Amanda Visconti & Brandon Walsh Join Library Staff in Scholars’ Lab

The Library welcomes Amanda Visconti and Brandon Walsh, who began on April 24 in the Scholars’ Lab—Amanda as Managing Director, and Brandon as head of the Lab’s Graduate Programs. Amanda will assist Director Alison Booth in developing the Lab’s activities and overseeing staff, resources, and the budget. Brandon will oversee the Digital Humanities and Praxis fellows and an increasing number of undergraduate and graduate interns.

Amanda comes to UVA from Purdue University where she was an Assistant Research Professor & Digital Humanities Specialist Librarian. Amanda wrote the first entirely-digital dissertation in literary humanitiesInfinite Ulysses. Prior to that she earned an M.S. in Information, Digital Humanities, and Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, which included experience in the University of Maryland’s Institute for Technology in the Humanities. She recently initiated Digital Humanities Slack.

Brandon comes from Washington and Lee University where he was a Mellon Digital Humanities Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor of English. He has collaborated with the Praxis Program from Lexington, and helped to build a DH curriculum and center in W&L’s library. Brandon holds a Ph.D. in English from UVA; his dissertation, AudioTextual: Modernism, Sound Recordings, and Networks of Reception, provides a model of interdisciplinary work for our current graduate students, uniting sound studies, modernist literary studies, and DH. Brandon brings teaching skills (as shown by his participation HILT), and a proven ability to manage grant funds and host public events.

Welcome, Amanda and Brandon!

Explore Treasures of the Borges Collection in the First Floor Gallery of Special Collections

Please come to the First Floor Gallery of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library on May 3 at 3:00 p.m. and let curator Nora Benedict be your guide at the opening of the exhibition “‘Armar páginas, corregir pruebas’: Jorge Luis Borges as Author, Editor, and Promulgator,” about the life and works of the famed Argentinian author and Nobel Laureate.

In the display of treasures from the Library’s Borges Collection are rare first-editions of his fiction and examples of his work as a Spanish translator of Kafka, Faulkner, Virginia Woolf, and Melville among others.

Also featured is Borges’ influential literary criticism championing popular genres such as hard-boiled detective fiction with its dark, ambiguous themes that are reflected in his own fiction’s preoccupation with labyrinths and mirrors.

Cookies and lemonade will be served.

The Key to the Door: Special Collections’ Associate Professor and Research Archivist Ervin Jordan Contributes Lead Chapter to New Book on African Americans at the University of Virginia

Ervin L. Jordan Jr.’s essay, “Perseverance and Resilience: African Americans at the University of Virginia,” is the lead chapter for a new book on the African American experience at UVA. Jordan is an Associate Professor and Research Archivist at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.

The book, The Key to the Door: Experiences of Early African American Students at the University of Virginia, explores the stories of some of the first black students at UVA and, through first person narrative, follows the story of African American students during the period of desegregation at the University. The book was edited by Maurice Apprey and Shelli M. Poe. Apprey is Professor of Psychiatry and Dean of African American Affairs at the University of Virginia, and Poe is Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Director of Vocation, Ethics, and Society at Millsaps College.

Jordan’s essay comprises a historical overview of African Americans at UVA from 1819-2016, in 17 sections, beginning with the history of enslaved African Americans at the University, through segregation and desegregation, and up to present day. A look at the section titles gives the reader some idea of the scope of this chapter alone:

Working without Wages
Invisible Faces, Forgotten Voices
Women of Labor
Continuity and Disruption
Echoes of an Enslaved Past
School of Segregation
First Applicant: Alice Jackson
First Admission: Gregory Swanson
First Graduate: Walter Ridley
Desegregation Decades: The 1960s and 1970s
First Faculty and Administrators
Organizations and Publications
Jefferson’s Gladiators: Athletes and Coaches
“Educate, Motivate, Liberate”: Upward Bound, the Office of African-American Affairs, and the Carter G. Woodson Institute
Enhancing the Community of Trust: The Honor System and Multiculturalism
Of Times and Generations: The Twenty-First Century
Bicentennial Coda: 1819 and 2019.

