Virginia Commonwealth University

Make it real.

Archive | Update

RSS feed for this section

Peace Research Abstracts: Security and conflicts

Find It

Peace Research Abstracts is published by the Peace Research Institute in Ontario, Canada. It covers public affairs, security and conflict resolution. An Ebsco database, it is easy to use for beginning and advanced researchers. Thousands of international journals are indexed, from Journal of Conflict Resolution to Global Governance to Peace Economics. Abstracts date back to 1964.

Sample search terms:

  • international peacekeeping
  • conflict management
  • human rights
  • vulnerable populations
  • elections
  • disarmament

Some topics may be best searched with quotes around phrases, such as:

  • “economics and peace ”
  • “criminal justice system and peace”
  • “gender and peace”
  • “nuclear zero”

Find It

by Nia Rodgers, public affairs research librarian

Image: Peace Baby!!!, resized and cropped, Clyde Robinson, flickr, creative commons

Public administration abstracts

Find It

Public Administration Abstracts is a bibliographic database covering essential areas related to public administration including theory and methods, administration and economics, administration and politics, administration and society, administrative structures and organization, public and social services, urban and regional planning and studies and public service personnel in the United States and worldwide. The resource includes more than 54,00 records selected from the most important journals within the discipline, dating back to 1964.

Its content offers access to more than 200 journals including:

  • American Review of Public Administration
  • Journal of Public Affairs Education
  • Public Policy & Administration
  • State & Local Government Review
  • Urban Studies

Find It

By Patricia Sobczak, business and public affairs librarian

Image: pixabay, creative commons

Access World News: New shortcuts

Find It

Access World News has added two shortcuts: Access Business News and America’s News Magazines. These shortcuts will help you find information on small and private companies as well as niche products. This is a useful resource to consider if you think you have exhausted all the options.

Access Business News

Access Business News is good resource for regional and local business news regarding industries, markets, companies and products via business journals, news weeklies and law journals in the United States. This resource can be especially useful for business research on hard-to-find news and stories on small private companies and niche markets from local news services. Access Business News allows users to search by headline, keyword, location, company name, source and date.

America’s News Magazines

Provides access to 3,000 full-text news sources for information on people, issues and events.  This resource contains authoritative, staff written coverage of unique local news from around the country as well as national topics, specific articles, statistics, video clips, quotations, facts and analysis.  America’s News Magazines will help the business researcher locate local and regional information on new and specialized products and businesses.

Find It

By Janet Reid, business research librarian

Image:  Creative Commons

ICPSR: Consortium for Political and Social Research

Find It

Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is an international consortium of more than 750 academic institutions and research organizations. It provides leadership and training in data access, curation and methods of analysis for the social science research community.

ICPSR maintains a data archive of more than 250,000 files of research in the social and behavioral sciences. It hosts 21 specialized collections of data in education, political and social behavior, aging, criminal justice, substance abuse, history, terrorism, economics and other fields.

ICPSR collaborates with a number of funders including U.S. statistical agencies and foundations, to create archives organized around specific topics. Thematic collections and the new services created for them bring a dynamism to ICPSR from which the broader social science research community benefits. The funders provide new data, in most cases free to everyone, and this stimulates more research. The funded archives and ICPSR collaborate to build additional infrastructure for effective data use and discovery.

For a breakdown of some of the types of data collected

Find It

by Pattie Sobczak, business and public policy collections librarian

Image: Measures of Effective Teaching Database

Disasters touch many Wilder School interests

The moment a fire breaks out, a hurricane makes landfall, a tornado touches down, or a trickle turns to a flood, the clock starts on response, recovery and mitigation of the current disaster as well as planning for future events.

At the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Policy, each discipline has a role to play in disaster management and mitigation.

Emergency preparedness plays an important port in mitigating the effects of any disaster. Immediate response teams are set up using the principles of incident management command. Start with the Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness guide that will lead you to these library databases to study after action reports: Homeland Security Digital Library , Web of Science, and Academic Search Complete.

