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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

Stubbins: U.S. municipal buildings postcards

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Researchers studying planning, history, architecture and similar subjects that involve built environments now have a new national resource. The Stubbins Collection of U.S. County Courthouse and Municipal Building Postcards has been digitized and is now freely available online.

The collection features U.S. county courthouses and other municipal buildings such as town halls and city halls. The postcards represent every state except for North Carolina. Many of the buildings depicted were built  in the late 19th or early 20th century. Some no longer exist. The collection documents various architectural styles. Browsing the collection, you can find clock towers aplenty (Springfield, Mass., Springfield, Ohio, Lincoln, Neb. and more). You’ll find public buildings hundreds of miles apart that resemble each other. (Take a look at Richmond, Va.’s city hall and that of Grand Rapids, Mich.) Domes, columns, soaring arches are typical features of these turn-of-the-century governmental cathedrals.

The postcards also illustrate the various state government structures. Many states have at least two tiers of local government, counties and municipalities (village, town, city, and borough), but some have unique governing structures. For example, the Commonwealth of Virginia has 95 counties and 38 independent cities. In most states, cities are part of the county government.

This collection was amassed by James F. Stubbins, who taught pharmaceutical chemistry for 34 years at the School of Pharmacy, Virginia Commonwealth University. Born in Honolulu in 1931, his family was living in the Philippines when Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941. Stubbins, along with his mother and brother moved to Denver to live with family until the war ended. When he was 14 the family moved to Las Vegas. Stubbins earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Nevada at Reno in 1953 and then served in the Army. He earned a master’s degree in organic chemistry from Purdue University in 1958 and a doctorate in medicinal chemistry in 1965 from the University of Minnesota. Stubbins joined the faculty of the Medical College of Virginia (now VCU) in 1963 as an assistant professor of pharmaceutical chemistry. Among the faculty, he was well known for his boxes of index cards on which he recorded the details of every scientific paper he read. Stubbins retired from VCU in 1996 and was granted emeritus professor status.

An avid postcard collector, he began the hobby as a young man. He was a founding member of the Old Dominion Postcard Club, formed in Richmond in 1978. Stubbins died on April 22, 2009. His family made a gift of his collection to Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library in 2010.

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By Sue Robinson, director of communication and public relations. For more information about this resource or others

Image: Talladega County Court House, Talladega, Alabama, VCU Libraries Special Collections and Archives

Portals to the Past: 1898 catalog offers RVA design details

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The newest addition to VCU Libraries’ digital collections featuring architectural elements of the American South is a catalog of doors, windows, mantels and sashes for 1880s buildings.

Thomas E. Stagg was a 19th century Richmond, Va. firm and manufacturer of sashes, blinds and doors for the construction of homes and businesses. Operations were run out of an office and storage space at 1444 E. Main St.

This 1898 “vest-pocket” edition of the Stagg catalog–likely intended to be used on building sites–includes order instructions, price lists and measurements. The Digital Collections catalog is searchable and has hundreds of detailed images of window sashes, doors, columns, mantles, corner and plinth blocks available from the Stagg company.

Many of these architectural and decorative elements are seen throughout Richmond’s historic private and commercial buildings.

According to window restorer and woodworker Dixon Kerr in an article, “How to Copy Vintage Millwork” posted on the Old House Authority website, Richmond was an area prominent in the manufacture of millwork sold throughout the United States. Kerr writes: “In the late 1880s there were approximately a dozen such businesses in Richmond with 30 to 50  employees: Thomas E. Stagg, at 1421 Cary St.; J.J. Montague, at the corner of 9th and Arch Streets; Hare and Tucker, at 2318 Main St.; Whitehurst and Owen, at Byrd and 10th Streets; DuVal & Robertson, at 11th and Porter and 7th & Hull Streets; and Binswanger & Company, at 1427 E. Main St. Binswanger, now a commercial glass company, is still in business; Siewer’s Lumber Company and Ruffin and Payne, still in business, were also in business at the time. Beckstoffer & Son continued in the business until the early 21st century.”

