wvuLogo

LIBRARIES

Ask a Librarian

Libraries Extend Hours at Evansdale Library

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 23rd, 2013

If you are a student who needs to work all night to prepare for an exam and finish a project, Evansdale Library will be the place for you this fall.

Beginning September 29, the Evansdale Library will be open around the clock for most of the week. The library will open at 11 a.m. Sunday and remain open until 8 p.m. Friday, and will operate 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comment

What is in the Archive: The Importance of Looking Good

Posted by Jane Metters.
September 16th, 2013

As the third post in our series about the enduring value of archival items, today’s post will explore artifactual value.  The Society of American Archivists’ glossary defines artifactual value as “The usefulness or significance of an object based on its physical or aesthetic characteristics, rather than its intellectual content.”  We can say an item has artifactual value if it is a good example of its type, regardless of its subject matter.  Artifactual value can apply to such diverse items as photographs, land grants, clothing, and books, and it is one of the factors that archivists (and museum professionals) consider when deciding what to preserve for future generations.

Here are a few examples of items with artifactual value that can be found in WVU’s collections: Read the rest of this entry »

Comment

New Research on Prohibition in West Virginia

Posted by Jane Metters.
September 9th, 2013

A century ago, the 1913 West Virginia legislature enacted the Yost Law, establishing the Department of Prohibition to enforce a recently passed state prohibition amendment -- thus began a two decade experiment in prohibition that ended with repeal in 1934.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comment

WVU Libraries Receive Second Grant to Digitize Historical Newspapers

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 3rd, 2013

The WVU LibrariesWest Virginia and Regional History Center has received a $135,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to continue digitizing newspapers published in West Virginia from 1836 to 1922.

“This new grant means that the NEH sees tremendous value in the historical newspapers housed in the West Virginia and Regional History Center, and they want to help us make more of these resources accessible to the world,” said John Cuthbert, Curator of the West Virginia and Regional History Center.

The award is the Libraries’ second grant from the NEH as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program. This collaborative effort between the NEH and the Library of Congress enlists libraries and institutions from around the country to provide enhanced access to historical United States newspapers. In fall 2011, the NEH awarded the WVRHC a $266,000 grant to participate in the project.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comment

Labor History: Battle of Blair Mountain

Posted by Jane Metters.
September 3rd, 2013

Labor Day is a U.S. federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September, honoring the economic and social contributions of our country’s labor force.  The holiday gives us the chance to reflect on West Virginia’s labor history and one of the incidents that shaped it:  the Battle of Blair Mountain.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comment

Civil War Treason Files Discovered in Court Records

Posted by Jane Metters.
August 26th, 2013

Sometimes, when cataloging historical records, there are unexpected discoveries that enrich our understanding of historical events.

Recently, for example, staff at the West Virginia and Regional History Center uncovered records documenting court actions for purpose of taking into custody "traitors" to the United States of America.  These public arrest records, dating from 1861-1862, identify individuals deemed armed supporters of the Confederate government, and mirror the unfolding of events at the beginning of the war in western Virginia.

When southern forces were forming in Randolph County in June 1861, for example, warrants were issued on July 1st for the arrest of John Pegram, a lieutenant colonel, and Granville Shreves, a private in the 25th Virginia Infantry -- both of these men were combatants at the Battle of Rich Mountain on July 11th.  In the Confederate defeat, Pegram surrendered his regiment and Shreve retreated to Camp Allegheny with his unit.  Pegram's younger brother William, incidentally, served as an artillery officer during the war, seeing battle at Gettysburg, among numerous other engagements.

Treason Document for John Pegram

Treason document for Granville Shreves

The collection also includes an 1862 warrant for the arrest of Peregrine Hays, a childhood playmate of Stonewall Jackson and later a rebel soldier, serving with the ill-famed "Moccasin Rangers."  He was captured and held prisoner at Camp Chase, Ohio, returning to Gilmer County after the war.

Peregrine Hays

Peregrine Hays

These examples are only a sample of the numerous treason case files to found in the records of the Court for the Western Judicial District of Virginia, A&M 3951, at the West Virginia and Regional History Center.

