Ask A Librarian

Veterans Outreach Program invites student veterans to mindfulness luncheon on Friday

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 18th, 2016

The WVU Libraries’ Veterans Outreach Program (WVUL-VOP) is hosting a luncheon program for student veterans on Friday at noon in the Downtown Campus Library, Room 2036.

The talk, entitled “Mindfulness 101,” is geared toward student veterans and will provide an introduction to mindfulness and offer personal applications for the practice. The guest speaker is a physician and veteran. Dr. Michael Brumage, MD, MPH, FACP, is the executive director/health officer for the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. He served in the U.S. Army for more than 20 years.

November is Mindful Mountaineers Month at WVU. This program will be a preview of the special events that are coming up each day in the month ahead. For more information, contact Carroll W. Wilkinson, director of Strategic Library Initiatives at WVU Libraries, at cwilkins@wvu.edu or 304-293-0308.

Celebrating 50 Years of Star Trek: The Original Series

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
October 14th, 2016

Blog post by Stewart Plein, Rare Book Librarian.

Star Trek ship USS Enterprise

This year, 2016, marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic science fiction TV show, Star Trek, which debuted in 1966.  Today, following an unprecedented series of spin offs, the first Star Trek is referred to as TOS or The Original Series.  To celebrate Star Trek’s 50th anniversary I would like to share with you a new acquisition to the Rare Book Room in the West Virginia and Regional History Center, a miniature book titled Star Trek: A Television Series, 1966-69.

Front cover of miniature book titled Star Trek: A Television Series, 1966-69. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Archives Matter: A View From the West Virginia and Regional History Center

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
October 7th, 2016

By Danielle Emerling and Jane LaBarbara, Assistant Curators at the West Virginia & Regional History Center. Reposted from Archiving West Virginia.

October is American Archives Month, and for the first time, archives in our state are collaborating to celebrate “West Virginia Archives Month.” Archives from around the Mountain State will contribute blog posts to this site, host events, and invite everyone to visit and experience the rich history and culture of our state.

West Virginia Archives Month is a perfect time to reflect on what archivists do and why it matters. As the building blocks of history, archives are a vital part of our lives and our democracy. At a recent event, Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame succinctly described the importance of archives when he said, “Without these documents, without these gems and genuine artifacts, there’s no story to tell.”  Read the rest of this entry »

WVRHC releases digital photographs from the career of Senator Rockefeller

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 6th, 2016

West Virginia University Libraries’ West Virginia & Regional History Center has released more than 1,500 digital photographs from the Senator John D. Rockefeller IV archives. Available from the Libraries’ website, the photographs document many significant moments from Rockefeller’s 30 years in the U.S. Senate.

The images, taken by the Senate Photographic Studio, begin with the Senator’s first swearing-in ceremony in January 1985 and help tell the story of his many contributions in the U.S. Congress. The photographs capture the Senator through the years speaking at press events, presiding over committee hearings, and attending functions on Capitol Hill. He was photographed with policy leaders, business directors, and many of his congressional colleagues.

 Vice President George H. W. Bush administering oath to Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller. Rockefeller is joined by his wife, Sharon, Senator Robert C. Byrd and former Senator Jennings Randolph, whom he succeeded. Senate Photographic Studio, January 15, 1985.

Vice President George H. W. Bush administering oath to Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller. Rockefeller is joined by his wife, Sharon, Senator Robert C. Byrd and former Senator Jennings Randolph, whom he succeeded. Senate Photographic Studio, January 15, 1985.

Read the rest of this entry »

You Want A Coat? Give Me Apple Butter!: A Bartering Tailor in Early Morgantown

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
October 3rd, 2016

Blog post by Michael Ridderbusch, Associate Curator, WVRHC.

The West Virginia and Regional History Center recently acquired the daybook, or daily accounting log, for Morgantown tailor Sanford Pickenpaugh, who according to Ancestry, was born in Monongalia County on 30 October 1811, and passed away on 27 June 1898.  He married Aneliza Ramsey (1818-1899).  Dating from ca. 1838-1840, the daybook includes the names of the early residents of Morgantown, many of whom were descended from the earliest pioneers.  Read the rest of this entry »

Evansdale Library to host patent and trademark training sessions

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 20th, 2016

Representatives from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will visit West Virginia University on Thursday, Sept. 29, and Friday, Sept. 30, to provide training on patents and trademarks.

