Category Archives: Musings

Research 5

Hello World

Sorry for being gone so long. The snow has made my internet connection and trying to do research...interesting.

So far since I have not been able to drive anywhere, I have looked more into the questionnaires. I have been so fascinated by them, that I have been looking at them for the last couple days. I should probably move onto other things on the Library of Virginia website. I have seen in passing a collection on propaganda and I want to look into that to see if there is anything about our local counties in South-West Virginia.

I also need to message the Library of Virginia about permission to  use anything Dakota and I find on their website. And I want to message about having microfilm on Virginia newspapers sent to us, once….the school post office opens again. As of right it is closed until further notice.

I also want to go back to Mount Empire one last time to look some more through the cabinet files. Though I am starting to believe that could become a dead end in the long run. But I don’t want to lose hope.

And lastly I wanted to share some of my research. In hopes that it could help others. Because I reflected on that copyright class. I have just posted a link to where I looked up the questionnaires and not a pdf or picture of one of the documents.

The link is on the Library of Virginia Website and all rights go to them and their wonderful historians.

Link–

http://lva1.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/F/?func=file&file_name=find-b-clas13&local_base=CLAS13&_ga=1.220801563.200964320.1424767345

That’s all that I can think to write about for now. I’ll add more as I find more on the Website.  Until next time.

-Victoria

Present Findings—

Multiple Newspaper Articles. (From UVA-Wise Library microfilm).

Photos of soldiers (From Dickenson County Historical Society)

Photos from Looking Back at Wise County The Early Years

Information from The Heritage of Wise Volume One and Volume Two

Photo of the memorial featured from Dickenson Memorial High School

Booklet about Wise County during World War One

Booklet about Dickenson County during World War One

Pictures of a Bond from 1911

Questionnaires of soldiers from the Library of Virginia

UVA-Wise special collections

Future Research—

More research on Mount Empire and the Wise Historical Society artifacts

Big Stone Gap Public Library

Russell County

Lee County

Washington County

Old Dickenson County Newspapers (Microfilm from Library of Virginia)

Microfilm of the muster roll of Wise County from the Library of Virginia

Microfilm of the muster roll of Dickenson County from the Library of Virginia

Tax documents from Wise county from the time?

 

Research 4

Hello World.

So for research this week, I looked up questionnaires on the Library of Virginia website. I was able to find some on soldiers from the county of Wise. One questionnaire shows that a man switched from being a merchant to being a grocery store clerk when he came back from the war. He also did not want to describe his experiences from the war. I feel that the questionnaire was very telling as it showed him raising up in station and that the war affected him physiologically.

I also have gotten in contact with the Library of Virginia about sending me microfilm in relation to the Dickenson County newspapers.

I hope to have more research next week, but right things have been shut down due to snow and other matters.

Until next time.

-Victoria

Present Findings—

Multiple Newspaper Articles. (From UVA-Wise Library microfilm).

Photos of soldiers (From Dickenson County Historical Society)

Photos from Looking Back at Wise County The Early Years

Information from The Heritage of Wise Volume One and Volume Two

Photo of the memorial featured from Dickenson Memorial High School

Booklet about Wise County during World War One

Booklet about Dickenson County during World War One

Pictures of a Bond from 1911

Questionnaires of soldiers from the Library of Virginia

Future Research—

More research on Mount Empire and the Wise Historical Society artifacts

UVA-Wise special collections

Napoleon Hill Foundation (Sent email; still waiting for a conformation)

Big Stone Gap Public Library

Russell County

Lee County

Washington County

South-west Virginia Museum

Old Dickenson County Newspapers (Microfilm from Library of Virginia)

Microfilm of the muster roll of Wise County from the Library of Virginia

 

Research 3

Hello World

I got to explore a entirely new archives and visit a new college in my area!

I arranged with my advisor ages ago to go to Mount Empire Community College and Friday I was finally able to drive over there. I was happy to find that it only took me about twenty minutes. So I can go there more often and not have to worry about ranging gas costs.

Once I arrived there and found my way to the library. (I was hopeless lost for a good bit until I found the Human Resource Department, who nicely pointed me in the right direction). I entered to find that Mount Empire’s library was structured a lot different then UVA-Wise. For one, they have mental detectors. For another, the lighting is kinda of mysterious and old-age.

