professor and recipient of the WVU Libraries’ 2019 Faculty Exhibit Award
recent research focuses on the botanic world in pre-modern medicine,
philosophy, art, and literature, specifically that of Late Antiquity and the
Middle Ages. Her exhibit, “Big Green Data: Herbals, Science, and Art,” is currently on display at the Evansdale
Library through May.
research is always full of surprises, and sometimes these surprises are more
worthy of study than the research we plan in advance. This was certainly true
of my visits to British and American libraries for the purpose of looking at
medieval herbals first-hand. Herbals are pharmacopeia, lists of medicinal
plants. Before the sixteenth century, they circulated as manuscript codices — hand-written
and often copiously illustrated books. I intended to read these works for
information about how physicians and pharmacists used sensory practices to
identify and discuss botanic life. But description of plants’ smell, feel,
taste, and even visual appearance was disappointingly minimal in these voluminous
works of botanic science.
West Virginia UniversityLibraries’ new
exhibit marks the 55th anniversary of the passage of a landmark
piece of civil rights legislation. “For the Dignity of Man and the Destiny of
Democracy: The Voting Rights Act of 1965” is on display now through the end of
2020 in the Downtown Campus Library’s Rockefeller Gallery.
150 years ago in 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment established that the right to
vote could not be denied on the basis of race. Yet African Americans,
particularly those residing in southern states, continued to face significant
obstacles to voting. These included bureaucratic restrictions, such as poll
taxes and literacy tests, as well as intimidation and physical violence.
The submissions deadline is Jan. 17, 2020 for West Virginia UniversityLibraries’ art
exhibition to mark the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the
19th amendment to the U. S. Constitution, which granted women the right to
vote, and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965,
which enforced voting rights for racial minorities.
In celebration of International Games Week, WVU Libraries is hosting their annual
International Games Day on Friday, Nov. 1, from 4-7 p.m. in the Downtown Campus
Library, Room 2036.
will be able to demo games being created by WVU’s Game Developer’s Club, play
in a mock Super Smash Brothers tournament, compete for prize giveaways from
Starport Arcade, sample some board games, and have a throw at some classic yard
games. Insomnia Cookies is also sponsoring the event.
Games Week has been celebrated in 53 countries and territories on all 7
continents. Hundreds of libraries across the country will join WVU in
celebrating the popularity and educational, recreational and social value of
games. For more information, contact Sally Deskins, exhibits and programs coordinator
for WVU Libraries, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The annual event
is a creation of the Women of Appalachia Project
(WOAP) who issues a call for residents of all 420 Appalachian counties to
submit writing to be featured.
people have an image of an Appalachian woman, and they look down on her,” WOAP
Organizer Kari Gunter-Seymour said. “The mission of WOAP is to showcase the way
in which female artists respond to the Appalachian region as a source of inspiration,
bringing together women from diverse backgrounds, ages and experiences to
embrace the stereotype – to show the whole woman; beyond the superficial
factors that people use to judge her.”
seeking submissions for a major art exhibition to mark the 100th
anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment to the U. S. Constitution,
which granted women the right to vote, and the 55th anniversary of
the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which enforced voting rights for racial
This collaborative event includes 11 stops with fascinating
exhibits ranging from topics like photography to education, Appalachia to LGBTQ
history. Spanning all three campuses – Downtown, Evansdale and Health Sciences –
the Campus Art Crawl will feature exhibits, activities, food, and drink. Participation
and admission is free. Hours will differ at some locations.
The award is part of the National Digital Newspaper Program, a collaboration between the NEH and the Library of Congress to enlist libraries and institutions from around the country to create a digital database of historical United States newspapers. This grant brings the NEH’s total funding of the WVRHC’s efforts to $968,000.
“We are honored that the NEH recognizes the tremendous value of the historical newspapers archived in the WVRHC,” WVRHC Director John Cuthbert said. “Their support speaks volumes to the instrumental roles the Mountain State and its citizens played in the formation and growth of our nation.”
Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
September 4th, 2019
Blog post by Linda Blake, University Librarian Emeritas
Twenty years ago, on September 1, 1999, a federal agency, the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC), closed the National Bank of Keystone and turned it over to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
August 26th, 2019
Blog post by Jane Metters LaBarbara, Assistant Curator,
The University Archives recently received records from the Office of Multicultural Programs that cover the planning of Mountaineer Week in the past. Among other things, we now have their planning binders covering 1995-2005. This has been a very enjoyable collection to process, though it has made me crave funnel cake and kettle corn a few months too early. (Mountaineer Week runs November 1-9, 2019.) There are a few highlights that I found so far to share with you.
“The Athletics Department has enjoyed its partnership with
the WVU Libraries for the past eight years in supporting the Mountaineer
Touchdown Challenge,” WVU Director of Athletics Shane Lyons said. “It’s an
outstanding initiative, because everyone wins – our fans are happy when our
players score touchdowns, which hopefully turns into wins, and that assists the
entire student body with their academic endeavors. I encourage our alumni and
fans to join us in the Challenge and support all of WVU.”
The initiative, in its ninth year, has provided for many
student needs, such as digital cameras, laptops, graphing calculators and other
technical equipment that can be checked out, poster printers and a presentation
practice room. The Downtown Campus, Evansdale and Health Sciences libraries
have all shared in these benefits.
