October 30, 2020

UMW Libraries’ Collection Captures COVID-19 History

Reference Librarian Peter Catlin planned to get married in Virginia Beach in May. But the state’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order canceling public gatherings put a kink in his wedding plans. Instead, after many attempts, the couple got special permission from Fredericksburg’s clerk of circuit court, who married them on the sidewalk outside the city courthouse. The […]

UMW Libraries’ Collection Captures COVID-19 History

UMW Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives team is collecting and digitizing a variety of COVID-19 related materials, from diaries to photos to social media posts. Anna Billingsley, associate vice president for University Relations, submitted a screenshot of her personal blog, “Coronavirus Captivity,” chronicling her experiences working remotely and living during the pandemic.

UMW Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives team is collecting and digitizing a variety of COVID-19 related materials, from diaries to photos to social media posts. Anna Billingsley, associate vice president for University Relations, submitted a screenshot of her personal blog, “Coronavirus Captivity,” chronicling her experiences working remotely and living during the pandemic.

Reference Librarian Peter Catlin was set to get married in Virginia Beach in May. But the state’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order canceling public gatherings put a kink in his wedding plans. Instead, after many attempts, the couple got special permission from Fredericksburg’s clerk of circuit court, who married them on the sidewalk outside the city courthouse.

The nuptials marked the beginning of a life together and, when Catlin typed up his story, something else – a special UMW Libraries initiative named Call to Contribute. “It was a very cool start to the project,” said Records Coordinator Sarah Appleby ’06.

The University’s archiving team likes to dig deep in the past, but its mission is also to gather current experiences so future historians can better understand today. To do that, they are asking the UMW community to help create a record of what lives look like in these days of quarantine, remote learning, hand-sewn masks and Zoom meetings.

“We see history happening, and we have to do something to make sure that doesn’t just go away,” Appleby said of the effort.

The team – Carolyn Parsons ’83, head of Special Collections and University Archives; Angie Kemp ’11, digital resources librarian; and Appleby – will collect and digitize a variety of COVID-19 related materials, from diaries and blogs to artwork and photography. They encourage anyone affiliated with Mary Washington to contribute. Read more.

UMW Libraries Invite Faculty to Contribute to Assignment Bank

As the school year comes to an end, it’s a good time to look back on the assignments that you gave to your students. Which assignments worked particularly well? Would you be willing to share those assignments with your colleagues?

The UMW Libraries invite all faculty members to contribute assignments to the UMW Assignment Bank. The purpose of the Assignment Bank is to help instructors share innovative assignment designs with each other. You can upload your own assignments and browse other instructors’ assignments. Some assignments are available under Creative Commons licenses, so you can reuse them in your own courses.

The Assignment Bank is at http://umwassignmentbank.net/. To contribute an assignment to the Bank, go to http://umwassignmentbank.net/contribution.

UMW Libraries Launch Assignment Bank

The UMW Libraries are excited to announce the launch of a new website for instructors: the UMW Assignment Bank. The site is available now at http://umwassignmentbank.net.

The UMW Assignment Bank is an online repository of course assignments. Its purpose is to help instructors share innovative assignment designs with each other. In the Assignment Bank you’ll find examples of assignments that your colleagues are using in their courses. You can use these assignments to inspire your own designs. Some assignments are available under Creative Commons licenses, so you can reuse them in your own courses.

All UMW instructors are welcome to contribute their assignments. Contributing to the Assignment Bank doesn’t just help your colleagues — it’s an opportunity for you to be recognized for your own innovative work. To upload an assignment that you’ve designed, go to the Assignment Bank and click Contribute an Item.

The UMW Libraries would like to thank Liane Houghtalin, Kristen Marsh, Leslie Martin, Marie McAllister, Woody Richardson, Mara Scanlon, and David Stahlman, for being the first contributors to the Assignment Bank.

The site was built by UMW librarians Peter Catlin, Katherine Perdue, and Angie White. For a detailed account of the site’s origins, see this blog post on the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies blog.