The Key to the Door is available through its publisher, the University of Virginia Press, as well as from the UVA Bookstores. Copies are currently being cataloged at the UVA Library and will be available soon.

Professor Ervin L. Jordan Jr. has been at the Small Special Collections Library since 1979. He specializes in Civil War and African-American history, and is the author of three books including Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia, named by Publisher’s Weekly as one of 1995’s best nonfiction books. He has more than 60 publications in academic and historical journals and encyclopedias including: The African American Odyssey; The Western Journal of Black Studies; Encyclopedia Virginia; New Perspectives on the Civil War; The Oxford Companion to American Military History; The Dictionary of Virginia Biography; The Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century; Virginia’s Civil War; Virginia at War, 1861; Virginia at War, 1865; and Voices from within the Veil: African Americans and the Experience of Democracy.

Jordan’s most recent public lectures include: “Monument Man: Robert E. Lee: America’s Most Honored Traitor” for the “Lightning Rods for Controversy: Civil War Monuments Past, Present & Future” symposium, Library of Virginia, (nationally broadcast live on C-SPAN3, February 2017); “Slave Lives Matters?: Race & Redemption at the University of Virginia” for “Universities and Slavery: Bound by History” conference, Harvard University, March 2017; “The Black Female Image at the University of Virginia,” Global History of Black Girlhood Conference, University of Virginia, March 2017. He is currently a member of the President’s Commission on Slavery and the University; during the 11th Annual Donning of the Kente Ceremony for graduating fourth year students in 2015, Professor Jordan was one of two faculty members who received special recognition by UVA’s Office of African-American Affairs for contributions and dedication to students.

The Library’s Ad$pender Database Tracks Spending on Industry Advertising

Say you’re an entrepreneur and you’ve got the money to compete with Dell or Apple. Wouldn’t it be worth knowing how much each of those competitors spends on advertising for different product lines, and on what types of media? Getting the money may be an impossible dream, but finding out how they spend advertising dollars is relatively easy. The Library’s online resource Ad$pender is used by industry for media planning purposes, but can be used by anybody to track where corporate ad dollars go.

To create custom reports, logon to Ad$pender and click the pencil icon or the “Create” link. The Custom Reports dashboard lists the 6 steps it takes to create a report:

Step 1 “Media/Market.” Simply highlight the media types you want information about and click the arrow to move them to the “Selected Media” window.

Step 2, “Time Period,” lets you select the time frame you want to study; make it 5 years or less, otherwise Ad$pender will spit your search back.

Step 3, “Product Set,” lets you choose the brands and product lines you want to collect data on. Use the drop down menu in the first box on the search bar, select “Brands,” and type a brand name in the box to the left of the search button, click “Search.” Once you’ve found a product you want to know more about, use the “Drill” button at the bottom of the window. It will give you different categories to choose from to help you work back and pick up other brand names and product lines you may want to include. Move items you want to analyze to the “Selected Items” window.

Steps 4 and 5, “Report Format” and “Report Options,” let you control how the finished report will look. Most of the defaults are pretty intuitive—products in rows, the costs in columns, the results in dollars, and totals at the bottom. Most users will probably not want to change defaults, but they will want to type a header for the report.

Step 6, “Report Summary” lets you give the report a name and check the search terms (media, products, etc.). If you want to modify any aspect of your search, click the pencil icon next to it, make changes, go back to “Report Summary” and “Run Report.” It’ll take some time.

You can view the report as a PDF or a spreadsheet. Dollar amounts are abbreviated; a figure that appears to be in the thousands of dollars—6,036.7, for example—is actually 6 million, 36 thousand, 7 hundred dollars. If you’re not satisfied with the results, you can recalculate by making changes in “Report Summary” and running it again.

Our subscription only covers 3 simultaneous users, so please click the “Logout” button in the top-right prior to closing the window.

