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WVU Libraries to mark West Virginia Day on June 21 with “West Virginia’s Poetic Heart”

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
June 14th, 2022
West Virginia Day postcard

West Virginia University Libraries and the West Virginia and Regional History Center will help you find the words to celebrate the Mountain State’s 159th birthday with “West Virginia’s Poetic Heart” on June 21 at 1 p.m. in the Downtown Libraries’ Milano Reading Room. The date of this event has changed because of a University holiday.

The West Virginia Day program brings together West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman and the poetry of noted Appalachian poet Maggie Anderson.

“We are thrilled for Marc to headline our first in-person West Virginia Day program since 2019,” WVRHC Interim Director Lori Hostuttler said. “Although Maggie isn’t able to participate in the program, she will be present through Marc reading her works. Listening is poetry is always moving and inspiring, and will help us celebrate the experiences and relationships we as West Virginians value most.”

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Libraries unveil inaugural Inclusive Portrait

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
May 11th, 2022
Portrait of Victorine Louistall Monroe
Dean of Libraries Karen Diaz and artist Anna Allen pose with Allen’s portrait of Victorine Louistall Monroe.

Victorine Louistall Monroe made history twice at West Virginia University. She received her master’s in education from WVU in 1945, making her the first known Black female to be awarded a graduate degree from the University. Then, Monroe made history again in 1966 when WVU hired her to teach Library Science, making her the University’s first Black faculty member.

In April, WVU Libraries unveiled a portrait of Monroe (1912-2006), Professor Emerita of Library Science, the first painting to be commissioned as part of the Inclusive Portrait Project, in the Downtown Library’s Robinson Reading Room.

“We are excited to celebrate Victorine Louistall Monroe with this portrait,” Libraries Dean Karen Diaz said. “A true Mountaineer, Victorine broke several barriers throughout her life and set a shining example for future generations to emulate.”

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Libraries to unveil inaugural Inclusive Portrait

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 13th, 2022
Victorine Louistall Monroe gives a presentation at a public library, circa 1974.

West Virginia University Libraries will unveil a portrait of Victorine Louistall Monroe (1912-2006), Professor Emerita of Library Science, the first painting to be commissioned as part of the Inclusive Portrait Project, April 28 from 4-6 p.m. in the Downtown Library’s Robinson Reading Room.

“We are thrilled to honor Victorine Louistall Monroe with this portrait,” Libraries Dean Karen Diaz said. “A true Mountaineer, Victorine broke several barriers throughout her life and set a shining example for future generations to emulate.”

Monroe graduated from Kelly Miller High School in Clarksburg and earned her bachelor’s degree from West Virginia State College. She received her master’s in education from WVU in 1945, making her the first known Black female to be awarded a graduate degree from the University.

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Libraries to host Food Justice in Appalachia “Community+Food” virtual panel discussion

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 6th, 2022
Food Justice poster

Food is vital to sustaining all living things; yet, not everyone has access to a constant food supply, let alone fresh healthy foods. Do you want to know what local organizations are doing to help the community access food security?

West Virginia University Libraries will host a panel discussion titled “Community+Food” April 13 from 4-5 p.m. in the Downtown Library, Room 104. The program is in conjunction with the “Food Justice in Appalachia” exhibit and will give panelists the opportunity to share their organization’s role in making food more accessible to the community. For those who can’t physically attend, the discussion will also be available for viewing on Zoom.

Register for the Zoom event here.

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WVRHC to host “Engaging the Queer Feminist Archive” discussion

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 9th, 2022

The histories of traditionally marginalized groups have long gone unrepresented in archives. As part of its effort to reduce that disparity, the West Virginia & Regional History Center will host researcher and author Susan Ferentinos to discuss how to better represent LGBTQ+ communities in archival collections. The hybrid event will take place on March 31 from 3-4 p.m. in the Milano Room in WVU’s Downtown Library and on Zoom.

