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Archive | 2016

London Low Life gives “street view”

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BKS_HV4088L8_G74_168A new resource at VCU Libraries provides an almost “street view” of the topsy-turvy world of Dickens and Sherlock Holmes — only it was all too real for those who lived on the margins:  London Low Life.

Through visual records of cartoons, maps, sketches, subversive posters — and the texts of broadsides, “swell’s guides,” chapbooks, ballads, slang dictionaries, and more — researchers can experience the vibrant and illicit culture of London street life.  The brothels, gin houses and East End slums of the 19th century’s greatest city reveal the contradictions of a progressive era marked by the neglect of those consigned to poverty.

Fascinating in its depth of detail, London Low Life illumines the dark, secretive, and dangerous paths of a forgotten history and the lives of those who suffered but also subverted their situation.

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By Kevin Farley, humanities collections librarian

Image: The Great army of London poor: sketches of life and character in a Thames-side district / by the river-side visitor, The Lilly Library, Indiana University

DARE: U.S. linguistic variation

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linguistic U.S. mpaThe Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) is a long-running project designed to capture variations in the English language across the United States. It allows scholars and lovers of language to study nuances, geographic spread, and change over time. This resource can be searched, browsed regionally, and offers many useful tools for the study of American English from its beginnings.

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By John Glover, humanities research librarian

Image: Dictionary of American Regional English

VCU Literary Award Winners

awardsVCU serves as the proud home of two major U.S. literary awards, given for book-length works in poetry and fiction. The award-winning titles are available in the collections of the VCU Libraries.

Named for late VCU English faculty member Larry Levis, the Levis Reading Prize has been given annually for the best first or second book of poetry published in the previous calendar year, beginning in 1997 and continuing to the present. The VCU Cabell First Novelist Award has been given annually to an outstanding debut novel published in the preceding calendar year, beginning in 2001 and continuing to the present. (Image: L-R, Larry Levis and James Branch Cabell)

By John Glover, humanities research librarian

Good Reads for Tomorrow’s Business Leaders

game-figure-598036_640 What management books should you be reading? How can you find inspiration to innovate, create and lead?

Asked to recommend their picks for future business leaders, faculty and administrators from the VCU School of Business and community leaders offered titles sure to inspire and engage. This short list represents the diversity of knowledge, skills and perspectives leaders needs to be successful now and into the future.

Conscious Capitalism by John Mackey
“It is the best book I know about how to think about profit when running a business.”
–Wallace Stettinius, Senior Executive Fellow

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Edwin Catmull
Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential in Us All by Tom Kelley and David Kelley
“Creative thinking and innovation have never been more important. Economies need growth. Businesses need ideas. People need inspiration.”
–Ed Grier, Dean, School of Business

Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink
“A fantastic foundational read for anyone interested in understanding some of the core
ways in which people are motivated to do their best work.”
–John Sarvay, Floricane founder and lead consultant

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton
“There is no better book for helping people in any kind of organization develop a framework for approaching organizations. Negotiation and conflict resolution skills are a key leadership capability.”
–Douglas Pugh, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Management

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations that Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson (Related streaming video from Kanopy)
“A terrific source of inspiration. It provides longitudinal insight into how some of the most interesting innovations served as catalysts for even greater innovations and dramatic changes to the world we know.”
–Susan Coombes, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management

Leadership Is An Art by Max DuPree
“I have adapted a quote from the book that has guided me for over 20 years now; ‘To be a leader means having the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who permit us to lead.’ That quote literally sits on the wall directly behind me as a constant reminder to me and my team of the expectations I have of myself.”
–Doug Pick, CEO, FeedMore

The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard
“Truly a classic and one that I hand out to every new manager. This simple story provides a framework for them to start and learn that so important task and joy of developing other human beings.”
–Doug Pick, CEO, FeedMore

Management of the Absurd: Paradoxes in Leadership by Richard Farson
“It introduces the complexity of leadership and discusses many of the paradoxes inherent in being a good leader. Leaders have to continually balance competing demands, and this book provides a very practical treatment of some of these demands so that they do not come as a surprise.”
–Christopher Reina, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Management

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
“This book provides an engaging framework for how to think about how to create valuable organizations.”
–Joseph Coombs, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management

All of these titles are available from VCU Libraries. Search VCU Libraries for more titles and suggest a purchase for any of your favorites we missed.

