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

To “Friend William:” A Letter from Weldon Railroad, VA, 1864

We talk a lot about items and collections in Special Collections having stories to tell. Sometimes, those stories are full of clear details, exciting new surprises, and a creator about whom we can discover quite a bit. Other times, well, you might get a more interesting mix. The kind that results in some on-going, Scooby-Doo-style … Continue reading To “Friend William:” A Letter from Weldon Railroad, VA, 1864

Hero’s Welcome

A Souvenir Menu Recalls Earhart’s Triumphant Return to the U. S. The recent reports about possible new evidence in the 80-year mystery of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance reminded me of a little item in our collections: a menu for a 1932 dinner honoring the pilot. Housed, perhaps incongruously, within our Aviation Pamphlets and Brochures Collection (Ms1994-015), … Continue reading Hero’s Welcome

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