WVU Libraries and the Health Sciences Innovation Center will co-sponsor the program on Sept. 29, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., at the Evansdale Library. Sessions will include an introduction to intellectual property, hands-on training for patent and trademark searches, and a panel discussion on services available at WVU for inventors.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mourning McKinley

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
September 13th, 2016

Blog post by Stewart Plein, Rare Book Librarian.

Portrait of President William McKinley

William McKinley (1843 – 1901), the twenty-fifth president, was the third U.S. President to be assassinated, after Lincoln and Garfield.  He died this month, September 14, 1901, six days after a disgruntled anarchist shot him while he shook hands with the public at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.  Read the rest of this entry »

Downtown Campus Library hosts Appalachia art reception

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 12th, 2016

West Virginia University’s Downtown Campus Library will host a reception Saturday, Sept. 17, 1-3 p.m. for two exhibits designed to create conversations about life in Appalachia.

Looking at Appalachia is a juried collection of images by amateur and professional photographers directed by West Virginia native Roger May. It chronicles life in the 13-state region more than 50 years after President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. The pictures line three walls on the Library’s first floor.

Looking at Appalachia provides a glimpse into the 13-state region, photo by Alyssa Wright

Looking at Appalachia provides a glimpse into the 13-state region, photo by Alyssa Wright.

Hollow is an award-winning web-based interactive documentary created by WVU alumna and state native Elaine McMillion Sheldon. It examines the issues facing McDowell County residents and the reasons behind the massive exodus from the area over several decades. Hollow won a Peabody award in 2013 and was nominated for an Emmy in 2014. An exhibit in the Downtown Campus Library Atrium showcases the participatory project.

Images from the documentary Hollow adorn a wall in the Downtown Campus Library Atrium, photo by Alyssa Wright.

Images from the documentary Hollow adorn a wall in the Downtown Campus Library Atrium, photo by Alyssa Wright.

Read the rest of this entry »

Preserving the History of West Virginia Flour Sacks

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
September 6th, 2016

Blog post by Jane Metters LaBarbara, Assistant Curator for Archives and Manuscripts, and Anna Schein, Associate Curator for Printed Ephemera, WVRHC.

During colonial times, agricultural products were stored and transported in heavy wooden barrels or boxes. By the mid-1850s, cotton bags became the preferred method of transporting flour, sugar, seed, animal feed, and fertilizer. Especially in rural communities, these bags, commonly known as feed sacks, were reused to make clothing, curtains, sheets, towels, quilts and more. (To see a fantastic example of a feed sack dress, take a look at this dress made for the 1959 Cotton Bag Sewing Contest, preserved by the National Museum of American History.) Company logos printed on the bags with water soluble inks could be removed by soaking the bags in a combination of lye, soap, and bleaching agents. By the end of the 1950s, almost all of the products previously packaged in cotton bags were sold in paper or plastic sacks which were cheaper to produce and considered more sanitary.

The S. George Company in Wellsburg, West Virginia printed company logos on paper flour barrel labels and paper flour sacks by using metal and wood engravings.  Amazingly, many of these engravings survive today and are preserved in the GramLee Collection, curated at WVU’s College of Creative Arts.  Some S. George Company flour sack proofs made for West Virginia mills and businesses are now in the WVRHC’s A&M 3868.

 

Flour sack proof for Mountain State Brand Flour, showing farm buildings and agricultural equipment

Cropped image of an S. George Company flour sack proof for a Moundsville, WV brand (from A&M 3868)

  Read the rest of this entry »

Are you frustrated by the price of textbooks?

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 1st, 2016

OA logo

The Downtown Campus Library is looking for 10 students to participate in a discussion about textbook prices and alternatives on Sept. 7.

Did You Know?

  • The College Board estimated that the average undergraduate paid $1,225 for textbooks and supplies in 2014–15.
  • The cost of textbooks is rising at a rate of 4 times inflation.
  • Seven out of 10 students don’t purchase a required textbook during their academic career because of cost.

