Final Project Update!

It’s a little bit late, but, here is my final project update!

The website is coming together!  All we lack at the moment is the interview (which will be conducted Wednesday), and the performance art pieces.  It’s almost finished; which is an incredible relief!

Project Update!

Date: April 17, 2017
Current Status: Almost panic mode?

Initially on our project, we had been having no issue meeting the deadlines. However, at this point, we’re trying to not only deal with our schedules, but, also the schedules of our interviewee and performer. Personally, I am finally 100% done with senior seminar! I turned in my paper this morning, and to be perfectly honest, I want to be happy, I want to jump for joy. But, there’s still one last daunting assignment that’s dragging me back to Earth: my Medicinal Chemistry paper. This paper will be done by Friday; then I will have 100% more free time! That means that this week end will hopefully result in a successful interview and possibly a performance recording.

This is all I have for now!


Project Update!

This portrait of Pickles sums up my current feelings. However, since I’m not a little, adorable pug, I must continue to get work done. Fortunately for Bailey and I, nothing was scheduled to be due this past weekend. This had afforded Bailey and I time to both work on our senior seminars. She gives her presentation this Wednesday, and mine is the following Wednesday. My topic of choice this semester is on the development of a potential vaccine to aid in battling cocaine addiction. While my subject is interesting, writing my paper and preparing my presentation has been physically painful.

Soon work will resume on our COPLAC project, I promise.

COPLAC Project- Update: 1

Who has two thumbs and is in panic-mode? This guy!

No, but, seriously; things are stressful at the moment. Between preparing for senior seminar, getting everything turned in for graduate school, and the bulk of the rest of my course work this semester, I wouldn’t describe my life as “fun” right now. However, I did manage to get the map for the “Travels” section of our COPLAC course project site up and running! The page still requires some informative text, but, that can wait for a later day. Bailey has good news on the performance art piece! She’s found someone that would is ready and willing to belt a folksong! In other news, however, it looks as if we might not get the opportunity to perhaps interview a relative or friend that knew Mr. Adams. Angie Harvey instead suggested that we should perhaps just talk with a local historian about what they might now about Mr. Adams. At the moment, this is all I have to report on the status of our project!

Dissenting Academy Map

We were victims of our own success. Because we were able to generate the printing/publishing map of a text using the British Short Title Catalogue with only moderate pain and a few tears, we were all tasked with generating a map via scraping information from the Dissenting Academies Online website.

Upon beginning this task, I took a deep breath and whispered to myself, “This won’t hurt that much”.  Boy, was I wrong.  When deciding on query to ask of the Dissenting Academies Online website, I settled for the library records spanning from 1843-1844.  There were over 1,000 results from this search.  To keep myself from going mad, I used the first 17 sheets of results.  I know this is only a minor dent in ALL of the data.  However, from what I used one can still see a few interesting trends, such as the same person repeatedly checking out the same book.  As mentioned in class, this possibly happened because many of the academies would not allow their books to physically leave the library.

The art of scraping a website, while not my strong suite, was not terrible.  I was pleasantly surprised.  However, while it was all outlined for us in elaborate walkthroughs, manipulating the data in Google Sheets proved to be an expletive inducing experience. There was a “son of a b*@%#” here, and a “f!&*” there; nothing too out of the normal.

Once I “tamed” the data (or thought I had); it was time to wrestle with Kumu.  In one corner, there was me: an already battle-worn SLOB warrior (who was still having flashbacks about last weeks “bloodshed”).  Then in the other corner was Kumu:  a new, fresh-faced opponent, whose methods and tactics in the ring were still unknown to me.  Unfortunately, to be very anticlimactic, Kumu was fairly simple to use.  The only frustrating part was figuring out what was up with three sections of my Google Sheets data.  While I never exactly figured out what was wrong with the data, I was still able to generate a map.  Is the map beautiful?  No.  Does the map make much sense?  Not really.  However, what I did get out of this is potentially a new skill that I not only can apply for later in this class with our final project, but, it also has the potential to be used in other areas of my academic life.

Making a Map for Good, Ole “Characteristicks”.

For this COPLAC assignment, I’m returning to a dear friend “Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times” by Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury. The edition of this book that we have access to at the UVA Wise Library is supposedly a Baskerville book printed in Birmingham, England. I was curious as to where else the book had been printed, and a quick trip to the English Short Titles Catalog did not disappoint. I have confirmations that it was printed in London, Glasgow, and Dublin. I wasn’t surprised at all to see that the book had also been printed in Dublin, because Irish reproduction of books is something that has been mentioned many times during lecture.

Timeline of “The Story of Biology”

When we were presented with this assignment for the COPLAC course, I was initially very excited.  Being a science major, I was hoping to search the library at the college and find a science based book that I could structure this assignment around.  Since UVA Wise as an institution is so young, so small, and is in an area that is part of the bible belt, I was very curious as to what scientific literature would be available in the library.  When I had found “The Story of Biology” and opened the front cover and saw the label indicating that this book was from the collection of C.K. Davenport, a professor at the University of Virginia at one time, I was very excited.  However, as I was searching for information on the book itself and the professor that had owned it, it proved to be very frustrating.  While I did find out that Charles Davenport did have an extensive book collection, unfortunately this was all I was able to find out about him. I was also unable to determine when exactly the book had come into possession of the UVA Wise library.  This left me frustrated, and made me wish that the generations before me had been more meticulous recordkeepers.  Throughout the book, I saw evidence of writing in the margins; I’m not sure if this was the work of Professor Davenport himself, or of one the few that had checked this book out.  As I thumbed through the pages, I saw what was the schedule of a “Devona Powers” from the year 1971, and I was amazed that it had remained there all this time.

