Digital Yoknapatawpha Project Draws from Special Collections’ Faulkner Material

faulkner_silverThe UVA Today article, “UVA Spearheads Effort to Digitally Map Faulkner’s Literary World,” features a collaboration between UVA English Professor Stephen Railton and digital specialists—including staff of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH) and the Library’s Digital Media Lab—to create a Digital Yoknapatawpha, an interactive website, mapping the fictional Mississippi County invented by William Faulkner as the setting of his most famous fiction. According to Railton, scholars will now be able “to locate scenes … chronologically in the contexts of both the history of Yoknapatawpha and the arc of Faulkner’s career.”

Faulkner’s own map drawings of his imaginary world—from which the project’s cartographers constructed separate maps linked to his fiction—came from the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library’s repository of the author’s papers.

Railton has worked with the Special Collections library before on Faulkner at Virginia: An Audio Archive to make available online the taped recordings of Faulkner reading from his work, giving lectures, and answering questions. The recordings were made during Faulkner’s tenure as the Balch Writer-in-Residence at UVA (1957–58).

The Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library will present an exhibition of material from the Faulkner collection from February through July of 2017.

Read the full article: UVA Spearheads Effort to Digitally Map Faulkner’s Literary World (UVA Today, 8/15/2016)

Virginia University Libraries Tell Congress: Needless Copyright Revision Could Threaten Our Mission

The Copyright Office is set to unveil a potentially damaging rewrite of key parts of the Copyright Act despite stiff opposition from libraries themselves. The Library Deans and Directors at five Virginia universities—John Unsworth of the University of Virginia, Carrie Cooper of the College of William and Mary, John Zenelis of George Mason University, John Ulmschneider of Virginia Commonwealth University, and Tyler Walters of Virginia Tech—urged caution in a letter sent this week to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). The letter warns that a Copyright Office proposal could trigger a lengthy, costly, and contentious legislative process not justified by library needs.

The Copyright Act’s library and fair use provisions are working for Virginia libraries, the group said. Needless change and new regulatory burdens, on the other hand, would have a chilling effect on libraries around the Commonwealth and around the country.

The letter also highlights some of the exciting things already taking place at Virginia libraries, including digitization of the WSLS News Film Collection at the UVA Library and the Freedom Now Project at Virginia Commonwealth University. Changes in the law could put these kinds of projects at risk.

The full text of the Libraries’ letter can be found online.

UVA Library Director of Information Policy Brandon Butler provides some additional context for the letter at his personal blog.

For more information, contact Brandon Butler, Director of Information Policy, UVA Library, 434-982-5874

The Library Welcomes New Book Conservator Sue Donovan

The Library welcomes Sue Donovan who began work on July 25 as the new Book Conservator for the Preservation team in Content Stewardship.

Before coming to UVA, Sue studied book and paper conservation at the University of Paris-Sorbonne; interned at the Albertina Museum in Vienna, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Iowa State University; and was the Mellon Fellow in Paper Conservation at the Balboa Art Conservation Center in San Diego, CA. Most recently she was the Kress Fellow in Book Conservation at the University of Notre Dame, which was developed into a permanent position.

Sue is from Tennessee and delighted to be back in the South.  We’re glad she is, too.

Welcome, Sue!

The Library Welcomes New Staff Members Tony Hiserman & Bryan Kasik

The Library is pleased to announce that two new staff members, Tony Hiserman and Bryan Kasik, will begin work on July 25.

As Alderman Stacks Supervisor, Tony Hiserman will oversee the student team that shelves books and keeps the stacks in good order. Tony has a degree in Landscaping and Turf Management from Virginia Tech, and comes to us with seventeen years of experience in the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library where he most recently served as the Library Service Desk Manager.

Bryan Kasik will be the new Reference Librarian in Information Services. Bryan joins us from the UVA Law Library where he worked for nine years, supervising students, performing research, producing instructional videos, and creating student services and initiatives. He has an MLS from Florida State University and a BA from UVA.

Welcome, Tony and Bryan!

Library to Host ASERL Webinar and Discussion on the “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts”

On Friday, July 15, from 2–3 p.m. in Clemons 407, the Library will host a webinar offered by the Scholarly Communications Interest Group of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL). The webinar, “Overview of the College Art Association’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts,” will be led by Anne Collins Goodyear, Co-Director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, and will address development of the Code by the College Art Association (CAA), and examine the need for such a Code in the field of the arts. The presentation will delve into why CAA chose to take on this project, and will show how CAA is educating members and allied colleagues about the Code and documenting its implementation.

