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West Virginia Christmas through the Decades

Posted by Jane Metters.
December 23rd, 2013

For our pre-Christmas post, we bring you images of Christmas in West Virginia from the 1890s through the 1970s.  These photographs, available through the West Virginia History OnView database, capture scenes of family and community life, the state's diversity, caring for the sick, providing for those in need, and celebrating the holiday with pageantry and food.

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Rare books curator receives I Love my Librarian award

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
December 17th, 2013

WVU Today

In a national celebration of beloved librarians, West Virginia University’s rare books curator is among the top 10.

Harold Forbes was named Tuesday one of 10 winners of I Love My Librarian Award by the Carnegie Corp. of New York and The New York Times, through the American Library Association. The award has been presented to just 60 librarians nationwide since 2008.

Forbes’ colleagues say he clearly deserves the award, which recognizes select librarians for service to their communities, schools and campuses.

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Sleigh Riding in West Virginia

Posted by Jane Metters.
December 16th, 2013

The advent of the holiday season evokes in the mind sights and sounds, even smells, related to food, music, and winter landscapes.  Certainly one such holiday image would be sleigh riding, and the mountain landscape of West Virginia provides an ideal backdrop for such imagery, such as that found in Randolph County around the small town of Helvetia.  Settled by the Swiss in the 19th century, this isolated community sustained its cultural identity well into the 1900s.

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Recipes from the Archives

Posted by Jane Metters.
December 9th, 2013

The winter season has long been associated with holidays, friends, family, and food.  For this week’s blog post, we bring you four recipes from the 1800s that show us how Appalachian people from that time would have made popular holiday dishes of today:  pound cake, fruit cake, corn meal rusk (a kind of corn bread eaten for breakfast), and mince pie.

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Major Coal Strike One Hundred Years Ago

Posted by Jane Metters.
December 2nd, 2013

Just over a century ago, in the spring of 1912, a fight broke out between labor and corporate interests in the coal fields around Paint and Cabin Creeks in Kanawha County.  When redress for apparent wage inequality was denied by the mine owners, the workers went on strike, a decision that eventually led to violence, property destruction, and many deaths. Read the rest of this entry »

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