I waltzed my way over to the front desk and was able to find a student aide who got the main librarian. When he (the main librarian) heard what I was there about—the Wise Historical Society artifacts; he lead me to two very very big filing cabinets and a microfilm room.

He sounded apologetic when he told me I’d have to look through most of the files piece by piece. As he had no idea what all they had acquired. I however assured him, that I wasn’t bothered. I would just have to make sure to come back several times to see what all I could find. He was able to tell me that before I put anything up on Dakota and I’s future site, we would need to get permission from the Wise County Historical Society as they still retained the copyright to all the files. So that was helpful and reassuring.

Yesterday I only got through two drawers. But I was able to find some bonds  awarded to a company in Wise in 1911 and a directory of Historical Societies in Wise County. I wrote the societies down and took pictures of the bonds.

I was happy with those finds. Even if I’m not sure how to work the bonds into the website. At least it showed me that the Wise Historical Society does have some things from the time Dakota and I are looking into.

Thought next time he is coming too, so we can cover ground faster.

Until next time.

-Victoria

Present Findings—

Multiple Newspaper Articles. (From UVA-Wise Library microfilm).

Photos of soldiers (From Dickenson County Historical Society)

Photos from Looking Back at Wise County The Early Years

Information from The Heritage of Wise Volume One and Volume Two

Photo of the memorial featured from Dickenson Memorial High School

Booklet about Wise County during World War One

Booklet about Dickenson County during World War One

Pictures of a Bond from 1911

Future Research—

More research on Mount Empire and the Wise Historical Society artifacts

UVA-Wise special collections

Napoleon Hill Foundation (Sent email; still waiting for a conformation)

Big Stone Gap Public Library

Russell County

Lee County

Washington County

South-west Virginia Museum

Old Dickenson County Newspapers (Microfilm from Library of Virginia)

Microfilm of the muster roll of Wise County from the Library of Virginia

Questionnaires of soldiers from the Library of Virginia

Timeline

Hello World.

I am updating today to let you know of a little project I was assigned.

My Century America Professors asked me to play around with and create a digital story using either Google map from the Google Map App or a timeline template off of Google drive.

I created a timeline based off of events in my life. Since I already had the pictures in the public domain anyway on Facebook; I didn’t feel weird about sharing them again. Looking at them and adding them to my timeline allowed me to reflect upon my life and do homework. So two birds with one stone.

Besides, looking back is always a wonderful thing to do when your a college kid and a historian in the making. So without further ado—-

Here is the link to my timeline.

 

 

Let me know if there is any changes or corrections that should be made. And what you think of the pictures.

Thanks.

-Victoria

Research 2

Hello World.

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, things have been chaotic here. What with snow and classes along with ROTC events. But I have finally found some time to update you guys on what has been going on in relation to my research.

So last Wednesday, Dakota and I went to the Dickenson Historical Society. I arrived there with high hopes since I had found a booklet detailing Dickenson County’s involvement with the war written by a historian who had started the Dickenson Historical Society.

When first entering the place, I was at first awed by the amount of pictures on the walls of numerous soldiers of different eras. Then I was awed by the pleasant surprise that the women I had previously only been in telephone contact with, was the co-owner of the historical society.

She greeted me and we got to work. Through her I was able to get the names of some old newspapers that she knew for a fact were located at the Library of Virginia on microfilm. I’m going to arrange to have those sent to me tomorrow.

I was also able to see her first hand research on the Dickenson Memorial Plaque of World War One. She was even kind enough to allow me to copy the photos of the soldiers who were featured. Below their stories were short snippets of their lives which will be wonderful to put on the website.

Besides, newspapers and monuments, I was able to catch a glimpse of books that may be of help in our search. Including…wait for it, The Heritage of Dickenson County Volume One (Where does that seem similar…humm).  Other books were Pine Straws: A Collection of Appalachian Stories and The Pioneer Book.

So all in all, I was very happy with the Dickenson Historical Society and its patrons. I want to place a thank you on this blog to them and all the others that have supported Dakota and I so far in our research.

