May 28, 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.

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.

VIVA Course Redesign Grants

UMW Libraries is excited to announce that the second round of VIVA Course Redesign Grants is now open. These grants are designed to empower faculty at Virginia higher education institutions with the resources and time they need to redesign courses by swapping out expensive textbooks for open, no cost, or library options. These materials may be adopted as is, adapted, or created from scratch.

This program awards grants from $1,000-$30,000 to assist faculty members at any VIVA institution in transitioning to course materials available at no cost to students, such as OER textbooks and/or library resources. Proposals may involve one person or teams that include: teaching faculty, librarians, instructional designers, subject matter experts, editors, graphic designers, or others as needed. Applications that include multi-institutional partnerships are encouraged.

More information, including the full Request for Proposals, application details, and evaluation criteria are available at http://vivalib.org/courseredesign.

Applications are due September 30, 2019, and award notification will take place on December 9, 2019.

An informational webinar will be held at the following times, and will include a general introduction to the grants, the application process, and a Q&A:

Questions about the program may be submitted to viva@gmu.edu.

UMW faculty interested in utilizing Open Educational Resources (OER), no-cost, or low-cost learning resources can find additional resources on the Libraries’ OER Guide at: https://libguides.umw.edu/OER.

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 to Celebrate Bales’ Cubs Book Release

Reference and Humanities Librarian Jack Bales

Reference and Humanities Librarian Jack Bales

UMW Libraries will hold a gathering to honor Reference and Humanities Librarian Jack Bales in celebration of the recent publication of his book Before They Were the Cubs: The Early Years of Chicago’s First Professional Baseball Team. The festivity, which promises baseball, books and even hotdogs, will be held Monday, April 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Jepson Alumni Executive Center located on Hanover Street.

Bales, who grew up near Chicago and became a diehard Cubs fan, covers the team’s  rarely addressed formative years. In true librarian style, he cites thousands of original sources—though the amazing read isn’t limited to baseball lovers.

“Comments have been positive and gratifying, especially from people who don’t particularly enjoy baseball,” says Bales, who’s assisted generations of students with research and taught hundreds of library classes in his nearly four decades at UMW. “They’re getting caught up in the stories and the vignettes of the players, as well as just the whole period that is covered—19th-century America.”

To view the invitation and RSVP, go to:

UMW Libraries to Host Scholarly Communications Forum

Open AccessPlease join UMW’s librarians as they lead a discussion of issues in scholarly communications and open access publishing on Thursday, Oct. 23 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm.  The forum will take place in Room 412 of Lee Hall, and is open to all UMW faculty members. The event, held during Open Access Week, will kick off a series of three forums on these topics that will take place over the 2014-2015 academic year.

For more information on Scholarly Communications and Open Access, please visit:

http://www.openaccessweek.org/

http://www.sparc.arl.org/issues/open-access

http://libguides.umw.edu/scholar