Special Collections and Scholarly Communications

With increased responsibilities and important staff losses in both SCP Special Collections, staff resources were stretched to the limit. Less was accomplished than we had planned as our time was often fragmented and tasks begun could not be completed. However, the Scholarly Communications Project and the Special Collections Department staff accomplished a tremendous amount, expanding access to online library resources and providing excellent library services to local and remote clientele.

Dorothy Bodell resigned, leaving the experienced Special Collections staff to assume her reference and access services responsibilities. Her knowledge of local history and genealogical resources was so unique, and her salary quite expensive, so she was not replaced. Instead, additional students were hired to assist with manuscript and archival collection processing, freeing trained staff time for reference services. For the first time Liz Ackermann assumed regular reference desk duties, drawing upon her experience with the collections, but diminishing the time she could spend on other tasks, most notably the Billings Collection inventory. She also supervised a welcome cadre of Chi Delta Alpha service sorority volunteers who worked over 325 hours and contributed immensely to a variety of projects.

Laura Katz Smith did a tremendous job of handling the most bloom that developed in the Rare Book Room when the cooling system malfunctioned in the heat of the summer. She also contributed to the Internet a wealth of information about the unique manuscript collections held within the department. Tamara Kennelly's diligence in archival collecting and Web access (particularly the Lyric Theatre and the Math Department History) greatly improved the presence s well as the content of the University on the Web. Eric Ackermann attempted to create and maintain a user database but was thwarted by PC hardware failure and learning the Macintosh replacement system. Joyce Nester co-presented a session on job rotation and cross training at the VLA Paraprofessional Forum that was attended by nearly 200, and she contributed to planning the very successful "Charting Our Course" staff development day for University Libraries.

The SCP's half-time grade six position (shared with Science Reference) was vacated in March and the two halves were joined into one full time position for the SCP. Peter Haggerty accepted the position, but stayed only six months before successfully applying for a grade 10 in Library Automation. He continues to support the SCP, especially the ETDs, Spectrum, and VA News. Many of his programming initiatives immensely improved access, especially VA News and ETDs.

James Powell continued to split his time between Library Automation and the Scholarly Communications Project, enthusiastically devoting his energy and creativity to experiments in electronic scholarship that evolves into popular new library services. He made outstanding contributions to the Project digital initiatives with his ideas for improving library services to students and faculty as well as to our remote clientele. His book, HTML Plus! went to press this fiscal year.

Gail McMillan continued to split her time between the Scholarly Communications Project and the Special Collections Department. Much of her time was devoted to the ETD project, participating in SURA grant funded travel and training, contributing to the successful FIPSE grant, and drafting technical services processes. (The latter included an article published in Cataloging and Classification Quarterly.) She also taught over 600 faculty about VT Online Class Materials and prepared detailed instructions for faculty and students (both online and in paper). She served as a liaison to faculty interested in the SCP's resources and services, especially online class materials and ejournals/, and she was on call to give virtual tours of the University Libraries digital initiatives.


by the Staff of the
Special Collections Department and the Scholarly Communications Project


Tamara Kennelly

"Collaboration Result in Lyric Exhibition," in Library Friends, Blacksburg, VA: University Libraries, Virginia Tech, winter 1996 (1:3)p. 6.

"High-Tech Preservation: Webbing the Past Future," in Library Friends, Blacksburg, VA: University Libraries, Virginia Tech, autumn 1995 (1:2)p. 6-7.

"Personalizing Membership Appeals: Key Contact Program," in Archival Outlook, July 1996:12

"Restoring the Cracked Mirror," in Northeast Document Center News, v. 6, no. 2 (winter 1966):1-2 (abridged version of the article that appeared in Virginia Librarian, winter 1995)


Gail McMillan

"A New Service from Libraries: Electronic Publishing" in Continuity & Transformation: The Promise of Confluence, Proceedings of the 7th National Conference of the Association of College and Research Libraries, Chicago: ACRL, 1995, p. 257-266 (based on a paper presented May 30, 1995, Pittsburgh)

"Scholarly Communications Project: Publishers and Libraries," in Filling the Pipeline and Paying the Piper: Scholarly Publishing on the Electronic Networks, Washington, DC: ARL, 1995; p. 135-145 (based on a paper presented at the 4th symposium of the ARL/AAUP, Nov. 6, 1994, Washington, DC)

"Electronic Theses and Dissertations: Merging Perspectives" in Cataloging and Classification Quarterly, vol. 22, no. 3/4, 1966   Nov. 1995 online draft

ETDs: Library Issues and Responsibilities (slide show)

Copyright: Is It Fair Use or Is It Criminal Use? (slide show)


James Powell

ORG 1.0 User Guide (Oracle Gateway)

Documentation for ORG 1.0, July 11, 1995, updated June 26, 1996

Introduction to HTML

1996 ed.; currently being revised to incorporate HTML 3.2

HTML Plus! (written and accepted for publication this fiscal year)

418 pages; Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1997

"ORG: Oracle Gateway," chapter in Developing CGI Applications with Perl, with John Lewis

John Wiley, pub.

Survey of Four Meta-data Candidates

VPIEJ-L: moderator of electronic journal publishing listserv with 1038 current subscribers


Laura Katz Smith

"Preserving Your Important Memorabilia," in Library Friends, Blacksburg, VA: University Libraries, Virginia Tech, spring 1996 (1:4), p. 6.

Preserving Your Important Papers, in Library Friends, Blacksburg, VA: University Libraries, Virginia Tech, winter 1996 (1:3), p. 4.



"Virginia Tech Digital Library," a tactical plan for Information Systems
drafted by Ed Fox, Gail McMillan, convenor, Susan Olivier, James Powell

"Digital Images or the VT Digital Library," a tactical plan for Information Systems
drafted by Annette Burr, Gail McMillan, convenor, Gary Worley

"The University Libraries, Virginia Tech," Don Kenney and Gail McMillan for VTLS Express: 10th Anniversary Issue, Blacksburg, VA: VTLS, 1995; p. 9.

Capital Campaign Exhibition at Hotel Roanoke (Kennelly, Special Collections and University Relations), Sept. 14-17, 1995

Celebration of 75 years of Women at Virginia Tech (Kennelly, Special Collections and University Relations)

75 Years of Agricultural Engineering (Nester, Special Collections, and Agricultural Engineering)

Annual Report: Table of Contents