With MLWGS’s legacy of offering courses like Richmond History and Richmond architecture, the MW Library maintains a small but unique collection of books related to local and Virginia history. You’ll find some of these books on the reserve shelf near the library’s clock (pictured below). The rest are in the rare book cabinet. Search the online catalog for books. If they’re in the rare book cabinet, see Ms. DeGroat.
Explore many paths to potential sites. Like Coach Hall’s recent decodeRVA exhibit, the goal is to deepen your understanding of Richmond’s complex history and identity. Remember, the sites can be buildings, but they might also be streets, street corners, intersections, etc. Instead of well-known landmarks, you could select…
- A site connected with a group of people’s history, such as one in Jackson Ward or the Jewish neighborhood that former MLWGS teacher Mr. Slipek wrote about for Style Weekly last year
- A site related to a historic event, like a particular location impacted by a natural disaster, protest, celebration, or even the 1918 influenza epidemic
- A site associated with an industry, business, or technology that intrigues you (e.g. coal, railroads, canal locks, factories, or a retro sign on a building that makes you wonder about what businesses were once housed there). What about one related to food? music?
- A site that illustrates demographic shifts – or change created by road-building or new development – or maybe a formerly abandoned or rundown site that’s been creatively repurposed recently
- A site connected with a particular story, like the MCV location and related story that inspired a documentary film that Mr. Raviotta edited
For relevant historical newspapers and digital archives, see the Historic Newspapers and Richmond History sections of the MW Library’s American History guide (scroll down to middle-right of page). Also, JSTOR includes backfiles of The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography from 1893-2010 (login required).
Finally, here’s a challenge. Solve it and you get a free book. What is the last name of the architect who designed a building less than four miles from MLWGS that has been hailed as a Modernist wonder AND criticized as one of the ten ugliest buildings in the world?