West Virginia
Archives & History News
Volume IV, No. 3
May 2003


From the Editor:

West Virginia Archives and History Library has never had an adequate budget for acquisitions, and does not expect any budget increases in the foreseeable future due to the current state budget crisis. Most of our acquisitions budget is spent maintaining newspaper and serial subscriptions, leaving very little for book purchases. We continue to rely on the generosity and civic-mindedness of the individuals and societies who write, transcribe or compile information about West Virginia's people and places, then donate copies of their works to the West Virginia State Archives. We thought those of you who have donated or who are considering donating materials would like to know how your gifts are handled once they reach the Archives and History Library.


The Archives and History Library receives donations of new print material in many ways. Several authors and historical/genealogical societies routinely send us copies of their publications. Some of our family history books were mailed to one or more major libraries in all fifty states by genealogists who want to insure that anyone searching for their particular surname will find them. Life-long Mountaineers, as well as native West Virginians or former residents who are now scattered all over the United States, send us copies of the histories they have written about their West Virginia families, towns, schools and businesses, or memoirs of their lives as influenced by our culture. We also accept fiction and nonfiction that have nothing about the state in the actual text, but are written by West Virginia authors and so fit our collection guidelines.

We accept all donations with much gratitude and with respect for the time and effort expended in their creation. We do not edit your work, nor do we evaluate its accuracy. Your work stands on its own merit. However, we sometimes suggest changes to title pages or other minor elements of an unpublished manuscript for library cataloging purposes because we want your book to be easily located by those who will be most interested in reading it. Cataloging rules requiring the use of information from the title page only can limit the accessibility of a book, which is to the disadvantage of both author and researcher. On rare occasions we may request permission to alter the format of an unpublished manuscript or work to increase the accessibility and usefulness to researchers of especially valuable information.

If your work is at least 50 pages long and not in a regular book binding, we will have the text bound in a simple yet durable library binding and will place it on the library shelves. Shorter works will be treated as pamphlets, with the same cataloging as a book, and housed in folders.

Two earlier newsletters address this subject in detail: Are You an Author? in May 2000, and Advice for Authors, in April 2001. The text of all issues of Archives and History News are available at, and in the libraries of genealogical/historical libraries around the state. If you do not have personal access to the Internet, check with your local library. Most public libraries have computers with free access to read text, and will print from a Web site for a small fee. In addition, twelve libraries designated as West Virginia Publications Clearinghouse Depository Libraries have Archives and History News on file as a state document. (The list of libraries is included in this issue.)

Your gift will be recognized in several ways. You will receive a letter of acceptance and appreciation from Fredrick H. Armstrong, Director of Archives and History. A gift plate with your name, town and date of gift will be placed in the front of the book. (You may also designate a person or organization to honor or to memorialize with your donation.) The work will be entered into the VTLS network of the West Virginia Union Catalog, an on-line library catalog including the collections of most of the libraries in the state that is accessible to anyone, anywhere by Internet.

The library catalog entry is the main way researchers or casual browsers will find your book for years to come. (Once accessioned into the Archives and History Library collection, your book is here to stay!) To catalog a title properly, the cataloger must be able to find the name of the author (whether an individual or an organization) as well as place and date of publication on the title page or its verso, or less acceptably, in a preface or introductory page to the work. If the date of the work does not appear anywhere in the work, the cataloger is not allowed to enter a date. This can limit interest in a book if no one knows that it is new. The title as it appears on the title page will be the "official" title of the work, with the title as it appears on the front cover and/or spine entered as alternative or variant titles. Confusion over the title makes it harder for both librarians and individual searchers to find your book in the library catalog. In addition, if your work is for sale and is not available through commercial bookstores or publishers, we urge you to include a mailing address and other contact information for potential purchasers. Out-of-state researchers who visit our library often decide they would like to have their own copies of works about their families and home counties.

Once cataloged, the title, author and date of your publication will appear in the New Title listings in Archives and History News, where it will be accessible in Internet searches world-wide. When space permits, gifts are sometimes acknowledged in a newsletter article. It is not uncommon for the Library to receive phone calls, letters or e-mails referring to titles located by the inquirers through our newsletters as posted on our Web site.

We protect your copyright, whether expressly stated in your work or not, by following the common fair use practice of American public and research libraries of limiting photocopying of any given work to 20% of the text. We enforce this by requiring all copies to be made by a Library staff member, with no public access to the copy machine allowed. When a patron wants more than 20% of a text, we provide purchasing or contact information whenever possible. At $.25 per photocopy page, the Library is not making money off of your work, only covering a portion of the actual costs of machine, paper and staff to produce the copy. In fact, the $.25 fee is often a deterrent to some patrons from making many photocopies at all. To further protect the copyright of your intellectual property and of Archives and History's own publications and photographs, we do not allow the use of scanners or any type of camera in the Archives and History Library.

We wish we could routinely purchase everything we could find by and about West Virginia and West Virginians, but we realize that in today's economic climate we simply can not do so. In order to expand the collection of the West Virginia Archives and History Library for the benefit of West Virginia's citizens, for the dissemination of our culture and history to non-West Virginians, and for future preservation of West Virginia heritage, we rely on those of you who love West Virginia and her people as we do to continue to share your work with the public through this agency.


West Virginia Archives and History Library, Charleston.*

Morrow Library, Marshall University, Huntington.*

University Libraries, West Virginia University, Morgantown.*

Hardway Library, Bluefield State College, Bluefield.

A. M. Pfeiffer Library, West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon.

Clarksburg-Harrison County Public Library, Clarksburg.

Vining Library, West Virginia Institute of Technology, Montgomery.

Parkersburg-Wood County Public Library, Parkersburg.

