Peter Kaufman to Speak about the Challenges of Open Educational Resources at Harrison/Small

pbk-photo-2The Library welcomes Peter Kaufman—author, educator, film producer, and advocate of open educational resources—who will speak on “Knowledge Production and Free Licenses: Challenges and Benefits for the Modern University” in the auditorium of the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library on January 24 at 2:00 p.m.

Kaufman was associate director of the Columbia University Center for Teaching and Learning, and is the founder and executive producer of Intelligent Television, an open access platform dedicated to making a variety of programming on education and culture accessible worldwide.

His talk will focus on the risks and rewards inherent in producing and distributing educational media in the light of “fresh mandates to freely license and more systematically share that content.” Read his latest piece, “MOOCs and Open Educational Resources: A Handbook for Educators,” in which he states, “our real responsibility is to improve the planet while we are on it, and if we can help effect that by sharing our knowledge, so much the better.”

The event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

Director of Information Policy Brandon Butler has Advice for U.S. Copyright Office and Congress

In a new article “Library Experts Weigh in On Next Register of Copyrights” (Library Journal 1/12/2017) UVA Library Director of Information Policy Brandon Butler joins with Harvard University Copyright Advisor Kyle K. Courtney; Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow Mary Minow; and University of Kansas Libraries Dean Kevin Smith, in urging the next Register of Copyrights to consider the public interest as much as holders’ rights when advising Congress. The article follows the October resignation of former Copyright Register Maria Pallante, who has since been hired as president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers.

According to Butler, the Copyright Office should focus less on advisory responsibilities, and more on its “core purpose: registering copyrights.” “Searching for information about copyrighted works should be as easy as finding a book in a library catalog (which is one reason the Office could benefit from living inside the Library of Congress).” The challenge for the new Register, says Butler, should be to get “all the relevant data in digital form and release an API so the public can build tools on top of it … Such a system would facilitate licensing deals and help to define the public domain, big wins for all.”

On December 14, 2016 Butler drafted a letter to the Committee for the Judiciary, signed by “42 copyright lawyers, scholars, and expert librarians who work in and for libraries,” arguing against a proposal to relocate the Copyright Office from the Library of Congress to the legislative branch. Butler notes that “the Office’s location reflects the importance a free country should attach to a national library with a broad, deep, and well-described collection,” and states that “Interference in this long-running relationship would be ill-advised.”

The Library Joins Community to Celebrate the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

From January 16–31 UVA will join with the community to celebrate the life and legacy of slain civil rights champion Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a program of events centered around the theme “Silence as Betrayal,” taken from a line—“A time comes when silence is betrayal”—in King’s 1967 speech opposing the war in Vietnam.

1024px-martin_luther_king_jr-_and_lyndon_johnson-660x335Later this month, the Library will host two events in the auditorium of the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library:

UVA Today Offers a Preview Glimpse of the Upcoming Library Exhibition “Faulkner: Life and Works”

The UVA Today article “The Many Faces of William Faulkner” previews a few of the photos, manuscripts, works of art, documents, and artifacts that will be on display in the main exhibition gallery of the Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections Library when the  Library opens a new exhibition, “Faulkner: Life and Works” on February 6.

faulkner-uva-bwAccording to curator Molly Schwartzburg, the “exhibition covers two bodies of work. There are the literary works that Faulkner composed, and then there’s the person who he became over the course of his life.”

Items taken from the Library’s renowned Faulkner collection span the life of the Nobel Laureate, from early childhood through his cadet training as a pilot during WWI; from the time he spent working on film scripts in Hollywood’s Golden Age through early literary success and his years (1957–’58) as UVA’s first Balch Writer-in-Residence.

Learn more about the exhibition in the full article “The Many Faces of William Faulkner” (UVA Today, 1/10/2017).

Governor McAuliffe Comes to Harrison/Small to Sign Executive Order Barring Discrimination

On January 15th, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe—visiting UVA for a retreat at the Frank Batten School of Leadership—chose the auditorium of the Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections Library to sign Executive Order 61. The new rule requires that future state contracting prohibit “discrimination in employment, subcontracting, and delivery of goods and services, including discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The governor alluded to the negative impact on North Carolina’s economy of that state’s “bathroom bill” that prevents transgender people from using public restrooms that do not “correspond with the sex on their birth certificates,” saying such laws are “not just wrong; they are job killers.”

For more, read the article “At UVA, Governor Signs Non-Discrimination Order for State Contractors” (UVA Today, 1/5/2017), and see video of the governor’s remarks and the signing ceremony.

The HistoryMakers Video Archive Opens Full Range of African-American Experience

“Just dealing with prominent blacks is not about history … We only hear about those who attracted the attention of white folks …”* So said novelist, poet, film producer, and activist Sam Greenlee in November 2001, part of an interview with Julieanna Richardson, Harvard graduate, lawyer, digital historian, and founder of The HistoryMakers—the newest digital history resource offered by the Library, and the largest database of oral African-American history in existence.

