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Only two years after the launch of The American Soldier in World War II transcription project on the Zooniverse site, 65,000 pages of digitized survey responses have been transcribed and the first phase of the project is coming to a close. After a large amount of work done by project partners and citizen archivists, those involved on the project are ready to commemorate and celebrate these achievements on May 8th, VE Day. 

The American Soldier in World War II project started on Zooniverse in May 2018, after Virginia Tech Professor Dr. Ed Gitre discovered the collection of first hand survey responses from soldiers at the National Archives in 2009. He then worked to have these records digitized and transcribed, so that they can one day be part of a searchable database.

These records have been transcribed online by participants who are connected to the project in various ways, some as Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff. Some participants are veterans, and some have worked on transcribing just because they felt connected to the process or to the war, most often because they had a relative who had served in some capacity.

To encourage transcription, Virginia Tech Publishing has utilized its Athenaeum space to host “Transcribathons” where people can transcribe together online while listening to music from the era, learning fun facts, and earning prizes for transcribing. An in-person transcribathon which was planned for VE day has moved entirely online and will take place via zoom, now as a celebration.

The zoom event will start with an interview with the project director, Ed Gitre, then feature interviews with students and citizen archivists who have transcribed online throughout the project and contributed a large amount of completed transcriptions. 

Later on, Digital Humanities Coordinator Joe Forte will host a discussion with historians about the social issues present in the survey responses, women in the war and the civil rights movement. Many of the survey responses contain insights into the attitude towards race during the war, and the feelings of black soldiers during the time period. 

The project’s contribution towards World War II scholarship, along with the contribution of the public to the humanities and preservation will also be discussed. 

Learn more about the American Soldier project here, and plan to listen in on May 8th.

You are invited to join the University Libraries for Fall 2018 Reading Day activities in conjunction with the 2018 NLI Computer Showcase.

Thursday, December 6th – Torgerson Hall, 1st Floor

Open Textbook Adoption Workshop: Review to Adapt

Thursday, December 6th 1-2pm Torgerson 1050

Register here: or here:

This workshop is for faculty who wish to discuss and explore textbook and curriculum-related issues and options for their courses. The workshop covers research on student responses to textbook costs at Virginia Tech, emerging open textbook publication and adaptation models, copyright and Creative Commons licenses, and provides an invitation to review an open textbook, A $200 stipend is available for faculty who register, attend the workshop and review an open textbook within six weeks.

OER & Open Education: Exploring Philosophy, Potential & Practices

Thursday, December 6th  12-1pm Torgerson 1050

Register here:

This presentation is an invitation to explore the topic of open education. With its emphasis on free content access and permissions, the open education movement has generated a flurry of activity around scholarly and teaching activities involving innovative pedagogies, open textbooks, open educational resources (OER), Creative Commons licensing, and open policies. This presentation explores philosophies, motivations, and emerging practices of the open education movement with an eye toward identifying opportunities for administrators, faculty, students, librarians and instructional designers.

Where Can I Post My Publications?

Thursday, December 6th  10-11am Torgerson 1050 (also via Zoom)

Register here:

This presentation explores multiple tools, platforms and workflows for making your publications or other works available for other researchers to read and use.

Tell Your Story: Find and Distinguish Your Online Scholarly Presence

Thursday, December 6th  2:30-4pm Torgerson 1120 (also via Zoom)

Register here:

In this session, you will explore researcher profiles and other useful scholarly tools to learn how to improve your scholarly presence and boost the impact of your work. You will be introduced to essential researcher profiles, such as ORCID iD, that are crucial to ensuring you get all the credit you deserve for all your scholarly works. This interactive session also covers a suite of research impact metrics, such as citation-based metrics and altmetrics, and guidance regarding how to accurately and properly track and assess your impact and engagement in academic and public spheres.

Attending the NLI computer showcase? Visit our table (9am-4pm) Torgerson, 1st floor

Librarians and colleagues will be available to discuss library support available for projects, courses, and research. Drop by to pick up information on grant opportunities, upcoming programs, or to see the latest open educational resources created at VT and beyond.

