Category Archives: Outreach and Events

Activism in Archives: Virginia Archives Month 2021 

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Happy October, everyone! Much to my personal delight, we’re firmly in the season of cooler weather, changing leaves, spooky porch decorations, and Archives Month! 

Every year at this time, Virginia members of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) observe Archives Month with a theme designed to draw attention to the variety of unique and important collections housed in the many different Virginia academic and cultural heritage repositories. This year, organizers drew inspiration from the recent growing movements in social justice activism and chose the theme Activism and Archives. 

A large group of people standing outside the US Capitol building holding up their fingers in peace sign gestures.

March to End the War in Vietnam, 1969, from the Centennial Image Collection, photograph by Dan Dervin, image courtesy of Special Collections and University Archives, Simpson Library, University of Mary Washington.

The Virginia Archives Month 2021 website asks the question: How do archives intersect with activism? Their answer, 

…not only do archives provide documentation of activists, activism, social movements, and social injustices through the decades, archives and archival collections are also used as tools in modern activism. 

It’s a good answer, but there’s more. Archives can absolutely be tools, helping activists bring forth the quieter parts of an institution’s history. The information gathered through archival research can indeed support a cause, provide necessary documentation, and help tell a story. But we must always remember whose story it is.  

Image of a protest sign held up in front of the White House. The sign reads "privilege is thinking you do not have the time to fight for others' rights."

Mary Washington students join protest at 2nd Annual Women’s March on Washington, photo by Allison Tovey for Blue & Gray Press, February 1, 2018, image courtesy of Special Collections and University Archives, Simpson Library, University of Mary Washington.

We’ve said before that archives and libraries are not neutral. The decisions about what to include in these institutions are purposeful. Activism shouldn’t just use archives as tools; archivists can be activists too.  

As custodians of cultural heritage, we have a tremendous responsibility to support an honest narrative that includes all voices. Sometimes this is exciting and liberating, and we want to share our wonderful historic artifacts with the whole world. Other times, this can be painful, shameful, or confusing, and we might prefer to hide the secrets deeper in the stacks, or whisper guardedly about them. Our professional challenge is to find and share these stories too. A comprehensive, honest history is one from which we all grow. 

A large group of predominantly Black people depicted marching through a city street.

Desegregation march in Danville, June 10, 1963. Danville Civil Rights protesters practice nonviolent resistance to local and state authorities, 1963. Image courtesy of the Library of Virginia.

For Virginia Archives Month, the staff in Special Collections and University Archives shared some of our projects to try to bring some previously underrepresented stories to prominence. These include the ongoing Alumni Oral History Project and the James Farmer Reflections Lectures. UMW students carried out the bulk of the work to see these projects through, and it’s exciting to see folks in our community engaging with all types of histories. 

In addition to our projects, the site includes links to important projects from all over the Commonwealth, such as the Old Dominion University Social Justice and Activism Archivethe 19th Amendment in the 20th Century Exhibit presented by George Mason University Special Collections Research Center, the College of William and Mary’s Lemon Project, and Virginia Commonwealth University’s East Marshall Street Well Project. There are also links to nationwide initiatives and resources around social justice and activism, as well as some playful coloring book and puzzle activities. 

Two people standing in a door frame, one holding up the peace sign gesture with his fingers. In the foreground is a uniformed police officer.

Students under arrest after demonstration, 1970 April 26, #prot01, image courtesy of James Madison University Special Collections.

You’re also invited to view the Flickr page of images collected from the participating Virginia institutions that highlight our various communities’ activism, or print postcards from some of the selected images 

UMW Special Collections and Archives is open Tuesday – Thursday from 1:30 – 4 p.m. and by appointment. We welcome all members of our community for research or to discuss partnering on a project like the ones mentioned above!

October 15, 2021

Black Lives in UMW Archives

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UMW Special Collections and University Archives stands behind our Black students, colleagues, and community members. Black lives matter today, yesterday, and always. 

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

Opening ceremony of Black Culture Week, 1976.

We believe in the statements set forth by the Board of Visitors’ Resolution on George Floyd and Systemic Racism, committing sincerely to “rooting out any practice within our community that stems from implicit bias, systemic racism or is contrary to our Statement of Values.” 

We echo the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Council Statement on Black Lives and Archives, acknowledging that “as archivists, we are not neutral in matters of social justice and politics.”  

Black student in her dorm room with a Black Panthers poster hanging on the wall behind her.