COPLAC- Assignment 2

So, for this post, I am revisiting a new found friend; the oldest resident member of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise library, the book: “Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times”.  This title is by the Right Honorable Anthony, Earl of Shaftesbury.  The copy we have access to is a 1758 reprint of the work first published in 1711.

The book is bound; according to Angie Harvey, a lover of books and a core member of the library staff, it was probably rebound sometime during the 1960’s.  When looking at the rebound cover of the book, it leaves something to be desired.  It isn’t what one would expect from a book of this time period.  It was rebound by the college, still when the institution was known as CVC: Clinch Valley College.  I’m sure that their intentions when rebinding the book were less about preserving historical accuracy, but, more along the lines of being cost effective and maintaining the book

Upon opening the book and taking a closer look, it can be seen where holes had been stabbed through the pages, and we can also see the thread sewn through the holes.

Thumbing through the book, I was surprised about the condition of the pages (Not everyone can look that good at 259 years old).  Further observation of the paper resulted in me seeing these sort of “ridges”. So, I decide to make use of my flashlight and backlight a few pages.  What do I see? Chain lines! This means that these pages are crafted out of laid paper.  The lines run horizontally, and to me, they are beautiful.  I am free to make my way through all of the pages of the book; no folds had remained unopened.  To my dismay, I did not observe any illustrations whatsoever in this work, and I unfortunately did not witness any water marks either.  I am able to note however, that the pages of the book had been trimmed, and at one time would stack nice and neatly on top of one another.

The book also did not bear a signature; no special combination of letters and numbers at the bottom of certain pages. Then also I determined what I believe to be the format of the book based on class assigned reading.  I began by measuring the length of the pages, and they were found to be approximately 16 cm and the notes to add a centimeter or two to this measured value in order to account for any trimming.  Another piece of information I used was the directionality of the chain lines, and in my case with this book they ran horizontally.  From this data, I determined the format of this book to be duodecimo.  With this information I am now going to attempt to calculate the how many sheets of paper were needed to produce this book:

There are 366 pages in this work:

366 / 2 = 183 leaves

183 leaves / 12 leaves per page (duodecimo) =15.25 sheets of paper!

Personally, I love how this book looks…But, I also love how it smells.  This isn’t creepy, right?

COPLAC- Assignment 1

While at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise we do not have a resident archivist, we did meet with a group of library staff that was very excited about the idea of this class and project.  The group had compiled together for us a collection of the oldest books in the library.  The very oldest being the text, “Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times” by Anthony, Earl of Shaftesbury.  The book was printed in 1758, and based on the data sheet on the book, it was printed in Birmingham, England by John Baskerville.  Unfortunately, there was no data available concerning who owned the book before the college acquired it; and since the book has been rebound, there are no hopes of determining on establishing an owner based on a name written on the inside cover.  Upon doing research on the book, it was first published in 1711, and was revised by Shaftesbury in 1713 before his death.  This book is a philosophical one, and provides the reader with Shaftesbury’s thoughts and opinions on a broad range of subject matter.  The time in which Shaftesbury wrote this book is deemed “The Age of Enlightenment”.  This was a period of time in which the “old order” of civilization was receding, and a sort of “new order” was being brought to the forefront. This new age of thinking was founded on science and reasoning, and it would later found the basis for important events such as the French Revolution.  Those that would have owned and read this book during this time period, were probably interested in adopting a new way of thinking and opening their minds to certain aspects of the world.


We were also interested in taking a look at books that were well worn and had obvious use.  They pointed us in the direction of the collection Gladys Stallard.  Gladys was a local woman from Dorchester, which is a specific section of Norton, Virginia, and she had left her book collection to the college upon her death.  The particular book I looked at from her collection was “Call Me Hillbilly” by Gladys Trentham Russell; she had written on the inside cover of the book that she acquired it in September 1974.  This book talks about the lives of people that grew up in the Great Smoky Mountains near Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  Within the book, it features pictures of people from the region and provides their names; alongside this information, Gladys Stallard had written in many birth dates and death dates of the individuals.  Mrs. Stallard had also obtained book reviews of the text, and stapled them to the inside of the front cover. This was interesting, as it made me wonder if perhaps she had personally known the author or had some connection to her.  It was easy to tell from the condition and the comments in the book, that this was one that she frequented often.  Looking at the other books in her collection, it would be safe to assume that Gladys was proud of and interested in preserving the lives and history of the people that live in the South-West Virginia and East Tennessee region.







We were also interested in looking at one specific collection, and they directed us to the collection of James Taylor Adams.  There are 1242 stories, narratives, and individual works along with 1408 songs in the collection.  This collection is composed of folklore and folktales from our local region, along with songs, poems, and genealogies.  James Taylor Adams was a local man, from Stevens, which is specific part of Norton, Virginia.  In Stevens he was a postmaster, and he also wrote articles for and organized his own newspaper. In my opinion, he collected the stories from around the region in order to preserve them and keep them alive for later generations.  His collection has been at the library for over 40 years, and it was donated by his family to the college.