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Celebrating William Shakespeare's 450th Birthday

Posted by Jane Metters.
April 21st, 2014

Portrait of William Shakespeare

April 23, 2014 will mark the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare.  Born in 1564 and considered the greatest writer in the English language, Shakespeare is the author of such well known plays as Romeo & Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The WVU Libraries, the West Virginia and Regional History Center, and the Department of English will celebrate William Shakespeare’s birthday on Wednesday, April 23, at 2:30 PM in the Robinson Reading Room located in the Downtown Campus Library.  The celebration includes a lecture by English Professor Dr. Sarah Neville titled, 'Break[ing] into this woman's mood': The Lab Space of Shakespeare’s Henry IV. The talk, according to Dr. Neville, will explore the ways that the current production of Henry IV onstage at WVU’s Creative Arts Center subverts the underlying patriarchal messages of Shakespeare’s play, and adapts it into a feminist tragedy for our modern age.

Portrait of Dr. Sarah Neville

Dr. Sarah Neville, courtesy of the WVU Department of English website

The birthday celebration includes an exhibit of the WVU Libraries’ collection of Shakespeare’s Folios.  The Shakespeare Folios refer to the first published collections of Shakespeare’s plays.  The First Folio, printed in 1623, is the most famous among the four folios published after his death in 1616.  Subsequently, three more printings of the collected plays were published following the first printing of 1623.  Shakespeare’s collected works are called “folio” due to the large size of the paper used in the printing process.  A folio size paper sheet is 15 inches tall; it is then folded in half to make two leaves, or four pages, producing a large book.  This exhibit will mark the first occasion that all four of WVU’s Shakespeare Folios will be on public display.  The exhibit will accompany the lecture in the Robinson Reading Room.

Shakespeare’s birthday celebration began in March when Dr. Neville brought her English 680 Research Methods class, with students Tatiana Robinson, Victoria Dickman-Burnett, Rachael Hoag, Meagan Szekely, Natalie Carpini, and Jonas Mueller, to examine firsthand WVU’s collection of Shakespeare’s Folios.  Stewart Plein, Rare Book Librarian, worked individually with each student as they explored the Rare Book Room’s collection of primary source materials, including the First Folio, pictured below, for their class project.

Students of English 680 Research Methods class with Stewart Plein and Shakespeare Folio

The Shakespeare Folios were a gift from alumnus Arthur S. Dayton, whose collection of works by William Shakespeare and Mark Twain established the Rare Book Room at WVU in 1951.

Blog post by Stewart Plein, Rare Book Librarian.

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Extended Library Hours Have Begun

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 17th, 2014

The WVU Libraries are operating under extended hours. The Downtown Campus and Evansdale libraries will remain open through 10 p.m. Friday. Both libraries will be open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday. For Finals Week, they will be open from 9 a.m. April 27 through 8 p.m. May 2.

The Health Sciences Library will be open from 7:30 a.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday; 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m.-1 a.m. Sunday; 7:30 a.m.-1 a.m. April 28-May 1; and 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m. May 2.

Semester Break hours are available on the Libraries’ website: www.libraries.wvu.edu.

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3 Fantastic Books of Poetry in the Rare Book Collection

Posted by Jane Metters.
April 14th, 2014

In honor of National Poetry Month, today’s post features three wonderful books of poetry in the WVU Libraries Rare Book Collection.  To create this list, I looked for the work of famous poets whom many of us learn about in school.  The Rare Book Collection also includes poetry of many other famous poets who did not make it onto this list (such as Walt Whitman and William Blake) as well as lesser known poets (such as Isaac Asimov, David Selby, and those featured in The Poets of Maine). Read the rest of this entry »

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Learn Non-Profit Fundraising in Summer Service Class

Posted by ppugh@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
April 10th, 2014

This summer, the Libraries are partnering with the WVU Center for Service and Learning and Milan Puskar Health Right to offer ULIB 200, a summer service class on grantseeking for non-profits. Students will learn grantseeking research while they prepare a fundraising plan to help Health Right purchase technology.

ULIB 200 will not only give students hands-on experience with non-profit fundraising, but also teach them how to identify funding sources for non-profit organizations using specialized databases and how to prepare a professional research portfolio. The course will be offered May 19 through June 26.

For more information, visit the course webpage https://www.libraries.wvu.edu/instruction/classes/ulib200 or contact Social Sciences Research Librarian Alyssa Wright at Alyssa.wright@mail.wvu.edu.

