns, health or medical issues or concerns, or completely abstract artwork.  You do not need to be an “established” artist! We are looking for health professionals who create artwork, any level or media will be considered.

The facilities include limited wall space and display cases in the Health Sciences Library, on the 2nd floor of the Health Sciences Center of West Virginia University. There is ample natural and artificial overhead lighting. Traffic includes medical undergraduate, graduate students, faculty and other professionals in the health and medical field as well as prominent campus visitors and others using the library facilities. Artists are encouraged to visit the space before submitting.

Artists are responsible for transporting artwork to and from the Library if their work is accepted.  Libraries hold the University insurance if loan form is filled out and signed, though security is limited to the access services staff of the Library during open hours.

To participate: Contact WVU Libraries Exhibits Coordinator, Sally Deskins,, 304.293.0369, feel free to send images, ideas, websites, etc. by May 31, 2018.

About: Art in the Libraries develops exhibits and related programs in the Downtown Campus Library, Evansdale Library, and Health Sciences Library, highlighting the creative endeavors and scholarship of WVU faculty, staff, and students, reaching across the University, the region, and the broader academic community. This program demonstrates how art, libraries and scholars encourage the community to explore, reflect, and discuss what they encounter in the WVU Libraries which seeks to embody the mission of West Virginia University by excelling in discovery and innovation, modeling cultural diversity and inclusion, promoting vitality and building pathways for the exchange of knowledge and opportunity.

WVRHC Debuts New Archives Research Website

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
March 13th, 2018

The West Virginia & Regional History Center at West Virginia University Libraries has launched a powerful new tool to assist researchers anywhere in the world who have an interest in exploring the history of the Mountain State and its region.

The Center’s new Guide to Archives and Manuscripts provides enhanced descriptions for more than 4,300 archival collections, and that number grows every week. The new site is available at

The website is built with ArchivesSpace, an open source, web-based archives information management system supported by a community of over 300 member institutions and the LYRASIS network of museums, archives and libraries. WVU Libraries has been a member of the ArchivesSpace community since 2015.

For more information, check out the article in WVUToday:

If you have any questions about using the new site, please contact us!


Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
March 12th, 2018

Blog Post by Jessica Eichlin, Photographs Manager and Preservationist

Driving on the back roads of West Virginia is one of my favorite parts of traveling to visit family in Virginia.  The natural scenery is gorgeous, I get to see incredible farm houses, and, as a bonus this last trip, I saw a Mail Pouch Tobacco sign on a barn.  I had heard of these rustic billboards before, but did not know much about the history behind them.  Read the rest of this entry »

Be an Advocate for Change

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 7th, 2018

As part of Open Education Week (March 5-9), West Virginia University Libraries, faculty and students are focusing on the high cost of textbooks.

Since 1978, the cost of college textbooks as risen 812 percent, a rate faster than medical services (575 percent), new home prices (325 percent) and the consumer price index (250 percent), according to statistics from the American Enterprise Institute.

The rising cost of textbooks can not only affect a student’s bank account, but their grades as well. The Florida Virtual Campus, formerly the Florida Distance Learning Consortium, has been studying the effect of rising textbooks costs on students’ purchasing decisions, their academic success, and their awareness of Open Education Resource (OER) options.

Their 2016 study found that the cost of textbooks continue to be a negative influence on students’ grades and success.

2016 Florida Student Textbook & Course Materials Survey chart

Florida Virtual Campus. (2016). 2016 Florida Student Textbook & Course Materials Survey. Tallahassee, FL.

Read the rest of this entry »

University Archives Update, Part 2: Beyond University Records

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
March 7th, 2018

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

In January, I wrote about WVU’s new records retention efforts and how that helps the University Archives collect WVU’s history.  University history goes beyond departmental and administrative records, though, so the University Archives collects more than just records created by the University. If you are interested in what the University Archives wants to collect, take a look at our Collection Policy.  It describes additional types of records and materials that we are collecting, including the following categories:  Read the rest of this entry »

The Niagara Movement in West Virginia

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
February 28th, 2018

Blog post by Lori Hostuttler, Assistant Director, WVRHC.

In August 1906, a group of African Americans signed a register to designate their entry into John Brown’s Fort in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.  This burgeoning group, dubbed the Niagara Movement, made a special pilgrimage to the Fort during their first meeting on American soil held on the campus of Storer College. The Fort, the former U.S. Army Arsenal Engine House, was the site of Brown’s failed raid to foment a slave rebellion 1859, a precursor to the Civil War.  It had become a shrine for African Americans and many others who saw it as a symbol of freedom.  Read the rest of this entry »

Libraries to host exhibit and Heroin(e) screening for Women’s History Month

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 27th, 2018


Elaine McMillion Sheldon

As part of Women’s History Month, West Virginia University Libraries will showcase the work of Peabody Award-winning documentarian Elaine McMillion Sheldon and three other West Virginia-based photographers.

