UVA Library Is Teaming with JMRL to Digitize Local Home Movies and Curate a Screening for Home Movie Day 2018

The University of Virginia Library and Jefferson-Madison Regional Library (JMRL) Central branch are preparing to celebrate Home Movie Day 2018 on Saturday, October 20.

Home Movie Day events are held worldwide every year to celebrate the stories and memories captured by amateur film, as well as to advocate for film care and preservation. These events provide the opportunity for individuals and families to see and share their own home movies with an audience of their community.

Charlottesville’s Main Street circa 1939, a still from the Ralph W. Feil Home Movies held at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

Charlottesville’s Main Street circa 1939, a still from the Ralph W. Feil Home Movies held at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

The Library will present a curated screening of film footage submitted by the community, along with selections from home movie found in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. This screening is free and open to the public and will be held on October 20th from 5-7 pm at the Vinegar Hill Theatre at 220 W Market St, Charlottesville.

Do you have home movies that could use some care? From now through October 14, a free digitization drop-off service will be offered for up to 3 reels of home movies (16mm, 8mm, or Super-8 motion picture film only).

You can drop off your film at the JMRL Central branch through October 14, or at one of the two Home Movie Digitization Workshops:
CROZET LIBRARY— Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
NORTHSIDE LIBRARY— Tuesday, October 2, 2018, 1:30 – 3:30PM

Submitted films will be cleaned and digitized (condition permitting) by preservation professionals at the Library and returned to the patron as a digital file. Any film footage submitted may be used as part of the October 20th screening event, but will not otherwise be retained.

Questions about the digitization drop-off service? Email Audiovisual Conservator Steven Villereal: steev@virginia.edu

Schematic Design for renovated Alderman approved by BOV

A front entrance very similar to the current entrance except it has two additional doors on either side of the current front door

The (current) southern side of Alderman is proposed to have additional doors on each side of the existing entrance.

The UVA Board of Visitors voted unanimously this week to approve the Schematic Design for a renovated Alderman Library.

As outlined in the concept plans (presented in June), key features of the renovation include improved access to Library facilities through expanded northern entryway, more intuitive interior layout including naturally-lit atrium spaces, and significantly improved safety and usability throughout the building. Pending state approval, construction is slated to begin in 2020. Read more about features of renovated Alderman.

The Schematic Design approved this week featured additional renderings of outdoor spaces. See a few examples below or browse the full presentation (PDF).

You can learn more about the renovation here, and remember to subscribe to Library News alerts to stay up to date!

An evening view of proposed north entrance on University Ave. Windows show interior book storage and patio space allows for outdoor study. Proposed view from University Ave with Nameless field and large Library building behind in similar style to current except expanded back entrance and patio space A view up proposed stairs (with Aviator statue at top) between Clemons and Alderman A front entrance very similar to the current entrance except it has two additional doors on either side of the current front door

The UVA Library has Helpful Information for Incoming Students

Are you a new student? New to the Library? Feeling overwhelmed? Here are some common problems and tips from the Library’s service desk that will help you hit the ground running!

Q:    I can’t log into the Library computer.

A:     It could be that your eservices password isn’t properly synced with your account.  We’ll log you in as a guest and you can reset your password. The Manage Your Passwords page allows you to change all of your UVA IT passwords—eservices, email, Netbadge.

Q: I’m having trouble getting my laptop on the UVA wireless network.

A:  Information Technology Services (ITS) is holding laptop clinics in Clemons 202 this week from 1–4 p.m. to help with connection problems. You can also call the ITS Help line at 434-924-4357.

Q:  How to I print a document?

A:  There are several ways to print – see the Library’s guide to Printing and Copying for more information. The Service desks also have handouts on printing.

Q:  How do I download or obtain research software and obtain help using software?

A:  The Research Software Support team in Brown Science & Engineering Library can help you obtain, install, and use site-licensed research software titles. Come by or contact us at res-consult@virginia.edu Contact Nancy Kechner to help with standard software like Excel and for advice on other sources of help at the University.

Register Now for a Library Workshop!

Get the semester off to a successful start! Check out the Library events calendar and register now for any of the Library’s workshops being offered through November 15. Let expert instructors take you from the basics through the latest technology, from finding resources on the Library’s website to virtual reality. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned researcher, the Library has the information you need to make research extraordinary. Check the list of topics below.

