Category Archives: Student Aide Posts

New Collection Materials

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This post was written by Christine Pace, our Special Collections and University Archives student assistant. Thanks Christine!

I started working as a student assistant in Special Collections and University Archives this fall semester. Since starting, one of my favorite things is seeing first-hand the new items that come into our collections. This year the Department received many scrapbooks and photos. It is amazing to see how students have enjoyed their time at Mary Washington over the years. As I go through these new items, I have been able to see photos of past events and gatherings of former students and see captured the same excitement and fun that I have with my friends through our own events from Devil-Goat Day to sitting on Ball Circle on a sunny day.

These accessions are not only physical items but also snapshots of the past. They tell the stories of Mary Washington traditions and the little moments that can be a reminder of fun times. One of my favorite recent accessions is a collection of photographs from Houston Kempton, a past photographer of The Bullet, known today as The Blue and Gray. Here are just a few pictures from this collection that I enjoyed seeing as I scanned and put them into protective archival sleeves.

Furniture on the Lawn, Junior Ring Week

Furniture on the Lawn, Junior Ring Week

Westmoreland Hall

Westmoreland Hall

Student Jumping

Student Jumping

May 4, 2017

Passion and Political Know-How: Elections at UMW

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This post was written by Maddie Quick, our fall semester Exhibits Intern. Thanks Maddie!

Today is Election Day, and the opening of the exhibit, Passion and Political Know-How: Elections at UMW. As this semester’s Exhibits intern for Special Collections and University Archives, I have been researching and designing this exhibit, highlighting the important Presidential and Congressional elections that sparked political rallies and the participation of student clubs at UMW. Through the years many political figures have visited the University, and several professors have served as both educator and politician, imparting the importance of politics. My exhibit explores student participation in politics and demonstrates that UMW has a strong history as steward to a body of politically-savvy students and politically-passionate professors.

As I created the exhibit, I enjoyed comparing the past and the present effect of elections on UMW. It’s intriguing to see how the student body has changed over the last 100 years while student involvement during election years has always remained high.

Here are a few of my favorite images used in the exhibit from the University Archives.

Students attend a political rally in the Lee Hall Ballroom for the 1964 Barry Goldwater vs. Lyndon Johnson election.

Students attend a political rally in the Lee Hall Ballroom for the 1964 Barry Goldwater vs. Lyndon Johnson election.

Election posters image from the Young Republicans Scrapbook, 1968-1969. Special Collections & University Archives

Election posters on campus from the Young Republicans Scrapbook, 1968-69. Special Collections and University Archives

The exhibit will be on display through January 31, second floor, Simpson Library – stop by and visit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 8, 2016

Student Handbook Collection

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This post was written by Grace May, our Digital Archives student aide. Thanks Grace!

I started working in the Digital Archiving Lab in the Fall of 2015 and had an ongoing project of digitizing all of the Mary Washington student handbooks. The handbooks contain rules and regulations that govern the student body as well as conduct policies, campus traditions, and information for incoming freshmen. In 1935, the name of the handbook changed to The Bayonet, but returned to its earlier title, Student Handbook, in 1957.

Digitizing the handbooks was a long project that lasted about 5 months, and required great attention to detail. Throughout the scanning process I started to notice some peculiar traditions that were implemented at Mary Wash and thought about how current students like myself might view them. As a senior History major, these interesting historical tidbits intrigued me. For example, a tradition that lasted for about 20 years was called “Peanut Week,” which began in 1933. A description of the tradition from the 1943 handbook says:

A week before the Christmas Holidays peanut shells are distributed in the dining halls. Within the shell is to be found the name of some student or faculty member to whom one is secretly to “play peanut.” The object of the game is for everyone to see how nice she can be to her “peanut” without the latter finding out just who is the thoughtful person. The culmination of the fun comes in the night of the “Peanut Party” when everyone learns who her heretofore unknown benefactor is.

It would probably be impossible to bring back Peanut Week in 2016 with our growing student body and campus, but it is a nice thought and a good reminder to show kindness to fellow classmates and professors.

Another tradition at Mary Wash that I had heard of is Devil-Goat Day. However, who would have known that there were songs for the Devils and the Goats? Bringing these songs back to campus might be easier than implementing Peanut Week! The words to the songs, from the 1938 handbook, can be seen below:

On page 87 from the 1938 Student Handbook.