By Patricia Sobczak, business and public affairs collections librarian, and Bettina Peacemaker, assistant head, academic outreach and business research librarian

Image: Creative Commons

VCU Libraries Leadership Resources

game-figure-598036_640Building leadership capacity in the public and nonprofit sectors is a major focus for the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Policy. In response to this emphasis, VCU Libraries has been working to ensure that our collections are in tune with the curricular and research needs of Wilder School students and faculty. The library holds more than 24,000 resources related to leadership of which over 22,000 are books and ebooks and 219 are journals.

Some notable book resources include seminal works such as:

More contemporary resources include:

Of course, every leadership collection should include:

Each of these resources offers a unique perspective on leadership and the challenges associated with the hard work and sacrifice needed to run effective public and nonprofit organizations. We welcome your comments about the leadership collection and encourage you to make suggestions for future additions. 

by Patricia Dillon Sobczak, business and public affairs collections librarian

Image: Creative Commons

Planning students display posters

Spring 2016 MURP Student Posters

Spring 2016 MURP Student Posters

This fall,  James Branch Cabell Library will showcase a set of posters  from the students of the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) Program in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Policy.

The posters will be displayed on the long wall on the east side of Cabell Library (the wall adjacent to Suite 121) now known as a Scholarly Display Wall. The posters are examples of the students’ final projects and address pressing local and regional issues. 

The posters will go up the week of Sept. 12.

Interested in displaying scholarly posters in Cabell? Contact the library liaison to your school.

By Patricia Dillon Sobczak, business and public affairs collections librarian

Access World News: New and current media

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Access World News contains materials from 9,688 sources spanning 160 countries, 1978 to the present. Content includes newspapers, newswires, journals, broadcast transcripts and videos. Searching can be limited to:

  • Country, state and territory, region, province or city
  • Decade, year, month, day, era or presidential era
  • Language

In addition to searching, users can use the Find a Topic feature to browse by topic. Twelve broad subject areas are broken down into lists of popular and current interest topics. Clicking a topic acts as a user-friendly starting point for related search terms.

Access World News also provides a “quick access” style list of special reports and hot topics. These items gather news reports of breaking events and popular social and cultural topics for ease of access. Users can find these lists under “Other Products” in the upper left corner of the search screen.

Coverage of the Richmond Times-Dispatch may be of particular interest to local scholars. The Richmond Times-Dispatch is covered from 1985–present. Additionally, Richmond Times-Dispatch blogs are covered from 2006–present. The Collegian from the University of Richmond (2007–current) and the Commonwealth Times from VCU (2003–current) are also indexed.

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By Stephani Rodgers, liaison to Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

Image: Access World News

Engineering Village and Knovel searches

The integration between Engineering Village and Knovel makes it possible for researchers to move their searches from one to the other to find both basic and background information and peer-reviewed articles on the same topic.

When starting from Knovel, perform your search (e.g. “density of h2”).Search Knovel

View the results in an interactive table.

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To transfer the search to Engineering Village, click the link at the bottom of the menu on the left.

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The search box will be automatically populated.

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To move from Engineering Village to Knovel, use corresponding link, also at the bottom of the menu on the left.

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By Ibironke Lawal, engineering and science collections librarian

Graduate student work featured in Scholars Compass

Book Cover 600x250Each student in the spring 2016 semester MGMT 641 Organizational Leadership and Project Team Management selected a book and created an academic book review. A collection of these book reviews was posted on Scholars Compass to make high-quality book reviews available to those who teach and research leadership topics. In two months, the reviews have been downloaded almost 100 times from locations across the globe, the vast majority from educational institutions.

Scholars Compass is a publishing platform created by VCU Libraries to provide wide and stable access to the intellectual output of VCU’s faculty, researchers, students and staff. The MGMT 641 Leadership Book Reviews join the growing number of submissions from the School of Business.

Contact us if you are interested in featuring your or your students’ work.

By Patricia Sobczak, business and public affairs collections librarian, and Bettina Peacemaker, assistant head, academic outreach, and business research librarian

Dentistry and Oral Sciences Source

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Dentistry and Oral Sciences Source  (DOSS) is includes abstracts and full-text articles from more than 250 journals important to clinical dentistry, dental education and oral sciences. In addition to articles, DOSS includes over 30 full-text books and International Association for Dental Research and American Association for Dental Research (IADR/AADR) meeting abstracts dating back to 1981.

Many of the articles and books available in DOSS cannot be found in any other databases.

Available publications can be browsed using the publications tab at the top of the Dentistry and Oral Sciences Source page. Use the Advanced Search feature to refine your searches, or find articles that cite your research using the Cited References search.

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By Irene Lubker, research and education librarian

Image: Creative Commons

CRL: Vast, rare, global primary sources

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VCU Libraries’ new membership in the Center for Research Libraries opens vast, rare, global primary sources to VCU.

