The Library Offers Access to the Papers of the American Civil Liberties Union, 1912-1990

Adversary of the political class and defender of the first amendment, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has never flinched from controversy and—in an era of polarized politics—is as relevant today as it’s ever been. Now, the Library offers UVA researchers the Papers of the ACLU, 1912-1990, an archive of some 18,000 documents recording the organization’s activity through most of the 20th century.

Bills, briefs, correspondence, court documents, legal case files, memoranda, minutes, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, telegrams, and reports of cases almost a century old continue to resonate. Search the name Mitchell Palmer, the U.S. Attorney General during the “Red Scare” of 1919–’20, and click through the volumes in which his name is highlighted. You’ll come to vol. 116 and a Report of the Illegal Practices of the United States Department of Justice. It’s a defense of the rights of immigrant dissidents and an attack on the U.S. Justice Department’s round-up and deportation, without due process, of immigrants who were assumed to be terrorists in a wave of hysteria that swept the U.S. following the Russian Revolution. One signatory to the document was future Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter.

Files covering the conscientious objector issue for the first World War alone fill over 37 volumes, and include case files, letters, and diaries containing statements of belief and first-person accounts of camp and prison conditions, the personal experiences of objectors in non-combat roles, newspaper clippings, and reports of persecution—the ACLU campaigned against the practice of chaining objectors to the bars of their cells.

The ACLU’s beginnings are documented in “The Roger Baldwin Years, 1912–1950,” while activities that touch modern memory are collected in “Years of Expansion, 1950–1990.” You can click “Visual Results” to plot the frequency of search terms on a graph. Typing the name Martin Luther King, Jr., for instance, creates a graph that peaks in 1965. Click points on the graph to get to the documents.

For more resources like Papers of the ACLU, 1912–1990, please check the Library guide to new online resources. It’s updated daily!

Planned Power Outage in Clemons Library, June 7–9

A power outage is planned in Clemons Library that will begin at 6:00 a.m. on June 7 and last through 3:30 p.m. on June 9. The outage is necessary to allow work to proceed on Clemons’ Total Advising center on the 2nd floor.

During this time there will be no power in the Digital Media Lab for computers, no lighting on the 4th floor, and possible outages to some outlets on the 4th floor.

Virginia Magazine Examines Changes to the Role of the Library at UVA

In a feature article “Next Chapter,” Virginia Magazine looks at change in the library system at UVA that began with its founding in the Rotunda and continues today with the growth of digital media and the evolution of the way library space is used by faculty, grads, and undergrads.

According to University Librarian John Unsworth, the print collection will continue to grow but will likely be used less than digital resources. He maintains, however, that the primary purpose of the Library will not change: “The most important thing you find in a library is a librarian, and the need for people with expertise in the field of information isn’t going to go away.” There will also be a need for partnerships with other libraries to make information free and accessible online, and a need for cooperation on digital scholarship within the Library—between the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH) and the Scholars’ Lab, for instance.

As plans for Alderman Library’s renovation take shape, Unsworth encourages stakeholders to contribute their ideas about what a future Alderman should be. “We want faculty and students to identify the characteristics that they want to see in the collections on open shelves …The question is not how many, but which books should be in Alderman.”

Another way the Library has been addressing student needs is by redesigning its space. Senior Director of Administration and Planning Donna Tolson says, “For many students, the library is the place they go when they want to get work done … And we have made space for them to do that.”

Read more about the present and future development of the Library in the article Next Chapter (Virginia Magazine, Summer 2017).

Ivy Stacks Continues Service Uninterrupted During New Construction

The Library’s Ivy Stacks off-Grounds retrieval facility is not only expanding, it’s getting better. A new addition that will double Ivy Stacks’ capacity is being built with massive tilt-up concrete panels lifted into place by crane. The insulation inside the panels and fewer seams will help prevent moisture infiltration; a state-of-the-art HVAC system will cool Ivy’s mobile shelving to an optimal 55 degree Fahrenheit preservation standard even in the hottest months; and a rooftop solar array will help power the structure that includes a reading room for researchers. The construction, that will run from this summer to March of 2018, is happening with no interruption to service! The only anticipated inconvenience is that Library users may see slower delivery times.During construction, Ivy will continue retrieving VIRGO requests from its collection of the Library’s lesser-used items. The vast and varied collection belies Ivy’s reputation as a “storage facility.” Ivy is actually a functioning library, housing over one million items—not only books but LPs, rolls of microfilm, computer disks, music CDs, video laserdiscs, glass photographic negatives, issues of Charlottesville’s Daily Progress newspaper from 1895 to the present, everything available for checkout.

Amanda Visconti and 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,” then 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, plus 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 in assessing the naturally corrosive properties of ink made from tree galls and iron filings, or how to use 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).