The library provides access to the full e-book catalog of the publisher Wiley, known primarily as a science publisher but which has a large number of social science and humanities titles in its catalog.
The Wiley e-Book Collection, part of the Wiley Online Library which includes all of Wiley’s publications, consists of over 20,000 book volumes. Not included in this collection are the very expensive reference sets or specialized series that Wiley produces. In order to determine if a book is available to R-MC users, browse the title lists or do a search and all accessible volumes will be clearly marked with an unlocked lock and the phrase Full Access
Subjects range from Civil Engineering to Archaeology to Accounting to Philosophy, and all books are available to all users at all times. Books can be downloaded in PDF in their entirety or chapter by chapter. Any book may be used for course textbooks or readings in addition to individual research. Check out this valuable collection, although you don’t have to check the books out to use them!
One of the many notable collections in the Flavia Reed Owen Special Collections and Archives is the Methodist Collection, the historic archive of the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church. Music has always been important part of Methodist church services, and the collection includes numerous hymnals.
This rare 1820 hymnal (only 4 known copies in libraries) was owned by Gabriel Poillon Disosway, a native New Yorker who became perhaps the strongest proponent for a college to be established by the Virginia Conference, ultimately leading to Randolph-Macon College in 1830. Disosway graduated from Columbia University in 1819 and came to Petersburg, where he was a great friend of Rev. Hezekiah Leigh and it has been hypothesized that Disosway is the one who most strongly influenced Leigh into pushing for a Methodist college in Virginia. Disosway was appointed to the committee formed in 1825 that looked at founding a college, although he left Virginia to return to New York in 1828 before the college became a reality. His original signature can be seen in the upper right hand corner of this title page, while the penciled name to the left of it was added later by someone else. It is unknown whether he left the hymnal behind when he went back to New York, gave it to a friend, or passed it on later to someone in Virginia.
Another rare hymnal in the collection, also with only 4 known copies in libraries, is this 1825 volume collected by Rev. Lewis Skidmore, of “…the latest social and camp-meeting hymns….” Camp meetings were evangelical religious gatherings held outdoors that were of particular importance in the spread of Methodism in the nineteenth century, and music played a big role at these revival meetings.
This database from the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) is a collaborative effort produced by a group of more than 120 archives in over 65 countries that collect, restore, and exhibit films and cinema documentation spanning the entire history of film.
The FIAF International Index to Film Periodicals is essential for doing research in film studies. The index contains over 500,000 article citations from more than 345 periodicals, including both academic and popular film journals, with approximately 50 in full text. Each entry consists of a full bibliographic description, an abstract and comprehensive headings (biographical names, film titles and general subjects). Also included in this database is The Treasures from the Film Archives dataset, a database containing information about the silent-era film holdings of many film archives from around the world. The database also contains the full text of several important film reference works such as the Oxford History of World Cinema and Film Analysis: A Norton Reader. Additionally, the FIAF Affiliates’ Publications component indexes the books, pamphlets, programmes, and other materials published by FIAF.
Social Explorer is an exciting new database that allows easy creation of maps and tables using a variety of data sources. Social Explorer includes social, demographic, economic, environmental, and health data covering a wide range of time periods, which vary by data source. The data comes from both public groups, such as government agencies and international organizations, and from private organizations, and is updated regularly as new information is released. Much of the data is for the United States, but there is also international data from the European Union, the World Bank, and others. Unlike most of the statistical and data sources to which we have access, this database’s strength is its mapping function, which allows you to easily create a visualization of the data rather than just viewing the data in tables, although it does that as well.
Maps can be created at larger geographic points such as nations and states, or at small points such as census tracts and zip codes, with several selections in between. You can create multiple maps for side-by side comparison; for example, to illustrate changes over time for a single variable or compare a difference in geographic locations.
By setting up an account and logging in, you can save maps, develop presentations, create reports from the data, and customize the displays.
You can customize the maps in many ways, including changing the colors to preset selections or selecting your own custom colors, turning various display options on and off, displaying a map using satellite imagery, annotating the maps with your own labels, and even uploading your own data to create or alter maps.
The “Tell a Story” option allows you to put together a series of map or data slides and export the content to PowerPoint for easy use in presentations or on posters.