Wanda Gail Williams poses in her dorm room, April, 1972.

As the institutional archive, our mission is to collect and preserve the history of the University of Mary Washington. 

We need to do this better. 

We have a responsibility to be actively anti-racist in our professional practices and standards. We have an obligation to tell the full story of our institution and to raise up the voices previously unheard. We have a desire to build stronger partnerships within our UMW community to earn the position of a trusted repository for all who participate in our university’s rich narrative. 

We plan to examine our descriptive practices and collecting policies to actively identify and dismantle white supremacist language and assumptions. We promise to continue working to promote the archives as a safe and open place for everyone, and to do our best to ensure the broadest possible accessibility of our collections while holding ourselves accountable to the highest ethical standards. 

We encourage our students to live James Farmer’s words, carved in stone here on our campus. 

Carving of a quote by James Farmer set in a brick wall. Quote reads, "Freedom and equality are inherent rights in the United States. Therefore, I encourage young people to take on the task by standing up and speaking out on behalf of people denied those rights. We have not finished the job of making our country whole."

A James Farmer quote on the UMW campus encourages speaking out against injustice. Photo credit: Sarah Appleby.

“Freedom and equality are inherent rights in the United States. Therefore, I encourage young people to take on the task by standing up and speaking out on behalf of people denied those rights. We have not finished the job of making our country whole.”

We want to continue to take the time to learn, listen, and have important conversations. We are here to support our community.

If you’re a member of the UMW community that has participated in the protest movement and you have questions about preservation or ethical archiving of protest materials, please feel free to contact us at archives@umw.edu. While the library works to reopen safely during the ongoing pandemic, staff remains available to offer help remotely. 

June 30, 2020

James Farmer’s Libraries: A Special Exhibit

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Campus buzzes this year with activity associated with Farmer Legacy 2020Here in Special Collections and University Archives, we’re also doing our part to recognize and celebrate the legacy of James Farmer. As mentioned in our previous post, we’ve opened the James L. Farmer Papers for research and published the finding aidand we’ve also created an exhibit in the Convergence Gallery. To add to this, most recently, we’ve curated another exhibit titled James Farmer’s Libraries. This exhibit features select items from the personal book and music collections of the Civil Rights icon. 

The majority of the materials in these libraries came to Special Collections and University Archives after his death in 1999. Like his papers, these items reflect his involvement with various Civil Rights organizations and notable figures, and they highlight a lifetime of activism. 

James Farmer seated at a desk in front of bookshelves.

James Farmer at his desk, 1988. Photograph by Lou Cordero.

Among his long string of accomplishments, James Farmer was also a writer whose prose struck as effectively as his speech. He appreciated the craft and curated a collection of books from various authors who wrote about topics close to his heart. Important themes of civil rights, justice, and equality clearly run dominant throughout his library.

Most of the books displayed in the exhibit were gifts to Dr. Farmer, as evidenced by the number of personal inscriptions. One such inscription is from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Upton Sinclair, famous in his own right for his social justice involvement and investigative works such as The Jungle. Sinclair signed a copy of his book The Return of Lanny Budd with the note, “To James Farmer, one of our young crusaders who must take over. 

Handwritten inscription that reads, "To James Farmer, one of our young crusaders who must take over, Upton Sinclair"

Inscription to James Farmer from Upton Sinclair.

Farmer’s library includes a few autobiographies of fellow activists. Coretta Scott King’s 1969 book, My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr.is one such example, containing an inscription that reads, To James Farmer, with gratitude for your love and support, and with warm regards. Coretta Scott King. Farmer’s own autobiography, Lay Bare the Heart, is also on display. This item once belonged to James Farmer, but unlike the other volumes, he personally gave it as a gift to the Mary Washington library with the inscription, “To the students of Mary Washington College”. 

Cover of Lay Bare the Heart: An Autobiography of the Civil Rights Movement by James Farmer with a photo of the author featured

James Farmer’s autobiography recounts a life of work towards equality and freedom for all.


For James Farmer and others in the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), nonviolence was at the center of the Civil Rights Movement. Instead, as both weapon and defense, CORE frequently wielded song. Farmer was deeply familiar with this, and wrote in Lay Bare the Heart:  

“We sang loudly to silence our own fears. And to rouse our courage. There is no armor more impenetrable than song.”

Four young African-Americans joining hands and singing.