The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) is an international consortium of more than 200 university, college and independent research libraries. Founded in 1949, the center supports original research and teaching in the humanities, sciences and social sciences. It preserves and makes available to scholars a wealth of rare and uncommon primary source materials from all world regions. After a hiatus of many years, VCU Libraries is again a member of CRL.

The diversity, global scope and primary evidence materials contained in CRL enable groundbreaking faculty and student research. Among its vast collections and digital resources is the largest circulating collection of newspapers in North America, including more than 1,800 U.S. ethnic titles and some of the earliest African-American papers. Researchers benefit from 38,000 foreign journals and 800,000-plus foreign dissertations, major microfilm and paper collections from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Europe, South Asia, and more.

Areas of distinction include:

  • Broad collections in the area of primary legal and government resources, with an emphasis on serial publications from central governments including legislative, administrative, financial, and statistical reports. CRL holds several hundred thousand volumes of publications from government agencies of more than 100 countries, including more than 1,750 official gazettes.
  • Holdings of more than 500,000 volumes of monographic and serial publications of U.S. state government agencies and legislatures from the earliest period through 1950, including financial reports and research studies.
  • Rich historical holdings of U.S. and foreign scientific and technical publications. Generally, its collections in science, technology and engineering emphasizes titles not commonly held by other major North American research libraries.
  • Many specialized groups of materials, including a reference book archive, college and university catalogs, primary and secondary textbooks, railroad publications, curriculum guides and foreign central bank publications. Also held are major microform sets in literature, art, theater, music, science, and other fields.

How to use Center for Research Libraries materials

Discover items by using the CRL Catalog or the link to Digital Collections

The Center for Research Libraries is also listed in the A-Z databases list. Physical items may be requested using VCU Interlibrary Loan services. Contact Shirley Thomas, srthomas@vcu.edu, (804) 828-1706 with questions. For more detailed information, please see the CRL Research Guide. 

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BrowZine: Online journal browsing

BrowZine

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BrowZine is a tool that helps you keep up with your favorite research journals. You can search for a specific journal title or use the subject listing to view titles in a general discipline and drill down to narrower sections. A new feature in BrowZine is the ability to link back to VCU Libraries and see all issues available of a particular journal title.

BrowZine is not a comprehensive list of all VCU Libraries titles but does represent a significant selection of the most useful titles. It is available from your web browser or as an app for iOS and Android devices. For more information on BrowZine and links to download the iOS and Android apps, visit the Use BrowZine guide.

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By Lynne Turman, head, Tompkins-McCaw Library Collections

Image: BrowZine

Rehabilitation Reference Center

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Rehabilitation Reference Center (RRC) is an evidence-based tool for practitioners needing point-of-care information on conditions, treatments, and patient education materials. Through a basic search, rehabilitation specialists can access articles on their topic of interest, as well as other information related to that topic, such as exercise images for patient follow-up, guidelines, excerpts from journals and books, and drug information. Specialists can even create folders to save and share materials from their search. For an in-depth look at RRC, be sure to watch the video tour (Adobe Flash must be installed to play the video).

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By Talicia Tarver, research and education librarian

Image: Rehabilitation Reference Center, Chest – 4 Door Frame Stretch (Static)

WRDS: Data Research Platform for Business

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WRDS is one of the leading data research platforms for business. It allows faculty and graduate students to access comprehensive data sources from a single interface. Datasets include:

  • Historical stock prices from the Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP)
  • Company financials from Standard and Poor’s COMPUSTAT
  • Corporate governance data from MSCI (formerly KLD and GMI)
  • Audit and compliance research from Audit Analytics.

It has a powerful query interface and also works with PC-SAS, R, Matlab and STATA. Support is available from the WRDS community and a team of doctoral-level specialists.

Register for an account (account types include faculty, Ph.D students, research assistant, staff, visitor, masters students or class).

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By Bettina Peacemaker, assistant head, academic outreach and business research librarian

Image: Creative Commons

Special Ed Connection: Special education resources

Special Ed ConnectionFind It

Special Ed Connection provides practitioners and researchers access to a vast array of legal, regulatory, administrative and advisory resources all centered on special education issues. Included are statutes, regulations, administrative decisions, court cases, state-specific pages, advisory tips and more. Clustered by topics and subtopics and intricately intertwined, the materials in Special Ed Connection are both browseable and searchable.