I hope that researchers who are interested in what is now the University of Mary Washington and its history will find these tidbits as intriguing as I have, and will check out the digitized collection of student handbooks!

Editor’s note: All 85 volumes of student handbooks within the University Archives, from 1929 to 2016, can now be searched, browsed, and downloaded from the Internet Archive collection.

April 11, 2016

New Accession

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This post was written by Katie Ingebretsen, our Special Collections and University Archives spring semester intern. Thanks Katie!

This semester part of my internship at Special Collections and University Archives included accessioning items into the collection. Accessioning means that I document each new item that is added to the collection, noting the date the item was received, who it was donated by or bought from, where the item is now located and giving it an accession number and description. The accession number is how collection items are tracked and is made up of two parts: one number that refers to the year the piece was accessioned and one number that refers to how many pieces have been accessioned this year (if the item is the 14th piece accessioned this year, the number will be 016-014).

Special Collections and University Archives has received four items this semester. My favorite piece that I accessioned this semester is a small black ceramic piggy bank, circa 1963, with the old school seal on it and the words “Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia” surrounding the seal. The seal is very interesting because it is not the current UMW seal, but the earlier seal featuring both the torch we have on the seal now and a spinning wheel in the background. This dates to the time Mary Washington was a women’s teaching college, and the spinning wheel represents the domestic arts the students learned such as home economics and millinery.

Piggy Bank, 1963

pig 2a

Piggy Bank with early Mary Washington seal, 1963

April 6, 2016

Reflections from our Exhibits Intern

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This post was written by Julia Jin, our Special Collections and University Archives exhibit intern. Thanks Julia!

As the Exhibitions Intern at the University of Mary Washington’s Special Collections and University Archives, I worked with Carolyn Parsons, the Special Collections Librarian and University Archivist, and other great professors across different departments to design, research, and construct exhibitions this semester.

The first exhibition I worked on was for the Library Grant from the Institute of Turkish Studies, awarded to Dr. Nabil Al-Tikriti, professor from the History Department. With some help from Dr. Al-Tikriti, I filled the exhibition cases (the two larger cases at the front entrance of the Simpson Library) with objects, books, and images all pertaining to Turkish studies with the focus being on the content available from the books that the library was able to purchase through this grant.

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Institute for Turkish Studies Book Grant Exhibit

Institute for Turkish Studies Book Grant Exhibit

The second exhibition I worked on was for Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, with Dr. Marcelo Fajardo-Cardenas, professor from the Spanish Department. For this exhibition, I was able to gather a number of materials to construct a mock altar in celebration for this holiday. Included in the altar were sugar skulls (one was actually from Mexico!), candles, salt, water, marigolds, and the image of Guadalupe. Each item has a meaning behind it, all in honor of the dead. Accompanying the altar were books and various images, sourced from UMW Libraries.

Dia de los Muertos Exhibit

Dia de los Muertos Exhibit

Lastly, I wrote the label text for the silver objects in the display case at the front entrance of Simpson Library. Based on previously researched information, I selected the content that I thought would be important to include on the labels. To see these objects up close without the case was truly an experience that would not have happened if I did not have this internship. As a senior graduating this fall, I felt that this experience was timed perfectly to culminate at the end of my college career.

Silver2

UMW's Historical Artifacts

UMW’s Historical Artifacts

December 16, 2015

Transcribing Alumni Voices

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This post was written by Kayleigh Barbee, the spring 2015 Special Collections and University Archives student intern. Thanks Kayleigh!

As part of my spring semester internship in Special Collections and University Archives in Simpson Library, I transcribed interviews of former students, faculty, and staff of the University of Mary Washington. These interviews were recorded for the Centennial Celebration in 2008. The majority of the interviews were recorded on audio-cassette tapes, and since this technology is becoming outdated, I assisted with transcribing these interviews before they are reformatted.

I even had the opportunity to transcribe an interview with Professor Bill Crawley talking to Pauline Cosby Clements, ‘23, who in 2007 was 105 and the oldest living alumna of Mary Washington. It was very thought-provoking and interesting to hear how Mary Washington alums remember the school, and the impact that Mary Washington had on their lives.

 Pauline Cosby, Battlefield, 1923


Pauline Cosby, Battlefield, 1923

May 19, 2015

Summer Fun, 1942

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This post was written by Rebecca Arm, our Special Collections and University Archives student aide.  Thanks Becca!