Register for the Zoom event here: https://wvu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIld-6qpj4oHNU8cntURXD1sq_mQPReRIkN%20

“Engaging the Queer Feminist Archive” is part of the WVRHC’s newly developed West Virginia Feminist Activist Collection (WVFAC). The growing collection works to capture the stories of West Virginia individuals and organizations who have fought for social justice and equity. Often, such activists are left out of the historical record for going against the status quo and/or having marginalized identities.

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Libraries to host Women of Appalachia Project’s “Women Speak” on March 12

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 8th, 2022
Women Speak graphic

The Women of Appalachia Project’s (WOAP) “Women Speak” performance, a juried presentation of story, poetry and song showcasing women artists living in or having strong ties to Appalachia, will be held Saturday, March 12, from 1-3 p.m. on Zoom. Register for the event here. https://wvu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAqceCqpzgqGNQRinIi6rE00i9V7PIx3EGh

The event is a presentation of readings published in WOAP’s anthology series “Women Speak.” This is WVU Libraries’ fifth time hosting the event, which is co-sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center, WVU LGBTQ+ Center and Center for Women’s and Gender Studies.

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Libraries, History Department mark Buffalo Creek disaster anniversary with exhibits, event

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 23rd, 2022
Photograph of Buffalo Creek
Photograph of the damage along Buffalo Creek after the flood, February 1972, Governor Arch A. Moore Jr. papers, WVRHC.

In the early the morning of February 26, 1972, a coal slurry impoundment on Buffalo Creek collapsed, sending millions of gallons of wastewater rushing into the valley below. Hundreds of people died or were injured, and thousands were left homeless. The cleanup, investigations, and lawsuits that followed further strained the community.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the disaster, WVU Libraries and the Department of History have created exhibitions online and in the Downtown Library’s Atrium that will remain on display through December.

In conjunction with the exhibits, the Libraries’ Local to Global Film Series and Department of History will host a virtual screening of Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act of Man and Buffalo Creek Flood Revisited followed by a discussionwith award-winning film director Mimi Pickering on March 3 at 7 p.m. Registration for the event is open.  

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Graduate Assistant Reflects on Buffalo Creek Disaster 50th Anniversary Archives and Exhibit

Posted by Admin.
February 21st, 2022

By Crystal Coon

Early on the morning of February 26, 1972, a coal slurry impoundment on Buffalo Creek collapsed, sending millions of gallons of wastewater rushing into the valley below. Hundreds died or were injured, and thousands were left homeless. The cleanup, investigations, and lawsuits that followed further strained the community.

Located in Logan County, West Virginia, the Buffalo Creek Valley is a series of communities built upon the coal mining industry along the banks of a small stream known as Buffalo Creek. At 8 o’clock in the morning on that fateful day, Dam No. 3 failed, sending 132 million gallons of water careening down the Buffalo Creek Valley. It traveled in a twenty- to thirty-foot-high flood wave that moved at about seven feet per second. Within three hours, the wall of water had traveled over seventeen miles, and seventeen communities were partially or totally destroyed by the flood. In total, 118 people were killed in the flood, while seven were never accounted for after the disaster. There were 1,119 people who were physically injured by the floodwaters. Approximately 4,000 people were left homeless when 507 homes were destroyed, 273 homes were left with major damage, and 44 mobile homes were completely destroyed. Ten bridges were destroyed in the flood as well as hundreds of miles of roads and highways. The destruction left behind in the valley after the water receded would take years to recover from, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Photograph of property damage done in the Buffalo Creek area by the flood, 1972 | from the Arch A. Moore Papers

Governor Moore created the Ad Hoc Commission of Inquiry into the Buffalo Creek Flood to investigate the reasons for the failure of Dam No. 3. The commission was charged with determining who was at fault for the collapse of the dam and the resulting loss of life and the destruction of property. The Commission gathered witnesses, heard testimonies, and talked to experts in the field of coal mining operations to best figure out why the tragedy occurred, who was responsible for it, and how it could be avoided in the future. In their conclusion, the Commission placed the blame on the parent company of Buffalo Mining Company but acknowledged that the lack of laws and regulations by the state and federal governments contributed to the failure of the dam.

