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.




Chronicle of Higher Education Features Incoming University Librarian and Digital Humanities Pioneer John Unsworth

John UnsworthUVA’s own incoming librarian John Unsworth is one of several librarians moving into new positions featured in the June 19 Chronicle of Higher Education article “3 Librarians Bring Skills in Preservation and Technological Innovation to Their New Top Roles.” Citing Mr. Unsworth’s advocacy of “using computing tools to create new approaches to studying” digital texts, the Chronicle calls him a pioneer in digital humanities.

Unsworth earned a Ph.D. in English from UVA in 1988 and worked from 1993 to 2003 as director of UVA’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities. Most recently he served as Brandeis University’s vice provost, librarian, and chief information officer before accepting the UVA position. The article quotes him as saying, “Virginia’s library has a long history of real engagement in the technology of information.”

Unsworth will assume his duties as UVA librarian and dean of libraries on June 25, succeeding interim University Librarian Martha Sites.

Read the full article:

3 Librarians Bring Skills in Preservation and Technological Innovation to Their New Top Roles (The Chronicle of Higher Education, 6/19/2016)

Gift to Special Collections Sheds Light on Only Significant Civil War Engagement in Albemarle County

The family of Raymond Shaw, deceased—UVA graduate, biology teacher, and passionate Civil War collector—recently donated Confederate artifacts excavated nearly 50 years ago to the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. The relics of military life are from a Confederate encampment near Rio Hill, site of the only major military engagement in Albemarle County. Union forces under General George Armstrong Custer overran the encampment but withdrew. Both sides claimed victory.


Family of Raymond Shaw with their generous gift of artifacts from a Confederate encampment on the site of the Battle of Rio Hill

“The donation of these artifacts is very important to us,” says Edward Gaynor, Librarian for Virginiana and University Archives, and “can tell you things about the men who were there and what was going on.” Mr. Shaw’s recognition in 1970 that rows of mounds on the site were the remains of cabin chimneys rescued a valuable piece of history. The site is now occupied by the Rio Hill Shopping Center.

Read the full story below.

Special Collection, Local Connection (UVA Today, 6/15/2016)

Congratulations to Dave Ghamandi and Tim Morton, Taking on New Roles in the Library

The Library is pleased to announce that two familiar faces will be taking on new roles.

Dave Ghamandi—previously the Librarian for Life Sciences and the Librarian for Reference Services—will join the Content Stewardship team as the Open Publishing Librarian beginning July 1, 2016. In his role with the Scholarly Repository Services unit, Dave will focus on developing infrastructure for open access journal hosting, open educational resources, and open modes of scholarship.

Tim Morton has been working as the Electronic Resources Management Librarian. He was later appointed as the interim Manager for Resource Acquisition and Description with the Collections Access and Discovery team, and will now serve  in that capacity on a permanent basis. He has used his current position, and his experience in Government Documents, to implement new processes within the Resource Acquisition & Discovery team.

Congratulations Dave and Tim!

Harrison-Small Exhibition “Shakespeare by the Book” Highlighted in this week’s CVille Weekly!

In this week’s Arts section, the CVille Weekly features an in-depth article on the Library exhibition “Shakespeare by the Book: Four Centuries of Printing, Editing, and Publishing,” now on display in the north gallery of the Harrison/Small Library. The CVille article, “UVA Special Collections features original Shakespeare printworks,” examines the gamut of items in the exhibition, from the oldest—a 1619 quarto edition of King Lear—to one of the newest: a 2006 text message version of the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, and its cell-phone case.

The article also refers to one item of special interest to fans of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. Curator Molly Schwartzburg and her team of researchers uncovered a small gem in the stacks—an edition of The Merchant of Venice, printed in the 18th century by H. Witworth, who bibliographical detective work revealed to be Hannah Witworth, one of the unsung women working at the printer’s trade from the beginning. The exhibition display panel gives other interesting facts about when and where the play was produced, information about several of the players listed in the volume, and their significance. According to the online catalog WorldCat, UVA has the only surviving copy.

Come to the exhibition to learn more!  “Shakespeare by the Book: Four Centuries of Printing, Editing, and Publishing” will remain on display through December 31, 2016.