Since the first session of the Summer 2015 semester is coming up, I enjoyed looking at this recreation calendar from Summer 1942’s First Term (June-July), which is a recent acquisition of the University Archives. Summer courses were open to both Mary Washington students and to members of the greater Fredericksburg community, men and women alike. In 1942, everyone was eager to be part of the war effort, so in addition to regular summer courses the College’s summer catalog offered “short practical courses in cooperation with the War Program” in subjects such as stenography, first aid, and radio broadcasting.

Summer 1942 recreation calendar. “This program is planned for YOU. Do take advantages of its pleasures and benefits.”

This calendar was quick to assure students that recreation during wartime wasn’t frivolous, and that President Roosevelt had issued a statement stating that recreation was “necessary and beneficial” to the nation’s efficiency and morale. In June activities included a softball game, picnic dinner, several dances and mixers, and a concert of patriotic music by students and Fredericksburg town residents. July brought tennis and volleyball nights, students versus faculty athletic contests, and more dances, concerts, and sing-alongs.

Students enjoy a swim in the outdoor pool, c. 1945

Students enjoy a swim in the outdoor pool, c. 1945

Throughout the summer movies were shown in the amphitheater, including “Drums of the Congo,” “The Adventures of Chico,” “Road to Happiness,” “Sanders of the River,” and “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” The calendar also suggested that students take advantage of the riding facilities, the log cabin, and the ever-popular outdoor pool.

Lest anyone forget the war effort in the midst of all this summer fun, the calendar also reminded students that war bonds were available to buy at the College Station Post office, and war stamps from the booth in Chandler Hall.

Whether you’re attending summer classes this year or not, I hope you enjoy your summer as much as Mary Washington students enjoyed summer 1942!

May 6, 2015

The 25th Anniversary of the Multicultural Fair

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This post was written by Kayleigh Barbee, the spring 2015 Special Collections and University Archives student intern.  Thanks Kayleigh!

The Official Flyer for the 25th Annual Multicultural Fair

Flyer for the 25th Annual Multicultural Fair

A project that I worked on and completed during my internship in Special Collections and University Archives this semester is an exhibit celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Multicultural Fair.

I spent the first days of my internship looking through print and online collections in the University Archives to find materials relating to the Multicultural Fair, such as school newspaper articles and Fair schedules. I then visited The James Farmer Multicultural Center to see what items they could loan us and obtained past programs, a beautiful quilt, and T-shirts to use in the exhibit.

The next step was narrowing down the objects I would use in the exhibit and sketching a mock display. The final stage of this project was to select physical objects out of the Special Collections and University Archives, organize them into the display case, and create text labels. This project was fascinating, because I was able to learn so much about one of the most popular events held on campus and about the wide range of objects stored in Special Collections and University Archives.

This exhibit is located in the Simpson Library second floor display cases in front of the central stairs and will be on display through the middle of June.

April 10, 2015

Quirky Treasures of the Rare Book Collection

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This post was written by Rebecca Arm, our Special Collections and University Archives student aide.  Thanks Becca!

One of the major projects that I’ve worked on as a student assistant in Special Collections and University Archives has been making spine labels for the Rare Book Collection. Fragile materials are housed in acid-free boxes. This helps prevent further deterioration, but makes it harder to find the book you need at a glance. To solve this problem, we label the boxes with the title and author in a bold, readable font.

After my fellow student aide Bekka combed through the Rare Book Room for all the books that needed labeling, I took measurements of the boxes and set to work composing and formatting labels. During the process of making labels for over 200 books, I encountered many of the wonderful and quirky treasures of UMW’s Rare Book Collection.

Here are some of my favorites:
The History of Pompey the Little by Francis Coventry. An 18th-century social satire written from the perspective of a lap-dog.
An Historical Disquisition on the Mammoth by Rembrandt Peale. A work recounting the excavation and exhibition of the first mastodon discovered in America.
• Kate Greenaway’s Alphabet (below), a tiny picture book, just 5 by 7 cm, but beautifully illustrated by one of the most famous children’s book illustrators of all time.
Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress, a 1929 pamphlet of essays on James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. Mostly I just like the title of this one, though it was hard to fit on a label!

Kate Greenaway's Alphabet

Kate Greenaway’s Alphabet, with a quarter for size comparison

All items in the Rare Book Collection can be accessed through the library’s online catalog.  Please come visit us to view some of these wonderful and quirky treasures up close!

March 20, 2015