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Entries Tagged as 'Inside the Encyclopedia'

Coaxing Stories from the Shadows

June 12th, 2014 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

In his lovely book Bloody Promenade: Reflections on a Civil War Battle (1999), Stephen Cushman writes about acoustic shadows, a phenomenon in which people sometimes could hear battles from far away but not from up close. His research on the Battle of the Wilderness, which occurred 150 years ago in May, produced such a pocket […]

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia · Virginia History

New Words for an Old Story

April 22nd, 2014 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

In 1953, two Jesuit scholars, Clifford M. Lewis and Albert J. Loomie, published The Spanish Jesuit Mission in Virginia 1570–1572. The book is a collection of primary documents that tells the tale of Paquiquineo, one of the most fascinating figures in all of Virginia history. He was a Virginia Indian who was picked up (kidnapped?) […]

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia · Virginia History

Guest Post: Help Unearth the Secrets of Mary Richards Bowser

February 27th, 2014 by Caitlin Newman · 2 Comments

We’ve just published our entry on Mary Richards Bowser. Born into slavery, Bowser played an important role in the pro-Union spy ring that Elizabeth Van Lew ran in Richmond during the American Civil War. Lois Leveen, the author of the entry, has unearthed a tremendous amount of new information on Bowser—but it is likely that more documents related to Mary Richards Bowser […]

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia · News & Updates · Spotlight · Virginia History

Introducing Our New Mapping Tool

February 27th, 2013 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

A guest post by Peter Hedlund, Encyclopedia Virginia Programmer One of the goals at Encyclopedia Virginia is to create intuitive and interesting ways for users to find content on our site. With this end in mind, we redesigned our site last summer. But one aspect of the original site persisted: the Explore Virginia map. Still, we found […]

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia · Maps · News & Updates · Technology

Feedback: No, I Don’t Like!

November 1st, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · 1 Comment

A Facebook “friend” of Encyclopedia Virginia left the following comment on a post linking to yesterday’s blog item featuring father-daughter collaborative drawings of all the United States presidents (like the one above of Woodrow Wilson): No, I don’t like and I am still trying to figure out the relevance of this posting. Who there continues […]

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Tags: Feedback · Inside the Encyclopedia

Sally Hemings, Again

October 5th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · 3 Comments

We’re at work on our entry about Sally Hemings [see update below], and I’m pretty sure that no piece of writing in the encyclopedia has ever been so fussed over as this one. Although we received a wonderful entry from our contributor, it went through a rigorous editing process and now we’ve sent it to […]

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia · Virginia History

Up the Road a Piece

September 20th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

It’s worth pausing to take note of a few things we’re working on here at the encyclopedia: We’ll be launching a complete redesign of the site, perhaps as early as tomorrow. This has been in the works for more than a year, and a big thank you to the folks at NewCity in Blacksburg for […]

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia · Thomas Jefferson

Rouse the Shire-folk!

July 13th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

Above is a screenshot of a very cool, interactive, digital map of Middle Earth based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series of novels. You can find an interactive map/time line here. Here at the encyclopedia, we’re always looking for forward-thinking, intuitive ways of presenting information, and this is something we love! […]

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia · Technology

Spotlight: Indentured Servants

June 28th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

Our entry on indentured servants in colonial Virginia has been published for awhile, but I wanted to spotlight it now because a) it’s a really good entry, I think; and b) it’s just plain full up with links to primary sources. It’s been at least a year, maybe two, since we came up with the idea […]

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Tags: Documents · Inside the Encyclopedia · Spotlight

The Native Powhatan Massacree with Full Orchestration and Five-Part Harmony

June 1st, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · 1 Comment

Yesterday’s post on an epic article in the Washington Post about the “sorry fate” of Carter’s Grove, the old James River plantation built in 1750, contained this paragraph: Before the house, the land was the site of Martin’s Hundred plantation and Wolstenholme Towne, an ill-fated English settlement founded in 1620, just a few years after […]

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia · Virginia History

We Made the Society Pages!

May 24th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

Encyclopedia Virginia‘s programmer Peter Hedlund (left) and editor Matthew Gibson (right) at a fund-raising event for the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities on May 20, 2012, in northern Virginia. (Kyle Samperton, Washington Life Magazine)

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia

Stare Down; or, Was Antietam a Draw and Was George McClellan Really in Charge?

