Celebrating National Library Week

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It’s National Library Week, friends! To celebrate, we’d like to take a look back at the history of our libraries at Mary Washington and see how we’ve grown over the course of more than 100 years.

Students study at tables in the original library.

Students study in Monroe Hall, 1911

The first library on the Fredericksburg campus was in a small room in what is now Monroe Hall. The collection focused primarily on the education curriculum and literature, but included volumes on various other topics such as agriculture and managing a home. This room would support the students from 1911 until 1915, when the library moved to Virginia Hall.

A view of the books, tables, and chairs in the library.

Library in Virginia Hall, 1915

The Virginia Hall library provided more room for the student body and the collection to grow. While housed in Virginia, the library would expand twice–once in 1926 and again in 1937–until it eventually encompassed the bulk of the first floor of the building. By that time, the school was expanding and evolving and the need for a dedicated library building was clear.

The front of Trinkle Library is pictured from across Campus Walk.

Exterior of Trinkle Library

E. Lee Trinkle Library opened in 1941 and would serve as the main library for the campus until 1989. By 1959, according to the Mary Washington College Catalog, the facility “contains more than 130,000 volumes, subscribes to 500 periodicals and newspapers, and has ample space for reading and studying.” By 1988, just before the the end of Trinkle’s run as the library, it would boast nearly 300,000 volumes, 1,300 subscriptions, and 142,000 microform units.

Below, you can see a few images of students using Trinkle library through the years.

Rotunda with circulation desk and card catalog in Trinkle Hall.

Interior, E. Lee Trinkle Library

Students gather at the tables in Trinkle Library, studying.

Students studying in Trinkle Library

A student searches through the card catalog in Trinkle library.

Student with card catalog, 1981

In 1989, Simpson Library opened and continues to serve the students and faculty on the Fredericksburg campus to this day. Today, our collections include more than 500,000 physical volumes in numerous topics, with more than 100,000 electronic books on top of that. Our databases and subscriptions provide access to millions of articles from multitudes of academic journals, magazines, and newspapers. We also have Federal and Virginia government documents, unique rare and archival materials, computers and scanners and printers, a ThinkLab and Digital Archiving Lab, treehouses, sunrooms, and fish! We’ve come a long way since the little room in Monroe.

Two students are depicted reading between the bookshelves in Simpson Library.

Students reading in Simpson Library, 1999

Staff sit at a computer workstation in the Stafford Campus Library.

Stafford Campus Library, 1999

Mary Washington students are doing so many great things, one library isn’t enough to support them! In 1999, the College of Graduate and Professional Studies opened a library at Mary Washington’s new Stafford campus. Currently, the Stafford library supports the education, nursing, and business programs offered at the Stafford campus. Stafford library, like Simpson, is open to all UMW students, faculty, and staff. Members of the community can also use our spaces and resources too! Check with any of our friendly library staff members about rules for alumni or community access.

Front exterior image of Simpson Library with flowering trees in foreground.

Simpson Library in springtime.

Come celebrate National Library Week, or any week, at your nearest library soon!

April 12, 2018

Pay It Forward

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When Special Collections and University Archives staff created this blog three years ago, we decided to name it The Spinning Wheel, referring not only to one of the University’s oldest icons but also to the wheel’s forward motion representing the future and progress.  In these past three years, SC&UA staff have been writing about and documenting the collections, preservation, teaching, outreach and projects that we engage with daily at Mary Washington.

Tomorrow, March 20, is Mary Wash Giving Day, the day when UMW Libraries asks for your support in assisting us to continue our mission – to keep that momentum moving forward! Your donations to UMW Libraries and Special Collections allow us to continue to collect the history of all voices at Mary Washington, to look forward and initiate processes that will ensure that all formats are preserved for future generations and that students, faculty, and researchers will be able to create new scholarship through the resources we provide.

I invite you to join us tomorrow in taking an active role in preserving and making accessible your University’s history and scholarship by giving at https://givingday.umw.edu/! Thank you!

Check out some of the ways students engage with our unique Special Collections and University Archives resources.

Former student aide, Grace May, assists in the scanning of Le Theatre du Monde, a large atlas from our rare books collection.

Former student aide, Grace May, assists in the scanning of Le Theatre du Monde, an atlas from our rare books collection.

Senior, Sophia Geron, celebrates Founders Day at the University Archives table.

Senior, Sophia Geron, celebrates Founders Day at the University Archives table.

Students capture metadata and scan the University's herbarium specimens in the Library’s Digital Archiving Lab.