C-SPAN’s Charlottesville Visit Showcases Library’s Special Collections and Knowledgeable Staff

In March C-SPAN sent a crew to Charlottesville as part of the cable network’s 2017 Local Content Vehicle Tour to cover the history and literary life of American cities. In addition to a video chat with poet Rita Dove, and pieces on Monticello, Ash Lawn Highlands, and UVA’s Miller Center, the network featured the University of Virginia’s world-famous Special Collections Library. The videos originally telecast April 15–16 on C-SPAN2 (Book TV) and C-SPAN3 (American History TV) are now available for viewing on the C-SPAN website.

Special Collections curator Molly Schwartzburg speaks about the Faulkner Collection and how the Library’s current exhibition “Faulkner: Life and Works” examines “the various personae that were constructed either by Faulkner actively, or by the circumstances in which he found himself throughout his life.” Some off-beat items she mentions are Faulkner’s pictorial art, a screenplay fragment from his days writing for Hollywood, and a receipt for a slave that Faulkner’s grandfather sold—a way to dramatically introduce visitors to the legacy of slavery and the issue of race relations that were central to Faulkner’s fiction.

Archivist Edward Gaynor speaks about Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia Papers. From the nearly 4,000,000 items he selects several of Jefferson’s visionary drawings for the University of Virginia, beginning with a rough preliminary sketch from an 1817 letter showing an open-ended rectangle of “pavilions interspersed with dormitory rooms” around an open area of “grass and trees.” He also shows a “daybook” ledger kept by the University’s “proctor” that includes, among the raw materials needed for maintaining the University, the names of enslaved people and the payments to their masters for the work they performed.

Curator David Whitesell gives a tour of the Special Collections Library’s permanent exhibition of copies of the Declaration of Independence and related items donated by Albert Small. Whitesell shows both a copy of the first printing of the declaration owned by George Washington’s personal secretary Tobias Lear, and a facsimile struck in 1823 from the original document and presented to the Marquis de Lafayette when he visited the U.S. Whitesell says it wasn’t until the early 19th century that the declaration began to be viewed with reverence—a development that was not lost on Jefferson who compensated his granddaughter for the loss of her furniture at sea by giving her the portable desk on which he wrote the declaration. A replica of the desk is also on display.

Book conservator Eliza Gilligan talks about the work of the Library’s Conservation Lab and gives some idea of the wide range of skills and research needed to preserve rare books and paper in the Special Collections library. A knowledge of art history, general and organic chemistry is essential in knowing to how to apply wheat paste adhesive when reattaching the crumbling leather spine of a 15th century psalter, or assessing the naturally corrosive properties of ink made from tree galls and iron filings, or using a poultice of fuller’s earth to draw out the residue from tape that had held together a 200 year old letter.

UVA Today Reports on the Official Launch of Clemons’ Solar Array

On April 18th Governor Terry McAuliffe joined University of Virginia’s executive vice president and chief operating officer Mike Hogan in cutting the ceremonial ribbon for Clemons’ rooftop solar array—a project that has turned adversity to advantage by transforming Clemons’ once leaky roof into a means of powering the building.

According to a UVA Today article, “since mid-February, 324 panels, totaling about 7,530 square feet, on the roof of Clemons Library have been producing what will amount to about 199,600 kilowatt hours of electricity per year”—15 percent of the library’s annual usage.

Governor McAuliffe touted the project as part of his state-wide initiative to increase the amount of power produced by the sun in Virginia, and the number of jobs produced by the solar industry. In 2011 the UVA Board of Visitors committed to reducing UVA’s greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent below 2009 levels by 2025.

Read more about the Library’s part in the University’s sustainability plans in the article “UVA’s New Solar Array Makes a Powerful Statement” (UVA Today, 4/19/2017).

