In Support of Wild Lands

This month, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, which allows land to be designated as “where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” The George Washington & Jefferson National Forests that provide so much outdoor pleasure in the Roanoke region encompass 23 Wilderness areas.
At a recent Sierra Club Roanoke Chapter meeting, Rupert Cutler, a Roanoke resident since 1991 and former assistant U.S. secretary of agriculture for Sandconservation, research, and education in the President Jimmy Carter administration, reviewed the history of wilderness efforts and introduced some of the stewards of the past and their publications. Among the books he recommended were:
Discovering America, 1700-1875” by Henry Savage
The Enduring Wilderness: Protecting Our Natural Heritage through the Wilderness Act” by Doug Scott
And, “A Sand County Almanac” by Aldo Leopold, which is available in Brown Library’s substantial collection of nature books. Leopold was one of the founders of the The Wilderness Society.
Also, who could forget the amazing photos of Ansel Adams such as those in “Yosemite and the Range of Light,” which is among five Adams books in the Brown Library collection.
To learn more about the history of the Wilderness effort, view the videos at the Bureau of Land Management  and find the designated Wilderness areas in the Roanoke region.

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Comfortable History

Brown Library has a terrific Virginia collection that includes some very old books along with newer publications. One of the more fascinating ones is “Virginia: A Guide to the Old Dominion,” a tourism guide done by the Virginia Writers’ Project.
The guide, part of the American Guide Series published by Oxford University Press, came out in 1940 and had F.B. Kegley of Southwest Virginia on its advisory board. The preface, written by Eudora Ramsay Richardson, State Supervisor, offers this:
“We welcome the traveler to our shrines, and we shall always share with him our spoonbread, Smithfield ham, Brunswick stew, peanuts and tobacco if he will but listen to the tales we like to tell of our worthy ancestors..”
Except for tobacco, those offerings still are part of the state’s attraction. The book includes many photos of scenes no longer available, such as one of salt being pumped from underground in Saltville. The photo was taken by W. Lincoln Highton, who served as the chief still photographer for the U.S. Information Service in the late 1930s.
The book was reprinted in 1941, 1946 and 1947 and reissued by the Library of Virginia in 1992.
The Virginia collection stands in front of comfortable seating on the top floor of Brown Library Building, a good place to hang out.

Pumping salt in Saltville

Pumping salt in Saltville

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Need an image?

Screenshot of the Internet Archive Book Images Flickr page

Screenshot of the Internet Archive Book Images Flickr page

Whether you are completing an assignment, developing a web page, or making marketing materials for your company, you have probably needed an image at some point in your life. Images can be tricky. It can be hard to find exactly what you want. Then there are copyright and attribution laws and rules to consider. And you found the *perfect* image in a print book, but really need it in a digital format. Sigh.

Enter Kalev Leetaru. He “is creating a searchable database of 12 million historical copyright-free images” using Flickr. Of course, this won’t address all of your image needs since these are historical in nature. But bookmark the Internet Archive Book Images Flickr page, because it might come in handy eventually.

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Welcome Back Students! End of Monkey Selfie Drama.

Macaca_nigra_self-portrait_(rotated_and_cropped)

image courtesy Wikimedia

We are so glad to see all of you back on campus and are especially happy to see old faces and new ones on the 2nd floor. In case you missed it, in 2011, a Macaques monkey in Indonesia took a picture of itself when photographer David Slater left his equipment out. A dispute quickly broke out over who owned the rights to the funny photograph and the money it would generate. Wikimedia argued that photographs taken by animals cannot be copyrighted and published it online. The government weighed in on the side of Wikimedia. So here is the controversial monkey selfie, an image that is in the public domain. Read more at The Guardian (UK).

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Resource About Depression for College Students

depression-for blog

image courtesy PublicDomainPictures

The library staff was saddened to hear of the death of comedian and actor Robin Williams. He lost his battle with depression this week, apparently committing suicide in his home. As others have said, it is almost inconceivable that someone who brought so much laughter and joy into the world could struggle with depression. My first memory of Robin Williams was watching a skit on the Carol Burnett show called “The Funeral.” Williams and Burnett did the skit twice, the first time, according to the script, the second time, Burnett gave Williams free reign to ad lib as he pleased. You can find it on YouTube.

Depression is major problem for many college students; college is the first time many adults experience depression. The National Institutes of Mental Health has an excellent resource about depression for college students here.

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