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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.

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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.

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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 »

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 »

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.

 

 

 

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

 

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.

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.

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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.

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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.”

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Senator John D. Rockefeller IV to donate papers to WVU

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 6th, 2014

By Marissa Sura
University Relations/News

On his final official trip as a U.S. Senator, John D. Rockefeller IV is headed to Morgantown to donate his Senate papers to West Virginia University, the flagship research university of the state he has served for 50 years.

Senator John D. Rockefeller IV

Senator John D. Rockefeller IV

The public event will be held on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 1 p.m. in the Milano Reading Room at the Downtown Library. The following speakers will participate in the event.

President Gordon Gee
Scott Crichlow, chair of the department of political science
Jon Cawthorne, dean of libraries
• Gillian Beach, political science graduate student
• Senator Rockefeller

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Space Suit on Exhibit at Evansdale Library

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 3rd, 2014

A space suit used by an astronaut who spent six months at the International Space Station is on exhibit at the Evansdale Library.

Astronaut Edward Tsang Lu flew on three space missions, logged more than 206 days in space, and carried out a six-hour spacewalk to perform construction work on the ISS.

On display is the Soviet Sokol space suit Lu worn while traveling to and from the ISS.

Astronaut Edward T. Lu, Expedition Seven NASA ISS science officer and flight engineer, wearing his Russian Sokol suit, gives a thumbs-up as he waits for a leak check, Soyuz inspection and seat liner check in the Soyuz Integration Facility at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.

Astronaut Edward T. Lu, Expedition Seven NASA ISS science officer and flight engineer, wearing his Russian Sokol suit, gives a thumbs-up as he waits for a leak check, Soyuz inspection and seat liner check in the Soyuz Integration Facility at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.

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Secret Book Art: Fore-Edge Paintings

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
November 3rd, 2014

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

 

Did you know that some books with gilt edges (edges covered with gold leaf or paint, like the pages shown below) contain secret art?  As far back as the 10th century, artists painted designs on the edges of book pages; many surviving examples of these paintings are on books that have gilt edges.  The images, called fore-edge paintings, tend to be painted on the book’s fore-edge, which is the edge opposite the book’s spine.

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Historic partnership brings works by West Virginia Nobel laureate to WVU

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 30th, 2014

By Marissa Sura
University Relations/News

Decades ago, on the southern end of Pocahontas County in the limestone valley known as “Little Levels,” a young girl sat on a bench reading Charles Dickens and sampling grapes from the vine-covered portico of her family home. She was inspired by the panorama of the Appalachian Mountains and now the manuscripts that she penned as an adult have found a new home, waiting to inspire a new generation.

West Virginia University, West Virginia Wesleyan College and the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation today (Oct. 30) announced that the three institutions would form a partnership to preserve and disseminate the legacy of Pearl S. Buck. As part of that agreement, a priceless collection of literary manuscripts by Buck will be coming to the WVU Libraries.

Born in Hillsboro to missionary parents, Buck became one of 13 Americans to win the Nobel Prize in Literature and the first of only two American women to do so. She was also the first American woman to win both the Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize in Literature. (Toni Morrison is the other in both instances.)

“As one of the two West Virginia Nobel laureates – 1994 economics Nobel laureate John Nash of Bluefield being the other – Pearl S. Buck occupies a special place in the history of the state and is a source of great pride for all West Virginians,” WVU President Gordon Gee said. “Today three historic West Virginia institutions have come together to honor one of our own and share her unique point of view with the world.”

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The Harry Powers Murders: Crimes that Inspired West Virginia Authors

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
October 28th, 2014

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

 

On September 19, 1931, residents of Harrison County, West Virginia, mobbed the county jail in Clarksburg.  The confessed murderer, Harry Powers, waited inside in his cell.  Less than a month earlier, he had admitted to the horrific murders of two women and three children on his farm outside of Clarksburg in the small community of Quiet Dell.  The mob, upset with the slow progress of the court, wanted justice and wanted it fast. Realizing violence was very likely, police slipped Powers away to the State Penitentiary in Moundsville to wait for his trial.

 

Newspaper Headline "Irate Crowd Menaces Jail"

The scene at the jail makes headlines.

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WVU to honor West Virginia Nobel laureate

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 27th, 2014

By Marissa Sura
University Relations/News

West Virginia University is gearing up to announce a partnership with West Virginia Wesleyan College and the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation that will honor and celebrate the collection of works of Pulitzer Prize winning author and Nobel Laureate Pearl S. Buck.

During Mountaineer Week – a weeklong celebration of the heritage and culture of West Virginia – WVU, Wesleyan and the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation will host a public event to dedicate the collection of this prolific author, humanitarian and native West Virginian.

The event is on Thursday, Oct. 30, at 10 a.m. in the Robinson Reading Room at the Downtown Campus Library.

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Demolished Movie Palace

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
October 23rd, 2014

Blog post by Michael Ridderbusch, Associate Curator, WVRHC.

 

The magnificent Kearse Theater in Charleston, West Virginia, though listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, was demolished two years later due to apparent lack of interest.  It opened auspiciously in November 1922, with a gala attended by West Virginia governors E.F. Morgan, William A. MacCorkle, and Wesley A. Atkinson, as well as Mayor Grant P. Hall of Charleston, and functioned as a cultural center until its closure in 1979.

Recently, when digitizing negatives from the Gravely and Moore studio photograph collection at the West Virginia and Regional History Center, images of the Kearse were resurrected showing both its facade and interior.

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