The home page contains links to the latest and most important general news and developments. Six additional topic pages do the same for specific areas of interest: Section 504, Early Childhood, Behavior & Discipline, Technology, Specific Disabilities, and Legal Research Center. The Stats/Regs link below the topic headings leads to the fundamental statutes and implementing regulations pertaining to special education.

Special features within Special Ed Connection include SmartStarts and Special Ed Roundups. SmartStarts are analyses of difficult situations involving Section 504. They include an overview of the issue and links to pertinent cases, policy letters, statutes, and so on. Special Ed Roundups provide the latest practical guidance on a number of broad topics of special interest to the busy practitioner.

The search options provide many point-and-click limiters which change based upon the category to be searched. The most complex limiting is in Interactive Search. Here the researcher can enter a search string and then select to a very granular degree where the results should come from, e.g., Federal Policy & Guidance | OCR Policy Memoranda. But more importantly, the researcher can change that selection on the fly enabling a very quick sorting by source.

Special Ed Connection is of great benefit to anyone with an interest in the legal and policy aspects of special education.

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By: Marilyn Scott, education research librarian 
Image: Creative Commons

Investext Snapshot: Insight from Top Equity Analysts

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Mergent Online now offers Investext Snapshot. You can find authoritative analysis of companies, industries and markets from analysts at the top investment banks and research firms.  This “snapshot” of Investext offers up to three reports each day on 42,000 companies and two reports for over 100 industries. Reports are available 14 days after production and are updated daily making it a great source for current insight and forecasts.

To start reading reports, look for the Investext Snapshot tab in Mergent Online. You can search by company, country, contributor (Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan, more) or industry.

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By Bettina Peacemaker, assistant head, academic outreach and business research librarian

Image: NYSE, thetaxhaven, flickr, creative commons

What are “standards” and how to get them

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Standards are documents detailing specifications researchers adhere to in designing new products, systems and processes in order to ensure minimum performance stipulations, safety, consistency and repeatability.

VCU Libraries can provide digital copies of standards usually within one hour of a patron making the request. This standards-on-demand program uses a vendor that supplies standards from organizations and societies including:

  • American National Standards Institute (ANSI);
  • American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE);
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME);
  • Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International);
  • International Organization for Standardization ISO.

In addition, American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Digital Library and IEEE Xplore provide thousands of standards from their respective organizations, and VCU Libraries provides access to these standards without a wait.

How to request standards

Students, faculty and staff can contact Ibironke Lawal (804) 828-8739 or ilawal@vcu.edu.

By Ibironke Lawal, science and engineering collections librarian

Image: Prototype kilogram replica, Japs 88, Wikimedia Commons

Creativity professor seeks inspiration

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Inspiration and creativity are not bound by disciplines. Libraries provide a crossroads for the exchange of ideas and exploration of materials across subject matters. That thinking brought Berwyn Hung, who teaches creativity, and his students to James Branch Cabell Library.

“Students are very much in their own bubble,” says Hung. “They need as much outside exposure to things that can influence and inspire them as possible.” A professor of creative brand management at the VCU Brandcenter, a two-year portfolio school in advertising and communication, Hung is also a book artist.

He brought a dozen students to Special Collections and Archives, where they explored items–book art, comic arts and other materials– from the collection. “They really seemed to love what they saw. The art direction students [saw] different ways to think about how to create visuals for the ads and for branding. Even the writers got really inspired. I definitely will bring more students back.” VCU’s Book Art Collection is a teaching collection. “It is for touching and experiencing and learning from.”   

Librarians Pattie Sobczak and Bettina Peacemaker talked with Hung about his path from printmaker to book artist to faculty member and how he finds that creative spark.

What was your journey to the Brandcenter?
I have a BFA in printmaking and book arts from the University of Georgia and then an MFA from the University of the Arts at Philadelphia.  After grad school, I found I had this love for teaching. I ended up in Atlanta at The Creative Circus and The Portfolio Center, both two-year portfolio schools. They wanted me to teach about the creative process, but also production, how to make things, make things look real and make things look better than they were. That was my path into design and advertising.

I taught for 14 or 15 years before I got to the Brandcenter. Through that time, I’ve evolved myself. I’ve had my own letterpress business. I was doing my own artwork. I was also teaching people how to run a press from beginning to end. It’s my fourth year at VCU. Brandcenter students sometimes ask me what I did before I came here, but I never actually went to school for what they are going to school for. I tell them, you find your passion and you find where that takes you, and you just never know where that’s going to end up.