General Research

  • Literature Reviews in the Humanities: joining the Scholarly Conversation—Learn how literature reviews can give valuable context and depth to your research. Other literature review workshops will cover reviews in Science & Engineering and the Social Sciences.
  • Find Plans and Drawings for Architecture & Landscape—Discover a variety of ways to get the content you need, online and in print.
  • Is *Science* Bad for Science: Intro to Critiques of Scholarly Publishing—Find out how you can encourage open access to research in the sciences and how to discourage paywalls.
  • Research: Foundations for Success—For new researchers! Learn how to navigate the Library’s website.
  • Organizing Your Research with Zotero—Learn an open source tool that will help capture, organize, search, and share your research materials.
  • VR Workshops—Add dimension to research. Look into Library workshops on 1) Creating Virtual Museums; 2) Photogrammetry; 3) Augmented Reality; Painting, Modeling and Graffiti; and 4) Storyboarding, Animation & Puppetry.
  • Creating Imagination: A First Look at the Visual Effects Industry—An overview of the state of Visual Effects (VFX) will provide an abundance of tools and resources.
  • Planning a Capstone Project—For students who have a thesis or “capstone” requirement in their degree program. Get recommendations for resources and find out how to plan research.
  • Introduction to EndNote—Discover how to manage your citations with EndNote.
  • Best Database For You—In this 15 minute workshop you can get source recommendations and find the subject librarian who can best help with your project.
  • UVaCollab for Research Collaborations I–IIPart I: creating a basic Research site in UVACollab. Part II: selecting the appropriate options, adding participants, creating and linking several sub-sites.
  • Author’s Rights: Use the Law, Share Your Work, Change the World—Learn about your basic rights under copyright law and about the future of sharing scholarship.
  • Getting Started with Content Analysis—Learn methods of analyzing the content of textual sources, interviews, and images.
  • Introduction to Git/GitHub—Manage web development with the version control software GitHub.
  • Introduction to LaTeX & Overleaf—Learn a typesetting program that can integrate mathematical formulae, tables and bibliographies into documents.

Data analysis

  • Advanced Data Wrangling with R I–IIIPart I guides you through binding, merging and reshaping data. Part II covers working with dates, times and strings. Part III covers programming and automating functions.
  • Getting Started with Bayesian Data Analysis in R—Learn the fundamentals of Bayesian statistics while comparing and contrasting them to traditional statistical methods.
  • Text Analysis with R I–IIIPart I covers inputting source texts and structuring metadata, and generating descriptive statistics. Part II covers co-occurrence, clustering, and topic models, and Part III covers classification using dictionaries and statistical models.
  • Qualitative Data Analysis—Learn techniques and software that can help you make use of your data.
  • Introduction to QGIS—Introduction to the widely used open source Geographic Information Systems program.
  • Unix: Introduction to the Command Line—Introduction to the command line interface and Unix shell commands.
  • Funding Discovery Tools—Learn to identify opportunities from public and private funders.
  • Data & Excel: A Love Story—Learn to use Excel for cleaning, analyzing, and visualizing data.
  • Introduction to Dedoose—Discover an affordable, feature-rich, easy-to-use web app that helps you visualize and share your work with the research community.
  • Census Basics—Learn how to effectively incorporate census data in your research.
  • Principles of Data Visualization and Tableau I–IIPart I: learn basic principles of data visualization. Part II: use Tableau to make dynamic and interactive visualizations.
  • Introduction to Python—Install, set up, and use Python for Interpreted coding. Focus is on built-in data types.

Library Receives IMLS Planning Grant to Support Charlottesville-Area Equity Atlas in University Collaboration with Community

The University of Virginia Library is embarking on a new effort to collaborate with the larger Charlottesville community and a University Equity Initiative to imagine and co-create a Charlottesville-Area Regional Equity Atlas, a platform to combine, visualize, and make accessible data about local disparities. An Equity Atlas serves as a data and policy tool for leaders and advocates to advance a more equitable community while helping citizens hold decision-makers accountable. The UVA Library was recently awarded a 2-year, $150,000 grant to support the collaboration.

When the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) sent a call for proposals to promote community change through the Community Catalyst Initiative, a team of librarians led by Rebecca Coleman recognized the opportunity to leverage the Library’s unique knowledge and resources to serve our region. Working with the University’s Initiative for the Redress of Inequity through Community Engaged Scholarship, the Library team proposed a planning grant to support a larger community effort to create and sustain a resource for understanding the region’s apparent and hidden inequities. Grant funds will be used primarily to support partnerships with community-based organizations to place the community’s voices at the center of the Equity Atlas development.