Copyright

Materials in this collection are in the public domain, and thus are free of any copyright restriction. Please acknowledge VCU Libraries if any of the materials are used.

Additional Research Information

The print catalog is housed in Special Collections and Archives at James Branch Cabell Library. For more information, see the catalog record. Please direct reference and research inquires to libjbcsca@vcu.edu or call (804) 828-1108.

Image: Cottage Doors, page 55, Thomas E. Stagg catalog

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VCU Bulletin: Available online

Shafer Court students group

The bible for students, the new VCU Bulletin is available in an updated website. The undergraduate, graduate and professional bulletins contain information about university policies, course descriptions and academic requirements for the programs available to the respective student populations. Visit bulletin.vcu.edu to view the 2015-16 edition on its new site.
One of the tabs on the site links to archives of bulletins housed in VCU Libraries’ Scholars Compass. These archives are useful to alumni and faculty.
Old bulletins, also called catalogs, and course descriptions are available on this archives site as PDF files. The electronic files of the bulletins from 1998 forward were transferred to the University Archives beginning in 2015. VCU Bulletins from the founding of the university, 1968 through 1998, are also available on this site as PDF files. The archived copy of each bulletin reflects all policies and procedures in effect at the beginning of the stated academic year. Printed copies of the VCU Bulletin from 1968 through 2003 are available in Special Collections and Archives at VCU Libraries.
Image: Shafer Court students group, VCU Bulletin

Historic Fulton: Online oral history project

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VCU Libraries announces the next stage in telling an important and little-known story of the once-vibrant Historic Fulton community that fell victim to 1970s urban renewal.

The Historic Fulton Oral History Project is now digital. Transcripts are searchable. Audio files that literally give these accounts voices are also available.

“We are very excited to partner with The Valentine and the Historic Fulton community to make this important collection accessible online,” said Lauren Work, VCU Libraries digital collections librarian.

The physical neighborhood of Historic Fulton, a venerable history-rich section of Richmond that had declined into blight and slum-like conditions, was razed in the early ‘70s. Gone were some 800 houses and businesses. While the physical neighborhood was lost, emotional ties to the East End community remain strong. The oral histories capture memories, observations, facts and, for some, sadness and outrage at what was taken from Historic Fulton residents.

The team that initiated the oral history project was The Valentine, the Neighborhood Resource Center (NRC), Virginia Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and the Greater Fulton’s Future Legacy Committee (GFF). The project was funded by a grant from Virginia LISC and is part of the Greater Fulton’s Future Plan. At its onset, Veronica Fleming, then Virginia LISC senior program officer, said theoral history project would be a model for other community documentation efforts nationwide. “Neighborhood revitalization is not just about bricks and mortar projects. It is also about preserving history and creating pride in communities.”

The project was spearheaded by former Valentine curator Suzanne Savery. During 2011 and 2012, Caroline Morris, then a College of William & Mary history doctoral student, and Project Coordinator Corliss Freda Johnson interviewed current and former residents of Historic Fulton.

“Finally, we have a chance to share our story. Fulton is gone and this project will keep it alive,” reflected Johnson.

The Historic Fulton Oral History collection contains 17 interviews with 32 named interviewees, teachers, activists, clergy and community leaders who grew up in the predominantly African-American community in the 1930s through 1950s. The interviewees also witnessed the death of Historic Fulton through Richmond’s urban renewal efforts.

The collection presents the unique perspectives of these residents. As Historic Fulton undergoes more change with the pending arrival of the Stone Brewery in Rocketts, oral history participant the Rev. Mary Perez reflects, “Historic Fulton as we knew it, lived and loved it, was taken, but our memories will never be taken away.”

The Valentine is the repository for the project and holds copyrights. Physical copies of the oral history transcripts have been distributed to various research institutions in the Richmond region, including James Branch Cabell Library’s Special Collections and Archives. VCU Libraries involvement was at this last stage—providing a stable, accessible digital platform for paper and audio files to house these important voices.