Telegram from William Egan, Governor of Alaska, 1972 | from the Arch A. Moore Papers

On the 50th anniversary of the disaster, an online exhibit explores its history and implications for the present. The Buffalo Creek Disaster: 50 Years From Flooding is an online exhibit that showcases the disaster and aftermath of the devastating flood that hit Logan County in 1972. Curated from documents and photographs available through the West Virginia and Regional History Center, this exhibit focuses on the tragedy and recovery of the Buffalo Creek area. There is also an in-person exhibit that will be on display in the Downtown Library Atrium until December 2022. This exhibit will have some documents and photographs from the archives that show and discuss the disaster. During the spring semester, Mimi Pickering, filmmaker and director of “The Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act of Man,” will be hosting a virtual screening on her film at the Downtown Library. More information will be available as the event draws closer.

Photograph of Crystal standing next to the exhibit she worked on in the downtown library, personal photo

Having had the opportunity to sort through the papers from the Arch Moore administration about the disaster, I feel more connected to the event and the devastation that it left behind. Putting the exhibit together allowed me to sift through some of the more unseen side of the flood and people’s response to it. It gave me a deeper appreciation for the response of people all around the world when disaster strikes and they see other people in need. Seeing the letters, photographs, newspaper articles, disaster reports, and memos telling the governor of another body that was identified has allowed me to truly see even more meaning in the work that archives do in preserving emotion and memory.

Join the 2022 “Amplifying Appalachia” Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
January 26th, 2022
Amplifying Appalachia logo

WVU Libraries is once again hosting its “Amplifying Appalachia” Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, an effort to amplify the stories and figures of under-represented Appalachian artists, writers, and other creators, particularly women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals.

“Amplifying Appalachia” is open to all and will run virtually from March 21-25. Participants can contribute whenever it is convenient them. Prior Wiki experience is not necessary.

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“Justice for Afghan Women and Girls Now” virtual event set for January 25

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
January 12th, 2022

Plan to log on to “Justice for Afghan Women and Girls Now: Understanding and Action,” a virtual event January 25 from 6-7 p.m. that will explore the aftermath of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021 that has placed many women and girls in crisis.

“One of the strengths of the panel is we have speakers who are approaching the issue from a variety of perspectives. This is a unique opportunity to hear multiple sides and multiple perspectives on women’s and girl’s rights in Afghanistan,” said Amy S. Thompson, Chair of the Department of World Languages, Literatures & Linguistics and the Director of International Relations and Strategic Planning for the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.

Register for this Zoom event here: https://wvu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYsfuuvqDwqH9xubfAt-5S-LEq6TwqNTEoP

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Libraries select two Student Art Award recipients

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
December 8th, 2021

The Art in the Libraries Committee and Dean of Libraries Karen Diaz selected Payton Brown, a first-year MFA candidate in painting, and Liuqing Ruth Yang, a senior BFA candidate in painting graduating this December, to receive the 2021 Dean of the Libraries’ Student Art Award.

Brown received the award for her work, “The Star Theatre,”an oil canvas painting. Brown describes the subjects of her paintings as, “vintage, seemingly outdated scenes of urban life in America” with the goal of perpetuating a “sense of nostalgia and longing amongst viewers.”

Payton Brown poses with painting
Payton Brown poses with her painting, “The Star Theatre.”
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Three Art in the Libraries exhibits now up at HSC

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 8th, 2021

There are three new Art in the Libraries exhibits on display at the Health Sciences Center and the HSC Library.