Students capture metadata and scan the University’s herbarium specimens in the Library’s Digital Archiving Lab.

University Archivist, Carolyn Parsons, works with students as they research the University’s early history.

University Archivist, Carolyn Parsons, works with students as they research the University’s early history.

March 19, 2018

What can you scan in the Digital Archiving Lab?

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The Digital Archiving Lab, located in room 322 of the Hurley Convergence Center, is a space for high-resolution digitization, image processing, and lots of creativity and learning. Patrons can make use of image processing on both PCs and iMacs as well as get assistance with using one of our main three pieces of hardware. Each piece of equipment excels in a different area and can meet many different digitization needs.

One type of scanning device that the Digital Archiving Lab provides is the Cobra Rare Book Scanner. As its name suggests, this scanner was built to carefully scan bound material so that a very limited amount of stress is placed on the binding. The glass cradle gently holds open the book while photographs of both the left and right pages are taken simultaneously. The scanner can produce 600 pixels-per-inch images, optimal preservation resolution for manuscript materials, and can accommodate pages as large as 13 by 18 inches on each side of the book. Furthermore, the glass cradle can be removed so that items that can’t be flattened, such as herbarium specimens, can still be digitized!

Photograph of an overhead rare book scanner ready to scan a book.

The glass V-cradle on our overhead scanner gently holds open the pages of rare books.

A second type of scanning equipment is the Epson Flatbed. The flatbed scanner excels at imaging flat materials at very high resolutions. This equipment can be used to enlarge small materials, such as film slides or small artwork, when the goal is to reprint the image in a larger size. For example, a recent slide that we can scanned was originally about 1 by 1.5 inches, but after scanning at a resolution of 2400 pixels-per-inch, it could be printed in high-resolution at about 8 by 11 inches. This scanner can accommodate flat items as large as 12 by 17 inches, and includes plastic templates that you can fill with film slides or film negatives. Finally, we have flatbed scanners connected to both a PC and an iMac so that more than one person can scan at once, or so that you can use your operating system of choice!

Photograph of a flatbed scanner with its lid open, and a tray of slide film sitting on top.

The flatbed scanners can create very high-resolution images of flat items, including film. They also come with convenient templates so multiple small items can be scanned at once.

Our third option for digitization is most often used when it’s time to get creative with your items. Our Canon 50MP DSLR is the best choice for framed items, clothing, and other objects that are too large or otherwise unable to fit on the scanners above. This device can typically provide a 300 pixels-per-inch image, often more than enough for web viewing or regular printing jobs. There are no size limitations for using the DSLR, and the pop-up photography studio is created to fit the materials needs, whether it’s using a clothing stand or a copy stand! Furthermore, we use industry standard color charts to ensure the color accuracy of every image. While the first two devices can be used independently after training, the DSLR and photography studio require assistance from a staff member. We are happy to help during open hours or by appointment!

Photograph of a camera and lights pointed towards the binding of a book.

Our DSLR can be set up in many different ways. In this case, the camera was used to photograph the binding of a book.

If you have an upcoming scanning project or are curious to know if the Digital Archiving Lab equipment will work for your items, contact us at archives@umw.edu. We have open walk-in hours on Thursdays from 10:00am-noon and 1:30pm-4:00pm. We are also available by appointment.

March 2, 2018

Black History in the Archives

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In honor of Black History Month, the archives staff would like to feature some of our own history with regard to African-Americans at UMW.

Formal desegregation of Mary Washington College didn’t occur until spring of 1964. Prior to integration, there had only been two African-American day students at the school: Jacquelyn Pulliam, who enrolled in summer classes in 1962, and Gaye Todd (now known as Gaye Adegbalola), who attended summer French courses in 1963 while enrolled at Boston University. After the school’s official decision to open enrollment to African-American students, Kay Estelle Savage became the first residential student of color. She would stay for two years and then transfer to Howard University.

Venus R. Jones became Mary Washington’s first African-American graduate, earning a degree in Chemistry in 1968 after just 3 years. Jones would go on to earn her MD from the University of Virginia’s medical school, after which she relocated to Arizona to provide health care to the indigenous population. She became a neurology specialist, rising to chief of neurology at three military hospitals.

Venus Jones poses for a photograph seated at a desk.

Venus R. Jones, ’68.