This database currently has a limit of 3 simultaneous Randolph-Macon users, so if you can’t get in to use it, try it again later!
Since its earliest days in Boydton, the College has published a catalog outlining the course of study, listing the faculty, and including a wide range of information that has changed over the years. The oldest original in the College Archives is from October 1839, although we have a photocopy of the 1836 catalog held at an archive elsewhere. The catalogs provide us an excellent overview of the changes in the curriculum over time, as well as a glimpse into student life.
The 1839 catalog is only 14 pages, compared to contemporary R-MC catalogs of over 200 pages. Included is a full list of the College’s trustees, faculty, alumni, and enrolled students. The student listing even indicates the dormitory room in which they lived! There is also a listing of the students in the College’s Preparatory Department, the course of study for the Preparatory Department and for each term of college level study, information on the school calendar, expenses, and other general information, such as a statement on the final page that the “College discipline is mild and parental, but it will not tolerate indolence or vice” and that “no idle, disorderly, or immoral student can be permitted to remain….”
The catalog page displayed above shows the rigor of the curriculum and the emphasis on a classical education. Freshman read Virgil, Cicero, and Livy, and studied mathematics and geography. The right hand column indicates the author or editor of the text used, so in addition to knowing the content of the course, we know the textbooks students used and we even have several student textbooks from this era in our collection! Upperclassmen studied subjects including astronomy, chemistry, calculus, logic, political economy, mineralogy, and more classical studies.
In addition to the President, Landon C. Garland who taught Pure and Mixed Mathematics, there were seven other faculty members, although the position of Professor of Moral and Mental Philosophy, which translates today into Religious Studies, was vacant. There were professors for Ancient Languages, English Literature, and Experimental Sciences as well as “tutors” in Mathematics and languages. The tutors were instructors rather than the modern definition of tutors. The final faculty member was the principal of the preparatory school.
Tuition was $35 for the entire year, and board was set at $8 per month. Other student expenses included firewood, lights, bedding and laundry, and a category labeled “incidental expenses” at $15 which included textbooks and purchasing furniture for their dorm rooms, as the College did not provide furniture. The catalog also cautions parents against providing too much pocket money, deeming it potentially hurtful!
Three important items that give a snapshot of the physical layout of the College during the Depression are the 1932, 1938, and 1941 fire insurance surveys. As many local historians know, fire and property insurance records often provide details and information about communities and structures that are not easily located in other resources, and this is true of the R-MC insurance documents.
In addition to the value of each structure, the descriptions and details on the buildings include information that varies with each structure: the type of construction and materials used; the function of the building and in some cases, changes since the last insurance assessment; building layout and room use; the physical condition of the building; the building’s location; and who occupied the structure.
While the 1932 insurance inventory is brief and primarily lists buildings, values, and points out safety problems that should be resolved (don’t store cleaning supplies under wooden staircases!), the 1938 and 1941 inventories include much more information as well as photographs, which in some cases are the only visual representations we have of some structures such as storage buildings, garages, and yes, the corn crib, stables, and chicken houses!
The 1938 inventory indicates that the building designated as Cottage #7 “…was formerly a dormitory and lunch room but is now not used except one room on first floor which is occupied by one of the students who sells ice cream to other students on the campus.” Also, one of the garages since the 1932 inventory “…has been enlarged to accommodate a school bus….” The Gymnasium Building (Crenshaw) was used “solely as a Gymnasium, except for occasional school dances.” Washington-Franklin Hall, now home to the History Department, was the Administrative Building. The Washington Room and the Franklin Room on the first floor were used by the College’s two literary societies while the second floor housed all of the administrative offices, the college book store, and the Y.M.C.A. rooms. The Y.M.C.A., the Young Men’s Christian Association, was one of the largest student organizations.
One of the fun things to notice in the insurance photos is the cars parked right by the buildings. During that time period, students and faculty just drove up to the buildings and parked, whether there were drives and parking areas or not. There were so few cars on campus that parking was very convenient!
These inventories provide a great overview of the campus and add to our understanding of how it has evolved over time.