Multiple regional Equity Atlases exist, serving local and national needs and highlighting inequities in education, health, housing, transportation, and other areas of social wellbeing. The Library collaboration seeks to build on this work in several ways. “One goal,” says Coleman, Principal Investigator for the grant, “is to move beyond readily available data to incorporate information derived from both community-initiated research and University-initiated research conducted with community partners. We want to contribute to an online Regional Equity Atlas that will be sustained and used by our community, built to address community priorities, and open to relevant data and information from a wide variety of sources.”

Map from PolicyMap showing Estimated typical income of homes in the Charlottesville area, 2012–2016 Source

Map showing Estimated typical income of homes in the Charlottesville area, 2012–2016
Source: www.policymap.com

A second goal, notes co-PI Michele Claibourn, is to use the creation of a regional Equity Atlas as a catalyst for creating an open data culture in the region and enhancing the community’s capacity to generate, use, and openly share data related to local inequity. “The city and surrounding counties, the University, and the many, many community organizations in our region each hold some piece of the puzzle to better understanding and highlighting local conditions and history. The Atlas is a means to pull together and retain existing information, assess critical gaps in our knowledge, and map out a better future,” Claibourn added.

The UVA Library is excited to work with the Equity Initiative and the regional community to create an Equity Atlas that will serve as a useful tool for educators, non-profits, advocacy groups, policy makers, and the public. The Library team is particularly grateful to the City of Charlottesville, the Adiuvans Foundation, the United Way-Thomas Jefferson Area, and Smart Cville for their support in securing this funding.

The UVA Library was one of 12 projects funded by this year through the Community Catalyst Initiative—visit the IMLS site to learn more.

For more information on the Charlottesville-Area Regional Equity Atlas, contact CvilleEquityAtlas@virginia.edu.

Adventures in Conservation: Our 2018 Summer Conservation Intern

Sara Belasco spent four weeks in the Library’s conservation lab gaining new skills and learning about how conservation fits into the larger library program.  We asked her to share a few words about her experience.

This summer I was a pre-program intern for four weeks at the University of Virginia Library conservation lab under conservators Eliza Gilligan and Sue Donovan. I worked on a wide variety of projects, learned new techniques, and participated in general library activities to see the bigger picture of how all the parts of a library function outside the conservation lab. My first project was a continuation of an ongoing effort to preserve one of the newspaper collections. I mended and flattened an issue of the Atlanta Constitution from September 4, 1886. This document contains important information on every day life during the Reconstruction period after the Civil War. In addition to gaining experience mending thin, brittle paper, I also thoroughly enjoyed looking at the (crazy) medical ads in the newspaper.

Image of a mended newspaper

Continuing on the theme of brittle paper, my next treatments were a late-nineteenth century dust jacket and paper wrapper. Before this internship I did not know that dust jackets were made before the mid-twentieth century. The University of Virginia is amassing one of the largest dust jacket collections in the country, and early dust jackets are particularly rare as they were considered to be disposable and were thrown away by owners and librarians alike. Dust jackets pose unique problems in mending because they must retain their original shape in order to fit back on the book. To keep the curves from flattening, the jacket was mended around cardboard inserts and the book wrapped in plastic. Another lesson learned during this treatment was that no matter how well you mend something brittle, the inherent vices of the paper would cause it to keep breaking. As I put this jacket on the photo documentation table, I noticed a new crack had formed, and I needed to resist the temptation of rushing it back to the lab and mending it again. Knowing when to stop is a key skill in conservation.

Image of a damaged book jacket

The following series of projects involved tape removal, the library conservator’s worst enemy. I learned two methods of tape removal using gellan gel and a hot air pencil. The first was a pamphlet of a railroad building committee from 1884. The brittle paper cover had been extensively mended with tape. Since I had never used gellan gel before, Eliza suggested trying it out. Gellan gum is a water-soluble anionic polysaccharide that when dissolved in water forms a rigid gel that can be cut into specific shapes for the area you want to target.

Image of a page with severe tape damage on the left of the page

This pamphlet was severely damaged by tape.