Blog post written by Michael Ridderbusch.

Comment

New Students Discover the WVU Libraries

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 22nd, 2013

Before taking any notes, listening to any lectures, or sitting through any classes, more than 2,000 freshmen visited the Library last Saturday.

The event, Discover! WVU Libraries, was part of the 2013 First Year Academy. Its goal was to introduce students to the particular library and the people who will help them with their academic endeavors. Depending on their major, students visited the Downtown Campus Library, the Evansdale Library, or the Health Sciences Library to learn about the services and resources they offer.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comment

Student Life in the Late 1800s

Posted by Jane Metters.
August 19th, 2013

In honor of the first day of class, today's post showcases WVRHC collections of student materials from decades past.  One highlight of our collections is a diary of Everett Crittenden Smith, West Virginia University class of 1877, regarding his experiences as a WVU student in 1874 (A&M 5125).  He recorded his academic activities as well as his participation in a literary society, the military cadets, and the Methodist Episcopal Church.  While we do not have a diary entry from his first day of class, we do have his thoughts on the beginning of his second semester.  An excerpt from his entry of January 3, 1874 reads:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comment

Renovated Evansdale Library Welcomes Students

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 16th, 2013

Searching for a new favorite study spot? Check out the Evansdale Library.

Phase one of the library’s extensive renovation has transformed the building’s second floor into an aesthetically pleasing space conducive to studying, doing research, collaborating on group projects, or taking a break between classes.

“The designers have done a wonderful job creating a space that is inspiring and relaxing,” Evansdale Library Director Mary Strife said. “Whether students need to work or recharge, they are going to really like spending their time at the Evansdale Library.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Comment

WVU Mountaineers and Libraries Kick Off Third Touchdown Challenge

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 13th, 2013

The West Virginia University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the WVU Libraries are teaming up again for the Mountaineer Touchdown Challenge, a fundraising campaign to benefit the Libraries.

The initiative, in its third year, enables participants to pledge a dollar figure per touchdown the Mountaineers score during the 2013 season and subsequent bowl game. The proceeds will support a project within the Libraries.

“The Touchdown Challenge is a fun way for our alumni and fans to celebrate academics and football simultaneously,” Athletic Director Oliver Luck said. “Every touchdown we score this fall will help benefit all students throughout the University.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comment

General Lightburn Battle Sword Gets New Home 150 Years After Vicksburg Campaign

Posted by Jane Metters.
August 12th, 2013

The battle sword of General Joseph A. J. Lightburn (1824-1901), a West Virginian who fought under Ulysses S. Grant at Vicksburg, was recently donated to the West Virginia and Regional History Center. During the siege of that city a bullet struck the sword's scabbard, leaving a deep dent and thereby sparing the general's life. Evidence of Lightburn's good fortune can still be seen on the scabbard to this day. Read the rest of this entry »

Comment

WVU Libraries Go Online with Digital Newspaper Collection

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 9th, 2013

The first crop of the West Virginia University Libraries’ contribution to the National Digital Newspaper Program can now be viewed online at the Chronicling America website.

“This changes everything,” said John Cuthbert, director of the West Virginia and Regional History Center.  “Researchers will no longer have to pore over countless pages looking for needles in a haystack. The ability to do online full-text searches is going to revolutionize newspaper research.”

In fall 2011, as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program, the WVRHC received a $266,000 grant from National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize newspapers published in West Virginia from 1836 to 1922.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comment

This Day in History: Happy Birthday, Jesse Stuart!

