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West Virginia & Regional History Center debuts new archives research website

A woman uses the West Virginia & Regional History Center facilities to learn more about the Mountain State.
A woman uses the West Virginia & Regional History Center facilities to learn more about the Mountain State.
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The West Virginia & Regional History Center at West Virginia University Libraries has launched a powerful new tool to assist researchers anywhere in the world who have an interest in exploring the history of the Mountain State and its region.

The Center’s new Guide to Archives and Manuscripts provides enhanced descriptions for more than 4,300 archival collections, and that number grows every week. The new site is available at https://archives.lib.wvu.edu/

The state’s leading historical archives repository, the Center holds primary information resources in all formats documenting every aspect of West Virginia culture and history. Included are the papers of politicians, authors, business leaders, artists, musicians, coal miners and people of all walks of life. The Center also holds the most extensive family and community history resources in the state. 

The new website contains descriptive guides that outline the contents of each collection and identify the person, family, or organization that created the collection.

“The enhanced ability for researchers to refine their searching with subjects, names, and dates will improve the effectiveness of their searching, and perhaps lead to the discovery of additional research material that may otherwise have been overlooked,” manuscripts curator Michael Ridderbusch said.

The website is built with ArchivesSpace, an open source, web-based archives information management system supported by a community of over 300 member institutions and the LYRASIS network of museums, archives and libraries. WVU Libraries has been a member of the ArchivesSpace community since 2015.

Each year, the Center receives over 2,500 visits from researchers who travel from around the state, nation and globe to use the collections. Research grants are available to help defray expenses of scholars traveling long distances to conduct research. 

The Center hopes the new site will make it easier for users to discover what is available in the collections and locate what might be of interest when beginning their research. Users are invited to contact the Center with questions about the new website and about using archives and manuscripts collections.

-WVU-

mm/03/12/18

CONTACT:  Lori Hostuttler
Assistant Director, West Virginia & Regional History Center
304.293.1116; lohostuttler@mail.wvu.edu

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