Ask A Librarian

Libraries to host conversation with “Remaking Appalachia” author

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 28th, 2021
Remaking Appalachia book cover

West Virginia University Libraries will host a virtual conversation with Nicholas Stump, author of “Remaking Appalachia,” on May 20 at noon.

Stump, a faculty member and head of reference and access services with the George R. Farmer Jr. Law Library at WVU College of Law, researches environmental law, critical legal theory, law and social movements, and Appalachian and rural studies.

In “Remaking Appalachia,” his new book from WVU Press, Stump looks back more than a century to examine the creation of laws governing the rising power of coal and other industries, and chronicles their failure to protect Appalachia. In addition, Stump goes beyond law “reform” to explore true system change, a discussion undergirded by ecofeminism and ecosocialism.

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Curating Undefeated: Canvas(s)ing the Politics Around Voter Suppression Since Women’s Suffrage, an online and print exhibit

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 21st, 2021
Image from Undefeated exhibit

By Sally Brown, WVU Libraries Exhibits Coordinator

Curating the Art in the Libraries’ large, multi-disciplinary exhibitions since 2018’s WATER, has proved an enormous and exciting part of my role as Exhibits Coordinator. Through WATER (2018-19) and Appalachian Futures (2019-20), I developed these large exhibitions with upwards of 50 diverse contributors, two committees, a designer, several sponsoring partners and of course, the signing off of Dean Karen Diaz for these displays going up in the Downtown Campus Library for the academic year.

This year’s exhibition, Undefeated: Canvas(s)ing the Politics Around Voter Suppression Since Women’s Suffrage, in conjunction with the Suffrage Centennial and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, was complex in its multidisciplinary, and  controversial in its political nature. The complexity was compounded by the pandemic not only logistically for exhibition display, but also as it heightened the unfolding story of contemporary voter suppression with myriad new voting considerations throughout the presidential election. Thankfully, the various contributors and partners allowed for multiple perspectives for this exhibition and its related programming and we were able to engage participation from WVU and broader communities.

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Libraries to host “The Equal Rights Amendment: Past, Present, and Future” panel discussion

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 24th, 2021

WVU Libraries will host a virtual panel presentation titled “The Equal Rights Amendment: Past, Present, and Future” on Thursday, April 8, at noon. The presentation is in conjunction with the Libraries’ “Undefeated: Canvas(s)ing the Politics Around Voter Suppression Since Women’s Suffrage” exhibition and the West Virginia and Regional History Center’s exhibitions on women’s suffrage and voting rights.

Join panelists Jeri Burton, chair of the NOW’s 28th Amendment ERA Committee; Linda Coberly, chair of the ERA Coalition’s legal task force; and Liza Mickens, Vote Equality US co-founder, for a discussion about past and present efforts, challenges, and strategies for passing the Equal Rights Amendment. Danielle Emerling, Congressional & Political Papers archivist and WVRHC assistant curator, will moderate the event.

Register for the Zoom event here.

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WVU Libraries to host online discussion on its new Feminist Activist Collection

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 15th, 2021
group picture of community team

Art in the Libraries’ Virtual Program Series will present “Don’t Throw it Out!” a conversation about documenting women and the new West Virginia Feminist Activist Collection of the West Virginia and Regional History Center on March 19 at noon.

Panelists Judith Stitzel, Professor Emerita of English and Co-Founder of Women’s Studies, and Carroll Wilkinson, University Librarian Emerita, come together with Lori Hostuttler, Assistant Director of the WVRHC, to discuss collecting and documenting women’s lives, share some of their own photos, ephemera or objects, to encourage a broader and more accessible approach to archives and all it can encompass.

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WVU Libraries to mark Women’s History Month

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 4th, 2021

The State Journal published this article on March 3.

By Karen Diaz, Dean of WVU Libraries

Women – of all backgrounds – have made important contributions to society. Only recently are we learning more about these individuals and learning to give credit to women where that credit is due. The way we have learned more is through evidence. Often that evidence sits in archives used by historians and others to document how women have shaped society. Due to a long tradition of underrepresenting women and women’s contributions, there are archival silences or gaps in what has been preserved. This undervaluing perhaps also causes those making contributors to undervalue documenting what they have done.

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Art in the Libraries to host Art of the Mask virtual event

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 10th, 2021
collage of people wearing masks

Masks are the new symbol of our time. WVU’s Art in the Libraries Program will host a free virtual event titled “The Art of the Mask: A Community Discussion and Show-and-Tell” Monday, Feb. 15, from noon-1 p.m.

The Zoom gathering, in conjunction with the Art in the Libraries’ online exhibit, The Art of the Mask, will feature an informal sharing of masks and discussion by Suzanne Gosden-Kitchen, assistant chair and teaching associate professor in the Department of Management, John Chambers College of Business and Economics, and Matthew Tolliver, an adjunct faculty member at WVU and a certified professional school counselor, Monongalia County Schools. Their mask creations are part of the digital Art of the Mask exhibit.

