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Tag Archives: Politics

Collections Librarians: Wilder School

Wilder School

VCU Libraries uses a team approach to serve schools and units. Outreach librarians, who support research, curricular and information literacy, work side-by-side with collection librarians who advise schools and faculty on materials and acquisitions to support teaching, research as well as new course and degree development.

In 2014, Pattie Sobczak joined the VCU Libraries faculty as the collections librarian for the Wilder School. Posted recently, a position for a Public Affairs Research Librarian is expected to be a part of the team in the 2015-16 academic year.

In the meantime, the Wilder School is being assisted by these professionals. In addition to Sobczak, liaisons are:

Image: L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

ICPSR: Social science archive

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The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research is a data archive of more than 500,000 files of research in the social sciences. It includes specialized collections of data in education, aging, criminal justice, substance abuse, terrorism and other fields.

VCU has an institutional membership to ICPSR which allows users to download most of the data sets. After setting up a personal MyData account on campus, users will be able to download data with just an email address and password.

Datasets archived at ICPSR are formatted for use with statistical software such as SPSS, SAS and Stata. Some datasets can be analyzed online through the Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA) system.

Researchers and students use ICPSR to write articles, papers or theses using real research data and to conduct secondary research to support findings or current research, or to generate new findings. ICPSR data are also often used as introductory support material in grant proposals.

Data producers take advantage of ICPSR’s services to preserve and disseminate their primary research data and often to fulfill funder requirements for data management plans.

Instructors use ICPSR’s educational resources to introduce students to the principles and practices of data analysis in order to support quantitative literacy efforts.

Find out more in our ICPSR Research Guide.

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By Margaret Henderson, director of research data management

Image: ICPSR

Sykes Editorial Cartoon Collection: Political cartoon collection

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Ediorial cartoonist Charles Henry ‘Bill’ Sykes (1882-1942) drew barbed political cartoons often loaded with complex political commentary on Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, Germany and Japan and other major actors on the international stage in the years before the United States entered World War II. The Sykes Editorial Cartoon Collection contains almost 300 original cartoons of great value for students and researchers interested in history, political science, international affairs, art, art history and more.

Born in Alabama and graduated from Philadelphia’s Drexel Institute in 1904, Sykes drew as a freelancer and then worked for newspapers. In 1914, he became the first and only editorial cartoonist for the Evening Public Ledger. It ceased publication in 1942, the same year Sykes died. Sykes also had working relationships with Life, Colliers and The New York Evening Post.

Sykes’ cartoons focus on American reactions to the major events of World War II. They also offer insight into medium and method: he created early cartoons using the unusual patterns of coquille board for the shading effect and later transitioned to crayon-and-wash technique. The cartoons are available for view in Special Collections and Archives, or online in digital format, further augmenting access to Cabell’s outstanding collection of comic arts. The collection consists of 297 original editorial cartoons, three unfinished sketches, a U.S. War Bond poster and a U.S. Victory poster.

His most famous cartoon, “Madonna and Child A.D.1940,” depicts the ugliness of war. The image is of a mother and child wearing gas masks. It was published on August 13, 1940–the first day of the Battle of Britain.

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To view the collection in person, visit Special Collections and Archives on the fourth floor of Cabell Library.

Image: Sykes Editorial Cartoon Collection, VCU Libraries