May 18th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

We are at work editing our entry on the Maryland Campaign, which culminated in the titanic Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862. Perhaps strangely, we didn’t include this on our original list of Civil War entries—it didn’t happen in Virginia, after all. The comparatively minor Battle of Shepherdstown, which ended the campaign, did, so we […]

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia · Virginia History

Quote of the Day

May 2nd, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

From yesterday morning’s Washington Post: As classrooms become better equipped with interactive white boards and other gadgets, more teachers are looking for digital content and adopting an assumption that prevails in much of the World Wide Web: That content should be free. “Now that expectation has entered the American classroom,” said Jay Diskey, executive director […]

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia · Quote of the Day · Technology · Textbooks

RIP: Facts

April 20th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

According to the Chicago Tribune, Facts—born in 360 BC to the ancient Greeks and raised, over the millennia, by various schools of epistemology—is dead at the age of 2,372. It was the victim of the twenty-four-hour news cycle, blogs, and the Internet. It was only recently, in the age of scientific advances and the H-bomb, that […]

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia · Textbooks · Virginia History

ChronoZoom to the Rescue!

March 27th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

From Robert Wright: While a student at UC Berkeley, Roland Saekow had the idea for a tool that would help people visualize history—all the way from the big bang to yesterday—and zoom in on whatever parts interest them. Called ChronoZoom, it’s kind of like Google Maps for the fourth dimension, and it will get richer […]

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia · Technology · Textbooks

New Partnership Means Mo’ Better History

January 27th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

Yesterday the encyclopedia staff road-tripped it to Richmond, where we gathered with our friends at the Library of Virginia to inaugurate a new era for Encyclopedia Virginia and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. We are now officially partners with the Library in this ambitious encyclopedia project of ours and, in particular, have become the […]

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia · News & Updates

On Our (Awfully) Peculiar Institution

May 18th, 2011 by Brendan Wolfe · 1 Comment

The idea of this post is juxtaposition. (It’s also about burying the lede, so please read the whole thing!) First, there’s the image above, from 1863, of a former slave who enlisted in the United States Army. (No black Confederate, this guy. Go figure.) And then there’s this, from The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, Tennessee: […]

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia · Virginia History

Where’s Jefferson?

May 3rd, 2011 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

You’re an encyclopedia of Virginia history, people often say to us. So where’s your entry on Thomas Jefferson? The short answer is: It’s coming! It’s coming! And maybe once it’s here, we’ll get Jack Jouett to ride around Virginia warning everybody. In the meantime, though, it’s worth explaining what takes so gosh-darn long. As I’ve […]

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia · Thomas Jefferson

A Matter of Dates

April 21st, 2010 by Matthew · No Comments

I received an anonymous comment last night related to our Henry “Box” Brown entry: The date Henry Brown entered his box was March 29th, not March 23rd as written on this web page. While one might believe with all credibility that the 29th is the correct date (after all Brown writes in his own narrative […]

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Tags: Feedback · Inside the Encyclopedia · Virginia History

Correction: Jeff Davis’s Inauguration

February 11th, 2010 by Brendan Wolfe · 2 Comments

Frances Osborn Robb, a scholar who has worked on the Encyclopedia of Alabama, writes in to correct some information we included with an image of Confederate president Jefferson Davis‘s inauguration. I read the short information on the color lithograph of Davis’s inauguration. I presently have a book manuscript under review by the University of Alabama Press […]

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia · Virginia History · Visual History

Pickett (and EV) in the Times

January 30th, 2010 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

Just for fun: Go to the New York Times online and punch “George Pickett” into the search engine there. What you’ll find is Encyclopedia Virginia‘s entry on the famous Confederate general. The Times has begun to syndicate our content, beginning with Pickett, in their Times Topic series. The goal for the Timesis to have such articles provide background knowledge and context […]

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia

In Which Friends and Family Are Neglected in Favor of Encyclopedia Editing

January 15th, 2010 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

Here’s a story of an encyclopedia editor (that’s me) who tries his hand at editing Wikipedia, with mixed results (see Bix Beiderbecke), only to find five dollars at the end! In fact, it’s such an awesome story, it’s picked up by the Los Angeles Times. Except for the part about five dollars. They left that […]

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia

The Layers(ars) of History Around Us

January 12th, 2010 by Matthew · 1 Comment

In a Washington Post article from November, Rob Pegoraro investigates the burgeoning world of “augmented reality”–a concept that makes your mobile phone (as of right now it has to be phone working on the Android or iPhone platforms) into a tool that uncovers layers of information in the world around you. Let’s take this faux […]

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia · Maps · Technology · Virginia History

The Business of Encyclopedias (Cont'd)

December 15th, 2009 by Brendan Wolfe · 1 Comment

Alert reader Sue Perdue, director of Documents Compass at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, saw the article we linked to yesterday on the business of encyclopedias and thought of Ball of Fire, the 1941 Howard Hawks romantic comedy starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. Above is the movie’s trailer. “Educators from all over the […]

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia

The Business of Encyclopedias

December 14th, 2009 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

A new article in Inside Higher Ed takes an in-depth look at the business of online encyclopedias, including Encyclopedia Virginia. Here’s a taste: Size Matters From a business standpoint, the most attractive aspect of Wikipedia might be the fact that unpaid volunteers create and edit most of the content. But to consumers, the site’s greatest […]

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Tags: Inside the Encyclopedia · News & Updates · Technology