Celebrating Our Graduating Student Workers

 

Although we will miss them, we are exceedingly proud of our graduating student workers’ accomplishments. To honor their contributions to the library, each year we curate a display of books purchased in their honor. Each student selects a title and a dedicatory bookplate appears at the beginning of every volume.

To the class of 2021, especially those who ensured continued library operations during this very unique academic year, congratulations!

Graduating Seniors & Their Book Selections

Access Services & The Information Desk

Research Help

Special Collections

Remembering Jeanne Eichelberger and Paul Henderson Sr.

 

We are saddened by the loss of two former library colleagues this month. Jeanne Eichelberger was a library assistant in the Technical Services unit in McCormick Library from 1974-1977. [See full obituary in the News Gazette]. Paul Henderson Sr. was a well-liked member of the custodial services staff in Leyburn Library, among other buildings, during his 25-year career at W&L. [See full obituary in the News Gazette].

Our thoughts are with Paul and Jeanne’s families and loved ones.

Span275 Instagram Takeover

Prof. Julia Hernández’s SPAN 275 is taking over the library’s Instagram this week—all posts are in Spanish! Below is an English translation of Prof. Hernández’s description of this assignment:

This fall, Spanish 275 explored the breadth of Spanish-language materials in Special Collections, with the help of Tom Camden, Seth McCormick-Goodhart, and Emily Cook…Observing the protection measures against COVID established by W&L, the class visited Special Collections to examine resources, always practicing good social distancing during their time in the library…We write in Spanish to recognize the role this language plays in the community of W&L, Lexington and beyond.

Follow @wlulibrary on Instagram to see SPAN 275’s current and forthcoming posts!

Farewell to the Library Catalog

 

You may have heard that the W&L University Library is getting rid of our library catalog.   Unlike so much of the fake news flying around these days, this tidbit is somewhat true.

Our online catalog (aka “Annie”) will celebrate its 26th anniversary during the upcoming Thanksgiving break — and then we will bury it shortly after Christmas.   In late December the contents of the catalog will be subsumed within a larger “discovery” database system and will continue to be available, but not as a separate listing.    We will be sharing more about that new system over the coming weeks.

To get some idea of the impact of the arrival of Annie in 1991, see the 9 January 1992 Ring Tum Phi article, below.

Our current transition is creating a few situations which may directly affect students and faculty right now:

  • Requests for books, videos, or other materials needed for the start of Winter Term must be submitted by November 15.
  • Links to the library catalog (such as this)  in course syllabi or other online locations will not work after December 27.
  • Some online resources, such as databases and electronic journals, are being removed from the catalog’s listings.   If you are looking for a link to one of these, please try other options available on our homepage:   Database List  |  Journals List  |  Subject & Course Guides

 

Honors Thesis? Senior Thesis? Capstone Paper?

 

Washington and Lee University students completing major projects, especially honors theses, senior theses, and capstone papers, are invited to submit a digital copy of their work to the University Library to become a permanent part of W&L’s institutional history.

The University Library has worked for over a century to save and preserve students’ theses.   From the oldest thesis in our possession, through former W&L President Ken Ruscio‘s student thesis, and all the way to 2016 honors theses, we provide permanent preservation and access.   As one might expect, we emphasize digital copies of recent works.   Each student author, if he/she chooses, can select conditions for availability — freely-available online access, restricted online access to members of the W&L community only,  or available only after an initial embargo period.   Archived digital works will be available online at a permanent, stable URL in our Digital Archive.

We are particularly interested in honors theses, senior theses, and capstone project papers, but other student works, as well.   Students should use our online submission form to share a digital copy.   There is no particular submission deadline, but likely the sooner, the better.

The University Library no longer has a role in binding paper copies of student papers, but students may contact the University’s Copying Services for assistance.

Questions should be directed to Cindy Morton, Digital Services Manager (mortonc@wlu.edu) or Tom Camden, Head of Special Collections and Archives (camdent@wlu.edu).

 

“Official” New Words

 

Oxford University Press, with considerable justification, states that the Oxford English Dictionary “has been the principal dictionary of record for the English language throughout the lifetime of all current users of the language.”  In short, for anyone interested in the history of English-language words, the OED pretty much is the Holy Grail.   For example, the earliest documented use of the word “grail” was around 1330 AD.