In the first hour(s), maintenance of order and law enforcement become vital as regular legal structures may fail. Additionally, infrastructure complications can arise from failed power or incompatibility among first responders. To study the criminal justice aspects and police and other legal responses, the Criminal Justice Research Guide organizes databases such as Criminal Justice Abstracts , PsychINFO, and WestLawNext. Best databases to study failures in communications include Web of Science and Communications and Mass Media Complete.

Beyond the first responses, nonprofits play critical roles in immediate disaster relief and ongoing support. This often creates a sense of urgency to donate, however, it is important to note that not all nonprofit organizations are the same and some might operate in a less than ethical way. Nonprofits are not held to the same guidelines as publicly held companies; their tax exempt status is regulated by the federal government’s Internal Revenue Service under IRS Exempt Organizations, so there are some reporting requirements. This information is intended to help people make good donation choices, but it can also be used for research purposes. The Nonprofit Research Guide provides numerous resources for researching nonprofit organizations. These include Charity Navigator, Guidestar and Center on Philanthropy as well as Public Administration Abstracts and Social Services Abstracts.

From the disaster’s first day and well beyond. Issues related to public policy and administration factor in. Public policy, as set by local officials, will determine the speed of normalization as recovery progresses. Studying the best practices in returning children to school, normalizing the traffic flows, and making government function outside disaster mode can improve the response in the future. The Public Administration Research Guide is a good place to start. Databases for studying these public policy effects including ABI/INFORM, Business Source Complete and Public Administration Abstracts.

Disasters also raise issues about Urban and Regional Studies. Disasters expose the weaknesses of populated infrastructures. Although the costs of catastrophes are often measured in loss of life or property, the impacts go far beyond that in terms of restoring an area to its former state. Urban and Regional Planning research about disasters can be found in the  Urban Planning Research Guide and in these databases: Urban Studies Abstracts, Index to Current Urban Documents and Access World News.

by Pattie Sobczak, business and public policy collections librarian and Stephani Rodgers, Iiaison to homeland security and emergency preparedness 

Image: Hurricane Maria Makes Landfall in Puerto Rico from Wikimedia Commons

GuideStar pro trial runs through September

VCU Libraries is offering a trial of the new GuideStar Pro Library Services. GuideStar’s current free program is being revamped and soon will not be available for free after the fall. In its place will be a new commercial version, GuideStar Library Services (Pro). This advanced level of data will allow VCU researchers the ability to access to the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations featuring information on more than two million nonprofits, along with numerous filters to refine extensive search results.

The trial of this new Guidestar product runs from Aug. 28, 2017 through Sept. 30, 2017. You can access the site via www.guidestar.org.

Two online demos of GuideStar Pro Library Services will be available. One takes place Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 at 10 a.m. and a second one on Wednesday, Sept.  6 at 2 p.m. Users can sign up for either one 

Based on the results of the trial and feedback, it will be determined if the library will proceed with the annual subscription. Send your feedback to Pattie Sobczak. 

If you have any questions, please contact Pattie Sobczak at psobczak@vcu.edu.

By Patricia Sobczak, Business and Public Affairs Collections Librarian

Reference Management: move to Mendeley or Zotero

VCU Libraries will discontinue its subscription to the RefWorks citation management tool as of August 31, 2018. Librarians will be happy to assist faculty with moving references and learning the capabilities of other citation managers such as  Mendeley, Zotero, and EndNote. RefWorks users can continue to use RefWorks for the current academic year, and make the transition at a time that is convenient.

If you plan to transition from RefWorks to Mendeley or use Mendeley already, VCU Libraries has a substantial number of free premium upgrades available to faculty on a first come, first served basis. Contact us to request an upgrade, to learn more or to request instruction for your students.

Along with helping you keep track of the articles you’re reading, reference management software can auto-generate citations and bibliographies and make it easy to share resources with collaborators and students. VCU Libraries offers support for two of the most popular reference managers, Mendeley and Zotero.

Using browser extensions, these tools can quickly save reference information from PubMed, Web of Science, IEEE Xplore Digital Library, Google Scholar and other online databases. Or metadata can be retrieved from imported PDFs. Group libraries allow users to share the full text and associated notes. When writing, both Mendeley and Zotero interact with Word to automatically generate in-text citations and bibliographies. For those using LaTeX, both can generate a BibTeX file.