West Virginia native and WVU alumna Sheldon (BSJ, 2009) will screen her most recent film, the Oscar-nominated “Heroin(e)”, March 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the Downtown Campus Library, Room 104. The Netflix Original Documentary short follows three women fighting the opioid crisis in Huntington.

It will be followed by a reception and panel discussion to include the artists whose work can be seen in “A Knowing Intimacy: A photography exhibit by West Virginia Women” on display in DCL Room 1020 March 8-April 13.

Read the rest of this entry »

Snapshots of WVU in the 1960s, Part 1, The Computer Center

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
February 19th, 2018

Blog post by Michael Ridderbusch, Associate Curator, WVRHC.

Not long ago the History Center received a collection of archival photographs from University Relations that contains images documenting people, activities, and events at West Virginia University from the 1960s to more recent times.  This blog will focus on photos that show the beginning of computing services at WVU.  Read the rest of this entry »

WVRHC launches George Bird Evans digital collection

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 15th, 2018

George Bird Evans poses with Blue and Dawn, ca. 1940. 

West Virginia University Libraries’ West Virginia and Regional History Center has launched a digital collection that chronicles more than six decades of work by acclaimed outdoorsman, author and illustrator George Bird Evans.

The George Bird Evans Collection contains sixty-five years of detailed handwritten hunting journals in which Evans meticulously recorded the results of hunting excursions, primarily in West Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains.

“George Bird Evans was one of the world’s foremost authorities on upland bird shooting and fine bird dogs,” WVRHC Director John Cuthbert said. “His eloquence and philosophical bent earned him an avid following among hunting literature enthusiasts across the nation and beyond.”

Read the rest of this entry »

The Purpose of a Library

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 14th, 2018

By Karen Diaz, Interim Dean of Libraries

Recently, I attended a leadership training event. The trainer encouraged attendees to think about the difference between our function and our purpose.  To illustrate the issue the trainer showed us a photo similar to those in this news story. Clearly, the function the men in superhero costumes were performing was cleaning windows.  But by dressing in superhero costumes to do this work they fulfilled a larger purpose. They provided a healing environment for children who were suffering from pretty horrible diseases by including a sense of fun and happiness.

Bringing this thinking into a library context, it’s hard to pinpoint the function of a library, much less its purpose.  Some might say that a library’s function is to preserve the cultural record. Others might say it is to promote lifelong learning. Yet others might consider it to be a community center focused on meeting both educational and entertainment needs. Many library vision statements include language like “collect, preserve, and provide access to information.” When you look at staff positions there are all sorts of more traditional functions that are carried out: such as cataloging and archival processing, acquisitions of materials, reference, interlibrary loan, systems and technology support, circulation, instruction, and communication. There are newer functions in some environments such as learning technology, open access publishing, copyright services, and more.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read All About It! More Historic Newspapers Available on Chronicling America

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
February 12th, 2018

Masthead of American Union Newspaper

Blog post by Stewart Plein, Rare Book Librarian

Woman reading newspaper

The West Virginia and Regional History Center is pleased to announce that an additional eighteen historic West Virginia newspapers have recently been uploaded to the Library of Congress Chronicling America database.  These newspapers have been digitized as part of the National Digital Newspaper Project (NDNP) grant awarded to WVU Libraries and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities in partnership with the Library of Congress. These newspapers have been digitized under the receipt of WVU’s third NDNP grant award.  All of these historic West Virginia newspapers now on Chronicling America are available free to read and download in the comfort of your own home.  Read the rest of this entry »

Help lower textbook costs for students

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 12th, 2018

The cost of textbooks is rising at a rate of four times inflation. Sixty percent of students have delayed purchasing textbooks until they’ve received their financial aid. Seventy percent don’t purchase a required textbook during their academic career because of cost.

You can help by attending the Open Textbook Workshop and Textbook Review where you can discover open textbooks in your field. After the workshop, you will be asked to write a short review of an open textbook. Your review will benefit other faculty considering open textbooks. You’ll receive a $200 stipend for your participation and a written review. The workshop will be held at the Downtown Campus Library, Room 104, March 8 at 10 a.m. Librarians Hilary Fredette and Martha Yancey will lead the workshop.

Read the rest of this entry »

Selected Environmental History Archives and Manuscripts Collections at the WVRHC

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
February 5th, 2018

Blog post by Lori Hostuttler, Assistant Director, WVRHC.