Experts from the University of Minnesota’s Open Textbook Network will be on campus and we would like to give students an opportunity to talk about how the cost of textbooks affect them.

Where: Downtown Campus Library, Room 2036

When: Wednesday, Sept. 7, 5-6 p.m.

If you have a story to tell, please sign up here. Space is limited to 10 students. Dinner will be provided for all participants. If you have questions, please contact Genifer Snipes, chair of the WVU Libraries Open Educational Resources Committee, at 304-293-4240 or genifer.snipes@mail.wvu.edu.

This focus group is sponsored by WVU Libraries.

"West Virginia" by Honaker and Jay

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
August 29th, 2016

Blog post by Lori Hostuttler, Assistant Director, WVRHC.

 

West Virginia’s scenic grandeur
Is a boon to every eye;
For her mountains, tall commanding
Shoulder out the very sky.

Peaceful vales and virgin forests
Rolling hills and canyons grand;
Nature’s wealth and beauty garnered
In my lovely, native land.

 

The chorus of the song “West Virginia” by T. J. Honaker and Harry Jay sings the praises of the natural beauty of the Mountain State.  The score for this ode to West Virginia is part of the WVRHC’s Sheet Music collection, A&M 723.

 

Cover of sheet music booklet for song West Virginia

Read the rest of this entry »

Faculty: Attend Open Textbook Workshop on Sept. 7 and earn a $200 stipend for writing a textbook review

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 29th, 2016

OA logo

Are you an instructor who is concerned about the impact of high textbook costs on your students? Explore a possible solution – open textbooks – by attending a two-hour workshop and writing a short textbook review on a textbook in your field. Receive a $200 stipend for your efforts.

Did You Know?

  • The high cost of some course materials can impede students’ academic success.
  • The College Board estimates that the average undergraduate paid $1,225 for textbooks and supplies in 2014–15.
  • The cost of textbooks is rising at a rate of 4 times inflation.
  • Seven out of 10 students don’t purchase a required textbook during their academic career because of cost.
  • 60% of students have delayed purchasing textbooks until they’ve received their financial aid.

Open textbooks can help alleviate the burden of textbook costs for students and provide faculty with content that can be customized for their course. Open textbooks are complete, real textbooks, used by many faculty across the country, and licensed to be freely used, edited, and distributed.

What you can do

Read the rest of this entry »

Open Access Author Fund supports researchers

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 23rd, 2016

Researchers choosing to publish their work Open Access may be eligible for assistance from the WVU Libraries’ Open Access Author Fund (OAAF). The Libraries established the OAAF in January as part of its commitment to provide open access to scholarly content published by WVU authors for anyone anywhere.

Dr. Peter Giacobbi is among the first faculty members who have benefited from the pilot project.

The Journal of Medical Internet Research published his research protocol for a National Institute of Health-funded project he began working on while at the University of Arizona with principal investigator Dr. Judith Gordon. He and a multi-disciplinary team developed a Smartphone app that assists women with smoking cessation and diet simultaneously.

“The Open Access grant was extremely helpful. Unfortunately, we did not budget in this grant for publications,” Giacobbi said.

Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome Back: A Look Back at Fall Semesters Past at WVU

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
August 18th, 2016

Students walking on WVU campus

Blog post by Stewart Plein, Rare Book Librarian.

Move In Day
The Old Fashioned Way with Horse and Buggy on Falling Run Road, 1895

Horse and Buggy on Falling Run Road (dirt), 1895

Read the rest of this entry »

Shoofly Pie and West Virginia

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
August 8th, 2016

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

I was not born in West Virginia, and as a non-native, sometimes I make mistakes.  One recent mistake was believing the internet when it told me that shoofly pie is West Virginia’s state dessert.  I thought that would be a good idea for a blog post, maybe comparing a few shoofly pie recipes and commenting on its history in relation to West Virginia.  Then, I learned that there is a wet-bottom and dry-bottom version of this pie—which was more popular in West Virginia, I wondered? So I started asking my coworkers, and learned one very important thing: almost none of the people in my department had shoofly pie before.  I resolved to make one, but I still needed to learn more about West Virginia desserts, and about shoofly pie.  Read the rest of this entry »

A Growing Morgantown 50 Years Ago

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
August 3rd, 2016

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

These days most folks who visit Morgantown after being away for a while can’t help but comment on the tremendous growth of the University and the town.  Fifty years ago, in the mid-1960s, Morgantown was also experiencing a growth spurt.  Expansion of the Medical and Evansdale campuses prompted the need for additional roads and enabled new commercial areas to develop.