The Freedom Singers (Cordell Reagon, Rutha Harris, Charles Neblett, Bernice Johnson Reagon). This quartet traveled with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and performed frequently throughout the Civil Rights Movement, including at the 1963 March on Washington.

Even in the face of hatred and violence, those marching for equal rights sangMany of the records in James Farmer’s library of albums feature collected songs of the Civil Rights Movement. These records include the soundtrack to the famed 1963 March on Washington, featuring music from folk legends such as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Peter, Paul, and Mary, as well as gospel stars Marian Anderson and Mahalia Jackson.  

Album cover for We Shall Overcome!: The March on Washington, August 28th 1963

The recording from the March on Washington contains the music and the speeches of the day, including Martin Luther King Jr.’s renowned “I Have a Dream” speech.

Farmer’s collection also includes A Jazz Salute to Freedom, notable as CORE’s first venture in music production. The album features several popular jazz musicians of the era: Harry Belafonte, Tony Bennett, Nat and Cannonball Adderly, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, and many others. As CORE’s National Director, James Farmer wrote a note of gratitude on the liner notes, thanking all purchasers for supporting CORE and reminding them of CORE’s purpose. 

Album cover for A Jazz Salute to Freedom

CORE’s first music production featured recordings from famous jazz artists, coming together to support equal rights.

Currently on display outside of the Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room on Simpson Library’s second floor, James Farmer’s Libraries will remain up for viewing until March 28. 

February 20, 2020

Farmer Legacy 2020

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These past weeks, the UMW community celebrated two civil rights “Big Four” leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.and Dr. James Farmer.

100th Birthday Celebration for Dr. James Farmer

100th Birthday Celebration for Dr. James Farmer in Chandler Ballroom

2020 marks the centennial of James Farmer’s birth and UMW is honoring his legacy and actions during  Farmer Legacy 2020 , a  year-long commitment to “promoting inclusive excellence and community and civic engagement in the classroom, on campus and in the community …”

Dr. Farmer joined the faculty at Mary Washington College as Commonwealth Professor of History (later Distinguished Professor of History) in 1985 and left his impact on the campus as he continued to share his work as a civil rights activist and educator.

Farmer speaking in the 1980s.

Dr. Farmer speaking in the 1980s.

To raise awareness and learn more about James Farmer, Simpson Library staff have created several exhibits, currently on display in the lobby and in the Convergence Gallery, with biographical timelines of Farmer’s impactful life and books to checkout on the Civil Rights Movement. An additional exhibit,  James Farmer’s Libraries, highlighting his personal collections of books and music, will open next month.

Exhibit, James Farmer: In His Own Words.

Exhibit: James Farmer: In His Own Words, 1920-1999 in the Convergence Gallery

Special Collections & University Archives houses Dr. Farmer’s records from the last years of his life. The complete finding aid to his papers and audiovisual materials can be viewed here. Our digital collections also provide a selection of images and audiovisual materials, including the James Farmer Reflections series, thirteen of Dr. Farmer’s lectures given when he was Professor of History. These primary resources are accessible within the online James L. Farmer Collection.

As we kick-off the University’s many Farmer-related events this year, Special Collections and University Archives is honored to support the year’s remembrance and calls to action by continuing to preserve our Farmer collections and make accessible Farmer’s words and ideas to inspire a new generation’s work for social justice and inclusion.

January 27, 2020

American Archives Month

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Written by Carolyn Parsons, Head of Special Collections & University Archives

October is American Archives Month! Since 2006, archivists have used this month as a time to make our collections more visible and share the work we do. The Society of American Archivists (SAA)’s theme for Archives Month this year is the Power of Collaboration. A celebration of how people with different knowledge and skills come together to create solutions for preserving and making accessible our collections in all their various formats.

In celebration, Virginia archival repositories partnered to create a Virginia Archives Month poster to raise collection awareness.  The Virginia poster theme this year is: The Letterpress, The Woodblock, and The Watermark: Book Arts in Archives and Special Collections.

Virginia Archives Month poster, 2019

The Virginia chapter of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) is also again sponsoring the annual REMIX contest. Directions are listed below, and the prizes range from a $100.00 pre-paid VISA gift card to assorted Virginia archives swag. You can also pick up the contest guidelines at Simpson Library. Plus, there are bragging rights, if you win the People’s Choice Award! All entries are judged on the creativity and originality of the submission and the inclusion of a correct link to the source and contextual information. Entries are due October 31, 2019.