“The exhibit takes
us beyond the stereotypes to paint a rich and multi-layered picture of what it
means to be Appalachian,” said Sally Brown Deskins, exhibits & programs
coordinator for WVU Libraries.
The exhibit officially opens on Sept. 3, with a reception from 5-7 p.m.
in the Milano Reading Room in the Downtown Campus Library. Chris
Haddox and Travis Stimeling will provide live music. Also, attendees will have
the opportunity to interact with games inspired by West Virginia history and
designed by collaborative teams of art, media and computer science students.
“It’s been very exciting to watch the repository grow over the last
several months,” Scholarly Communications Librarian Ian Harmon said. “We just
launched last October, and the fact that we already have over 25,000 downloads
demonstrates that researchers around the world are eager to read the groundbreaking
work that takes place at WVU. It also shows that making your work available
Open Access really does have the potential to increase its readership.”
The Repository is a collaboration between WVU Libraries and the WVU Office of Research. It provides the University community with a library-supported platform for sharing their work with the worldwide scholarly community. Currently, there are close to 11,000 items available.
If you’re on Facebook, twitter or Instagram, it’s impossible
to miss the selfies people post to announce a night on the town, a trip to an
exotic location or just a new pair of sunglasses.
Set aside the Internet and smartphones, and they’re simply
following a social norm established more than 150 years ago. While Millennials
are growing up on social media, the Civil War generation was the first to grow
up with photography.
“Photography was an earth-shattering innovation in the
mid-19th century, perhaps like the introduction of the computer or
the cell phone,” said John Cuthbert, director of the West Virginia and Regional History Center.
“It was introduced in the U.S. around 1840 and within a couple of decades
people all over America were getting their pictures taken by itinerant
photographers who would travel from town to town.”
Blog post by Stewart Plein, Assistant Curator for WV Books & Printed Resources & Rare Book Librarian
Decoration Day, May 30, 1881. Frederick Douglass, considered among the greatest orators of the nineteenth century, stood on the grounds of Storer College, the first institution of higher learning for African Americans in West Virginia, a state not long separated from its parent, Virginia. Douglass, a trustee of Storer College, was the Decoration Day keynote speaker. The events of the day were part of a commencement celebration that also included the laying of the cornerstone for a new building. This new addition to campus would be called Anthony Hall, “in honor of Mr. Anthony, of Providence R. I., a relative of Senator Anthony.” But Douglass was not there to praise the success of Storer College, or to decorate the graves of soldiers who fought and died during the late Civil War, instead, Douglass took this occasion to talk about his friend and fellow abolitionist, John Brown, whose execution following his failed raid on Harper’s Ferry in 1859, twenty-two years before, was within living memory of many of the attendees that day.
Virginia UniversityLibraries will host an opening reception
for an exhibit recognizing the lifetime achievements of Dr. Emory L. Kemp, Professor
Emeritus of History and Civil Engineering, at 3 p.m. Friday, May 31, in the
John D. Rockefeller IV Gallery of the Downtown Campus Library.
“The Structure of History: Celebrating Industrial Heritage
and Preservation in the Dr. Emory L. Kemp Collection” will showcase items from
Kemp’s donation to the West Virginia and Regional History Center,
which included blueprints, maps, restoration project reports, structural
analysis papers, drawings, correspondence and more that Kemp collected throughout
his extensive career that spanned 50 years.
“Emory Kemp is a renowned figure in the field of Civil
Engineering and it is a tremendous honor to preserve his papers in in the
Regional History Center,” WVRHC Director John Cuthbert said. “Records
pertaining to his work ranging from world landmarks like the Sydney Opera House
to West Virginia’s iconic Philippi Bridge and Wheeling Suspension Bridge will
be a boon to industrial architecture historians for generations to come.”
excited that our inaugural OER grant program is off to a great start with the
potential of saving WVU students nearly $50,000,” said Martha Yancey, chair of
the grants committee. “This first cohort of grant recipients will provide good
models for other faculty to learn from and consider during next year’s grant
process. We hope to continue building momentum toward even bigger savings in
of the grants is to encourage development of alternatives to high-cost textbooks,
lower the cost of college attendance for students, and support faculty who wish
to implement new pedagogical models for classroom instruction. Awardees agree
to use their open textbooks in courses to be taught in fall 2019 or spring
2020, and then submit a course review/report.
West Virginia UniversityLibraries’ Teaching and Learning
Committee has selected Hannah Coffey and Kelsey R. Eackles as 2019 Robert
F. Munn Undergraduate Library scholars.
“All of us at WVU Libraries are pleased to name
Hannah Coffey and Kelsey Eackles as Munn Scholars,” Dean of Libraries Karen
Diaz said. “Both exceeded expectations with their remarkable efforts in
researching their topics and then writing their impressive works of
During the Permian Period,
acidic, salty lakes and groundwaters existed in Kansas. Remnants of these
extreme environments have been preserved as rocks and include red muds,
blue gypsum, and clear halite, along with entrapped microcapsules of Permian
water, atmosphere, and microorganisms.
professor Kathleen Benison’s
photographs of these rocks serve as both scientific evidence and aesthetic