Skip to main content

Ex Libris available online

Ex Libris cover

The digital version of the fall 2023 edition of Ex Libris is now available. This issue covers several exciting developments, initiatives and acquisitions that occurred over the 2022-2023 academic year.

Let’s begin by saying WVU Libraries librarians and staff are proud of what they accomplished this past year. It is especially gratifying when your hard work garners the attention and support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, who awarded two grants to WVU Libraries.

Take some time to read about the West Virginia and Regional History Center receiving a $162,155 NEH grant – its sixth from the agency – to continue digitizing newspapers published in West Virginia from 1791 to 1927.

The award is part of the National Digital Newspaper Program, a collaboration between the NEH and the Library of Congress to enlist libraries and institutions from around the country to create a digital database of historical U.S. newspapers. This grant brings the NEH’s total funding of the WVRHC’s efforts to $1,293,568.29.

The second NEH grant – nearly $350,000 – went to WVRHC’s effort to expand the American Congress Digital Archives Portal, the first-ever online portal bringing together congressional archives from repositories throughout the United States. In 2021, the NEH awarded WVU Libraries the initial grant to launch the project and create the portal.

WVU Libraries also focused on a major and positive change – in fall 2022, the WVU Humanities Center moved under the umbrella of the Libraries. Center Director Renee Nicholson has brought a great deal of expertise for collaborating across campus to the Libraries. Highlights for their inaugural year included “From WV to NY: Hip-Hop Geography,” a panel discussion around hip-hop, Black culture and place, that featured hip-hop artist Deep Jackson and novelist Steven Dunn, both West Virginia natives; an event to honor Marc Harshman on his 10th anniversary as West Virginia’s Poet Laureate; and a program for author and WVU alumna Valerie Neiman.

Also in the spring, the campus and Morgantown community filled the Downtown Library’s Robinson Reading Room to celebrate Kittie Blakemore, WVU’s first women’s basketball coach and Title IX champion. Blakemore was the subject of WVU Libraries’ second painting in the Inclusive Portrait Project series.

Her portrait is an inspiration for current and future students, and her papers reside in the West Virginia and Regional History Center for future researchers to discover how her accomplishments affected women’s sports. 

Celebrations continued this summer when several groups came together cut the ribbon on the Rahall Congressional Archives House at the WVU Institute of Technology in Beckley. Former West Virginia Congressman Nick Joe Rahall II donated his papers to WVU Libraries and the WVRHC in 2015. These materials are important to future generations to understand how Congress and our democratic system work.