The archival images available to remix, as always, are fabulous, such as this colorful 1886 pencil drawing of a coal burner engine.

Macon and Brunswick Coal Burner, 1886. Image courtesy of the Norfolk Southern Corporation

The full collection of images to use for your contest creations are located in the 2019 Virginia Archives Month collection here on Flickr. Further contest specifics are answered on the REMIX site.

So join in the collaboration and celebration this October, as we remember the importance of our archival collections and the work of archivists to make materials of enduring value accessible and preserved for future generations.

October 16, 2019

All In

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Tomorrow is Mary Washington’s third annual Giving Day. The day when UMW Libraries asks for your support in assisting us to collect, preserve, and make accessible the rare and unique items in our Special Collections and University Archives. Last year you responded to our call with such generosity. UMW Libraries was able to raise over $6,000. We used a portion of these funds for digitization projects and camera equipment in our Digital Archiving Lab, as you can see here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V50xy1_KLSk 

This year alum and library supporter, Anne Robinson Hallerman, ’77, is graciously funding a library challenge gift. If UMW Libraries receives more than 50 donations of any amount, Hallerman will donate $1000!  These additional funds could go towards purchasing enclosures for many of the items in Special Collections. A single upright legal-size document box costs approximately $7.00, basic acid-free file folders range from $3-4.00, and depending on size, a custom archival storage box can start around $75.00 – even basic supply costs add up quickly.

Special Collections’ staff also has larger project goals they would love to see enabled by your gifts. In this coming year, the Department would like to be able to reformat and make accessible online, the many interviews from Dr. William Crawley’s book, University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008.  Student assistants and interns have worked over the years to transcribe the book’s many research interviews, but in order for the content to be placed online, the cassette tapes need to be converted to a digital format. To complete the project in its entirety would cost over $5,000, but any amount can help us get the process started.

Your dollars are daily very much at work supporting Special Collections and University Archives. So join us and be “All in” for UMW Libraries by making your Giving Day donation here . Thank you!

 

Student aide, Ilana Bleich, researching in our Student Handbooks collection.

Student Aide, Ilana Bleich, researching in our Student Handbooks collection.

Digital Archiving Lab Student Aide, Mary Novitsky, showcasing some of the images she recently processed. (Photo by Suzanne Rossi)

Digital Archiving Lab Student Aide, Mary Novitsky, showcasing some of the images she recently processed. (Photo by Suzanne Rossi)

Carolyn Parsons, Head of Special Collections & University Archives, sharing the Library’s 1610 copy of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs with UMW’s cast and crew of The Amish Project.

Carolyn Parsons, Head of Special Collections & University Archives, sharing the Library’s 1610 copy of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs with the cast and crew of The Amish Project.

March 18, 2019

Over Here, Over There: Mary Washington’s Support of the War Effort, 1917-1918

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With Monday marking the centennial of Armistice Day, we have been busy in Special Collections getting our World War I posters collection online and preparing a new exhibit highlighting the University’s role during the war.  It has been interesting to see what our archival collections reveal about what was happening on campus and abroad a hundred years ago. I was aided immensely in my research by a single pamphlet of the State Normal School’s war activities. The bulletin, distributed after the war to recognize “the services rendered and the sacrifices made by the faculty and students,” captured the significant war activities of the School.

Bulletin of the State Normal School

Even before the US officially joined the war in 1917, Mary Washington students (or Normalites as they were then called!) were already showing their support by sewing and making garments for the children of invaded Belgium. Olive Hinman, Head of the Industrial and Fine Arts Department, adopted a French war orphan and in 1918 adopted a second orphan.

Students joined with the local Red Cross Society, contributing their knitting and sewing skills. Lalie Lett Webb, ’19 Scrapbook.

Students joined with the local Red Cross Society, contributing their knitting and sewing skills. Lalie Lett Webb, ’19 Scrapbook.

All students and faculty at the State Normal School responded quickly to the call for war support by either serving in the military, working oversees, purchasing Liberty Bonds, conserving food, or donating time and money to relief organizations. Two faculty members left the School to serve overseas. Roy S. Cook, Professor of Science and Math, was a Private, 6th Division, Co. D, of the 54th Infantry, Regular Army. Cook returned home safely after the war and taught another thirty years at the State Normal School. Gunyon M. Harrison, Assistant Professor of Math, served as Captain, 116th Infantry, 29th Division, Regular Army.

