Here's a new way to support Virginia Commonwealth University and VCU Libraries: Vote in Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts campaign. This public awareness campaign is designed to show the importance of preserving artifacts in care at collecting institutions such as museums, libraries and archives.
"It is important to save and preserve these artifacts and other items that comprise our material culture because they hold much symbolic, research and educational value," says Jodi L. Koste, archivist at Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences.
VCU Libraries has nominated two artifacts in need of preservation that tell significant stories about its special collections. They are:
- Matriculation Book of the Medical College of Virginia, 1838-1871. In this book all the names of students were recorded along with the student's address, preceptor and previous schools attended. Student entries are annotated when the individual graduated. The book is of high value for the information it provides on early students. It is also an interesting artifact because it includes the signatures of several Union soldiers who left their "mark" in the book during the occupation of the college's building after the Civil War.
- The office door of pioneering cartoonist Billy DeBeck featuring an oil painting of Barney Google
and his equine sidekick. William Morgan DeBeck, 1890-1942, was a giant
in the "comic strip" art form. To readers in the Jazz Age and Depression
era, his characters were as beloved as Superman, Peanuts and Doonesbury
became to later generations. Dialog from Barney Google became part of
the cultural syntax. Catchphrases from his strips included:
"Horsefeathers!" "Heebie-jeebies;" "Jeepers Creepers!" "Bus' Mah
Britches!" and "Time's a'wastin'!" DeBeck invented the moniker "Google"
for his character.
These two artifacts are examples of
the content of VCU Libraries' special collections. Tompkins-McCaw
Library for the Health Sciences houses archives, artifacts, books,
manuscripts, photographs, portraits and prints related to the history of
health care in Virginia. The archives for the Medical College of
Virginia campus are also located in the library on the MCV Campus. On
the Monroe Park campus, James Branch Cabell Library is home to
significant collections in comic and graphic arts, artist's books,
modern Richmond history and culture, oral histories, literary
manuscripts, and documentation of Central Virginia minority and activist
To vote: www.vatop10artifacts.org/p/how-do-i-vote.html Voting
is online and there are two ways to vote. One is to go to the photo
album, create a free account in the Picasa platform, and "like" your
favorite artifact. Or, you may prefer to choose from a drop-down box in a
Google spreadsheet. Links to both voting methods.
If you have difficulty voting, send your choice by email to email@example.com Use Internet Explorer.
Voting ends Sept. 20. Public voting will be considered by an independent panel of collections and conservation experts who will select the final Top 10. That list will be announced in November.
Follow on Twitter: #vatop10
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Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts is a program of the Virginia Collections Initiative, which is a project of the Virginia Association of Museums, made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. The IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.