Next Stop- Mount Empire College                                                                                                 (As long as the roads stay good and don’t slick up with ice)

Thanks for reading. Until next time.

-Victoria

Present Findings—

Multiple Newspaper Articles. (From UVA-Wise Library microfilm).

Photos of soldiers (From Dickenson County Historical Society)

Photos from Looking Back at Wise County The Early Years

Information from The Heritage of Wise Volume One and Volume Two

Photo of the memorial featured from Dickenson Memorial High School

Booklet about Wise County during World War One

Booklet about Dickenson County during World War One

Future Research—

Mount Empire and the Wise Historical Society artifacts located there.

UVA-Wise special collections

Napoleon Hill Foundation (Sent email; waiting for conformation)

Big Stone Gap Public Library

Russell County

Lee County

Washington County

South-west Virginia Museum

Old Dickenson County Newspapers (Microfilm from Library of Virginia)

Microfilm of the muster roll of Wise County from the Library of Virginia

Questionnaires of soldiers from the Library of Virginia

 

Research Musings and Updates

I’ve been meaning to write this post for about a week.

I meant to write up a post last week after some exciting findings at the archives, however I realized I forgot to copy the files of all the items I had scanned into the computer there to my jump drive.

Although I could have gone ahead and written a post regardless, I wanted to reference some of the materials for a more detailed post so decided to wait until I had them copied to my computer.

This week got busy and so here I am, finally finding time today.

Last Friday was my most exciting day at the archives. I finally felt like I was getting somewhere in my research after a few visits of dead ends and frustration.

Although I feel very fortunate that I am able to get into the archives after hours, the negative side of that is not having any guidance. UMM’s archive is divided into two seconds–the history of UMM and the West Central Minnesota Historical Research Section area. I know the UMM section pretty well since those are the materials I work with as an student archives worker. However, since UMM was founded in 1960, those materials aren’t going to be be useful to me. It is the West Central Minnesota Historical Research Section area that I’m most interested in and it also happens to be the area that I know nothing about.

Well, I shouldn’t say that. Through my days there researching, I’ve gotten to know what’s there pretty well. I was basically told I could look through whatever I want to, so I’ve been rifling through a lot of materials at my leisure and having some hits but also a lot of misses.

My best finds have been in the WCSA yearbooks, particularly the 1919 yearbook.

The 1919 Moccasin (the title of the WCSA yearbook) is filled to the brim with so much information. It felt like the jackpot in really allowing me to gauge student feelings during this time period.

I had been getting really frustrated because the 1917 and 1918 yearbooks yielded nothing war-related. I was astounded that the students didn’t have anything to say about the war during those years when I’m sure it affected them quite a lot, at least indirectly, out here on the prairie. The Minnesota Commission of Public Safety was ruthless in promoting patriotism and in weeding out the supposed “traitors” throughout Minnesota in order to set them straight. The Non Partisan League–a well-known political organization that exhibited anti-war sentiments–was also really active out here in this section of Minnesota also. I would not be surprised if the Commission of Public Safety and the NPL butted heads out here on this side of the prairie.

Upon realizing that the Moccasin went to print in February, it made sense to me that the 1917 yearbook yielded no information about the war. War wasn’t declared until April, after all.

The 1918 yearbook though, puzzled me. Then again, as a college student, I’ve found it’s really easy to become disconnected to the outside world while focusing on my studies and such. Perhaps the WCSA students had a similar experience when the war was going on. Or maybe, they were too caught up in digesting all the changes that the war brought to them at home that they chose not to concentrate on it in the yearbook because it was just too much. Of course, this is all speculation and I’m not really sure either way.

What distinguished the 1919 yearbook from 1917 and 1918 was not only the content, but also the nature of that content. The 1919 yearbook had a really nice memorial to the WCSA students–past and present–who fought in the war, as well as a short history of what the WCSA students were up to during the war.

The majority of the content that I was interested in, though, focused on the the Spanish influenza. There were numerous references to how the influenza affected the student population–the influenza reached Western Minnesota in the fall of 1919, which pushed back the beginning of the semester; football season wasn’t able to happen that year, and it got the year off to a bit of jarring start for the WCSA students.