What is your creative process as an artist?
As a child I got bored easily and was always looking for the next thing when I mastered something; I liked to take things apart and modify them. (My nickname was the “modifier”.)
With my creative process, early on a lot of it was dealing with a lot of internal questions. I dealt a lot with family, growing up as a second-generation American and self-identity. I co-wrote a piece with an Italian-American friend, where we both wrote about our second generation experience, and there was one line that still resonates with me from that writing: I am a tourist in the country of my ancestry and a foreigner in the country of my birth.

Then, I started to think about more communications, how people look at the world. I was trying to look at the world and figure out why does something work the way it does. Do we do things just because we’ve always done things that way and don’t want change? Or, do we do things that way because it’s the right thing to do and the correct way to do it? I’m always challenging my assumptions and some of that comes out in my artwork and that definitely comes out in my teaching.

How do you approach teaching?
I push my students to challenge their assumptions and to think differently. I love teaching people in different disciplines. When students get outside their comfort zone they can come up with anything and the most interesting ideas come out of that.

I give my students a lot of projects that are very conceptual in nature. My job is to challenge their minds and the way that they think. I can help them with their skills, of course, but I prefer to push their minds and then as they work on it help them with their individual skills and bring their vision into reality.

How do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in observation, in identifying the “why.” I’ve always challenged not just society’s conceptions but my own conceptions of things. Whenever I’m exposed to something new, it starts a crazy new thought process, and sometimes that turns into art.

As a book artist and a teacher of communication in the digital age, what is next?
So, how do we look at what is the future of publications, specifically, and how do we still assign value to something that you have to pay for yet we feel like we get information freely or cheaply most of the time. There’s so many things you can do in an electronic world that adds so many different levels or layers of interaction but yet there is very deep emotional connection to paper and the words on the page that this generation still holds on to. But I think it might be a matter of time for the generations coming up to have that same appreciation. … The mass production of books may slow down but the beauty of the book as an object, as something beyond just words, will become more revered.

I went through a period of challenging what is an artist book. Does it have to be in codex form? Does it have to be true to the word book? When I was exploring it, I was thinking more about the book as figurative passing on of knowledge or ideas from one generation to the next and how does that take form.

Special Collections and Archives at James Branch Cabell Library works with community groups, students and faculty members from all disciplines. The department’s staff collaborates with instructors to incorporate materials tied to courses or objectives to inspire innovation, creativity or raise cultural awareness. Holdings include the nationally significant Book Art and Comic Arts Collections, both popular sources for teaching, research, and inspiration. Contact: Yuki Hibben, assistant head and curator of books and art, Special Collections and Archives, (804) 828-8837.

By Patricia Sobczak, business and public affairs collections librarian, and Bettina Peacemaker, assistant head, academic outreach and business research librarian

Image: VCU Libraries

Times Digital Archive: Every page & article since 1785

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VCU Libraries provides access to a vast resource of historical and contemporary information via the Times Digital Archive.  Recording centuries of British and world history, culture, politics and business, The Times (London) was established in 1785, and is the oldest daily newspaper in continuous publication. The Times Digital Archive is an online, full-text facsimile of more than 200 years of The Times, providing searchable access to every page of every issue from 1785. This access represents 1.4 million pages, nearly 70,000 issues and more than 11 million individual articles.

From this wealth of information, researchers have an unparalleled opportunity to search and view historical and contemporary journalism and images of human events. Read by both world leaders and the general public, The Times has offered readers in-depth, award-winning and objective coverage of world events since its creation. The user interface facilitates quick searches as well as detailed research, browsing for discovery and download options.

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By Kevin Farley, humanities collections librarian

Image: Waymarking.com

Orlando: Women’s Writing in the British Isles

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Advancing our understanding of the history and present of women’s contributions to the literary, cultural and political life of Great Britain, VCU Libraries provides access to the landmark database, Orlando:  Women’s Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present. Orlando exemplifies digital humanities’ efforts to broaden access to little known or studied texts, provide historical and cultural context for authors and their works and inspire transformative ways of reading and understanding women’s literary engagement with their readers and the world through writing. Created at Cambridge University, Orlando is designed with a “unique structure and searchability,” encouraging researchers “to examine its information and critical comment in a wide range of configurations and to re-form this in new and creative ways. Orlando is open to the serendipities of productive browsing,” and fosters in-depth research through cultural, biographical, and textual discovery. More than 1,300 writers are included, and approximately 30,000 items are available for discovery–a growing list of authors and texts. Orlando will greatly enhance teaching and research at VCU, and foster a dynamic and innovative reading experience.

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By Kevin Farley, humanities collections librarian

Image:  “A Woman Seated at an Organ (or Writing Desk),” Yale University Art Gallery, public domain.