Furthering my tape removal adventure were photogravure plates from Atlas Photographique de la Lune, showing the moon in different phases and locations from 1896-1910. The University of Virginia Library’s plates are made up of three different sets totaling over a hundred plates. A previous graduate fellow conducted a brief survey of the plates, which I adapted into a treatment report form that future interns would follow. I treated four of these plates that had been housed in the University’s observatory and used as classroom posters for decades. I used a hot air pencil to remove the tape. Essentially it is a “pencil” that blows hot air out of the tip. If the air is too hot it can burn the paper, so I used the pencil to heat up a thin metal spatula that would slowly lift up the tape as the adhesive softened.

Image of a Zephyrtronic hot air pencil used for tape removal

Zephyrtronic hot air pencil used for tape removal

Overall this internship was a great learning experience. I treated new types of objects with new techniques and came away with more skills. I really appreciated Eliza and Sue’s efforts to integrate me into all aspects of the library as much as possible since I am starting the Masters in Library and Information Science program at the Pratt Institute in New York City this fall. I am also interning at the Jewish Theological Seminary Library, where my project will be matching historical documents from the sixteenth through early twentieth centuries in German and Italian with their catalogue records in preparation for an upcoming digitization project.

–Sara Belasco



Massive Alderman inventory project eases discovery of Library collections

Summer at the Library is always filled with a rich array of happenings, large and small. We’ve hosted high school interns, gotten a peek at the Library’s future, launched an open access publishing service, and had rich experiences alongside our community through efforts like the #CvillePilgrimage and communally transcribing speeches from the Julian Bond collection.

But there’s one other milestone, nearly invisible but absolutely essential, that we wanted to mark before the summer was fully behind us: the completion of the massive Alderman inventory project.


Every item in the main Alderman collection has now been counted, cleaned, verified, and placed back on the shelf for patron use.

A finished inventory, being the first of its kind in Alderman’s history, marks a significant moment for the denizens of Alderman Library (human and paper-bound alike).

For the last ten months, individuals contracted through Backstage Library Works have been combing the Alderman stacks, manually surveying every single record under this building’s very old roof. A whopping 1.6 (nearly 1.7) million items were counted, cleaned, and verified within the Virgo cataloging system. Along the way, 47,642 issues have been fixed in metadata records, including call number fixes, erroneous locations, problematic bar codes, and errors in title or author records.

On the surface, this process may seem rote, boring, uneventful. But the key is in what this will mean for the future of Alderman Library: With improved records, discoverability skyrockets. With clean, preserved books, usability increases. With carefully monitored (and now repaired) metadata records, confidence in our very Library system increases, leading to better use and better service, touching myriad points within the Library experience.

Esther Onega, Director of Alderman Renovation Planning, remarks:

“We’ve been wanting to inventory our collection for a long time and the renovation was the perfect opportunity to do it now. This is exciting because we’ll be able to have better information in VIRGO and data for moving the collection before the renovation begins. Staff across the Library has enthusiastically supported this effort and made outstanding contributions to its success.”

What now?

Backstage will continue assisting the Library with an inventory of Government Documents, which is currently ongoing. As of July 2018, about 60% of the estimated 650,000 items had been processed, and progress will continue into the coming months.

Giving credit where it’s due…

We appreciate the patience we’ve seen from Library patrons: we know the extra staffers in the stacks, and the carts sometimes blocking your way, may have been an inconvenience. But completion of this project marks a major milestone into Alderman’s past and its future—and we’re thrilled to move forward with you from here.

UVA Today Features Article about Special Collections’ Miniature Book Exhibition

Photo by Shane Lin, courtesy of Small Special Collections Library

UVA Today recently ran a story on the “Eminent Miniatures” miniature book exhibition on display now in the 1st floor gallery of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. According to the article, the exhibition was timed to coincide with the Miniature Book Society’s annual meeting at the Omni Hotel on the Downtown Mall.

Founder of the society, Caroline Brandt, donated her 15,000 volume collection of miniatures to Special Collections in 2005. The society’s website identifies a miniature book as “no bigger that thee inches in width, height and thickness. The exhibition went up in early June and will run through August.

On August 25, from 10:00 a.m. to noon in the 1st floor gallery, the Special Collections library and the Virginia Center for the book will hold a family event, “Day of the Mini,” where visitors will be treated to a demonstration of a miniature printing press and invited to decorate their own mini-books.