Sabin Americana, 1500-1926 is a full text primary source archive covering the Americas from the colonial era through the early twentieth century includes over 13 million pages from more than 65,000 works published over a period of 4 centuries. Sources include pamphlets, books, magazines and newspapers, sermons, political tracts, speeches, broadsides, legislation, maps, literary works and more. Materials can be used to explore politics, culture, religious beliefs, events, social attitudes, and other aspects of life in the Americas.
Some sample topics that can be researched include the history of European settlement in the Americas; government policy towards Native Americans; the changes in women’s social status and rights over time; changing perspectives on immigration and different groups of immigrants; colonization and slavery; and virtually any other topic. The database is particularly strong in its interdisciplinary coverage and all documents are full text searchable. Items have been digitized from the collections of several libraries and archives in addition to private collections, giving users access to an extraordinary amount of research in one place.
TheIndigenous Peoples: North America database is a primary source archive of documents, manuscripts, photographs, films, and books and journals on the native peoples of the United States and Canada. Included are travel narratives, treaties, business records, biographical and autobiographical works, and much more. Materials in the database have been reproduced from the originals held at our National Archives, several university and college libraries, archives for organizations and associations, and from private collections. Users can search for items, browse by type of material, or skim through distinct collections.
For those familiar with the infamous Trail of Tears, when the Cherokee were forced from several southeastern states to the territory that is present-day Oklahoma, the archive includes a collection “Correspondence of the Eastern Division Pertaining to Cherokee Removal, April-December 1838,” that illuminates federal government policy and actions.
Another collection, “FBI File on Osage Indian Murders,” includes many of the documents used by author David Grann when researching his acclaimed book Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, a finalist in non-fiction for the 2017 National Book Award and available for check-out in the popular reading section of the Library.
The archives for the Association on American Indian Affairs, an important advocacy group for Native American rights during the 20th century are contained in the “The Association on American Indian Archives: Publications, Programs, and Legal and Organizational Files, 1851-1983” collection.
If you are researching a company for a class project or as a potential employer when job hunting, the source to use is Mergent Online. This database contains information about companies, industries and products, and includes current information on over 14,000 public companies in the U.S. and over 27,000 non-U.S. companies as well as having a module focused on private companies that includes listings of over 34 million companies.
For the public companies, Mergent Online includes company highlights, stock and shareholder information, annual reports, equity price reports, earnings estimates, insider and institutional holdings, executive biographies and equity research reports and much more. In addition to exploring basic information about companies, researchers can link companies with their brands, suppliers, competitors and examine financial performance measures across product and industry sectors. There are numerous investment reports, and users can create customized reports and analyses of multiple companies or across industries.
The private company data is less extensive, but can be particularly useful in determining what types of companies are located in certain regions and includes addresses, executives, sales information, and a brief description of its operations and activities. This can be a great tool for targeting potential future employers!
2018 marks the 150th anniversary of Randolph-Macon College’s presence in Ashland, a happy occasion. On a sad note, 2018 also marks the end of the publication of the local newspaper, the Herald-Progress, which documented important community and college news. Throughout its history, R-MC students and alumni have edited or worked on the newspaper and this archive continues that close link between Town and Gown. Throughout its history, the paper has covered R-MC events, activities, and people, and is a valuable source for researchers on the College’s role in the community.
In the spring of 2008, the McGraw-Page Library acquired the historic photograph collection of the Herald-Progress, a newspaper that had been locally owned and published until 2004, when the paper was purchased by an out-of-state publishing conglomerate. The newspaper’s local offices were moved to smaller quarters, and with space pressures in the office, the historic photograph collection was in danger of being thrown away. The newspaper’s editor provided an estimate of about 10,000 items, a number that would prove later to be underestimated by over 30,000. After the collection had been processed, the final tally was over 40,000 items including 23,000 photographs, 2000 negatives, and 8000 pieces of text, as well as other materials.
Although the majority of the collection is photographs and negatives, there are also copies of the Herald-Progress and other newspapers, periodicals and magazines, several unpublished manuscripts by local historians, maps, blueprints, cartoons, letters, political campaign artifacts, and one glass plate negative, nicknamed “Miss Klunk” based on the noise made when she dropped out of an envelope during processing. The earliest identified date for an item is 1810, and the latest photographic prints date to 1999.
Materials in the Herald-Progress Collection can be viewed by making an appointment with library staff. Learn more about our Special Collections and Archives on the new library website.