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WVU Libraries and Food Justice Lab seeking submissions for Food Justice exhibit

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
December 9th, 2020

The West Virginia University Food Justice Lab and WVU Libraries’ Arts in the Libraries committee are seeking content from scholars, artists, community groups and practitioners for a curated art exhibition that addresses issues related to Food Justice.

“The Food Justice Lab is thrilled to support WVU Libraries with an art exhibit that will elevate the rich histories of Appalachian food heritage, explore the inequities presently coded into our food system and help us to imagine a more just and resilient food future for our region,” WVU Food Policy Research Director Joshua Lohnes said.

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“Votes for Women – 100 Years of Suffrage in West Virginia” exhibit open in Downtown Campus Library

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 5th, 2020

One hundred years ago, the West Virginia Legislature ratified the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which extended voting rights to women. West Virginia University Libraries and the West Virginia and Regional History Center are marking the milestone with the exhibit “Votes for Women – 100 Years of Suffrage in West Virginia” in the Downtown Campus Library’s Rockefeller Gallery.

After being passed by Congress in 1919, the Nineteenth Amendment needed to be ratified by at least 36 states to become law. Success in the mountain state required conquering multiple hurdles, including assorted anti-suffrage protests. Despite such challenges, on March 10, 1920, West Virginia became the 34th state to approve the amendment.

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Student-curated online exhibit explores West Virginia political memorabilia

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 27th, 2020
State Chairman pin for the 1964 Republican National Convention held in San Francisco.

Elections are a foundation of American democracy, and the act of campaigning for public office is nearly as old as the Republic itself. In this election year, the West Virginia & Regional History Center is highlighting campaign materials from West Virginia politicians in a new digital exhibit, Vote for Me: West Virginia Political Memorabilia .

Elections and campaigns have changed over the centuries, and the 2020 campaign season has looked like none before. As Americans decide on the future, this exhibit explores some of West Virginia’s political past, the contributions of West Virginia politicians, as well as the history of campaign materials.

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Libraries to host talk on democracy, voting and race on Oct. 30

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 26th, 2020
Atiba Ellis, WVU Magazine, WVU Photo/Raymond Thompson

In commemoration of the Suffrage Centennial, the WVU Libraries’ Art in the Libraries Virtual Program will host Atiba Ellis, Professor of Law at Marquette University Law School, on democracy, voting and race on Oct. 30 at 6 p.m.

Ellis researches how racial and class-based oppression interact continue to abridge and deny the right to vote to communities on the margins of American democracy. His work has analyzed voter identification laws for their socioeconomic effects, situated felon disenfranchisement laws as enforcing a political underclass, analyzed the theoretical scope of the Citizens United decision, and described the ideological drivers of vote suppression.

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WVU to celebrate Isaac Asimov in virtual symposium

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 23rd, 2020
I, Robot cover

To celebrate the work of science fiction author Isaac Asimov and the West Virginia University Libraries’ Isaac Asimov Collection, the University is hosting the 2020 WVU Isaac Asimov Collection Symposium, a virtual event, on Oct. 31 from 3-5:30 p.m.

Asimov (1920-1992), widely considered one of the greatest science fiction writers of the twentieth-century, earned the title of “The Great Explainer” because he made complicated subjects easy to understand.

Marking the centennial of Asimov’s birth and promoting science fiction as an academic resource, the Asimov Symposium will feature conversations and presentations from the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy at the University of California at Riverside, the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas, WVU’s Rare Book Collection and Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Department of English science fiction faculty.

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Libraries to host digital Women of Appalachia spoken word event

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 14th, 2020

In commemoration of the Suffrage Centennial, the WVU Libraries’ Art in the Libraries Virtual Program will host “Women Speak”, a juried performance of poetry, songs, short stories and essays, in a virtual format on Saturday, Oct. 17, from 1-3 p.m.

The annual event is a creation of the Women of Appalachia Project (WOAP) who issues a call to residents throughout Appalachia. This year’s participants hail from West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina.

“Many people have an image of an Appalachian woman, and they look down on her. 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,” said Kari Gunter-Seymour, WOAP founder and executive director.

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Libraries to host former National League of Women Voters president on Oct. 9

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 5th, 2020
Ceperly

In commemoration of the Suffrage Centennial, the WVU Libraries’ Art in the Libraries Virtual Program will host Becky Cain Ceperley, former National League of Women Voters president, for a talk on the impact of voter registration and turnout on Friday, Oct. 9, from noon-1 p.m.

Ceperley is an at-large member of the Charleston City Council and serves as its president. She’s a former member of the Public Policy Committee of the Council on Foundations; national Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; the Advisory Committee on Election Law to the American Bar Association; the national Campaign Finance Institute; and the West Virginia Election Commission. Ceperley is also a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from WVU’s Political Science Department and the Eberly College of Arts and Science.