The webinar will be of interest if you work with the visual arts and other media, or if you field questions from faculty and students about using images in scholarship, on websites, or as part of a new work of art. Or if you just feel daunted by the possible legal implications of copyright law, please come and see why artists, scholars, librarians, and gallerists agree that fair use does apply to the visual arts.

After the webinar, Director of Information Policy Brandon Butler will lead a discussion about the Code of Best Practices and its ramifications.

There is no need to register to view the webinar in Clemons. However, if you can’t make it to Clemons, feel free to register and attend the webinar at your own desk.

Special Collections Enriches High Schoolers’ Research into Legacy of Slavery on Grounds

In its article “New Summer Program Helps High School Students Grasp Legacy of Slavery,” UVA Today describes how a group of high school students literally got their hands dirty, digging in the earth of James Madison’s Montpelier plantation to uncover evidence of how enslaved workers lived in the 19th century, and went through original documents to find out how slaves and freed blacks contributed to building Jefferson’s University.

As part of UVA’s first Cornerstone Institute, the students visited the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, where Special Collections librarian Heather Riser and John Witherell showed them Jefferson’s will, some of his letters, and design drawings he made of the University.


Heather Riser, Director of Operations for the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, shows a Jefferson letter to interested high school students.

The students’ research into the Special Collections documents contributed to their final presentations, which Alison Jawetz—a 2015 American studies graduate and co-founder of the program—said allowed “them to demonstrate their understanding that the legacies of slavery are not ancient history – they are very relevant to contemporary society.”

Read the full article: New Summer Program Helps High School Students Grasp Legacy of Slavery (UVA Today, 7/6/2016)

The World According to Charlottesville—UVA Today Features the Library’s Digital Daily Progress

In an article “Six Moments in UVA History, As Documented by Newly Expanded Digital Archive,” UVA Today features the Library’s Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm—recently expanded to include the years 1923-1964. The article examines unfolding events like the 1929 stock market crash and the assassination of President Kennedy, but also highlights significant local events, like addresses delivered at UVA by President Franklin Roosevelt and Dr. Martin Luther King, as well as the dedication of Alderman Library in 1938.

dparchive_header_1500According to Bradley Daigle—Content Lead for the Academic Preservation Trust—the collaboration between the UVA Library and the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library is one of the most popular collections in Virgo. In the future the Library hopes to crowdsource searchable tags from users to improve Optimal Character Recognition and make the archive searchable with keywords. “The high level of traffic inside the collection” Daigle says, “is an encouraging sign” that the public would be willing to participate in efforts to enhance the searchability of the valuable resource.

Read the the full article:

Six Moments in UVA History, As Documented by Newly Expanded Digital Archive (UVA Today, 6/23/2016)

UVA Welcomes new Librarian John Unsworth!

John UnsworthThe University welcomes John Unsworth, who begins his first full week as university librarian and dean of libraries today, June 27. Unsworth returns to the university where he earned his Ph.D. in English in 1988, and served from 1993–2003 as director of the Institute of Advanced Technology in the Humanities.

Most recently Unsworth was vice provost, university librarian, and chief information officer at Brandeis University, and before that was dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His interests include scholarly communication, digital humanities, history of books and publishing, and 20th-century American Literature. The Chronicle of Higher Education calls him a digital humanities pioneer.

Welcome, John!

Read more: John M. Unsworth Chosen as University Librarian and Dean of Libraries (UVA Library News and Announcements, 4/14/2016)

Celebrating University Librarian Martha Sites—Retiring After 42 Years at UVA

On June 21 Library staff and colleagues from around UVA gathered in the McGregor Room of Alderman Library for a party in honor of retiring University Librarian and Dean of Libraries, Martha Sites. They came to say farewell and to celebrate her 42 years of service to the University with food, drink, and reminiscences about the times they shared together.DSC05372

Martha came to the Library in 1996 from her position as Director of User Support for UVA central information technology, bringing a passion for blending traditional librarianship with technological innovation, and a professional interest in data curation and digital preservation. Her work as executive lead for the Academic Preservation Trust consortium has contributed to the survival of the scholarly record for generations to come.

Among those reliving old times and wishing Martha well were family and friends, as well as colleagues and former colleagues from the Library and the University community. Martha was remembered as a leader, friend, and mentor by speakers including Provost Tom Katsouleas, Vice Provost Anda Webb, and Library Senior Director of Administration & Planning Donna Tolson. The University Library Committee presented Martha with a print of one of the Rotunda’s capitals as a token of their esteem and appreciation, and the Library helped transition Martha into retirement with gifts to cultivate her gardening skills.

Thank you Martha, and enjoy your well-deserved retirement!

Scroll through the pictures below to see more of the party.