Base accounts with both these tools are free and VCU Libraries has 500 free Mendeley upgrades available to faculty upon request.

Contact VCU Libraries to learn more

By Martha Roseberry, science and engineering research librarian

Trip Pro: Free trial to July 21

VCU Libraries has secured a free trial of Trip Pro database. This free trial will last through July 21.To help VCU Libraries determine whether or not we should subscribe to the Pro version of Trip, please send your feedback to gaukh@vcu.eduThe Trip Database is designed to find answers to clinical questions using the best available evidence. TripPro offers these enhancements compared to the free version.

More content

  • More than 100,000 extra systematic reviews;
  • Millions of extra free full-text articles
  • Easily searchable 175,000 ongoing clinical trials
  • Access to a massive database of medical images
  • Access to tens of thousands of clinical videos

More functionality

  • Export of records to reference management software
  • Advanced search
  • Ability to filter results by clinical area
  • Article views, see which articles are most popular for your search

Other features

  • No advertisements
  • Discounts on evidence services provided by the Trip Evidence Service
  • Be the first to benefit from new features added to Trip

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

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.

View Resultsshot3

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

shot4

The search box will be automatically populated.

shot5

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

shot6

By Ibironke Lawal, engineering and science collections librarian

CRL: Vast, rare, global primary sources

Find It

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. 

Find It

BrowZine: Online journal browsing

BrowZine

Find It

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.

Find It

By Lynne Turman, head, Tompkins-McCaw Library Collections

Image: BrowZine

Rehabilitation Reference Center

RRCFind it

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).

Find it

By Talicia Tarver, research and education librarian

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

WRDS: Data Research Platform for Business

person-731479_640

Find It

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).

Find It

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.

Find It

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

Investext Snapshot: Insight from Top Equity Analysts

7650980112_feeff55ca8_o (1)Find It

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.

Find It

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

Image: NYSE, thetaxhaven, flickr, creative commons

Creativity professor seeks inspiration

c6e499d6-f35e-4a01-ba09-7f835e902da4

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

Find It

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.

Find It

By Kevin Farley, humanities collections librarian

Image: Waymarking.com

Orlando: Women’s Writing in the British Isles

Find It

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.

Find It

By Kevin Farley, humanities collections librarian

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

Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century

Find It

VCU Libraries offers The Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century, a landmark digital collection for African-American studies. With this resource, researchers have access to historical analysis and context, original newspaper accounts and crucial first-person records of the experiences of those seeking greater political and cultural freedom in the turbulent 20th century.

Records reveal not only the efforts of those in power to oppose the civil rights movement, but the organizational efforts and everyday protests of individuals and groups united to end widespread restrictions to freedom for blacks in the United States.

The wealth of sources includes government records from the FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and H. W. Bush presidencies, as well as the activities of the FBI on civil rights leaders and participants. The records of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs (NACWC), Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) are available.

From the founding of the NACWC in the last decade of the 19th century to the riots that followed the verdict in the Rodney King trial in the 1990s, researchers will discover how these momentous events were experienced by those who lived them, and continue to influence American life, culture and politics today.

Of particular importance is the inclusion of vast records that describe events that may be less known now, but were crucial milestones in the struggles against oppression and toward equality. These include: the fight against forced labor in the first half of the 20th century (documented in the Peonage Files of the U.S. Department of Justice, 1901-1945); the migration of African-Americans to urban areas in search of work and equality; the East St. Louis Riot of 1917; the Scottsboro case and the passage of the anti-lynching laws; the heroism of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II; the FBI actions against the Black Panther Party, and the passage of the Civil Rights Act. These detailed and multi-layered perspectives on history await discovery in The Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century and will create innovative teaching and research for VCU.

Additional online scholarship available through VCU Libraries includes Black Historical Newspapers, Black Studies Center, Black Studies in Video, and Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive.

Find It

By Kevin Farley, humanities collections librarian

Image:  Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, The New York Public Library. “William L. Patterson, executive director of the Civil Rights Congress, addressing the Bill of Rights Conference, circa 1940s.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1940 – 1949.