Library Databases for W&L Alumni

The Washington and Lee University Library is pleased to provide our alumni, including the Class of 2020, with access to several important commercially-published article databases, similar to those available to current W&L students, faculty, and staff.

Use of these resources is made possible by the generous financial support of the W&L Friends of the Library.



The databases available to our alumni include:

  • Project Muse
  • EbscoHost Databases — Academic Search and Business Sources



Access to these products is controlled through W&L’s  Office of Alumni Engagement as one their Colonnade Connections online options.  There are two basic steps to using these databases:

  1. First, set up your own Colonnade Connections login (ID and password) via this link:
  2. Once you are officially registered, use this link and your personal ID and password to gain access to the databases listed above:

W&L alumni who have questions about using these databases can contact the University Library via this general-purpose online form or one of the direct links to our staff.  If you have questions about the Colonnade Connections program, please contact Molly Myers, Assistant Director of Digital Communications for Alumni Engagement.


Thanks to Our Student Workers!


Pandemic or no pandemic, this is the time of year when we start to miss our graduating seniors.

But we in the Washington and Lee University Library feel especially appreciative of one particular group of soon-to-graduate seniors — the students who have worked as members of the library staff in Leyburn Library and/or Telford Library.  These students have contributed significantly to the library’s service to the W&L community by working regular weekly hours, while, of course, continuing to juggle all the other aspects of a demanding campus life.  So many of the services our faculty and students enjoy are dependent upon the contributions of our student workers.

To honor their work, each year we invite our graduating student workers to identify a book which is especially meaningful to them, whether because of an emotional attachment, the subject matter, or other reasons.  We commemorate each student’s selection by acquiring a printed copy of the book, placing a dedicatory book plate inside the front cover, and then displaying all the selections as a group on the Main Floor of Leyburn Library.   We are indebted to our Access Services Supervisor, Laura Hewett, for overseeing all the work involved in this process.

This Class of 2020 celebration has not been stopped by the physical closing of the W&L campus, but it has prevented most people from actually seeing the books on display.  For the moment, the photograph below will have to suffice.  However, the physical display itself will remain in place at least through the summer, so we have hope that (physical) library visitors soon may be able to share in our recognition of our students.

Below is a list of our graduating student workers (arranged by library department) and the books purchased in their honor.  You can see more information about the chosen books by browsing this collection in the library’s Primo database.

Thank you to all these hard-working students.  We hope you are healthy and safe and that we can see you again sometime soon!


Access Services

Ryann Carpenter, A Lucky Child

Angela Delos Reyes, Encyclopedia of Philippine Folk Beliefs and Customs, Volume 1

Elyse Ferris, Murder on the Orient Express

Cassandra Grebas, Medical Pharmacology at a Glance

Connor Higgins, Catch 22

Jenna Kim, Being Mortal

Jiwon Kim, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Robert Layton, In the Gardens of the Moon

Chase Major, The Outsider

Laurel Myers, Yes, Please

Prakriti Panthi, How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking

Emily Roche, Bronte Transformations: The Cultural Disseminations of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights

Aimee Rodriguez, The Way of the Househusband, Volume 1

Anna Soroka, Love Earth Now

Collection Services

Kenneth Hartzfeld, Baseball Americana: Treasures from the Library of Congress

Research Help

Emma Rabuse, Declaration des Droits de la Femme et de la Citoyenne

Digital Humanities

Win Gustin, The American Civil War in the Shaping of British Democracy

Alice Chambers, The Art of Forgery: The Minds, Motives and Methods of Master Forgers

Makayla Lorick, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth


Mock Convention Books and More


Washington and Lee University’s renowned Mock Convention officially begins in only a matter of hours and continues through Sunday.  (For more information, see the official website.)

A number of our guest speakers are the authors of published books and many of those volumes are available in W&L’s Leyburn Library.  To see what we have, check out this (partial) list of speakers:

The University Library also holds a treasure-trove of Mock Con historical materials — both print and multi-media — in its Special Collections holdings.  A significant number of items are accessible online in our Digital Archive, while much more is physically available in its original form within Leyburn’s Special Collections area.



16 Things Every First Year Should Know About The Library


Boiling it down to the essentials, the University Library offers 16 Things Every First Year Should Know About the Library .   Other students, too, of course.

Obviously, this brief list does not cover everything a W&L first-year student might need to know about our libraries and about doing research at W&L.   Our librarians will be involved in quite a few classes in the academic year, including teaching several DCI courses, so that is a great way to share information about libraries and student research at W&L.   But if you have questions right now, feel free to ask at the Information Desk on Leyburn Library’s Main Floor or contact us via e-mail.

Welcome (back) to W&L!


Mock Convention Research


If the news media are pillar-to-post about presidential primary campaigns, you know Washington and Lee University’s Mock Convention cannot be far off.    And, sure enough, Mock Con Weekend is now less than six months away and our students already are working on political research and other preparations.