Upcoming 2019 Programs:

  • January 15th – “Get Noticed: Managing your Scholarly Career in an Age of Metrics, Social Media, and Open Research” (January 15)
  • March 4 & 5 – Open Education Symposium

Funding opportunities:

Published quarterly by the AMERICAN RHODODENDRON SOCIETY, JARS brings in depth information on this fascinating genus. Virginia Tech Libraries is proud to serve as the archive for back issues of this publication. This archive has over 2,000 articles and may be the largest collection of rhododendron information on the planet.

Check out the journal:

The Virginia Libraries Editorial board presents the first completed volume (Vol. 62) under its new publishing format, in which articles are published individually as they become ready for distribution. A common thread across the volume’s articles is the resourceful use of technology, from the well established (online professional development delivery) to the cutting edge (proximity beacons for tours). A literature review of learning management systems focuses in on student and faculty expectations and perceptions of library integrations with an LMS. A case study reports on using LibGuides as a library website platform. Old and new technologies are featured in a column on materials lent by libraries today. Complementing the technology theme with a turn towards the social, two essay / commentary articles celebrate the community of library and information professionals in Virginia.

Check out the journal:

Philologia is an undergraduate research journal housed and operated at Virginia Tech and open to submissions from any ACC university. The publication features research from any subject that falls under liberal arts and human sciences subject matter, and features a few creative pieces as well. We publish articles from undergraduate students focusing on many different subjects, speaking to the versatility and importance of liberal arts and humanities research.

Check out the journal:

Volume Seven expands the scope of the Review in exciting new directions. This marks the first year that the Review will include historiographic articles in addition to pieces of original research. This represents an exciting opportunity to help undergraduates engage in and write about historical conversations. We have also included the winners of the Department’s awards for Best Paper and Best Digital History Project.

Check out the journal:

The Research Monograph Series (RMS) is a scholarly publication initiated in 2017 and first published in 2018. The RMS, sponsored by the Research and Scholarship (R&S) Committee of the Council on Technology and Engineering Teacher Education (CTETE), is a unique academic platform designed to support the publication efforts of emerging scholars across the complete spectrum of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education disciplines. As such, the RMS is devoted to encouraging contributions from new and talented scholars from any STEM education discipline as an avenue for assisting in their development of scholastic abilities and a presence within the global discourse surrounding STEM education.

Organized, authored, and edited over the course of five months by a class of eighteen Virginia Tech undergraduate students, Welcome to the Beatles represents their collective contribution to the larger scholarship on the most important band in rock history. The chapters of this book build upon the Lewisohn narrative and take into account the recurring issues in Beatles historiography. The authors of these chapters are largely removed from the Beatles; they have the advantage of being generations apart from the band and can reexamine them without any first-hand experience with the Fab Four.

Download or buy your copy here:

This presentation introduces attendees to Virginia Tech’s new open textbook “Fundamentals of Business,” the process of adapting an existing openly licensed text, helpful tools developed or discovered since, and lessons learned — including the University Libraries’ evolving processes for supporting faculty authoring of openly licensed textbooks and other learning resources.

Get the download from VTech Works:

We hope you’ll be able to swing by the Athenaeum, anytime 9am-5pm today (Tuesday, May 8) to join us for our Transcribe-a-Thon focused on Ed Gitre’s “The American Soldier in World War II” project.

A couple of final notes about todays’s events.

Account and Site: you may activate a Zooniverse account in advance and contribute at any time!

Program schedule (we will go live online 5 mins. before each. Please do mute your audio [so we are not inundated with sound] and disable video if you prefer not to be seen):
•    11:30am EDT: Project Introduction, Prof. Ed Gitre
•    12:15pm EDT: Selected Survey Readings, Jennifer Nardine & Christopher Miller
•    1:00pm EDT: WWII-era music, Ted Alt, saxophone

    ◦    setlist: Summertime, On the Sunny Side of the Street, Over the Rainbow, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore

Link for online connection

Onsite participation:
If you are coming to Athenaeum in-person, we can’t wait to welcome you! We will have laptops available for your use (or bring your own, if you prefer). We find that transcription tends to be a very social activity, so bring a friend (or several) and a picnic lunch!

Finally, stickers! Transcription tallies on May 8th and reported to us by 11:59pm (screen grab of contributions made) garner ranking stickers (final designs attached):

  • 3rd class: 10
  • 2nd class: 20
  • 1st class: 30
  • General: 50