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Recent Acquisition: Amy Moore's Scrapbook from the Years 1917 to 1921

Posted by Jane Metters.
April 7th, 2014

Amy Moore in the 1921 Monticola, the yearbook of West Virginia University

Scrapbooks are compelling snapshots of the past.  Their contents, consisting of the tangible ephemera of daily life such as photos, invitations, movie tickets, etc., can bring to life the experience of past times, even for those with only a modest interest in history.  The recently acquired scrapbook of Amy Moore, a WVU student in the period 1918-1921, affords just such a backward look, and the following highlights some of its contents. Read the rest of this entry »

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Try SAGE Research Methods in April

Posted by ppugh@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
April 3rd, 2014

Students and faculty have month-long access to an award-winning new database, SAGE Research Methods. Try it for free and tell the Libraries how you would use it to support your own research projects or teaching.

SAGE Research Methods contains content from journals, books, and reference sources, including The Little Green Books. Researchers can explore methods concepts to help design research projects, understand particular methods, identify a new method, conduct research, and write up findings. Since SAGE Research Methods focuses on methodology rather than disciplines, it will be useful across many fields of study, including the social sciences, business, and health sciences.

To access SAGE Research Methods visit the listing on the library web site.

To learn more, sign up for an online training session. Heather Dray, a trainer from SAGE will conduct a webinar on Monday, April 14th, from 10-11 AM. Contact Penny Pugh, ppugh@wvu.edu, to register for the training.

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President Gee Visits Wise Library

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 3rd, 2014

President E. Gordon Gee offered some inspiring words to WVU Libraries employees during a visit to the Charles C. Wise, Jr. Library Tuesday.

“I appreciate the work that you do,” Gee said. “When I talk with students, they seem to be very happy with the Libraries.”

He said a key to keeping them happy is providing good customer service. Gee encouraged librarians and staff to always be welcoming when someone approaches them for help.

“If a student comes in here and asks a question, and you give them a big hug and tell them, ‘I’m going to help you’, they will always remember that. If you growl at them, they’ll remember that forever. And that’s probably the person who will invent the new Google and would have given us a billion dollars,” Gee said. “Remember, every person is a friend of the Libraries.”

President E. Gordon Gee surveys a gift from the WVU Libraries. Dean of Libraries Jon E. Cawthorne (right) presented Gee with a framed document that records the thousands of degrees Gee has conferred throughout his career.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Beautiful Books: The Designs of Margaret Armstrong

Posted by Jane Metters.
March 31st, 2014

Margaret Armstrong (1867-1944) made books beautiful.  Armstrong was a young woman when she began her career as a book binding designer.  As one of the first women to enter this new field, she would soon make a name for herself that would be recognized by publishers and the book buying public alike for her beautiful and intricate designs.  Years of innovation and technological advancements developed during the industrial era made the manufacturing of her designs possible. Read the rest of this entry »

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Chinese Embassy Donates Books to the WVU Libraries

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 24th, 2014

A book can be the perfect gift to mark an event, celebrate one of life’s milestones, or to signify a friendship.

Officials from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China have donated a selection of books and DVDs to the West Virginia University Libraries as a token of their nation’s growing bond with the University.

“Books are the best way to promote culture. In the future, we can donate more books,” said Zhou Yong, First Secretary in the Embassy’s Cultural Affairs Office.

Dr. Jon Cawthorne, Dean of Libraries, and Zhou Yong, First Secretary in the Embassy’s Cultural Affairs Office, pose with books the Libraries gave Zhou during a ceremony in the Charles C. Wise, Jr. Library’s Robinson Reading Room.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Map Collection Inventory Now Online

Posted by Jane Metters.
March 24th, 2014

Since its beginnings in the 1930s, the West Virginia and Regional History Center has continually sought to collect and preserve maps pertaining to our state and region.  While maps are found in many parts of the WVRHC, the largest gathering exists in the Center’s Map Collection.  Historically, every time a map was added to this collection, staff would type the map’s information on an index card to be placed in the WVRHC’s card catalog.  Patrons looking for maps could browse the cards to find what they needed.  Today, such information is entered into an electronic database, which makes searching the index much easier.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Stephen Foster: 150th Anniversary and Recent Acquisitions

Posted by Jane Metters.
March 17th, 2014

Just recently, January 13th to be exact, occurred the 150th anniversary of the death of Stephen Foster (1826-1864), who passed away in Bellevue Hospital, New York City.  Even after the passage of more than 150 years, many of his songs are still well-known, so well-known in fact that they are characterized as folk music, and are considered a central part of America's cultural heritage.  They include such titles as "Oh Susanna" (1847), the unofficial theme song of the California Gold Rush, "Camptown Races" (1850), "Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair" (1854), and "Beautiful Dreamer" (1864). Read the rest of this entry »

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Women's History at WVU

Posted by Jane Metters.
March 4th, 2014

In recognition of March as Women’s History Month, the WVRHC is pleased to highlight a recently inventoried collection focusing on the history of women at West Virginia University:  the Women's Centenary Records collected by the WVU Women's Studies Center, now the Center for Women’s & Gender Studies. Read the rest of this entry »

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Download BrowZine

Posted by ppugh@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
February 28th, 2014

Now you can easily read and follow favorite scholarly journals from your iPad or Android tablet.

