From Special Collections and Archives: Tiny Shoes

These tiny, exquisitely handmade silk shoes, part of the Methodist Collection in Special Collections and Archives, document the practice of foot binding in China. They were brought to America in 1875 from China by Mrs. J.W. Lambuth, mother of Bishop Walter Russell Lambuth. The accompanying documentation states that they were a gift from Mrs. Lambuth to Mrs. Georgianna C West in 1875, and that the shoes served as “the inspiration to organize a Woman’s Missionary Society.” They were first exhibited in 1875 in Richmond at Clay St. Methodist Church, and used by missionaries in later years during fundraising efforts to illustrate a Chinese cultural practice that missionaries sought to end.

image of tiny Chinese Shoes
Tiny Chinese Shoes


Interlibrary Loan: R-MC’s Best-Kept Secret

Welcome back from Fall Break! As you settle back in for the rest of the semester and kick your research into high gear, I want to remind you about the Interlibrary Loan Service here at the McGraw-Page Library.

Interlibrary Loan, or ILL, is a free service you can use to borrow research materials not available from R-MC from other libraries. It can be a real research project saver! Below are some things to keep in mind when using the service.


Place your requests early! Waiting until the last minute to make an ILL request greatly reduces my chances of being able to get the research material you need. If you don’t know how to set up an ILL account or have forgotten how to get into your account then COME SEE ME, SEND ME AN EMAIL OR CALL ME! That’s why I’m here, and I’m always happy to help you!

By waiting until the last minute to request research material through ILL, you are only hurting yourself. Don’t do that, it’s not cool.


Having a complete and accurate citation greatly increases my chances of finding what you need and finding it quickly. Complete book and journal titles, book chapter and article titles, authors, volume and issue numbers, page numbers, they’re all important! Knowing an ISBN or ISSN is also helpful.


This doesn’t apply to book chapter and journal article copies, but if you borrow a book or other returnable material through ILL, please come get it when you get the notice that it’s here and ready for pickup! And if you come to get the book and realize it’s really not what you needed please tell the person at the Information Desk that you don’t need it and we’ll send back to the lender.


Please return you ILL book(s) on time! If you need an extension, please let me know and I will be happy to ask the lender for you. Repeated late returns of ILL books can cause a lender to block us from borrowing from them. That would hurt not only you, but everyone else here at R-MC. #NOTGOOD

CLICK HERE to learn more about our Interlibrary Loan Service and to create or log into your ILL account.

Kelli Salmon
kellisalmon [at]
Location: Behind the Reference Librarian’s Office


Accessibility of Course Documents

True or False?  “The library e-reserve and Canvas LMS make reading and learning materials more accessible to R-MC students.”

The answer: It depends. Documents and media materials posted on the systems may not be accessible to students with disabilities. For instance, PDF documents scanned as images pose a challenge to blind students. Voice-over PowerPoint slides without an accompanying transcript do not serve those with hearing impairment.

To assist the efforts to make course sites and e-reserve accessible, the Head of Instructional Design and Technology will begin to develop online tutorials and hold consultation sessions with faculty on accessibility techniques. More information will be available soon.  Meanwhile, please check out these resources:
University of Washington IT Accessibility Guidelines
Design guidelines published by the CanvasLMS.

America’s News: A Great Source for Local and Regional News Articles

The Library provides R-MC users access to several terrific news resources. One of these, the America’s News database, is particularly great for its coverage of local and regional news. It includes over 2500 full-text newspapers and additional news content from blogs, journals,  and broadcast transcripts. from around the U.S., including the Richmond Times-Dispatch and nearly 50 other Virginia news sources. Many of these news sources are small hometown papers that include coverage of community events, people, organizations, schools, and businesses, and these articles may be the only published information on topics of local interest. Although lots of newspapers provide free access online to some of their articles on a daily basis, very few allow complete access or provide access to past content for more than a few days, while ten or more years are usually archived in America’s News.

Another reason to use this resource in your research is that local reporting of events of regional interest is often more extensive and frequently provides a perspective that varies from the news coverage by large national or international news organizations. The database includes Hot Topics and Special Reports sections as well as a helpful Find a Topic section for guidance in doing your research.

Check out all of our contemporary and historic news sources on our Newspapers and News Magazines guide.

On the Role of Books

“We think of reading as something we do alone. But in reality, books connect us.

We talk about books, and we bring the ideas that we learn from books, the stories that we’ve heard about books, the characters that we’ve fallen in love with–we bring them into our conversations.

  • Books make us more empathetic
  • They connect us to one another
  • They make people who are not like us more human”


Three on the Third (POP) – October

Three on the Third is a monthly series in which we highlight three books new to the library collection.  Summaries of the books will be provided along with shelf location and a link to the item in the catalog.

Writings on the Wall
by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Writings on the Wall book cover
Basketball legend and cultural commentator Kareem Abdul-Jabbar explores how the America of today is a fractured society, sharply divided along the lines of race, gender, religion, political party and economic class. In his celebrated second career as a writer and social critic, Abdul-Jabbar examines these issues with insight and passion as he draws from his own experiences as a superstar athlete, an inquisitive scholar, a celebrity, a father, an African American and a Muslim. In his columns for Time, the Washington Post and other national publications, he has garnered wide attention for opinions that are unconventional yet disarmingly rational in a time of political absurdity. In this new collection of essays, he probes the roots of bias and unfairness that remain a stubborn part of America, even 240 years after its founding document declared that all Americans are created equal. He makes a compelling case for how America can create equal opportunity for all its citizens, not just the few and the favored.  Summary provided by the publisher
Catalog Link – Writings on the Wall
HN90.S6 A23 2016


The Almost Sisters
by Joshilyn Jackson
The Almost Sisters book cover
With empathy, grace, humor, and piercing insight, the author of Gods in Alabama pens a powerful, emotionally resonant novel of the South that confronts the truth about privilege, family, and the distinctions between perception and reality–the stories we tell ourselves about our origins and who we really are. Superheroes have always been Leia Birch Briggs’ weakness. One tequila-soaked night at a comics convention, the usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman. It turns out the caped crusader has left her with more than just a nice, fuzzy memory. She’s having a baby boy–an unexpected but not unhappy development in the thirty-eight year-old’s life. But before Leia can break the news of her impending single-motherhood (including the fact that her baby is biracial) to her conventional, Southern family, her step-sister Rachel’s marriage implodes. Worse, she learns her beloved ninety-year-old grandmother, Birchie, is losing her mind, and she’s been hiding her dementia with the help of Wattie, her best friend since girlhood. Leia returns to Alabama to put her grandmother’s affairs in order, clean out the big Victorian that has been in the Birch family for generations, and tell her family that she’s pregnant. Yet just when Leia thinks she’s got it all under control, she learns that illness is not the only thing Birchie’s been hiding. Tucked in the attic is a dangerous secret with roots that reach all the way back to the Civil War. Its exposure threatens the family’s freedom and future, and it will change everything about how Leia sees herself and her sister, her son and his missing father, and the world she thinks she knows.  Summary provided by publisher
Catalog Link – The Almost Sisters
PS3610.A3525 A78 2017


Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry book coverWhat is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? Today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day. While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.  Summary provided by publisher
Catalog Link – Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
QB461 .T97 2017