Cutaway view of renovated Alderman shows vision for future Library

The renovated space includes flexible areas for individual and group study and research throughout the building, as well as new elevators, bathrooms, and stairwells, and all-new mechanical infrastructure.

Cutaway view of inside of renovated Alderman, basement to 5th floor

Section perspective from west, looking east towards the Rotunda. HBRA Architects with Clark Nexsen, October 22, 2018. View PDF of this document.


The basement level contains mechanical rooms and building storage, as well as compact shelving for collections processing. It also contains compact shelving for collections belonging to Rare Book School.

First Floor

The first floor contains the receiving area and sorting area, as well as other staff space, including a staff-only connector to Clemons Library. It also contains compact shelving for general collections, the Library’s Tibetan collection, and a variety of flexible study spaces.

Second Floor

The Library’s Preservation and Conservation labs are located on the second floor, as are Rare Book School and the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia. A new north entrance with exterior terrace space leads into a large study lounge with a service desk. The café will be on this level, as will the ground floor of two study courtyards under a skylight. The McGregor Room, Asian Studies Room, and Stettinius Gallery will remain here, and new exhibition space will be added outside of Rare Book School. The Stettinius Gallery will connect Alderman to Clemons with a new passageway for library users.

Third Floor

The Digital Humanities presence will be on the third level, including the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH), the Sciences, Humanities, and Arts Network of Technological Initiatives (SHANTI), and the Library’s Scholars’ Lab (including their makerspace). The Taylor, Mount Vernon, and Garnett Rooms will be on this level, as will the Graduate Student Lounge. The third floor will also contain varied study and research space and compact shelving for general collections.

Fourth Floor

An expanded south entrance to Alderman will lead into Memorial Hall, complete with service desk and seating areas. The Reference Room will remain on this floor, and a large North Reading Room will be added as well. This level will contain Alderman’s primary room for instruction, as well as general collections on static shelving interspersed with flexible study space.

Fifth Floor

The fifth floor will also contain general collections on static shelving and flexible study space. Above the fifth floor, a sixth-story level clerestory will admit natural light into the building. Presidential Papers will be located on the fifth floor, as will the Office of the University Librarian.

View floor plan documents (PDF) or read more about the renovation.

If you need special accommodation in order to read the PDF floor plans, please use our Ask a Librarian services or call our general number 434-924-3021.

Join the Library Council and make the Library an even Better Place

The upcoming Alderman Library renovation means there’s never been a better time to join the UVA Library Council and have a say in the Library’s future. The UVA Library Council invites all under-grads to an interest meeting on November 14 at 5:00 p.m. in Clemons 407. Find out what you can do to make the library an even better place! Food will be provided.

As a member of the council, you’ll be able to confer with University Librarian John Unsworth and Library staff on ways to make the Library more responsive to UVA’s undergrads, and promote the Library to the University community. Some of the Library Council’s past projects have included:

  • supplying books for the Multicultural Student Center’s book club initiative
  • providing input on Total Advising—furniture, café options, a proposal for adjustable height tables and seating
  • contacts with the Student Council
  • discussing textbook affordability with John Unsworth and the student group United for Undergraduate Socioeconomic Diversity (U-FUSED)
  • hosting a fall social for Library student assistants at Eddy’s on the Corner
  • publicizing UVA’s libraries on the Library Council’s Facebook page
  • sponsoring the 2017 Library Challenge

Register now! For more information about the UVA Library Council, contact the council’s advisers Regina Carter and PJ Coleman.

Sneak Reviews DVDs become part of Clemons Video Collection!

People of a certain age may remember when video rental stores like Blockbuster stocked DVDs of the latest box office hits. In Charlottesville they may also remember Sneak Reviews where, in the days before streaming, you could go if your taste ran more toward cult films, indie films, documentaries, foreign films, classic films, and the better television shows. In 2014, Clemons Library acquired about 10,000 Sneak Reviews DVDs when the beloved landmark on Ivy Road closed its doors. Now, these titles are available in the Clemons DVD browsing section, ready to be checked out.

Additions to the Library’s wide-ranging video collection include films about LGBTQ issues, concert films, musicals, and feature films. They expand the Library’s collection to more than 60,000 titles—split about evenly between DVDs and streaming videos.The Library is grateful for the patience of the UVA community and hopes that students, faculty, and staff will used the Sneak Reviews DVDs for both research and enjoyment.

Stories That Need Telling—Library’s Wikipedia Edit-a-thon “Surfaces” Black Life in Charlottesville

Would you like to learn to edit Wikipedia and tell the world more about Charlottesville’s African-American community at the same time? Then register and come to the auditorium of the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library on Friday, November 30, 2018, from 1:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m. for the Wikipedia edit-a-thon “Surfacing Black Life in Charlottesville.”