West Virginia is known for mountain vistas, beautiful rivers and forests, and rural scenery.  The natural beauty of the state is one of its greatest assets.  This blog post compiles a number of collections at the West Virginia & Regional History Center that document efforts to preserve the natural environment in West Virginia.  Click on the link to see the finding aid for each collection.  This list is not comprehensive – there are many more relevant sources in the Center’s holdings.  Search the Guide to Archives and Manuscripts for additional collections and review the WVRHC website to find books, photographs, maps, and printed ephemera among other resources.  Read the rest of this entry »

Applications being accepted for Faculty/Staff Exhibition Award

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 1st, 2018

West Virginia University Libraries and the Art in the Libraries committee have created the WVU Faculty/Staff Exhibition Award to help promote the art and scholarship of faculty and staff. Current faculty and staff may submit ideas for an exhibit that visually showcases their scholarship in new and experimental ways, provides a visual evolution of their work or answers a research question. One awardee will receive a $1,000 professional development award and an exhibition, including promotion and public programming. Application deadline is February 28. More information is available at

Art Crawl to highlight art, history, nature on Campus

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
January 30th, 2018

West Virginia University Libraries encourages University and Morgantown community members to participate in the Campus Art Crawl on February 15, from 4-6 p.m. In addition to exhibits, the tour will feature activities, such as a scavenger hunt, and food and drink. Admission and participation are free.


Downtown Campus Library Atrium: This exhibit celebrates a decade of College of Creative Arts Professor of Photography Michael Sherwin teaching a workshop on Jackson Hole photography. Beginning at 4 p.m., Sherwin and a group of his students will give a presentation on their work.

West Virginia & Regional History Center: A selection of documents and artifacts from the Center’s archives illustrate the University’s founding and early years. Read the rest of this entry »

Server Updates

Posted by
January 24th, 2018

We will be updating the following systems.  The sites may be down briefly, but downtime should be minimal.

January 24:

January 25:

January 26:

Looking for a fun summer online course? Register for ULIB300: Film and Media Literacy

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
January 23rd, 2018

Wherever you travel this summer, as long as you have Internet access, you can take ULIB300: Film and Media Literacy. In this 12-week online course, students will watch the films of Quentin Tarantino, including Inglorious Basterds, Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, Reservoirs Dogs, Hateful Eight, and Jackie Brown, and discuss how they relate to other films in their genre, criticism, marketing, film vocabulary, and media literacy.

This 3-credit course runs May 14 to August 3 and fulfills GEC 5 and 7, and GEF 6. To register in STAR, use the Class Schedule Search and set Subject to “Library Instruction.” Learn more at the Libraries website or contact the instructor, Matt Steele, at or 304-293-4240.

University Archives Update, Part 1: University Records

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
January 22nd, 2018

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

In honor of WVU’s new and exciting records retention schedule, here is a little history about the University Archives and information about what we are collecting.

People working at desks on the 10th Floor of Wise Library, West Virginia University

The stacks in the old Wise Library used to be open; now they are closed and we store a lot of the University Archives here.

The West Virginia & Regional History Center is the special collections unit of WVU Libraries and the home of WVU’s university archives.  It all began in the 1920s when an ambitious WVU history professor started to seek support for preserving the state’s historical records. By 1933, we were authorized by the University as the “Division of Documents,” and in 1935 we hired our first full-time archivist Dr. Festus P. Summers.  Read the rest of this entry »

Dreaming of Spring: Historic Garden Catalogs in the West Virginia and Regional History Center

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
January 17th, 2018

Blog post by Stewart Plein, Rare Book Librarian

Long, cold winter nights are the perfect time to dream of spring.  What shall we plant in the garden this year?  Will we order plants, seeds, or some of both?  Will we have a vegetable garden or will we plant flowers?  Should we dig a new bed for those iris we’ve always wanted to plant?  This might be the year!  If you’re like me, you’ve already received garden catalogs offering heirloom seeds or the latest cultivars. I always get drawn into the beautiful images of plants, the latest introductions, and ways to use them in the home and garden.  There’s nothing like looking at garden catalogs on a snowy day to make you think of spring.  Read the rest of this entry »

Arts build community among WVU Libraries, campus and Morgantown

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
January 12th, 2018

As library collections become increasingly digital, West Virginia University Libraries seeks to engage our users and community in our spaces in new ways. One avenue is the Art in the Libraries program, which brings art and collaborative exhibitions into the library buildings to spark discussions and inspire new ideas.

“Having art and exhibits in these publicly used spaces presents a unique opportunity for exhibitor and library guest,” said Sally Deskins, exhibit coordinator for WVU Libraries. “The exhibitor’s work is in a neutral space, a space which preserves and protects new ideas and perspectives, and a space where some who wouldn’t normally seek out art and exhibits, will go.”

Art in the Libraries programming spans the Downtown Campus, Evansdale and Health Sciences libraries. The committee welcomes ideas for collaborative and engaging programs and submissions for exhibition proposals on an ongoing basis.

Read the rest of this entry »