During her time at Mary Washington, Jones was one of five other black residential students. She joined Chris Hall, Claudith “Dottie” Holmes, and twins Anita and Orita Whitehead. A 1968 Bullet article profiled these five students and their experiences on campus, touching on such topics as segregated housing and prejudice from their white classmates. The “Big Five” as they called themselves in this article—an homage to the Big Four Civil Rights leaders—overall reported very few hostilities from white students on campus, but also noted that many “don’t even know there are [black students] on campus” and likely have never had a conversation with a person of color before. Jones called the latter “an absurd situation in an institution of higher learning.”

Although a small minority at first, black students established events and groups to promote their heritage and increase their visibility on campus. The Afro-American Association was founded in 1970 by Dottie Holmes, one of the “Big Five.” One of the activities the group sponsored was Black Culture Week, which began in 1973. The week began with a ritual and featured various performers and speakers designed to draw attention to the achievements of the black community. While it was open to the public and became a popular event among black students and the larger Fredericksburg community, student organizers were frustrated with the lack of interest shown by many of their white classmates.

Six students hold candles during the opening ritual of Black Culture Week

Opening ceremony of Black Culture Week, 1976.

While Mary Washington had begun attempts at diversifying its student body, the institution still had much room for improvement. In the decades following integration, concerns were raised that the school wasn’t making enough of an effort to recruit people of color. In 1973, almost ten years after desegregation, there were only thirteen black students enrolled. Twenty years after the decision, in 1984, the number of black students had only reached 77. UMW as an institution has certainly made some progress since then, however the conversation around increasing representation and diversity is one that has gone on for decades and continues into the present.

Perhaps one of the most notable moments of black history at Mary Washington occurred with the hiring of Civil Rights leader James Farmer to the History and American Studies department. Farmer’s contributions to the Civil Rights Movement were legendary, and from 1985 until his retirement in 1998, students were able to attend his highly sought-after classes to hear his firsthand accounts of his 1961 Freedom Ride and working for racial equality alongside other leaders like Martin Luther King.

James Farmer points from behind a microphone while speaking.

James Farmer addressing the James Farmer Scholars at their first meeting, 1988.

During Farmer’s tenure here, the college began the James Farmer Scholars program. The initiative identified a number of local black seventh-graders and provided tutoring and encouragement through high school toward the goal of pursuing college. Ideally, these student would choose an academic future at Mary Washington, but the program hoped to motivate them toward any college or university path. Admissions also began sponsoring a program called Black Visions in 1989. This program brought several hundred black high school students to the Mary Washington campus for tours and information sessions, allowing them an opportunity to speak with black faculty, current students, and alumni and to gain an understanding of the campus culture.

Campus continued to feel James Farmer’s influence long after his passing. In 2011, UMW held a series of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides. Part of the celebration included a 1960s bus at the center of an exhibit featuring images and words from the Riders, and four of the original Freedom Riders attended the commemoration. One of them, Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, spoke at Commencement in 2011.

In 2016, UMW granted its fourth ever Monroe Medal–the institution’s highest honor–to Gladys White Jordan, a black woman once denied admission to the college because of her race. She grew up the daughter of MWC Chancellor Grellet Simpson’s housekeeper, excelled in school at the all-black Walker-Grant High School, and aspired to attend Mary Washington upon her graduation in 1956. Despite the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision in 1954, the Board of Visitors denied her entry to the school. Instead, she attended Virginia State College, where she earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. She would go on to be a lifelong educator, earning recognition as teacher of the year in Richmond (twice) and as an “unsung hero” by the NAACP.

Come visit us in the archives or search for more university publications in Eagle Explorer to learn more about black history at UMW. And for Black History Month events happening on campus today, check out the schedule for the 2018 Black History Month Celebration!

Sources consulted:

Alvey, Edward, Jr. History of Mary Washington College: 1908-1972. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1974.

Crawley, William B., Jr. University of Mary Washington, A Centennial History: 1908-2008. Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington, 2008.

Estes, Lindley. “UMW Honors Woman It Once Rejected Because of Her Race.” (Fredericksburg, VA.) Free Lance-Star, March 18, 2016. Accessed February 15, 2018, http://www.fredericksburg.com/news/education/umw-honors-woman-it-once-rejected-because-of-her-race/article_57a9f272-bcdd-53ce-a7b4-1e57883ad104.html

Honnegger, Susan. “The Negro On Campus.” The Bullet, February 19, 1968.

Parsons, Carolyn Sydnor. “Doors and Minds Begin to Open: Decade of Desegregation.” University of Mary Washington Today 29, no. 1 (Winter 2005): 16-19.