Posted by Jane Metters.
August 8th, 2013

Jesse Hilton Stuart (August 8, 1906 - February 17, 1984) was born and raised in the small community of W-Hollow, Kentucky, just west of Huntington, West Virginia.  He is known for his short stories, poetry, and novels about Southern Appalachia. Read the rest of this entry »

Comment

What is in the Archive: The Importance of Meeting Minutes

Posted by Jane Metters.
August 5th, 2013

Last month, we talked about informational value as one of the qualities contributing to the enduring value that archivists assess when acquiring materials.  Another important quality of enduring value is evidential value, which the Society of American Archivists’ glossary defines as “The quality of records that provides information about the origins, functions, and activities of their creator.”  The distinction between the two values is that informational value relates to the content of the records and evidential value relates to the process of creation of the records.  While it is not always easy to tease the two values apart, both are important when considering what materials should be retained for future researchers. Read the rest of this entry »

Comment

Amazing Coincidence Brings Separate Halves of Civil War Letter Together

Posted by Jane Metters.
July 29th, 2013

Two fragments of an eight page Civil War letter, authored by Union soldier Sergeant Benjamin Hughes of West Virginia, were recently brought together at the West Virginia and Regional History Center.  From two different donors and two separate donations separated by a span of three years, the restored letter of 12 November 1862 details the political opinions of Hughes during the current Congressional elections for the House of Representatives.  Even then, as now, the incumbent party lost ground as a result of mid-term elections -- Lincoln's Republicans lost 22 seats while the Democrats picked up 28 for a net swing of 27 percent of the 185 seat House membership.  Apparently a staunch supporter of the Union, Hughes expresses his anxiety over Democratic gains due to their peace agenda: Read the rest of this entry »

Comment

Trip to China Inspires Visitors and Hosts

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
July 23rd, 2013

West Virginia University librarians Jing Qiu and Martha Yancey brought home more than just souvenirs and photographs from their recent two-week trip to China. They returned with a renewed enthusiasm for serving library users.

Earlier this summer, Qiu and Yancey traveled to China through a partnership that began last fall when two librarians from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Deyu “Ben” Gong and Yu “Henry” Huang, spent the semester in Morgantown learning about WVU Libraries’ operations. During that visit, Yancey first witnessed the pair’s enthusiasm for serving library users. In China, upon meeting Gong and Huang’s colleagues, she discovered that the attitude is rampant throughout the SUFE Library.

West Virginia University librarians Jing Qiu and Martha Yancey (second and third from left) traveled to China to spend two week at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics Library. They are joined by Na Li, Foreign Books and Periodicals Reading Room librarian (left); SUFE Library Dean Xiaoye Li; and SUFE Library Associate Dean Xiao Chen.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comment

WVRHC Hidden Gems: Captured Pants, Poison, and Masons

Posted by Jane Metters.
July 22nd, 2013

Some of the WVRHC's Archives and Manuscripts collections are so large and multifaceted that each visit brings to light something new and interesting.  One such collection is A&M 1561, the Roy Bird Cook Papers.  Cook was a Lewis County native and Charleston pharmacist who, in his role as historian, researcher, and author, was a pioneering and effective advocate for the preservation of West Virginia history.  He collected a wide variety of items on many subjects.  A few interesting tidbits are below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comment

The Library in Your Pocket

Posted by ppugh@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
July 19th, 2013

The Libraries offer a variety of services designed for phones and tablets. Here are three things to try right now.

    Read an e-book. Download one of 90,000 e-books from ebrary. Apps are available for Android and iOS devices. Details at ebrary.

    Find research articles for a paper or project. EBSCOhost and Web of Science mobile editions are mobilized at m.lib.wvu.edu/databases.

    Get answers. Text your library questions to 304-220-0919 and get real-time answers.

Comment

WVU Memorabilia in the WVRHC

Posted by Jane Metters.
July 15th, 2013

The West Virginia and Regional History Center has collected a lot of WVU memorabilia over the years.  Our three main collections of memorabilia, A&M 274, 448, and 1385, contain a wide range of artifacts, ephemera, and publications dating back to 1875.  Below are a few items from these collections.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comment

Unearthed at WVU Libraries

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
July 11th, 2013

The West Virginia and Regional History Center is packed with treasures from the state and beyond. Learn more by visiting WVU Today: http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/n/2013/07/10/unearthed-at-wvu-libraries-stories-you-ve-never-been-told-from-west-virginia-s-attic

Comment