For years the W&L University Library has been proud to assist Mock Con students with their research efforts, usually focusing on the work of state delegates looking into electoral patterns and histories, economic and demographic factors, public opinion, and anything else that seems relevant to accurately forecasting a U.S. state’s behavior in upcoming presidential primaries.   For at least 15 years, that assistance has included the preparation and ongoing revision of an online research guide, which is available to W&L students (and faculty and staff) from both on-campus and just about any off-campus locations.

If you are curious about previous incarnations of this  research guide, here is the 2004 guide.


Thanks to Graduating Student Workers!


Some of the employees in Leyburn Library and Telford Library might look just a bit younger than the rest of us.   Those would be our student workers, who truly make it possible for the University Library to provide the resources and services which help define a Washington and Lee education.

Each spring we recognize the graduating seniors who have worked with us as student workers by purchasing a book of their choice, perhaps related to their major, their research, and/or their personal interest, and then placing a dedicatory bookplate in the front of the volume.  These books and their bookplates, along with a little information about each student, will be on display on the Main Floor of Leyburn Library through the week of Commencement.

We enthusiastically thank these young women and young men whose work and spirit have done so much to enhance the University Library.   We wish you the best of luck — and we will miss you!


Access Services

Allan Blenman – Supernatural & Philosophy: Metaphysics & Monsters …for Idjits

Austin Smith – On the Road

Brittany Smith – Milton and the Making of Paradise Lost

Soon Ho Kwon – The Courage to be Disliked

Courtney Jenkins- Lipscomb – Stealing From God

Alex Dolwick – Running Flow

Ford Gassaway – Frederick II:  A Medieval Emperor

Megan Doherty – Parkland: Birth of a Movement

Dianluca Carrilho-Malta – Crisis Cultures: The Rise of Finance in Mexico and Brazil

Yoko Koama – Kafka on the Shore


Access Services and Research Help

Hammad Ahmad – The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society


Research Help

Anukriti Shrestha – The Martian

Leila Lubin – So Much Reform, So Little Change

Katherine Cheng – A Walk Across America


Digital Humanities

Aiden Valente – The Spirit of the Liturgy

Jenny Bagger – American War Poetry

Patrick Rothfuss – The Name of the Wind

Katherine Dau – Vienna: Art and Architecture


Special Collections

Claude Miller – Skate the World

Kurt Vonnegut and W&L


Early spring of 1969 was a time in America fraught with anxiety.  Richard Nixon recently had been inaugurated as President of the United States as the Vietnam War bled into another decade.  It had been almost exactly one year since Martin Luther King was assassinated.  It felt a bit like history was off the rails.

And then a novel appeared which gave new meaning to the idea of history becoming unhinged, while also giving an additional twist to William Faulkner’s declaration that the past is not past.

Kurt Vonnegut’s masterpiece Slaughterhouse Five was published in the early spring of 1969, almost exactly fifty years ago.   The New York Times reviewer declared Vonnegut’s sixth novel “an extraordinary success.  It is a book we need to read, and to reread.”  The American Scholar compared the author to George Orwell.  And Washington and Lee’s own Tom Wolfe would go on to say, “I guess he’s the closest thing we had to a Voltaire.”   Appreciations commemorating the 50th anniversary of this masterpiece are beginning to appear now in early 2019, including an extraordinarily thoughtful essay in the New York Times by Kevin Powers.

Kurt Vonnegut came to Washington and Lee University in 2003, speaking in Lee Chapel on Tuesday 4 February.  As far as we can tell, the only account in the Ring Tum Phi was a captioned photograph on the first page of the 10 February 2003 issue, with the great man at a table in the Southern Inn.  The photo appears beneath the cryptic headline “Don’t Use Semicolons.”    A more contemplative account was contributed by then-University Photographer Patrick Hinely (’73) to the Alumni Magazine.

It is not always true that public presentations at W&L by eminent visitors are preserved for future appreciation, but we got lucky with Vonnegut’s 2003 talk.   Several of our librarians found a DVD recording in a box in Special Collections and others worked to “translate” that video into an Internet-friendly format.   Thus, it is thanks to Tom Camden, Seth McCormick, and Paula Kiser that we are able to present video of Kurt Vonnegut at W&L in 2003.   So it goes.



Another Book of the Week — Fraternity


One research topic of perpetual interest at Washington and Lee University is the Greek system — fraternities and sororities.

Best-selling author Alexandra Robbins recently contributed to the ever-growing collection of reliably controversial works on these groups with the publication of her book Fraternity: An Inside Look at a Year of College Boys Becoming Men (Dutton, 2019). The book just arrived in our collection and the call number is included in its description in our Primo database.

Author Robbins describes her investigations which resulted in the book in an article in The Atlantic.



Book of the Week!


OK, let’s try this.  Let’s look at a book just added to the Washington and Lee University Library collection — something interesting and/or cool.  Or just surprising.

This week’s nominee is Really Cross Stitch;  For When You Just Want to Stab Something a Lot.

Acquisition of this book was inspired by this term’s Politics 295B course taught by Robin LeBlanc and Ron Fuchs entitled “The Material Culture of Protest.”

You can view information on the book in our Primo database — and if you get to the shelf quickly, maybe you can check it out.