The most interesting part of the 1919 Moccasin, though, was an abundance of quips and cartoons that made light of the influenza.

We do this all the time today. A terrible thing happens and we use humor to help us cope with the horribleness. Well, the WCSA students were doing this too; responding to this terrible influenza epidemic in the aftermath of an extremely influential war with a humor that at first seemed a little out of place to me–until I remembered that humor can sometimes be an extremely effective way of coping.

Here are some examples:

1919 Flu comic 2

All on account of ‘fluenza

 

 

1919 quips

“Perhaps his nose doesn’t fit the mask”

 

1919 last will

“Earl Leaf….All the flu makes worn by us during the epidemic”

I love how these little quips and cartoons say so much about the WCSA students at the time. Then again, this might just be the sense of humor of the editors showing, but I do get the sense that the editors were made an effort to include all students in the yearbook in some way, shape or form. Regardless, it does give a glimpse into the way some of the students reacted to the influenza, at least.

Furthermore, in really delving into the content of this yearbook, I felt as if I got to know the WCSA class of 1919 a little bit more. My favorite party of history is those personal stories, and I was really able to get an idea of some of the student’s stories while going through this yearbook.

I still have a lot more to look through in the archives. I am currently sifting through oral histories; yesterday I found an oral history from a World War I veteran and I hope to find some more regarding the war during the home front.

I am eager to find more WCSA materials regarding the war, since that is what I realized I’m really interested in for this project. The campus archivist has a really great source that he intends to get to me one of these days, though he can’t seem to locate it at the moment. I really hope he does soon, since, from my understanding at least, it seems to be a collection of recollections from WCSA students during the war period.

I haven’t talked to Colm in a little bit, though I intend to sometime this weekend in order to get an idea of where he is at research-wise. Getting to the museum is still on my list of things to do, but I want to make sure I don’t go through anything he’s already looked through when I get there.

Next week I intend to dive further into the archives and hopefully the archivist will have a better idea of the whereabouts of that source by then!

 

Digital Blog Reflections.

Hello World.

For my second assignment for Century America, I was asked to take a look at three digital sites and reflect upon the following questions.

What did I like about these websites as a whole, and what did I not. What worked and what didn’t in my eyes? And what elements would I want to incorporate or avoid in my future project?

This first website I looked at was The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War. I liked the cover photo of the website. I felt that it was inviting. Below the picture, the summary of the website was very informative.

As a whole I believed the creators fulfilled their mission and passed on the information they had set out to in the beginning based on their summary. That pleased me as I have learned to dislike sites that veer off their initial topic.

However, I did not like the style choices once you entered the main site. I felt the layout was bland and unappealing to the eye.

Along with the site being made to appeal to only one audience. People with a scholarly or historian background. Which is not a bad thing exactly, but I felt that it made the site unapproachable to a wide audience.

I did like how it was set up as a virtual archive. I would like to do that with mine and Dakota’s website. And I hope to use some hints from the website to shape my  own research.

So I do want to incorporate the element of having a virtual archive. But I would avoid the stylistic choices and elements of the creators.


 

The second site I looked at was Glided Age Plains City. I liked the different tabs that made the site not look cluttered, but still allowed the website to hold vast amounts of information. I also enjoyed the catchy tab line of “The Great Sheedy Murder Trail and the Booster Ethos of Lincoln, Nebraska.” It added mystery and intrigue while still focusing on a clear-cut place.

What worked for the overall site was the amount of primary sources. They gave the site it’s academic backing but made it feel more story-like and appealing.

What also worked in my viewpoint was the simpleness of the test. It helped approve my understanding of the archive and didn’t tax my eyes. What didn’t work was how the text was not broken up by pictures. I felt pictures would have made the site more homey and less like a dry textbook.

I wish to use the element of having various tabs. I also want to use an interactive map if possible.I would not use the element of having no pictures on my website.


 

And finally, the last website I visited was The Emilie Davis Diaries. I was fascinated by how the website focused in on one person instead of a broad topic. And professional the site came across.

Overall, I felt showing the picture of the actual diary pages and having text that explains what she wrote was a good tactic. It shows the authenticity of their research while making sure that it is also understandable. They bypassed the obstacle of the audience not being able to decipher her handwriting or word choices.