Making the project available in a searchable, digital format with streaming audio will expose these oral histories more broadly to researchers and residents alike at a time when interest in Historic Fulton is keen and the region is poised for renewal. The new Stone Brewing Company is locating to Fulton, heralding a potential rebirth of a forgotten community in coming years. “We expect this new collaborative collection to perform at the same high level as our other historic collections, to be used in courses and research at the university and in the community, and to receive thousands of touch points nationwide through its online visibility,” said Work.

“The Historic Fulton Oral History Project will be an invaluable research tool as students and scholars begin to examine what happened in Fulton during the 1970s,” said Meg Hughes, curator of archives for The Valentine. “Hearing firsthand accounts of living and working in this neighborhood brings Fulton to life.”

VCU Libraries has long fostered these sorts of partnerships in community and neighborhood documentation as part of our core values.

Said University Librarian John E. Ulmschneider: “VCU Libraries is proud to present and preserve this digital collection alongside its previous online efforts, such as Carver Community Oral Histories, Farmville Civil Rights Photographs, Voices of Freedom Oral Histories, and Jackson Ward Architectural History.” These collections are available online. http://dig.library.vcu.edu

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Image: Historic Fulton, Circa 1925, The Valentine

Medicovan: VCU new publications

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Medicovan, the monthly newsletter for the MCV Campus from 1948-73 has now been added to the digital collection VCU News Publications. This collection also includes VCU Today, VCU Voice, VCU News, and UniverCity News–all of which were official university news sources.

According to the Digital Collection’s website, in the years following World War II, the administration of the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) sought to enhance communication among its growing faculty and staff through the publication of a monthly newsletter. The publication first appeared in February of 1948 under the masthead “Name Me, Please!” Ann Blanton, secretary in the St. Philip Hospital administrator’s office, won the naming contest with her suggestion of The Medicovan. For the next 25 years. Medicovan carried announcements, administrative messages, personnel updates, and news from the hospitals, departments, schools and other units at MCV. Following the creation of Virginia Commonwealth University in 1968, the Medicovan broadened its scope to include news of people and events on the Academic Campus of VCU. With the appearance of the new University newsletter, VCU Today, in May of 1972, the Medicovan was phased out.
The VCU News Publications collection contains a wealth of information on the University’s past. In addition to news stories, feature articles and event calendars, there are hundreds of images of campus life and of former students, staff, faculty and administrators. What might be most significant is the wide range of University reports that were published. Departments and schools also submitted articles and other news items of interest to the University community. Letters to the editor, editorials, and formal messages from deans and presidents are examples of some of the content found in this digitized collection.

The print issues of The Medicovan are housed in Special Collections and Archives at the Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences on the MCV campus. VCU Today, VCU Voice, UniverCity New and VCU News are available in Special Collections and Archives departments on both campuses.

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Freedom Now Project: Farmville 1963 nonviolent protests

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University Public Affairs launched the Freedom Now Project with this article:

“Virginia Commonwealth University is hoping for the public’s help in shedding new light on a pivotal moment in the civil rights struggle in Virginia with a new exhibit of 277 photographs taken during nonviolent civil rights protests in Farmville, Va., in the summer of 1963.

VCU Libraries has posted these images to the photo sharing site Flickr to create the Freedom Now Project, a group of 13 photo sets that provides a close-up look at the protests held in downtown Farmville.

The project’s aim is to provide insight into the experience of nonviolent civil dissent, and the response of a Virginia town to these demonstrations. As part of the project, the public is being invited to participate in the exhibit by sharing information they may have about people and locations and contributing personal remembrances about these historic events.

“The photographs in the Freedom Now Project make a significant contribution to our understanding of a very important event in the history of Virginia and the nation,” said Alice Campbell, a VCU Libraries digital initiatives archivist who is overseeing the project. “By sharing them on Flickr, we hope to reach a broad audience – which could be anyone from primary school students to researchers, citizens of Farmville, the commonwealth of Virginia, or anywhere in the world.” The article

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Image: Freedom Now Project