The WVU Libraries are providing access to journals from many major publishers in a format specially designed for tablets, through the BrowZine app.

BrowZine allows you to save journals to a bookshelf, browse tables of contents, download articles and set up alerts when new articles are published.

It is easy to get started. Download the free app from http://thirdiron.com/download/, launch the app, and select West Virginia University from the list of schools. Login with your WVU MyID credentials and begin browsing.

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Frank Holme, Employed Artist and Illustrator

Posted by Jane Metters.
February 27th, 2014

Born in 1868, Frank Holme grew up in the small West Virginia town of Keyser, Mineral County, in the 1870s.  From this inauspicious beginning he became one of the most successful newspaper artists of his era, achieving success as an illustrator just before the advent of newspaper photography. Read the rest of this entry »

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Libraries Staff Member Wins Writing Contest

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 17th, 2014

Here’s a story with a happy ending: A WVU Libraries staff member has won first prize in a literary magazine’s writing contest.

Douglas Campbell, a Library Technical Assistant II, caught the judges’ attention in Ardor Literary Magazine’s Flash Fiction Contest with his short story “Home to Laughter.”

Douglas Campbell

“It’s a wonderful affirmation,” Campbell said. “There are a lot of good writers out there, so the competition is tough. When I win a contest, I’m greatly honored.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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Black History in the WVRHC

Posted by Jane Metters.
February 17th, 2014

In this week’s post, the WVRHC celebrates three African American West Virginians whose achievements in business and education contributed to the betterment of our society:  businessmen Charles H. James and John Hunt, and teacher and librarian Victorine Louistall Monroe. Read the rest of this entry »

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Applications Being Accepted for 2014-2015 Information Literacy Course Enhancement Program

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 17th, 2014

Imagine your students turning in well-researched term papers rather than essays based on Wikipedia or a handful of questionable sources plucked from Google searches. That’s one of the goals of the West Virginia University Libraries’ Information Literacy Course Enhancement Program (ILCEP).

ILCEP, a joint initiative between the Libraries and the Provost’s Office, connects instructors with librarians to enrich student learning by incorporating information literacy concepts into established courses. It addresses the first goal of WVU’s 2020 Strategic Plan: “engaging undergraduates in a challenging academic environment.”

Interested? There are five spots available for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Pete Seeger, "Fifth Face on Mount Rushmore": In Memoriam

Posted by Jane Metters.
February 10th, 2014

The recent passing of folk singer Pete Seeger on January 27, 2014 is commanding the attention of media everywhere, including the New York Times (with a reminiscence by Neil Young), The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, and countless other news outlets, big and small.  This is what we expect when a figure of iconic significance is no longer with us.  The folk musician Paul Metsa, who performed with Seeger at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of a Woody Guthrie tribute, said he should be the "fifth face on Mount Rushmore." Read the rest of this entry »

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New Dean Appointed for WVU Libraries

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 7th, 2014

Jon E. Cawthorne, associate dean for public services and assessment at Florida State University Libraries, has been named dean of libraries at West Virginia University.

“Dr. Cawthorne brings a winning combination of experience and visionary thinking to WVU,” said Michele Wheatly, WVU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “As we work to achieve some ambitious goals for our libraries, I am excited to know that we will do so under his leadership.”

Cawthorne said, “I am thrilled to join a great institution at this time in their history. With so much support from the students, faculty and administration, I look forward to working with everyone to advance WVU Libraries in the years to come.”

Dr. Jon E. Cawthorne

Read the rest of this entry »

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Posted by Jane Metters.
January 27th, 2014

On January 27, 1945, the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, was liberated by Soviet troops.  In 2005, that date was declared to be International Holocaust Remembrance Day by the United Nations General Assembly, to memorialize the victims of Nazi-led genocide during World War II.  Other concentration camps were liberated before and after Auschwitz, as Allied troops advanced into Nazi-held territory.  The first major camp to be liberated, Majdanek or KL Lublin, was discovered by the advancing Soviets on July 23, 1944; Theresienstadt was not officially liberated until May 8, 1945.  The West Virginia and Regional History Center preserves pieces of Holocaust and post-war history.  (Please note, this post includes an image of the dead.) Read the rest of this entry »

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