Presidential Inaugurations and Virginia Tech

Well, tomorrow is the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, so I decided to scour our collections for items pertaining to presidents. At Special Collections you can find all sorts of material related to presidents – presidents of the U.S., presidents of organizations and businesses, and, of course, presidents of Virginia Tech. If … Continue reading Presidential Inaugurations and Virginia Tech

John Redd Hutcheson, 9th President of Virginia Tech

Recently, Special Collections received a new collection, the John R. Hutcheson Family Collection, containing letters, newspaper clippings, photographs, and more documenting the life of Virginia Tech president John R. Hutcheson. Although only president of Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI, as Virginia Tech was then known) for two years from 1945 to 1947, John Redd Hutcheson (1886-1962) … Continue reading John Redd Hutcheson, 9th President of Virginia Tech

Cooking for the President: Cora Bolton McBryde’s Cookbook

  Cora Bolton McBryde’s cookbook is a new treasure of the University Libraries’ Special Collections Department. The cookbook was a gift of Janet Watson Barnhill, great great granddaughter of President John McLaren McBryde and Cora Bolton McBryde. Known as the Father of the Modern VPI, McBryde served as president of Virginia Tech from 1891, when … Continue reading Cooking for the President: Cora Bolton McBryde’s Cookbook

Less Than the Sum of Its Parts: the W. Dale Parker Papers

Behind virtually any collection of personal papers is an ego, a voice saying, “I was here. I mattered.” Such collections can be indispensable resources in chronicling the lives of the famous and infamous or in offering insights into a particular time or topic. While history may greatly benefit from these collections, however, it is often … Continue reading Less Than the Sum of Its Parts: the W. Dale Parker Papers

Where the Rubber (Historical Collection) Meets the Road (Monument)?

One of the first collections we received after I started at Special Collections in 2009 was that of a Union private from Pennsylvania, Charles F. McKenna. (Acquisitions and Processing Archivist Kira here, this week–which I’m only pointing out because this post is about a collection, but also some connections came full circle for me last … Continue reading Where the Rubber (Historical Collection) Meets the Road (Monument)?

Illustrations from a Magnificent Character

Recently added online are a collection of illustrations by Lucy Herndon Crockett, a successful author and illustrator from Southwest Virginia’s Smyth county. Lucy authored nine books during her lifetime, the most well-known being “The Magnificent Bastards” in 1954, about her experiences with the U.S. Marine Corps in the South Pacific during World War II. In … Continue reading Illustrations from a Magnificent Character

Freiheit für Angela Davis . . . and So Much More: The Black History Pamphlet Collection

                                  Many times over the course of this blog either I or one of my colleagues has written about an aspect of the job of being an archivist that can best be described as “discovery.” Typically, we find something … Continue reading Freiheit für Angela Davis . . . and So Much More: The Black History Pamphlet Collection

Mary Sinton Leitch & Two-Degrees of Sherwood Anderson

Last time I wrote a post, it was on Sherwood Anderson and our newly-acquired copy of The Cornfields, one of Anderson’s poems which was separately printed. In that post, I mentioned a collection relating to Mary Sinton Leitch, which I had recently processed and was indirectly connected to Anderson. This time around, I thought I would talk … Continue reading Mary Sinton Leitch & Two-Degrees of Sherwood Anderson

From the First Lady’s Table: Dining with Cora Bolton McBryde

  Not much is known about the early first ladies of Virginia Tech, but we can learn more about Cora Bolton McBryde through recent gifts to Special Collections from Janet Watson Barnhill. These gifts include Cora’s silver Tiffany stirring spoon, which, Mrs. Barnhill notes, is “engraved and worn from stirring puddings;” a tin Kreamer Turk’s … Continue reading From the First Lady’s Table: Dining with Cora Bolton McBryde