Special Collections will supply resources including copies of two local African-American newspapers, the Charlottesville Tribune and the Charlottesville Albemarle Tribune; and Instruction Librarian Krystal Appiah and curator Molly Schwartzburg will assist you with adding to Wikipedia’s scanty knowledge base about black life in Charlottesville.

For instance, if you search Wikipedia for Charlottesville, you won’t learn that that Hampton Institute graduate George P. Inge established a grocery in 1891 at 333 West Main St. (the present location of the upscale Tavern & Grocery restaurant), or that his store once supplied most of the fresh fish in the city, or that Inge as Chairman of Charlottesville’s Republican Party in 1900 hosted distinguished African Americans like classmate Booker T. Washington because they weren’t permitted in the city’s segregated hotels.

The Library has a treasure trove of unknown history it wants to share with the world. Come to the Harrison-Small auditorium on November 30 and discover what stories need to be told. Snacks will be provided. Register now!

Inge’s Grocery, 333 W. Main St. The 1820 building doubled as home and place of business for the Inge family beginning in 1891. The store was not destroyed as many others were by the city in the mid ’60s and remained in the family until 1979.


UVA Today features article on Library Understanding Difference Initiative

UVA Today is featuring an article about the Library’s efforts to foster greater appreciation for the differences that exist between members of its staff, not only difference between ethnic cultures, but between religious faiths, between younger and older workers, between people with different sexual preferences and gender identities, between those with and without disabilities, and between socio-economic groups.

University Librarian John Unsworth has begun a staff-wide conversation about understanding difference, asking all members of the Library staff, at least once a year, to engage in activities that bring them “into conversation with people different from those with whom [they] normally associate, with the goal of increasing our cultural fluency and improving our information services.”

Shortly after arriving at UVA in 2016, Unsworth created a library Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity, and named Phylissa Mitchell as director. Mitchell, who has taught law and journalism from West Virginia to the Ukraine, was “charged with creating programs to attract underrepresented populations to library professions and to UVA.” She’s “also responsible for inclusion and equity outreach across libraries and the University.”

Members of a group that Mitchell created based on Debby Irving’s book Waking Up White have responded to their discussion in a variety of ways. Fine Arts public services manager April Joy Baker is learning what it takes to fight “institutional racism,” overcoming the “instinct to be defensive and close down because of shame.” Social sciences research librarian Christine Slaughter is “organizing an event to facilitate the library’s purchase of material by underrepresented voices …” Music collections librarian Winston Barham traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border with his faith community and blogged about his group’s experience of “being the foreigners, strangers, guests” in the border towns.

For more about the Library’s efforts to be more inclusive, visit the Understanding Difference resource guide put together by Library organizational development coordinator Suzanne Bombard, and read the article “Library Employees Take Up Challenge to Learn More About People Different Than Them” (UVA Today 11/1/2018).

Stan Gunn appointed Executive Director of IT at the University of Virginia Library

Photo by Amanda Maglione

The University of Virginia Library is very pleased to announce that Stan Gunn will become its Executive Director of Information Technology on December 3, 2018. He will report to the University Librarian and Dean of Libraries, John Unsworth, and he will be a member of the Library’s senior leadership team. Stan comes to us from UVA’s Organizational Excellence program, where he developed processes and systems to coordinate, monitor, and assess pan-University projects (both academic and administrative). From 2008 to 2017 Stan was Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Information Technology at Austin Community College, where he supported technology for the college’s 43,000 students, 7,000+ staff, twelve campuses, and administrative offices located around Central Texas. He also has a Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin, and he has taught in that program since 1999.

The leadership team that Stan’s appointment completes has been selected over the last year through a series of national searches run by the University’s Executive Search Group. It includes Associate University Librarian (AUL) for Scholarly Resources and Content Strategy Carmelita Pickett, AUL for Public Services Dennis Clark, Executive Director for Advancement Robin Mitchell, AUL for Special Collections and Preservation Brenda Gunn, and Deputy University Librarian Carla Lee.

New University Archivist Bethany Anderson Joining Special Collections Staff October 22

The Library is pleased to announce that Bethany Anderson will join the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library as the new University Archivist on October 22. Bethany comes to the Library from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she’s worked as the Archival Operations and Reference Specialist for Science and Technology since 2012.

Bethany holds an MA from the University of Chicago with a specialization in Near Eastern Art and Archaeology, and an MLIS with a concentration in archival enterprise from the University of Texas at Austin.