West Virginia People of Color in Healthcare

Health Sciences Center Pylons, November 2021-May 2022

Mildred Mitchell-Bateman
Dr. Mildred Mitchell-Bateman, courtesy WVRHC

Healthcare in the Mountain State, like many areas in rural Appalachia has obstacles to overcome such as employing a diverse population of providers and equitable access to quality healthcare. Historically, People of Color in health care navigated their own path through discrimination, segregation, and systemic racism to become practitioners. Today’s practitioners continue the legacy of providing communities quality care and generating People of Color’s increased trust in medical institutions thus increasing the quality of public health and well-being. This exhibit looks at the past, present and future of West Virginia People of Color in Healthcare with historical imagery and text, current perspectives and WVU initiatives and more. View the online exhibit here.

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WVU Libraries to host online Pearl Buck symposium

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 1st, 2021
Pearl Buck and daughter
Pearl S. Buck with her adopted child Chieko Usaki Walsh, circa 1962.

West Virginia University Libraries and the WVU President’s Office will co-host the 2021 Pearl S. Buck International Symposium from Nov. 4-5. The online event is titled “Wisdoms of Pearl: Examining the Life and Legacy of Pearl S. Buck.”

Jay Cole, senior adviser to WVU President E. Gordon Gee, explained the meaning behind to the event’s title. “Pearls of wisdom” is a saying and a metaphor expressing the belief that wisdom is valuable and worthy of admiration. By inverting this saying to “wisdoms of Pearl,” referring to Pearl S. Buck, we have the theme for the 2021 Pearl S. Buck International Symposium.

“This theme allows us to examine the ‘wisdoms’ Buck shared through her writings, speeches, advocacy, and global humanitarian efforts, both during her life and as part of her legacy since her death. This theme also allows us to examine the ‘wisdoms’ many others have gained from Buck’s work, from literary scholars and historians to artists and diplomats,” Cole said.

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Libraries to host “American Dime Novels: Racialization / Erasure” virtual presentation

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 28th, 2021
Book cover
Images courtesy Northern Illinois University Libraries’ “Nickels and Dimes Collection.”

WVU Libraries will host English professor Nancy Caronia for a virtual presentation titled “American Dime Novels: Racialization / Erasure” Thursday, Nov. 4, at 4 p.m.

Caronia, a teaching associate professor in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Department of English, will discuss her “American Dime Novels: Racialization / Erasure” exhibit now open in the Downtown Library, Room 1020. It includes a series of dime novel covers, showing how stereotypes of these communities followed and / or promoted state and national policies regarding immigration policies including the Chinese Exclusion Act, Indian removal acts, and Jim Crow practices focused on voter suppression.

To virtually attend Caronia’s presentation, register for the Zoom program here: https://wvu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcrfuuqrzkqGt2F9y1oxAe9-N1u3wUkWvxQ

“These covers reflect not only past US history, but also current practices regarding twenty-first century immigration policies and discourse in both political and popular culture,” Caronia said.

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Asimov Symposium to illuminate “Night of the Living Dead”

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 19th, 2021
Scene from Night of the Living Dead

Long before zombies lumbered through 11 seasons of the popular television series “The Walking Dead,” there was an infamous night when corpses first crawled from their graves to haunt the living. The annual West Virginia University Isaac Asimov Sci-Fi Symposium will celebrate the classic horror film “Night of the Living Dead” on October 28 at the Mountainlair’s Gluck Theater.

Make your way to the student union while it is still light outside. The event, co-sponsored by the President’s Office and WVU Libraries, begins at 4 p.m. with a panel discussion with “Night of the Living Dead” co-writer and actor John Russo, BS ‘61, who will talk about the impact of his iconic movie in taking the horror film genre to a new level.

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“Food Justice in Appalachia” exhibit opens on World Food Day

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 6th, 2021
Food Justice poster

WVU Libraries’ “Food Justice in Appalachia” exhibit will open at the Downtown Campus Library with a reception Saturday, Oct. 16, from 4-6 p.m. with a virtual offering of presentations at 5 p.m.

“Food Justice in Appalachia” is a multidisciplinary print and online exhibition featuring multiple themes in the food justice movement and offering suggestions for action to shape a more just, equitable, and sustainable food system.