Trenis, Neva S. “Freedom Rides Semester.” University of Mary Washington Magazine 35, no. 1 (Spring 2011): 10-23.

February 15, 2018

Welcome Back!

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Welcome readers to the start of our 2018 blog. The Special Collections and University Archives staff is back from Winter Break ready to share posts about what we do, our collections, and the projects we are working on. Upon our return this semester, we were greeted by Old Man Winter’s cold temperatures and a bit of snow, and it looks like more of the white wintry-mix may be in the forecast for next week.

Chalked snowman in the lobby of Simpson Library

Simpson Library Snowman

I must confess, I’m a longtime fan of those perfectly symmetrical six sided flakes, and from looking at photographs and newspapers in our Archives, no matter what decade students are snow lovers too. Everyone loves a good snow day! So let’s journey into the Archives to see how students have embraced campus snow days through the years.

One of the earliest photographs we have showing the campus transformed into a Winter Wonderland is from the portico of Monroe Hall in 1925. Check out the vintage cars in the background!

The portico of Monroe Hall
Later in 1940 The Bullet reported it’s “Snow Use! You can’t keep the Willardettes in when the snow is falling,” referring to the freshmen’s big snowball fight.

Snowball Fight, 1941

Snowball Fight, 1941

“Blizzard Hits Campus” was the main topic of the February 25, 1947 Bullet. The article noted that “this is the worst snow storm in five years” and that students used “large pieces of cardboard for sledding.” Always inventive, students in later years would trade their cardboard for trays from Seacobeck, sledding down the hills behind Mason and Randolph and the Jepson Alumni Center.

Blizzard of 1996

Blizzard of 1996

Various snowmen also dotted the Mary Washington landscape with each new snow.

Look closely, these 1962 students fashioned a snow cat!

Look closely, these 1962 students fashioned a snow cat!

But the best snow photos are of friends having a great time together.

Friends walking in the snow, 1990.

Friends walking in the snow, 1990.

Students pile on top of one another in the snow, 1980

Students pile on top of one another in the snow, 1980

Enjoy the next campus snow and share your great pics with University Archives at archives@umw.edu!

January 29, 2018

Best of 2017: Images from the Digital Archiving Lab

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As 2017 draws to a close, it is a good time to evaluate our digitization projects for the year, taking a look at our successes, challenges, and opportunities. It is also a time when I get to remember the particularly fun and creative scanning set-ups, as well as still shake my head in amazement that I got to work with a book from the 17th century (even after years in this profession, that feeling never wears off!). Furthermore, I have the chance to consider adding a few more items to my “favorites” list that Special Collections and University Archives staff are often asked to discuss!

So, how do I determine my favorite items? Well, I love unique items and digitization challenges! I’ve particularly enjoyed scanning or photographing materials that require a little extra creativity in setting up the camera studio, or some extra processes in the software to emphasize certain aspects of an image.

Here are some of my favorite items that passed through the Digital Archiving Lab this year:

Clothing – Typically, we think of papers and books when the word “archives” is mentioned, but here at UMW, we have many different types of artifacts, in addition to the documents. At the History Harvest this year, we were able to photograph MWC clothing from the 1970s and add those images to our collection. We also photographed an Equestrian Team t-shirt from 2003 that is a part of our physical archive. Aside from creating unique photography studio conditions for each clothing project, it is also interesting to see all of the different designs that have appeared on UMW merchandise!


Photograph of the camera, tripod, and t-shirt set up in the Digital Archiving Lab.

The Digital Archiving Lab turns into a photography studio when digitizing clothing and other artifacts.

Photograph of a grey shirt with the words "Mary Washington Equestrian," a horse jumping, and the year 1918.

The final photograph of the Mary Washington College Equestrian t-shirt.

Scrapbooks – We have a wonderful collection of over 50 scrapbooks in our archive, and I’ve had the opportunity to scan entire books or certain pages throughout the year. I love scrapbooks because the photographs and notes give the reader an individualized look into what campus was like in decades past that you can’t always interpret from official documents or histories. Scrapbooks often require very careful handling for digitization, but being able to provide digital copies of these special pages means that many, many more people will get to see them while the original remains safe and secure in the archive.

Image of a scrapbook page with a photograph of an event at Mary Washington College during World War II, with the caption "The Flag Goes Up!"

Photograph from the Victory Book, detailing events and programs to support the war effort at Mary Washington College during World War II. The Victory Book was won of the first scrapbooks scanned in 2017.

Image of a scrapbook page with five small photographs glued to. Each photograph shows students in daily life activities, such as gardening.

