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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

Data Project: Map illustrates roots of racism 1915-40

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Map of Klan projectJohn Kneebone, who chairs VCU’s Department of History, partnered with VCU Libraries to create “Mapping the Second Ku Klux Klan, 1915-1940.” This resource combines mapping, animation, information about primary sources, and an accompanying essay discussing the project. All of these aspects work together to present the story of the spread of the Klan across the entirety of the United States after 1915, along with context in which that spread happened. This project presents original research on an important topic in U.S. history in a format that shows dynamically the nature of the processes at work in the underlying story. It was designed to educate users, facilitate research and scholarship, and be useful in the classroom.

Researchers studying history, homeland security, domestic terrorism, and cultural, ethnic, or American studies might want to examine the source material underlying “Mapping the Second Ku Klux Klan, 1915-1940.” The data underlying the project is available in CSV and SQL formats for download, and is licensed under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0). The data can be manipulated using a range of methods, from SQL queries to software designed to support data analysis.

Classroom projects incorporating “Mapping the Second Ku Klux Klan, 1915-1940” could take many forms in different fields. A set of introductory questions posted in the “Learn More” section of the resource may serve as a useful jumping-off point for creating assignments. The animation and data can be studied in a classroom setting or by individual students, whether studying 20th century homeland security or the history of hate crimes and prejudicial violence.

If “Mapping the Second Ku Klux Klan, 1915-1940” inspires you to research Klan activity in your area, or if you have additional sources or information to share, or if you have questions about the project, contact: librarylabs@vcu.edu.

News article on the project

The VCU News story about this project was one of the top 10 most-read articles for 2015.

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By John Glover, humanities research librarian