This event is in conjunction with WVU Libraries’ exhibition Undefeated: Canvas(s)ing the Politics Around Voter Suppression Since Women’s Suffrage  and in partnership with the West Virginia Women Vote of Morgantown coalition. Register here: https://wvu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMtdOusqzkqHtVegUOoI4zelpa8qehOaOBN

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Libraries to host storyteller performing as suffragist

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 16th, 2020
Ilene Evans performing as suffragist Coralie Franklin Cook.

In commemoration of the Suffrage Centennial, the WVU Libraries’ Art in the Libraries Virtual Program will host West Virginia storyteller Ilene Evans performing as suffragist Coralie Franklin Cook on Friday, Sept. 25, from noon-1 p.m.

Cook (1861-1941) was a gifted orator and respected leader in women’s suffrage, temperance, the fine arts and education. After graduating from Storer College at Harpers Ferry in 1881, she became the school’s first female instructor of African American descent. Cook went on to teach elocution at Howard University, establishing it as a permanent part of the curriculum and the foundation of their drama department.

This event is in conjunction with WVU Libraries’ exhibition Undefeated: Canvas(s)ing the Politics Around Voter Suppression Since Women’s Suffrage  and in partnership with the West Virginia Women Vote of Morgantown coalition. Register here: https://wvu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYud-uvqzgpHtTcPir8e-SKdJBkjvMxcwRL

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Libraries to host Eleanor Smeal talk to mark Suffrage Centennial

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 20th, 2020
Eleanor Smeal

In commemoration of the Suffrage Centennial, the WVU Libraries’ Art in the Libraries Virtual Program will host Eleanor Smeal, former president of the National Organization for Women, on Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 6 p.m. Register for this virtual program at https://wvu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIqc-yhrjovHtx7x3qOFbQv-71CXS9_0d2S

This event is in conjunction with WVU Libraries’ exhibition Undefeated: Canvas(s)ing the Politics Around Voter Suppression Since Women’s Suffrage  and in partnership with the West Virginia Women Vote of Morgantown coalition.

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Undefeated exhibit debuts online on August 7

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
July 22nd, 2020
Artwork by Dayanita Ramesh
Artwork by Dayanita Ramesh

An online version of West Virginia University Libraries’ exhibit Undefeated: Canvas(s)ing the Politics of Voter Suppression Since Women’s Suffrage debuts with a virtual program on Aug. 7 from noon-1 p.m.

Marking the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment to the U. S. Constitution (granting women the right to vote), and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (enforcing voting rights for racial minorities), this exhibition centers on efforts to suppress the votes of women and minorities since 1920.

“This exciting exhibit is timely not only due to the anniversaries of voter inclusion events in our nation’s history, but also timely due to new questions around access to voting that have arisen during this time of COVID-19,” Dean of Libraries Karen Diaz said. “I think everyone will enjoy the artistic approach to presenting the issues through the campaign button motif.”

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Faculty Exhibit Award recipient details her experience in creating “Big Green Data”

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
January 17th, 2020

By Lara Farina

English professor and recipient of the WVU Libraries’ 2019 Faculty Exhibit Award

Farina’s 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.

Archival 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.

A print titled Bugloss
“Bugloss” from Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 130, f. , late 11th century. llustration and synonyms.
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WVU Libraries opens exhibition on Voting Rights Act of 1965

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
January 14th, 2020
Telegram from Martin Luther King Jr
In this July 1965 telegram, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. urges Congressman Arch Moore to vote against the McCulloch amendment to the Voting Rights Act, which removed automatic triggers from the bill. The House rejected the measure 166 to 215. From the Governor Arch A. Moore Jr. papers, West Virginia & Regional History Center.

West Virginia University Libraries’ 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.

Enacted 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.

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Submissions deadline approaching for Libraries’ voter suppression exhibit

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
December 20th, 2019
collection of political buttons

The submissions deadline is Jan. 17, 2020 for West Virginia University Libraries’ 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.

“Undefeated: Canvas(s)ing the Politics of Voter Suppression since Women’s Suffrage” will open at the Downtown Campus Library in fall 2020 and address the political process with special attention to efforts to suppress the votes of women and minorities since 1920.

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Downtown Campus Library hosting Faculty Exhibit Award winner talk on Oct. 24

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 16th, 2019
Illustration titled The Fruit of the Mandragora

English Professor Lara Farina, winner of the 2019 Faculty Exhibit Award, will talk about her research and exhibit Thursday, Oct. 24, at 4 p.m. in the Downtown Campus Library, Room 1020.

WVU Libraries’ Arts in the Libraries committee selected Farina, a professor in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Department of English, for her proposal of an exhibit that visually showcases her scholarship in a new and experimental way.

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