This scrapbook, created by Helen Davenport Smith (Class of 1919), showcased daily life at Mary Washington, which included gardening. The images from this scrapbook are part of our digital collections, courtesy of Joyce Lee Smith, ’58.

Very, very large books – A normal workflow for scanning items from Special Collections and University Archives involves a staff member carefully carrying materials to the Digital Archiving Lab. However, a couple of times this year, we had to use a library cart to transport one book! My favorite aspect of digitizing these large, heavy tomes is photographing the spine; it is always exciting to give patrons a better visualization of how their individually scanned pages fit into the whole book.

Photograph of a chained book.

You might remember reading about chained books from an earlier post. This book not only had a chain for security, but it was quite heavy, too!

Photograph of a large Herball.

Only a few of the pages from this 17th century Herball were digitized, and it was brought over to the Digital Archiving Lab on a cart!

December 8, 2017

WWII Veterans at UMW

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November 11 is Veterans Day. Since its first observation in 1919 (as Armistice Day), Americans have marked the day by honoring and celebrating the service of all our military veterans. In the spirit of the holiday, we wanted to take the opportunity to recognize some veterans from Mary Washington’s earlier student body.

Photograph of veterans casually gathered together on steps. Some are sitting, while others stand and many are chatting.

Veterans on the steps of Trinkle Hall. Image from the Centennial Image Collection, Special Collections and University Archives.

After World War II ended, many returning veterans sought to go to school on the new GI Bill (officially known as the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of 1944). Colleges and universities all over the country were overwhelmed with young men seeking admission, so to help ease the burden, several women’s colleges allowed for men to enroll. Mary Washington was one such school. In the spring of 1946, Mary Washington College began admitting male students who were eligible for assistance under the GI Bill and who otherwise met the requirements for admission (Alvey 299).

Photograph of three rows of students dressed in suits and ties seated on the steps of Monroe Hall.

Mary Washington College veterans sit on the steps of Monroe Hall. Image from the Centennial Image Collection, Special Collections and University Archives.

Male veterans admitted at this time weren’t housed on campus, but attended classes and participated in college events and activities with the rest of the student body. Veterans played on a basketball team that competed against other area groups. A Veterans Club formed and was active for several years (photographic evidence seen throughout this post), and there was a veterans’ representative on the Student Council (Crawley 63).

Some wouldn’t last a semester, but between 1946 and 1958, several young men earned their degrees from Mary Washington. Among them was Robert Combs (’48), son of then-president Morgan Combs. The final vet to graduate as part of this cohort was former Marine Dennis Chauncey Moriarty. He earned his BA in Music in 1958 and spent the last two years of his studies as the only male student on campus. The college wouldn’t seek to enroll men again until it became officially coeducational in 1970.

Photograph of students posed together for a group picture.

MWC Veterans Club, circa 1946. Image from the Centennial Image Collection, Special Collections and University Archives.

We know that many of our students, past and present, served honorably in the armed forces themselves or have family members who served. To all the veterans in the UMW community and beyond: Thank you for your service!

Sources cited:

Alvey, Edward, Jr. History of Mary Washington College, 1908-1972. University of Virginia Press, 1974.

Crawley, William B., Jr. University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1902-2008. University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008.

November 10, 2017

Ghost Goodies and Attacking Aliens!

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Over the years, Mary Washington has gained a reputation for hosting great Halloween celebrations – from the popular Halloweens event described in the eighties as “the biggest party and the biggest weekend of the year” to our current Pumpkin Palooza, a Halloween-themed service day sponsored by COAR to provide safe trick or treating for kids.

Halloweens, 1990

Halloweens, 1990, Centennial Image Collection, Special Collections and University Archives. http://archive.umw.edu:8080/vital/access/manager/Repository/umw:2194

Mary Washington Students Participating in COAR's Halloween Festivities, 1998

Mary Washington Students Participating in COAR’s Halloween Festivities, 1998

As an archivist, I am always curious to know, not only what is happening now on campus, but what was happening “way back in the day” on campus. So I searched “Halloween” in our UMW publications database, Eagle Explorer, and the earliest mention of campus Halloween festivities appeared in the 1914 Battlefield yearbook. The dining hall which was then in Willard Hall was transformed with decorations of black cats and pumpkins. Waitresses dressed as witches and carrying brooms served the faculty and students Halloween dinner! What a treat!

