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Authors in the Archive

Posted by Jane Metters.
November 18th, 2013

November is, among other things, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short.  West Virginians writing novels this month (or any other) can take inspiration from fellow Mountaineers who have written for pleasure and profit, some of international fame.  Aspiring novelists can explore the writing processes of these authors by examining collections of their papers, some of which have been collected and preserved by the West Virginia and Regional History Center.

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University and Local Communities Attend Read-In

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 13th, 2013

People from the University and Morgantown communities gathered together recently at the Downtown Campus Library to participate in a read-in and discussion focused on the Libraries’ new collection of Islamic culture books.

The event, hosted by the Libraries, the WVU Religious Studies Program, and the Islamic Center of Morgantown, promoted the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf, a collection of books, films, and an online database funded through an award by the National Endowment of the Humanities and the American Library Association.

Students from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds read selections from poetry, prose, and personal narratives. Participants took time to discuss each reading and offered their thoughts the on works.

“Sharing literature helps us recognize commonalities that transcend geographic origins or religious beliefs,” said Beth Toren, media and religious studies librarian for the WVU Libraries. “Recognizing our common humanity broadens and balances our perspectives.”

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Introduction to Grant Seeking and Finding Funders with Foundation Directory Online

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 11th, 2013

WVU Libraries will host a free workshop on grantseeking basics for nonprofit organizations on November 19, 2013, from 9-11 a.m., in Room 136, Downtown Campus Library.

“Introduction to Grantseeking” will be led by Penny Pugh and Alyssa Wright and will provide an overview of the funding research process for nonprofits seeking grants from foundations, corporations, and grantmaking public charities.

Participants will learn how best to identify funding sources for their nonprofit organizations, using the electronic and print resources available for free at WVU’s Downtown Campus Library.   The workshop will include a demonstration and hands-on practice with the Foundation Directory Online, the Foundation Center’s premiere searchable database that provides information on more than 110,000 grantmakers and more than 3 million grant records.

Please register by email: ppugh@wvu.edu or by phone: 304-293-0337.

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Veterans Remembered at the WVRHC

Posted by Jane Metters.
November 11th, 2013

Veterans Day is celebrated annually on November 11 as a remembrance of those who have served in the United States armed services.  Founded as "Armistice Day" by President Wilson in 1919, it was intended to honor the heroism of the veterans of World War I on the day that hostilities ceased.  The holiday was later designated through law to officially recognize all US military veterans under the current name of "Veterans Day."

The West Virginia and Regional History Center also honors veterans through the acquisition and preservation of records that document their service.  We have records of West Virginians who have served in many conflicts, including the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and Vietnam.

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Happy Election Day for Tippecanoe and Tyler Too

Posted by Jane Metters.
November 5th, 2013

On June 9, 1840, Peter Garnall of Wheeling, [West] Virginia, wrote a letter to his nephew Mordecai Garnall in Pensacola, Florida.  He wrote about the importance of staying in touch with one's family, his curio cabinet, and predictions for the upcoming presidential election, which pitted General William Henry Harrison ("Tippecanoe") and his running mate John Tyler against then-President Martin Van Buren.

Excerpt from Garnall’s letter (A&M 2543):

The approaching Presidential election has produced an excitement far beyond anything of the kind I have ever witnessed.  The people assemble in thousands.  We have on the vicinity of this place four very large meetings. That at West Alexander is said to have numbered from eight to ten thousand.  They had one yesterday of some three thousand at a small village eight miles above Wheeling & there is to be another ... on the 3rd September, which will in all probability number many thousands, but so far they [all] gone off in harmony, the prevailing opinion amaze many of the [?] who have been collecting information that Gen. Harrison will get two hundred & forty eight electoral votes out of the two hundred & ninety five.  The Whigs are very sanguine of success.  Senator Tallmadge in a letter I read yesterday says that Gen. Harrison’s majority will exceed that of General Jackson in his palmiest days, he says that N. York will give the former a majority over Mr. VanBuren of fifteen thousand at least.  In & about Wheeling an overwhelming majority of the men women and children are all alive to the success of Harrison.

Mr. Garnell’s sources were very nearly correct:  Harrison won 234 out of 294 electoral votes, and he won the popular vote in New York, Van Buren’s home state, by over 13,000 votes.  The popular vote in Virginia was close, with a little over 1000 votes swinging all of the state’s electoral votes in favor of Van Buren.

Harrison’s election was unique for many reasons.  First, he broke with tradition and became the first president to actively campaign.  However, his first campaign, for the presidency in 1836, failed.  Harrison’s campaign tours were not the type of campaigning Americans usually see today— Harrison was trying to show people that he was healthy enough for the presidency.  Unfortunately, he became the first president to die in office, holding his presidency for only one month.

HarpWeek has more information on the evolution of presidential campaigning here.

Blog post by Jane Metters.

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