Bethany is solidly grounded in archival theory, best practices, and standards at a time when Special Collections is breaking virtual ground on its ArchivesSpace instance and working through the implementation phase of Aeon for public service operation.

Welcome, Bethany!

Going Back to Go Forward—Jacqueline Battalora Explores Significance of the term “White People”

Why does a former Chicago cop think it’s important to know that the term “white people” didn’t exist in America as a matter of law until 1681? What social and economic forces in colonial America invented a category of human beings with rights denied to non-whites? And why does it still matter?

Come to the auditorium of the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library on Wednesday, October 17, from 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. and hear attorney, sociology professor, and former police officer Jacqueline Battalora explain in her lecture “Going Back to Go Forward: Where, when, how, and why the human category called ‘white people’ was first utilized.”

Please register here!

Doctor Battalora is the author of the book Birth of a White Nation: The Invention of White People and Its Relevance Today. She is an editor for the Journal of Understanding and Dismantling Privilege, has written numerous articles and appears in the documentaries “The American L.O.W.S.” by Darnley Hodge Jr. and “HAPI” by Gerard Grant.

Bibliographical Society of UVA Announces Battestin Fellowships for Grad Student Summer Research

The Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia is pleased to announce its seventh round of Battestin Fellowships, a program of summer fellowships in bibliographical and textual studies, named in honor of Martin Battestin, former Professor of English at UVA, and his wife Ruthe, a literary scholar and member of the Society’s Council. The fellowships are intended to support research in the collections of the UVA Library by UVA graduate students, with an emphasis on physical or textual bibliography. The Society is prepared to award up to five fellowships of $3,500 each for the summer of 2019.   

Proposals may concern books and documents in any field as long as the primary focus is the physical object (in whatever form) as historical evidence. Potential fellowship topics include studies in the history of book production, publication, distribution, reception, or reading; the history of collecting or bibliographical scholarship; and the tracing of a work’s textual history or the establishment of its text from the extant witnesses. Projects that incorporate the application of digital methodologies to the study of books and documents, and their texts, are also encouraged.

Please note: these fellowships do not support projects of enumerative bibliography (i.e., the preparation of lists).

The awards are limited to current UVA students; that is, students who will be continuing their graduate studies at UVA in the 2019 fall semester.

Students interested in applying for a Battestin Fellowship are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the profile and fellowship guidelines of the BSUVA.

Applications are due February 1, 2019, and should consist of the following:

  • an application
  • a project proposal of no more than 1,000 words
  • the applicant’s Curriculum Vitae
  • two signed letters of recommendation.

Questions about the Battestin Fellowships should be sent to Anne Ribble.

Winners will be announced at the Society’s Annual Meeting on March 22, 2019.

UVA Today Article Highlights Library Collaboration with The HistoryMakers Digital Archive

An article in UVA Today offers additional details about the Library’s efforts announced here to enhance the visibility of The HistoryMakers—the largest digital archive of oral African-American history in existence. The project, funded by a new $1,000,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will be led by University Librarian John Unsworth, Mike Christel of Carnegie Mellon University, and Julieanna Richardson—Harvard graduate, lawyer, digital historian, and founder of The HistoryMakers.

Richardson set a goal of conducting 5,000 interviews with people from all walks of life, the famous and not-so-famous, encompassing what she calls “America’s Missing Stories” of African Americans’ contributions to the arts, to the military, to business, to the legal and healthcare professions, to architecture, engineering, and education.

The new grant will build upon work completed under a previous grant from the Mellon Foundation to Unsworth when he was at Brandeis. Those efforts resulted in increased discoverability in libraries’ catalog systems and a growth in the subscriber base from three to 50 institutions.

Efforts to include a Virgo catalog record for each individual interview, and to expand the reach of The HistoryMakers records, will involve the work of a dozen library faculty and staff members. UVA Library staff will use its NEH-funded mapping tool, Neatline, and Social Networks and Archival Context Cooperative (SNAC), also funded by the Mellon Foundation, to connect The HistoryMakers digital archive to holdings of other archives.

“Neatline will be used to map place-names that we can extract from the transcripts of The HistoryMakers’ interviews,” Unsworth explained, “and perhaps for creating exhibitions around those places using the timeline feature of Neatline, or with included text and graphics. We’ll also be publishing records to SNAC from The HistoryMakers, as a way of increasing the visibility of The HistoryMakers’ subjects,” he said.

Read more about the HistoryMakers project in the article “UVA Library to Enhance National Digital Archive of African-American Leaders” (UVA Today, 10/2/2018).