Battlefield, 1914

Battlefield, 1914

That same year, local churches banded together and invited students to a Halloween reception where there were “delicious and appetizing ghost goodies – sandwiches, coffee, cakes, ice cream and fruits” and a fortune teller to tell their fate. All in all, it sounds like 1914 was a banner initial Halloween year.

In the years following, dances and dinners proceeded to be the general Halloween fare on campus until Halloween 1938. That Halloween many students had a frightful scare, as they believed Orson Welles’ electrifying War of the Worlds broadcast was real and that aliens were possibly taking over Fredericksburg and the world. A Bullet reporter recounted:

Out in the halls we find the phone booths crammed with people calling mother and daddy, who are probably by now pieces of charcoal. In the parlors, dates cling to each other in the last few minutes. Presently someone bursts forth with the welcome news that it was only a play being broadcast on the radio.
Personally we hope that there is no scare like this again. We much prefer to be scared by the witches and goblins that fly through the night.

As would I! Who would think searching in the archives could be so scary?!
Happy Halloween!

October 30, 2017

Homecoming: An Eagle Tradition

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As leaves begin to change and decorations turn to gourds and pumpkins, UMW alumni start planning and looking forward to the annual event that brings many college friends back together: Homecoming. Over the years, events have ranged from parades to alumni sports competition, and each has included members of the UMW community traveling back to Fredericksburg for a fun, memorable event. As you’re looking forward to what this year’s Homecoming will bring (taking place October 20th-21st), take a look at the below photographs pulled from the University Archives to see how Eagles have celebrated Homecoming in the past.

In recent years, a variety of events engaged both current students and alumni:

Page from the 2012 Battlefield Yearbook showcasing Homecoming photographs.

The 2012 yearbook showcased several homecoming events.
Image from the Battlefield, Special Collections and University Archives.

There were many years when parades were popular, including both students and alumni riding on floats:

Photograph of several students driving a float down the road.

Students participating in the 2002 Homecoming Parade. Image from the Centennial Image Collection, Special Collections and University Archives.

Photograph of alumni riding in a car with a banner that reads "MWC Alumni Welcome the Golden Club."

A group of alumni ride in a car with a banner that reads “MWC Alumni Welcome the Golden Club.”
Image from the Centennial Image Collection, Special Collections and University Archives.

In other years, alumni participated in athletic events:

Photograph of alumni playing rugby.

At Homecoming in 1995, Alumni took part in a rugby match. Image from the Centennial Image Collection, Special Collections and University Archives. Photograph by Barry Fitzgerald.

Seemingly most important, though, Homecoming Weekend provides alumni an opportunity to catch up with one another:

Photograph of Alumni outside of Belmont.

Alumni gather outdoors at Belmont in 1973. Image from the Centennial Image Collection, Special Collections and University Archives.

Photograph of a group of people eating in Seacobeck Dining Hall.

Members of the UMW Community eating in Seacobeck Dining Hall during the 1965 Homecoming Luncheon.
Image from the Centennial Image Collection, Special Collections and University Archives. Photograph by Colony Studios.

Special Collections and University Archives staff wish a wonderful Homecoming Weekend to our fellow Eagle Alums!

October 12, 2017

October is Archives Month

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October is just around the corner, and now our thoughts turn to crisp autumn days, Halloween, and manuscript collections spread about like so many fallen leaves.

That’s right; it’s Archives Month! Archives all over the country are celebrating their treasures, and we’ve got a few things happening in Virginia to help highlight our collections and to bring curious minds deeper into the archives and what it is we do here. This year, since Virginia is also recognizing the 100th anniversary of statewide prohibition, the theme of Virginia Archives Month is “Spirits in the Archives.”

The term “spirits” is, of course, open to interpretation.

And in the “spirit” of the theme, the Virginia Caucus of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) created a contest to inspire creative interaction with some very cool materials contributed from various institutions across the state. REMIX | Spirits in the Archives gives anyone a chance to use your talents to remix these materials in most any way you can imagine!

Create GIFs, redaction poetry, collage, memes, or use any other digital manipulation tricks up your sleeve. You can also interact with the items physically if that’s your bag! Stitch, cut, knit, glue, or whatever you like; just take a photo or scan of your completed creation. Visit the flickr site for the 2017 image submissions, remix your favorite(s), and submit! Full submission guidelines are posted on the contest’s tumblr, where you can also view previous submissions and find more information about the judging and prizes available. The deadline for submission is October 23, and don’t forget to share your work on social media using #archivesremix and #archivespirits.

Good luck to any entrants out there, and in the meantime, we’d be happy to have you haunting our archives!

September 28, 2017