The new University Hospital and Medical Center were both operational by 1960.  Construction of the Engineering and Agricultural Sciences buildings was completed just a few years later.  The first two Towers dormitories opened in 1965.  The area needed a new route to connect it all together.   The following photographs show the development of Patteson Drive from 1959 to 1966.  Read the rest of this entry »

Historical Photographs of Amusement Park Discovered

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
July 25th, 2016

Blog post by Michael Ridderbusch, Associate Curator, WVRHC.

 

In reviewing a recently acquired collection of photographs at the History Center, images from a long gone amusement park from southwestern Pennsylvania were discovered.  Known as “Oakford,” it was established in 1901 by a trolley company with the intent to attract riders during times when traffic would otherwise be slow — the evenings and weekends.  Since this was a typical business strategy of trolley companies across the nation during the early 20th century, these amusement parks came to be known as “trolley parks.”  Business slowed at Oakford during the depression years of the 1930s, and with the rise of the automobile, the park closed before World War II.  Read the rest of this entry »

The Exploits of Andrew Summers Rowan and his Message to Garcia

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
July 19th, 2016

Blog post by Stewart Plein, Rare Book Librarian.

 

One hundred and eighteen years ago, the name Andrew Summers Rowan (1857-1943), a native of Union, West Virginia, was on everybody’s lips.  A decorated war veteran, Rowan was widely recognized for accomplishing the impossible during the Spanish-American War, the same war that brought Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders to public prominence, paving the way for Roosevelt’s future presidency.

 

Seemingly larger than life, Rowan’s great military achievement received mythological status in his day.  The oft repeated tale begins with President McKinley’s request for a soldier capable of tracking down General Calixto Garcia, the leader of insurgents in Cuba’s civil war with Spain.  McKinley’s goal was to find a way to communicate to Garcia that the United States planned to enter the war on the side of Cuba.  An important message to be sure and one that Garcia would find most welcome.  But in order to accomplish this treacherous mission, McKinley needed a man who could face all threats and successfully carry out this important task.  Rowan was that man.   Read the rest of this entry »

Jerry West Memorabilia

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
July 11th, 2016

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

Group photo of Bob Huggins, Rod Thorn, President Gee, Jerry West, and Senator Joe Manchin

Bob Huggins, Rod Thorn, President Gee, Jerry West, and Senator Joe Manchin
(Willie Akers, not pictured, also spoke)

Our West Virginia Day event on June 20 was a big success!  We had a great group of speakers, we shared the state’s birthday cake, we opened our physical collection of Jerry West materials to researchers, debuted our Jerry West digital collection, and opened our exhibit of Jerry West memorabilia.  However, we know that not everyone who wanted to come could join us that day, and many fans from afar may not be able to visit the exhibit at all.  Staff at the WVRHC will make a slide presentation of our physical exhibit, as we’ve done the past few years, but that won’t be ready until the fall semester.  I put together a little preview for Jerry West and WVRHC fans far away.  Enjoy!   Read the rest of this entry »

Thomas and Walter Biscoe and their 1884 Allegheny Valley Tour

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
July 6th, 2016

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

In 1884, Thomas Dwight Biscoe and his brother Walter Stanley Biscoe headed out on a trip across West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, traveling by horse and buggy and camping out as needed. With Thomas’ wife and daughter in tow, they captured the sights and scenery of the trip by taking over 200 photographs along the way.  The unique images document the region and battlefield sites just a little less than twenty years after the end of the Civil War.  Marietta College in Ohio owns the original glass plate negatives.  Copies from the plates can be viewed in in West Virginia History OnView, the West Virginia & Regional History Center’s online photographs database.   Read the rest of this entry »