News and Events at Boatwright Library
Collaborations at UR and Beyond
One of the Boatwright Memorial Library’s core values is supporting and embracing collaboration across campus and beyond. Digital projects library staff have been collaborating with the production crew of the Post Soviet Russian Resettlement Documentary Project (PSRDP) and upcoming film, Draw Back the Curtain, and supporting Professors Laura Browder and Elizabeth Schlatter with their cross-listed American Studies and Museum Studies course, Exhibiting Russian Jewish History in Richmond, Virginia.
Library staff and student employees have been digitizing documents, published materials, and photos from Jewish Family Services, Beth Ahaba Museum and Archives, and from individuals and families who immigrated to Richmond. Along with providing high-resolution images for use in the film and exhibits, digital projects staff members have provided guidance and support with efforts to collect, record and organize metadata. It has been both inspiring and gratifying to work on such an important project; one that has united University of Richmond alumni/alumnae, students, faculty, staff and members of the greater Richmond community in an effort to illuminate a lesser known aspect of our own local history.
The project will culminate in museum exhibitions and a full-length documentary film. For a preview, please register for the upcoming In Common program, co-sponsored by Boatwright Memorial Library and the Center for Civic Engagement: Vodka, Matzah, and Grits. For more information about the project, check out the PSRDP's Facebook and Twitter Feed.
Ghosts, Mesmerism, and DickensFrom an early age, Charles Dickens was fascinated by all things paranormal. He pored over tales of the phantoms, murder, and cannibalism. Later, he belonged to London’s famous Ghost Club that investigates ghosts and hauntings to this day. (Arthur Conan Doyle was a member, too.) Dickens was also a believer in the benefits of mesmerism, a fairly new and controversial therapy that he practiced on family and friends to some success.
What does this have to do with Boatwright Library? Well, in our Galvin Rare Book Room we have a book purchased from Dickens’ personal library--a two volume set of the Memoirs of Robert Houdin (Rare Book Room GV1545.R47 A4 1859a, v. 1 & 2), a French magician of great importance. If the label in the front saying, “From the Library of Charles Dickens,” isn’t enough, on page 1 of volume one, in very girlish penmanship is written “Katey Dickens”, his youngest surviving daughter’s signature.
Need more? We have original serialized copies of David Copperfield, as well as, Little Dorritt, Bleak House, and others, complete with illustrations. We also have two collections of sketches and illustrations of Dickens’ work by George Cruickshank and Thomas Sibson.
So, drop by the Galvin Rare Book Room and have a Dickens of a time! Exhibits on Dickens materials will also be available on the first floor of Boatwright during November.
-Betty Dickie, Special Collections Cataloging and Preservation Associate