August 15, 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 […]

Contribute COVID-19 Stories to Special Collections and University Archives

Archival materials detailing the University of Mary Washington’s history are used in many research projects. Photo provided by Simpson Library.

Archival materials detailing the University of Mary Washington’s history are used in many research projects. Photo provided by Simpson Library.

Today, we are all finding our way through a crisis that future students and scholars will be studying in the years ahead. We know that it is important to preserve as much of the record as possible for future researchers. Staff in Special Collections and University Archives are archiving the University’s response to COVID-19. However, there are important materials that we cannot collect without your help: individual stories. If you’re a UMW community member and have been keeping a record of these events and how they’ve impacted your life, please consider donating them to University Archives in the future. If you haven’t, please consider this a call to write and help us document this unprecedented global crisis. Read more.

Contribute COVID-19 Stories to Special Collections and University Archives

Archival materials detailing the University of Mary Washington’s history are used in many research projects. Photo provided by Simpson Library.

Archival materials detailing the University of Mary Washington’s history are used in many research projects. Photo provided by Simpson Library.

Today, we are all finding our way through a crisis that future students and scholars will be studying in the years ahead. We know that it is important to preserve as much of the record as possible for future researchers. Staff in Special Collections and University Archives are archiving the University’s response to COVID-19. However, there are important materials that we cannot collect without your help: individual stories. If you’re a UMW community member and have been keeping a record of these events and how they’ve impacted your life, please consider donating them to University Archives in the future. If you haven’t, please consider this a call to write and help us document this unprecedented global crisis. Read more.

Professor Wins Grant to Pen Open Education Textbook

It’s a dilemma faced by many students on financial aid. Funds often don’t hit accounts until a few weeks into the semester, so students can’t purchase textbooks, and they risk falling behind. Melissa Wells, an assistant professor in UMW’s College of Education (COE), knows this scenario all too well. That’s why she’s designing an Open […]

Professor Wins Grant to Pen Open Education Textbook

Melissa Wells, an assistant professor in UMW’s College of Education, was recently awarded a $10,000 grant by VIVA – Virtual Library of Virginia – to write an Open Education Resources textbook.

Melissa Wells, an assistant professor in UMW’s College of Education, was recently awarded a $10,000 grant by VIVA – Virtual Library of Virginia – to write an Open Education Resources textbook.

It’s a dilemma faced by many students on financial aid. Funds often don’t hit accounts until a few weeks into the semester, so students can’t purchase textbooks, and they risk falling behind.

Melissa Wells, an assistant professor in UMW’s College of Education (COE), knows this scenario all too well. That’s why she’s designing an Open Education Resources (OER) textbook for her Foundations in Education course, thanks to a $10,000 grant from VIVA – Virtual Library of Virginia – a consortium of nonprofit academic libraries within the Commonwealth. News of the grant comes as educators nationwide celebrate Open Education Week, March 2 to 6.

As the cost of textbooks rises, so does the importance of providing access to personalized learning materials meant for diverse audiences. Buoyed by new Virginia legislation encouraging the adoption of open and affordable materials in higher education, Mary Washington professors like Wells are leading the way. Read more.

Bales Interviewed about Cubs, Research and Impending Retirement

Jack Bales at the celebration held by the University of Mary Washington in honor of his new book. Photo Credit: Erin Wysong.

Jack Bales at the celebration held by the University of Mary Washington in honor of his new book. Photo Credit: Erin Wysong.

Reference and Humanities Librarian Jack Bales was recently interviewed by his alma mater, the University of Illinois’ School of Information Sciences, about his research, impending retirement and his lifelong passion for the Chicago Cubs.

As baseball teams gear up for spring training this month, Jack Bales (MS ’74) will begin another season of following—and researching—the Chicago Cubs, a team whose history he knows well. Bales, a reference and humanities librarian, combined his expert research skills and interest in the Cubs to author a book on the team’s early history. His book, Before They Were Cubs: The Early Years of Chicago’s First Professional Team, was published last spring by McFarland & Company.

“It took years of research and writing (I have a full-time job), and since some of the newspapers I needed to consult are not available online, I spent several years going through microfilm page by page and year by year,” Bales said. “I would spend every Christmas vacation camped out by the library’s microfilm reader-printers. One of my colleagues still remembers how she came in one day when I wasn’t there and noticed my CD player, sweater, water bottle, snacks—and even my bedroom slippers—all neatly arranged beside reels of microfilm.” Read more.

Kemp Presents on Digital Archiving Lab at Digital Scholarship Conference

UMW community members collaborate on a variety of digital preservation projects in Simpson Library’s Digital Archiving Lab.

Angie Kemp, Digital Resources Librarian at Simpson Library, presented on UMW’s Digital Archiving Lab at the Bucknell University Digital Scholarship Conference in early October. The presentation provided an overview of the lab as a space for the digitization of unique materials and as a collaboration space for faculty, staff, students and community members. The presentation also discussed how a digitization lab can be a space for preserving community history, learning marketable skills and building confidence with technology tools.

2019 National Day on Writing

The University of Mary Washington is celebrating the 2019 National Day on Writing, an initiative of the National Council of Teachers of English to promote writing not just as a critical part of literacy, but as worthy of celebration and greater attention in its own right. On October 21, from 11-2 p.m., several departments and offices on campus, including the Department of English, Linguistics and Communication; Honors Scholars; Writing Center; Simpson Library; and the UMW Barnes & Noble Bookstore will have tables set up at their locations with opportunities for student engagement.

Departments involved include:

  • Department of English, Linguistics and Communication
  • Honors Scholars
  • Writing Center
  • Simpson Library
  • Student Activities and Engagement
  • UMW Barnes & Noble Bookstore
  • Eagle One

At 30, UMW’s Simpson Library is an Open Book

Throughout its 30-year history, the University of Mary Washington’s Simpson Library has kept up with changing times and evolving technology. Its current collection claims online journals, a greater collection of electronic books than those in print and modern entities like the ThinkLab and Digital Archiving Lab. Photo by Norm Shafer.

Throughout its 30-year history, the University of Mary Washington’s Simpson Library has kept up with changing times and evolving technology. Its current collection claims online journals, a greater collection of electronic books than those in print and modern entities like the ThinkLab and Digital Archiving Lab. Photo by Norm Shafer.

James Pape doesn’t think of Simpson Library as being the big brick building with all the books across from the Hurley Convergence Center.

“The library is the entire campus,” said Pape, Simpson’s access services and outreach librarian. “Students are still using the library when they’re reading books or other materials in their residence halls or apartments, or even when they’re using our databases to conduct research.”

A storehouse of sources, it has served since 1989 as the University’s knowledge center, supporting teaching, learning, research and service happenings on and off campus. In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Simpson Library will hold a reception today, Oct. 2, from 3 to 5 p.m., for the campus community.

“On the outside, it may look much as it did when it opened 30 years ago, but inside we are evolving into a 21st-century library,” said University Librarian Rosemary Arneson, who pointed to online journals, a greater collection of electronic books than those in print and modern entities like the ThinkLab and Digital Archiving Lab. “At our heart, however, we continue to be committed to providing excellent service to the UMW community.” Read more. 

UMW ‘Keeps the Light On’ Banned Books Week

Born in Russia, UMW sophomore Katia Savelyeva has called America home for most of her life. But the English major sometimes wonders what it would be like had she stayed in St. Petersburg. “I hope I’d still do things that don’t require as much bravery here in the United States,” said Savelyeva, who read aloud […]