New Online Resource POLITICO Pro Gives Access to Sources Behind the News

Want to know about Federal policy, expenditures, taxes? How about politics? You can find the latest news in the Library’s online source POLITICO Pro. Sixteen teams of policy-specific reporters provide the pre-, post- and backstory of every important update affecting your area of interest.

You get morning and afternoon newsletters and real-time alerts, plus monthly CEO Reports and the nightly Pro Report of the day’s most important news. Complex issues in energy, health care, technology, and transportation come to life in Pro’s DataPoint feature that lets you download fully-editable infographics as PDFs, JPGs, or PowerPoint slides for use in your own presentations.

But it’s the “Tools” menu that makes POLITICO Pro a uniquely valuable resource, providing a comprehensive list of sources for government information. Items in the easy-to-use drop down menu include:

  • Appropriations Watch—the latest information on government funding
  • Campaign Pro Race Dashboard—a rundown of upcoming House, Senate, and gubernatorial races state by state, with information on the candidates and parties, from the primaries through the general election
  • Defense Program Watch—funding of major weapons programs, with reports from the Government Accounting Office and Congressional Research Service, plus news reports on policy debates
  • Energy Regulations Watch—rules that affect government energy and climate policy
  • Pro Tax Watch—information on taxes that affects decisions on fiscal policy at the State and Federal level
  • State Education Watch—the demographics of educational enrollment in each state from grades K through College
  • New Member Profiles—condensed bios on all first-term House and Senate members
  • Document Drawer—gives you the primary sources that POLITICO Pro analysts turn to for covering all aspects of government policy, appropriations, opinion, and debate. It contains the raw stuff of journalism—court records and filings, letters to and from Congress, FOIA requests, data, Congressional testimony, polling info, research papers, bills, and executive orders—that can help anyone check the facts behind the stories and become a more knowledgeable consumer of the news.

For more resources like POLITICO Pro, please check the Library guide for new online resources. It’s updated daily!

Carl Rollyson to Deliver Inaugural William & Rosemary MacIlwaine Lecture at Harrison-Small

On Thursday, April 20, at 4:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library, journalism professor Carl Rollyson of New York’s Baruch College will deliver the inaugural William and Rosemary MacIlwaine lecture “William Faulkner’s Virginia Persona.”

Professor Rollyson has authored biographies of Lillian Hellman, Rebecca West, Amy Lowell, and Silvia Plath. His book, Uses of the Past in the Novels of William Faulkner, is still in print and has been cited by eminent Faulkner scholar M. Thomas Inger as among the top one hundred works of Faulkner scholarship. Professor Rollyson’s new book, The Alarming Paradox: the Life of William Faulkner is being published by the University of Virginia Press.

The William and Rosemary MacIlwaine Lecture Series in American Literature was established by Dr. William A. MacIlwaine IV, his wife Linda Wilson MacIlwaine, and their sons Andrew, Wilson, and Peter, to honor Dr. MacIlwaine’s parents, who endorsed the value of a broad liberal arts education. They were ardent supports of the University of Virginia and the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.

Please RSVP to Patrick Garcia or call (434) 924-9640 (space is limited).

A reception will follow the lecture, and guests are invited to explore the exhibition “Faulkner: Life and Works” in the main gallery.

Digital Yoknapatawpha Project Panel Discussion in Harrison-Small, April 13

Please join us on Thursday, April 13, at 10:00 a.m. in the Byrd-Morris Room of the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library for a panel discussion, “Digital Yoknapatawpha: Collaboratively Recreating Faulkner’s County.”

Directors of the Digital Yoknapatawpha project—UVA English professor Stephen Railton and Computer Science professor Worthy Martin—will join moderator Alison Booth of the English Department and Scholars’ Lab to discuss the fruitful collaboration of over three dozen literary and tech professionals who came together to digitally map Faulkner’s fictional universe, which he modeled after his home in small-town and rural Mississippi. The map drawings used in the project came from the Faulkner collection of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.

Learn more about the project and about the different issues that arise in digital humanities projects.

Refreshments will be provided.