Category Archives: General

Honors Projects

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As we near the end of the school year, students pursuing departmental honors are putting the final touches on their projects. Upon completion and approval, students will submit them to the University Archives for long-term preservation and access. The library collects these projects as part of its mission to preserve the University’s history, and to make available the valuable scholarship that is produced here.

As of 2014, students are able to submit their approved projects online directly from the library’s website: Once the submission is complete, library staff adds the item to the collection in the digital archive: In the submission form, the student is asked to provide information about their project, like an abstract and keywords. This information will be associated with the item in the digital archive so that researchers can easily find the student’s scholarship if it relates to their search.

Honors Paper Collection

The link in the red box will take users to the honors papers collection.

For honors papers that pre-date the digital archive, bound copies reside in Special Collections and University Archives. In 2005, the library began a preservation project that retrospectively bound every thesis to help ensure their long term preservation. Previously, theses had been submitted to the library in a variety of containers, causing page curls and other issues. In order to provide access to these papers, each has a record in the library’s catalog so that it can be found by the UMW community or other researchers. Library staff are also always happy to hear from alumni who request that their paper be digitized and uploaded into the digital archive.

Original Honors Papers Bindings

Originally, honors papers were submitted to the library in a variety of different containers.

Bound Honors Papers

For better long-term preservation, the honors papers were retrospectively bound in 2005.

Of course, there have also always been honors projects that aren’t papers, and the library has collected plays, videotapes, photographs, and costume sketches, just to name a few. As students embark on more complex digital projects every year, the library is  working on solutions to collect these and other types of projects, as well.

If you’re submitting an honors project to the collection this year, congratulations! Please don’t hesitate to contact Special Collections and University Archives if you have questions about the process.

April 20, 2017

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year and welcome back to campus! In the spirit of the New Year, I mined our student newspaper archives for New Year’s resolutions from students back in the day and found some fun and informative annual goals to share.

The Bullet in 1947 – when UMW was Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia – saw students hoping to break the tradition of the junior class benefit always being a beauty pageant. “Traditions are a wonderful thing as we students have made them, and we only can change them when a change is in order.”

The following decade, the Bullet staff were encouraging students to stay on the sidewalks in the New Year and “be on guard against trodding down the grass!”

The late sixties brought a lighter New Year’s touch with such humorous goals as:  “The administration has resolved to abolish all grades and dress regulations. As an added attraction for all the campus heads, Chancellor Simpson has resolved to emulate the chancellor at Berkeley and grow exotic plants in his garden. The Bullet has decided to assume a name more reflective of its attitudes, perhaps the Dove? In sympathy with this move, the Battlefield is renaming itself the Flower Garden.”

The seventies saw resolutions focusing more on personal improvement with a sample below from the Mary Wash Wonders column:

“I resolve to make less use of the ABC store.

I resolve to loose thirty pounds by next week (or, for that matter, any week) – no more “big stuffs!”

I resolve to study harder during T.V. commercials.

I resolve not to sing in the shower anymore while other patronizers of the lavoratory are utilizing its facilities.

I resolve not to make any more than 8 stops at the P.O. during my normal working hours. Finally, I resolve to break all these stupid resolutions!!   Welcome back and good luck!!!”

Mary Wash Millennials had their own take on New Year’s resolutions.  The Bullet reported in 2004 that, “This year, Mary Washington College students are making New Year’s resolutions of all kinds in hopes to improve their own lives or someone else’s.” Exercising, giving up chocolate, getting organized, living in the moment, not procrastinating, reading more books, tuning out Hollywood gossip, and being more assertive all made the list. But my favorite was junior Miguel Laygo’s goal “to make at least one person smile every day.”

I’d add to that a resolution to come visit Special Collections and University Archives in 2017 if you have yet to use our wonderful collections. Come for research or stop by for a quick tour. You’ve got 12 months to complete your goal!



January 18, 2017