Photo of the two faculty that served overseas in World War I.

Gunyon founded the campus Rifle Club whose members noted in the 1917 yearbook that, “The club feels heavily the loss of its commander, Captain Gunyon M. Harrison; but, while he is training riflemen, we are doing our best to become efficient riflewomen.”

Rifle Club, The Battlefield 1917

Rifle Club, The Battlefield 1917

Many alumnae and a few students also left their jobs and studies during the war to assist with various types of “war work.” Marjorie Riker, ’15 was an alumna who went to Paris and did canteen work there with the “Y”. After the troops departed from Paris, she went to Coblenz, Germany with the Army of the Occupation and worked there for four months. Senior Elizabeth Carter, ’17 was noted in the 1917 Battlefield as having gone “abroad last year to be a Red Cross nurse in Paris.”

Alumna and student who served in WWI
From the start, the State Normal School students and faculty were strong investors in Liberty Bonds and the United War Fund. The campaign for the sale of the bonds was under the direction of the President of the School, Edward H. Russell, and the amount of purchases ran into the thousands of dollars. During the fall of 1918, students worked diligently to contribute to the United War Fund. They “washed windows, polished shoes, put away coal for members of the faculty and … did any work that they could get.” All the classes worked on weekends at local farms husking corn. When faculty and students gathered for the final fundraising meeting, their hard work brought in $2,225.00 in contributions!

Letter from President Russell to Faculty and Employees encouraging them to buy bonds. Edward H. Russell Records, 1909-1919

Letter from President Russell to Faculty and Employees encouraging them to buy bonds. Edward H. Russell Records, 1909-1919

The First World War was one of the worst conflicts in our nation’s history. More than 116,000 Americans were killed and nearly twice that number were wounded. During that tumultuous period, the students and faculty of Mary Washington stepped up and showed their patriotism, as they helped secure the freedoms we enjoy today. To learn more about UMW’s role in the war effort, visit our new library exhibit, Over Here, Over There: Mary Washington’s Support of the War Effort, 1917-1918, on display through January 20, 2019.

Resources Consulted: 
Alvey, Edward, Jr. History of Mary Washington College: 1908-1972. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1974.
State Normal School, Bulletin of the State Normal School. Fredericksburg,:R.A. Kishpaugh’s Print, 1919.
Virginia WWI and WWII Commemoration Commission, Virginia in World War I. https://www.virginiawwiandwwii.org/virginiainw

Thanks also to Ilana Bleich ’19, our Special Collections and University Archives student assistant, for her keen research assistance and expert label creation.

November 16, 2018

Archives Month 2018

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Happy October, friends! Once again, it’s that most wonderful time of the year where we celebrate fall, Halloween, all things pumpkin spice, and Archives Month!

Image reading "October is American Archives Month".

On a national level, the Society of American Archivists (SAA) annually promotes Archives Month with various outreach initiatives. For those members of the public who have general questions about archives, SAA developed a simple What is an Archives document that helps broadly explain the types and purposes of different archives. On October 3, archivists from around the country participated in #AskAnArchivist Day on Twitter, where anyone with questions about archives or archivists’ work could tweet with the hashtag #AskAnArchivist for a response. Questions varied from the practical (“What advice to you have for an aspiring archivist?” and “How do you preserve documents?”) to pop-culture references (“What would an archive in Hogwarts look like?”) to the seasonally appropriate (“What is the creepiest thing in your archives?”). Archivists are always happy to answer questions about what we do, so while October 3 may be over, please feel free to ask an archivist any time!

Here in the Commonwealth, we’re observing Virginia Archives Month with the theme “Archival Oddities”. Archives from around Virginia volunteered images of some of their most unusual artifacts that were compiled on the Virginia Archives Month flickr site. Some of them were featured on the Archives Month poster (above) and all of them are available to view or to REMIX!

A collage of various archival images that reads "Remix: Archival Oddities"

If you were a reader of this blog last year, you might be familiar with MARAC’s annual Archives Month contest. We invite you to explore the images from the flickr and reinterpret them as you see fit! Work digitally and make a GIF or a meme, or maybe work with physical copies and cut, paste, or stitch. Whatever you can imagine! Full submission guidelines can be found here, and there are prizes to be had!

Take the opportunity to celebrate Archives Month with us and stop by to see what oddities UMW keeps in our archives! We’re always happy to talk with you or show you around.