I liked how everything was set up in a chronological order. But I did not like how you had to constantly scroll to find more pages.

I feel that was a taxing issue for me. It frustrated me for some reason.

I would like to use the elements of rewriting primary documents that are hard to decipher on my website. I do not want to use the motion and stylistic elements of this site.

All in all, I felt that the above sites taught me more of what I would like to see on my own website and what appeals to my eye.

The sites also taught me how the intention of a project can be lost if the information is not shared in a simple and easy to understand way.

What did you guys learn? Let me know. Until next time.

-Victoria

Hello World.

Hello World.

My name is Victoria. I am a student of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise and one of the newest members of the Century America Project.

The Century America Project is a COPLA sponsored course where students such as myself research the local history of their college town during World War One. As we research, we are pushing ourselves to learn the valuable skills of archival research, website design, blogging and networking. Our final goal is to be able to share history in a new and exciting way to as many people as possible.

In the upcoming weeks, I will be sharing posts about what I find in the archives of surrounding areas, what pictures, newspapers and other resources helped me along the way and the horribleness of paper cuts. (Because I am never able to avoid paper cuts and I mean never).

So came explore with me. It will be loads of fun.

And you should be able to avoid deadly wounds by paper. So it’s a double win for you.

Until next time,

Victoria

 

 

 

 

 

Research

Hello World.

So going into this project, my partner and I developed a plan of what we both wanted to initially research. The focuses we decided upon will probably change in the future as we progress farther, and get more documents, but for now they are a jumping off point.

My side of the research is two fold– I will be looking into the local organizations that developed or expanded during the Great War and the local soldiers who served. For the local organizations, I want to look into how many members they had, what kinds of activities they sponsored, how prominent they were in the local media, and whither they had any formal documents backing their activities. The organizations are to include the Red Cross, the Boy Scots and the local churches. For the soldiers, I want to see who was called up by the draft, who volunteered, who earned medals and honors, and who died.

My research partner, Dakota will be looking into the economy and agriculture of our county and the towns within it during the war. Specifically how the towns operated on a boom and bust economic cycle that lifted and lowered the standard of living and population for short periods of time. He wants to see how that cycle and the dependence on coal worked during World War One and its aftermath.

To fulfill my part, I went to the Wise Public library and the UVA-Wise library. I also set up meetings with prominent people and businesses to met with in the coming days.

The Wise public library was helpful in some ways and lacking in others. When I went to visit there on Wednesday, I was able to pick up three books.

Looking Back: Wise County In the Early Years 

The Heritage of Wise County and The City of Norton 1856-1993 Volume One

The Heritage of Wise County and The City of Norton 1856-1993 Volume Two

The first book had pictures in it. Ones that I hope to make use if they are found to be relevant. The other two had some articles that could be of help. Most of The articles had a subscript telling where the Wise Historical Society copied them from. So the books were helpful.

However, when I visited the archives this weekend, I was sadly disappointed. The archives in the Public Library were a flop. The documents and magazines that I found were either not in the years needed or not based in my local community. The newspapers on microfilm were also not helpful as they only dated back to 1923.

Feeling a little bit sad, but hopeful I moved on to the UVA-Wise library. As it was now Sunday, I had the place to myself and the peace and quiet to spend hours searching through microfilm.

Where I was able to find a newspaper called the Big Stone Gap Post. A newspaper that had various detailed segments about organizations such as the Red Cross and The Boy Scots of Big Stone Gap.

Wise, called Gladeville at the time was also mentioned several times, as my town joined the Red Cross and helped other towns of Wise County in their efforts to help the troops.

Besides organizations, I was able to find multiple lists of soldiers that signed up during the draft and what town they originated from.

So I plan to call my initial researching into my research agenda a success.

I have a long way to go, but at least I have a start.

-Victoria

Present Findings—

Multiple Newspaper Articles. (From UVA-Wise Library microfilm).

Future Research—

Mount Empire and the Wise Historical Society artifacts located there.

UVA-Wise special collections

Napoleon Hill Foundation

Dickenson Historical Society

Big Stone Gap Public Library