UVA researchers may now hear the late Sam Greenlee’s words on how white society has controlled the African-American historical narrative, words that also explain why Julieanna Richardson—who began by recording stories of famous men and women—expanded the archive to include what she calls “America’s Missing Stories.” She was inspired by the example of the little-known “Golden 13″—black men who were commissioned as Naval officers in World War II; and she set 5,000 interviews as her goal, more than double the number of interviews that the Works Progress Administration conducted with slavery survivors in the 1930’s.

The HistoryMakers’ interviews, however, are not confined to a single focus such as slavery. They include African Americans’ “contributions in all areas of American life and culture,” in the arts, the military, in business, in the legal and healthcare professions, in architecture and engineering, in education—largely “untold and unrecorded,” but here told without being filtered through a white perspective.

Subjects who agreed to be interviewed range from celebrated figures to “ordinary” people. If you want to find the oldest voter in the archive, for example, type “vote” in the homepage search box, then click “Table of Contents” to open search options. A button allows you to select “Birth Year,” which brings up a list of decades. Choosing 1890s yields two names. One, Amazon Brooks, was born November 26, 1897 and was interviewed for the archive in 2004. She remembers voting in 1920, the first year women were allowed to cast a ballot. She died on February 23, 2007, and therefore did not live to see a relatively obscure Illinois State Senator—interviewed for the archive in February 2001—win a presidential election as the first African-American nominee of a major party, Barack Obama.

* Thanks to UVA Librarian Regina Rush for the reference to Sam Greenlee’s interview in The HistoryMakers Digital Archive.

The Library’s NewsBank Subscription Opens the World to UVA Researchers

An enormous amount of news and opinion pours out of newspapers, blogs, newswires, journals, broadcast transcripts, and videos from around the world every day, from the most information-packed and insightful articles to the most irrational and irate letters to the editor. To help students and faculty sort out the cacophony, the Library subscribes to NewsBank—a database providing access to stories from 160 countries and more than 9,000 online and print news sources, covering politics, health, sports, culture, and other topics frequently requested by researchers.

Open NewsBank and you’re presented with a map of the world in nine regions—the continents plus the Caribbean, Central America, and the Middle East. An accompanying list shows the number of sources that NewsBank offers from each region. Click a region to divide it into countries; click countries to divide them into states and provinces; and click a state or province to bring up a list of publications in the area. You can refine your search to include Source Type, Publication, City, Year, Month, Day, or even Era—NewsBank offers news items of historical interest that extend back through Presidential Eras to Theodore Roosevelt. No matter how narrowly you confine your search, you can retrace your steps by cancelling categories in your search history.

If you would like to browse European newspapers for election day views of the United States presidential race, you can click Europe, the Year 2016, the month November 2016, the day November 8, Source Type “Newspaper”, and sort by “Best matches first.” Search the term “US election” and you get 403 results, at the top an analysis in Edinburgh’s The Scotsman, “Why US elections are nastier than British ones.”

Need help deciding on a topic? Click the “Find a topic” panel, which is divided conveniently into broad categories: Business & Economic, Criminal Justice, Education, Environmental Studies, Health, International Studies, Performing & Fine Arts, Political Science, Religion, Science, Social Issues, and Technology. Clicking a category in the panel gives you a list of more specific categories. From the list covered by Social Issues, for instance, clicking the subcategory “Racial Profiling” gives 5,797 results; you may limit results further by selecting a preferred Source Type.

You can also set up email alerts to watch for new results that match your topic. Simply click on “Create Email Alert” just below the Search button, select how often you want to be alerted, and enter email addresses in the box. Manage alerts by clicking “My Collection” on the menu bar at the top, and then the “Saved Alerts” link.

Brown Science & Engineering Library hosts virtual “Accessible Media, Web and technology Conference”

Anyone from the University community who has digital accessibility responsibilities should attend the virtual “Accessible Media, Web and technology Conference,” presented by Accessing Higher Ground (AHG). The conference will be held in room 133 of the Brown Science and Engineering Library, and is free to all who are interested.

There will be four pre-conference sessions. Two will be streamed each day, Monday, November 14 and Tuesday, November 15:


  • 12:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m., Evaluating Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) for University Procurement
  • 4:30 p.m.–7:00 p.m., Writing video transcripts, captions, and audio descriptions


  • 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m., Mobile Accessibility Strategies & Standards
  • 3:30 p.m.­­–6:30 p.m., Simplify your development life with tools, tests and procedure

Accessibility of our digital environment is a high priority for the University and this conference will provide very good information as we all work towards a more inclusive online experience. Please see the full schedule (time zone is Mountain Time).