October 4, 2018

UMW Archives on the Road: SAA 2018

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Black and white image of a 1950s-era bus. The side and rear of the bus say "Mary Washington College".

This is just a quick post to let our readers know that we’ve been traveling and working hard this week! Earlier this week, the three members of UMW Special Collections and Archives hit the road to Washington, DC for the 2018 Society of American Archives conference. We were lucky to have such a big event so close to home, so we were eager to go mingle with our colleagues in the field and share all the exciting things we’ve been up to.

Promotional image for the Society of American Archivists' 2018 conference. Background image is of the Lincoln Memorial at dusk. Text says "Archives Records, CoSA, NAGARA, SAA. I'm going to #SAA18! See You in DC! August 12-18."

Digital Resources Librarian Angie White presented at the Preservica North American User Group Meeting on Tuesday, August 14. She showcased all of her hard work in getting our Preservica instance up and running, and shared with the other attendees what the platform is capable of as far as providing universal access to digital collections. Angie’s post here on the Spinning Wheel a few months back gives a thorough run-through of this system and what we’ve done with it here at UMW. Angie also participated in a session with Preservica on Thursday entitled “Achieving More in Digital Preservation: Transparency through Automation.

The theme for SAA this year was “Promoting Transparency,” which gives archives and records professionals a lot to think about. Issues surrounding access and availability come up regularly, and as a public institution, we always want to be as transparent as possible with our community. It’s good to hear conversations happening around this topic, and it helps us think more about what we’re doing and how we can do it better!

It’s been a busy week, but we’ll all be back in Fredericksburg next week inspired and ready to implement new ideas gathered from our friends at SAA!

August 16, 2018

UMW Reunion Weekend 2018

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Last weekend, UMW saw another successful Reunion Weekend take place. This year, we celebrated alums from years ending in 3 or 8, although all are always welcome! And as Special Collections & University Archives is a department of all alums, this is an especially fun weekend!

Each year during this exciting event, Special Collections sets up in the middle of the action to conduct our History Harvest. During this time, members of our staff and volunteers are available to take physical donations for the archives, digitize materials to add to our digital collections, and provide answers to any questions related to our collections or Mary Washington history. We also had a pop-up exhibit of a few artifacts from our permanent collection, including beanies and vintage copies of The Bullet (now Blue & Gray Press).

Closeup image of a button that reads "UMW Archives" inside a red heart.

We also had free giveaway items! Above is one of the buttons made by library staff to celebrate the day.

Our visiting alums were really in the spirit! Staff enjoyed speaking with the various visitors to our table about their unique memories from their time at Mary Washington. Many alums gleefully thumbed through pages of past issues of The Battlefield yearbook, searching for old friends and professors, and telling great stories along the way.

Two alumni smile and pose together. Both wear alumni nametags, lanyards, and various reunion weekend pins.

Karen Mary Wands Parker, ’73, and Katya Calvo, ’73, visit the History Harvest table.

Alumni also gifted some wonderful gems to our collections this year. One alumna donated her diploma, excitedly pointing out that she was handing it to me exactly 50 years to the day after it was awarded: June 2, 1968. Another alum donated a fork that somehow found its way out of Seacobeck a few decades ago.

A fork with "MWC" stamped on the handle.

A fork with “MWC” stamped on the handle.

We also received a new beanie for our collection, complete with the student’s original name tag and a copy of “Mouse Week Rules” from September 1969. These are rules for how and when freshmen must wear their beanies, and the punishments for infractions. A freshman found without a beanie might be subject to “sing and dance to entertain sophomores and upperclassmen.”

Red and white MWC beanie with an attached handwritten nametag reading "Mary Lee Stevens, Marshall Hall". The beanie partially covers a piece of paper titled "Mouse Week Rules."

An alum’s donated beanie and the accompanying “Mouse Week Rules.”

Other gifts included a lovely framed print of some of the college’s buildings, a collection of campus handbooks and other publications from the late 60s, and a signed copy of a Dean Edward Alvey book.

In addition, this year, Special Collections & Archives stars Carolyn Parsons and Angie White co-taught a session for the Alumni College. About 35 attendees were present in the Digital Auditorium to hear about the fascinating history of our rare books, archives, and digital collections, and to learn some very useful preservation tips for both physical and digital materials.

If you’re an alum who’s wondering about how to make a donation, or if you’d like to know more about the topics covered in the Alumni College class, please let us know! Our staff is always happy to help.

June 8, 2018