First published as a “complete” work in 1928, the OED (originally known at A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles) is a living, breathing ongoing project, keeping track of recently-minted words and meanings, as well as monitoring new research than can update existing entries.   Four times each year, the editors release a list of new words, phrases, and meanings, always an occasion for fascination and media coverage.   The March 2017 list is no exception.

Please note that there are no direct links from this new list into the dictionary’s entries, since the publication is a commercial enterprise.   However, current members of the Washington and Lee community (students, faculty, staff) can consult the OED to their hearts’ content through the University Library’s subscription link.   Printed copies of the first edition (1928) and second edition (1989) are available in the library collection.

Beware of pogonophobia.

 

 

Rockbridge Advocate World Headquarters

 

It is not often that a commercial newspaper publishes a substantial article about another newspaper.   Nevertheless, readers of the Roanoke Times likely noticed a recent piece about the Rockbridge Advocate, the beloved and ongoing creation of Washington and Lee alumnus Doug Harwood (’74) .   Lexington and Rockbridge Country residents likely already know about the Advocate, but anyone who treasures traditional journalism and the “unvarnished version of events in Lexington and Rockbridge County” will enjoy this article.

One question might arise in a reader’s mind: Where might one view the entire quarter-century run of the Rockbridge Advocate?  This question is of particular interest because there is no online form of the newspaper.   Perhaps the only publicly-accessible complete archive is available in W&L’s Leyburn Library, with paper copies of every issue safely preserved in our Special Collections area.  Current issues are shelved on the Main Floor, which also houses microfilm of 1992-2003 issues.

At the moment, digitizing this local institution (the newspaper, not Mr. Harwood) is only a gleam in our eye, but we have hopes.   The library’s Special Collections staff currently is working on a project to index the contents for the use of the many researchers interested in the area’s events and personalities.

 

Books for SSA

 

If you are looking for some excellent reading, you could hardly do better than to peruse the list of books to be discussed at Washington and Lee’s Science, Society, and the Arts event on Friday 17 March.   The SSA conference kicks off the day before, on Thursday 16 March.

Each of these provocative books will be the focus of a discussion led by a panel of students and faculty.  For a complete schedule of these discussions, with a list of books and the locations of the sessions, see this Colloquia page .   All of these books are part of the W&L library collection, but most of them currently are checked out, which probably is  a good sign.

These  Colloquia sessions are only part of the two days of performances and presentations which make up the multidisciplinary SSA program.   Here is a full description of the festivities, which includes Friday’s poster session in Leyburn Library.

Several of the books to be discussed are relatively new publications, with five published in 2016.   But what is the oldest book we will consider?  The answer is Martin Luther King’s Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?, which was published 50 years ago this year.   W&L readers can view this advertisement for the book from the 12 July 1967 New York Times.

 

Changing the President’s Site

 

The U.S. Presidency may be an historic office, with great continuity across centuries, but the official White House website, WhiteHouse.gov, is very personalized.

In the span of a few moments, around 12:00 noon on 20 January 2017, the Whitehouse.gov site went from looking like this

 

to the “new” White House site.

Most, if not all, of the content in the White House site from the Barack Obama administration has been removed.  In effect, the Presidential website is starting over.    The Washington Post published a same-day article on the site transition.

Fear not — much of the content is preserved, one way or another, in an array of forms and repositories.  For more information, see this University Library U.S. Presidents: Sites and Documents guide.

If you have questions (or suggestions), please contact Senior Reference Librarian Dick Grefe.

 

Where Did “Brexit” Come From?

 

This sounds like a job for the Oxford English Dictionary.

The OED is the boss of English language etymological dictionaries and its researchers not only track new scholarship on dusty old words, but also keep an eye on the appearance and development of new words which are finding places in our discourse.   And sometimes these researchers are able to document the development of a term from a self-conscious creation, such as in this essay on the now-familiar “Brexit.”

“Brexit” is but one of about 500 new entries in the Oxford English Dictionary this December and you can see the complete list on this update page.  For more on “hackery” and “tombstoning” and their comrades, current members of the W&L community may use the W&L University Library’s link to the OED.

Happy Yule, y’all !