“This collaboratively curated exhibition brings together artists, storytellers, farmers, activists and scholars to highlight intersecting values that shape our foodways through the lens of regional food activists working to address hunger and build alternative food futures,” Libraries Exhibit Coordinator Sally Brown said.

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WVU Libraries opens “Intelligence and Oversight After 9/11” exhibit online

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 8th, 2021
Senators Rockefeller and Feinstein
Senators Jay Rockefeller and Dianne Feinstein confer during a hearing of the SSCI, January 22, 2009.

The WVU Libraries’ West Virginia & Regional History Center has created a digital exhibition about intelligence and congressional oversight after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Using select materials from the archives of Senator Jay Rockefeller, the exhibit and digital collection explore how the intelligence community and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence responded to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The exhibit text is derived from the Memorandum for the Record regarding a Review of Senator John D. Rockefeller’s Service on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: 2001-2015.   

Senator Rockefeller was appointed to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) in January 2001. His tenure coincided with some of the most critical years for the SSCI and the intelligence community. Only eight months after joining the SSCI, terrorists carried out attacks on U.S. soil on September 11. The 9/11 attacks thrust the Intelligence Community, and consequently the SSCI, into the limelight in unprecedented ways and changed the nature of the conduct of intelligence oversight.  

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Evansdale Library to host 9/11 exhibit

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 1st, 2021
New York skyline
View of lower Manhattan’s buildings behind a bridge spanning a calm river. The Twin Towers stand tall above other buildings, reaching up to a clear blue sky. Photo by David Monderer, provided by the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

WVU Libraries will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy with “September 11, 2001: The Day that Changed the World,” an exhibit at Evansdale Library that presents the history of 9/11 and its ongoing implications through the personal stories of those who witnessed and survived the attacks.

Told across 14 posters, the exhibition includes archival photographs and images of artifacts from the 9/11 Memorial & Museum’s permanent collection. It explores the consequences of terrorism on individual lives and communities at the local, national, and international levels, and encourages critical thinking about the legacies of 9/11.

“During this 20th anniversary year, it is our privilege to share these lessons with a new generation, teach them about the ongoing repercussions of the 9/11 attacks and inspire them with the idea that, even in the darkest of times, we can come together, support one another and find the strength to renew and rebuild,” said 9/11 Memorial & Museum President and CEO Alice M. Greenwald.

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“Appalachian Futures” exhibit traveling Appalachia

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 25th, 2021
art exhibit

West Virginia University Libraries’ “Appalachian Futures” exhibit has made its second stop on its tour of Appalachia. The exhibition will be on display at Appalachian State University’s Belk Library through December.

“Appalachian Futures” is the Art in the Libraries’ second annual collaborative, multidisciplinary project advancing important conversations in the region. The exhibit addresses the dominant contemporary narratives about Appalachia in a new way — how the people of Appalachia have worked and will work to rewrite their own narrative and transcend limiting definitions of what it means to be Appalachian.

“’Appalachian Futures’ takes us beyond the stereotypes to paint a rich and multi-layered picture of what it means to be Appalachian,” Libraries Exhibits Coordinator Sally Brown said.

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West Virginia Botanic Garden hosting exhibit and lecture

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 23rd, 2021
A print titled Bugloss
“Bugloss” from Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 130, f. , late 11th century. llustration and synonyms.

The West Virginia Botanic Garden will host Lara Farina, West Virginia University professor of English  in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences  and recipient of the WVU Libraries’ 2019 Faculty Exhibit Award, for a presentation titled “Big Green Data: Herbal, Science & Art” Sunday, Sept. 19, at 2 p.m. in their Education & Event Center.

Farina researched the early conceptualizations of botanic life in the pre-modern medicine world, as well as its effect on philosophy, art, and literature. She will discuss the categorization and naming of plants in ancient and medieval cultures, with a special focus on herbals.

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