The UVA Today article features a photo essay about the exhibition, including comments by curator Molly Schwartzburg and photos by Shane Lin, a doctoral student in the UVA Corcoran Department of History and a senior developer in the Scholars’ Lab.

See the photo essay and read the article “Small is Beautiful When It Comes to This UVA Library Exhibit” (UVA Today 8/10/2018).

Building the “Unite the Right Rally and Community Response Collection” at the University of Virginia Library

Even before the events of last August 11–12 were done unfolding, the Library was gathering both physical and digital materials related to the weekend when white supremacists marched on the Lawn and in and around Charlottesville and left our community devastated. Community members and others have donated protest posters, ephemera handed out on the downtown mall, leaflets distributed in neighborhoods leading up to and following the events, and much more, including searing reminders of the violence such as tiki torches and tear gas canisters. The City of Charlottesville donated dozens of items that were sent to the City Council from well-wishers across the country. Digital contributions include photos, audio and video clips, and personal testimonies. We are also archiving websites and social media related to the August 11–12 weekend. All together, these materials form the “Unite the Right Rally and Community Response Collection.”

As part of those collecting efforts, we launched a website where community members can contribute digital material. As the anniversary approaches, we are still collecting material, and users can also now browse the digital collection. Please note that the collection contains strong language and imagery. Items in this collection were donated to the Library for research and teaching and the images, stories, videos, etc. are the work of the donors themselves. We will add resources to the site as we continue to process materials and receive new donations.

Curator Molly Schwartzburg of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library is also mounting a short-term exhibition of selected physical items donated over the last year, which will be on display in the First Floor Gallery of Special Collections through September 25.

In addition, the Library has recently received a Catalyst Fund grant from LYRASIS, a non-profit organization supporting access to the world’s shared academic, scientific and cultural heritage, for “Digital Collecting in Times of Crisis.” We hope that some of the lessons learned from this ongoing effort can help other institutions to be better prepared to implement digital collecting strategies during and after rapidly evolving social events, such as natural disasters, controversies, and public emergencies.

The effort to collect, describe, and preserve materials is ongoing, and we actively seek submissions. We are interested in a diverse range of materials. Schwartzburg notes that although the collection is growing steadily, there is still much room for growth, and she encourage community members to look back on their phones and other devices for photographs taken on that weekend, and also afterwards—including images of memorials, Emancipation Park and the Lee Statue in the months following the events, and so on. Schwartzburg is also interested in adding more textual documentation to the collection: diary entries, narratives of what happened that weekend, and reflections on the implications of the rally.

This mural appeared on the downtown mall's Freedom of Speech wall following the events on August 12, 2017. It depicts: the initials of the three individuals who died on August 12 (Heather Heyer and Virginia State Police officers Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Berke M.M. Bates) and the Statue of Liberty vanquishing a Nazi alongside the Virginia state motto, "Sic Semper Tyrannis."

Anonymous, “Mural on freedom of speech wall”

If you wish to donate physical or digital materials, please visit the collection website at: http://digitalcollecting.lib.virginia.edu/rally/. Contributors to the digital archive have the option of hiding their name from public view, and only need to identify themselves with a name and email address in order to donate materials online. The page also contains information on how to donate physical materials and media.

If you have materials to share, please consider contributing. The Library is grateful for any contributions you may have, large or small.

One Year After: the Library Joins in Observance of August 11–12, 2017

During August and September the University of Virginia is sponsoring a program One Year After: Examining the Events of August 11 & 12, 2017 to mark the anniversary of the violent white nationalist demonstrations that traumatized the University and Charlottesville communities.

Among the scheduled events, the Library will join the Carter G. Woodson Institute of African-American and African Studies, the Center for Digital Editing, and Virginia Humanities in a crowdsourced project to make the papers of civil rights icon and UVA professor Julian Bond available online.

There will be an announcement of the scope and goals of the project on August 14 at 4:00 p.m. in room 110 of Minor Hall, and a reception will follow at 5:30 p.m.—please RSVP here. Next day, on August 15, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., three years after Bond’s death, registered participants will begin transcribing Bond’s speeches at the following locations:

Transcribing is easy and instructions will be provided. Also take time from transcribing to visit a Library exhibition of original Julian Bond Materials in the Byrd-Morris Room of the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

Please participate in one or more of the events. Support the struggle for equality and social justice and help heal the wounds of August 11–12, 2017.