Scarborough Library, Shepherd College, Shepherdstown.

Roane County Public Library, Spencer. Mary H. Weir Public Library, Weirton.

Williamson Campus, Southern West Virginia Community College, Williamson.

*Libraries appointed by the Legislature as official depositories for West Virginia state documents. The remaining libraries were appointed by the Clearinghouse.

MAY 10, 2003

The historic Jenkins Plantation Museum, located in the Green Bottom Wildlife Management Area of Cabell County, will host a Civil War Camp on Saturday, May 10, from 10:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. The living history program is free and open to the public. Spectators at the outdoor event will get a glimpse of how soldiers lived and fought during the Civil War. Civil War enthusiasts in period costume will demonstrate how combatants lived in the encampments and take part in military exercises and drills similar to those led 140 years ago by Albert Gallatin Jenkins, a Confederate general with the 8th Virginia Cavalry. Civil War reenactors will conduct military drills at 11:00 a.m., noon, 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.

In addition, Civil War-era artifacts from the collection of the West Virginia State Museum will be on display, and special hands-on activities will help children explore Civil War life. The historic Jenkins family home also will be open for tours.

Local historian Karen Nance will give a presentation entitled "Slavery and Agriculture in the Ohio Valley" at 11:30 a.m. and at 1:30 p.m. The program will include a discussion of the slaves who lived and worked on the Jenkins plantation.

For more information and directions to the plantation, visit the Web site at or contact Stan Bumgardner, Assistant Director for Programming, Division of Culture and History, by e- mail at or by phone at (304) 558-0220, Ext. 121.


Whether you or your group have one day, a few days a month, or time for a long-term project, we have many ways you can help the Archives prepare material for public use. Please call us!


Although West Virginia county records were microfilmed 30 to 40 years ago by the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU) in collaboration with the West Virginia State Archives, errors in labeling are still being discovered. Some of these errors are due to incorrect or incomplete titles on the records volumes themselves, and others are the result of incorrect or incomplete descriptions on GSU title pages.

One which we have mentioned previously in the newsletter is the ledger stamped on the spine as "Marriage Record 1816-1843 Kanawha County" (which is titled the same on the GSU microfilm) that actually contains the county's marriage records up through 1849. If a researcher went only by the volume designation or title page information, and did not look at the actual record book, he would think that the county's marriage records were missing from 1844 through 1849.

This month we found that the microfilm titled "Raleigh County Marriage Index 1850-1895" is actually of a ledger titled "Register of Marriages," and is indeed the full marriage register, not just an index. More interestingly, the roll containing "Taylor County Deaths Index: 1853-1970" also contains a record titled "Birth & Death Record 1886-1937." The title on the top of the ledger pages is something else entirely: "Register of Inmates of Taylor County Infirmary and a Descriptive List, including a Birth and Death Register," as recorded by the Keeper of the Infirmary.

If you have ever searched for county poor farm/infirmary records, you know that they are scarce as hen's teeth and Taylor County's record has been right under our noses for 33 years! The ledger is a wealth of information, with categories for name, race, sex, age, when admitted, to what time supported, date "discharged, escaped, removed or died," date of birth, "deformity or matter of interest," date of death, name of disease or cause of death, names of parents, where born, occupation, consort of or unmarried, etc. Of course, not all blanks were filled in for each person, according to the circumstances, but much can be learned about individuals and about the nature of the infirmary itself.

Sometimes books were apparently overlooked and were not microfilmed in the courthouses. With the assistance of Archives and History, GSU has microfilmed "Nicholas County Deaths 1853-1889." This record is now available in the Archives and History Library. We spliced it onto the existing roll of Nicholas County birth and death records.

If you have made any similar discoveries while working with West Virginia county records on microfilm, please share your information with us. We work cooperatively with the Genealogical Society of Utah in arranging for overlooked records to be microfilmed and for errors in titling and identification of previously filmed records to be corrected.


Scope: This Legislative Rule sets forth general Standards and Procedures for the effective and uniform management and preservation of public records created and filed under the jurisdiction of the various county government entities. Purpose: The purpose of the rule is to establish general standards and procedures for a uniform records management and preservation program, retention schedules for county government entities, and electronic records keeping systems. Applicability: This legislative rule applies to all county government entities and records, except those statutorily exempted from its application. In Summary: According to Fredrick H. Armstrong, Director of Archives and History, the legislative rule affects the management of all public records created and preserved by county governments. Procedures are established for proper disposal of records of short term value, and for preservation of records with permanent, historical value in such a way as to remain accessible to the public in perpetuity. To view a copy of the full Legislative Rule and for information on public comment procedures: Go to the Archives and History Web site at under "What's New." Comment period ends June 2, 2003.


Test your knowledge of West Virginia:

Currently under "What's New":

Visit our on-line exhibits:

Review or search our recently updated accession lists for the following collections:

Planning to visit? Under the "Archives" section, find:


Appalachia, the South Pacific and Beyond: Nicholas Christodoulou, 2002.

The Lott Family of Wirt County, West Virginia: Christy Lott Little, 2003.

Marshall of King George Co. Va. and Mason Co. Ky.: John Marshall Prewitt, 2002.

Disaster Management Programs for Historic Sites: Dirk H. R. Spennemann and David W. Look, 1998.

Farming for Better Living: Round-up of 1965 Champions, Region III: [1965].

Meadow River Lumber Company: West Virginia's Last Logging Railroad: Philip V. Bagdon, 2002.

Lift Up Thy Voice: The Grimk‚ Family's Journey from Slaveholders to Civil Rights Leaders: Mark Perry, 2001.

Sugarlands: Foster Mullenax, 1999, c1980.

A Valley Called Canaan, 1885-2002: Edwin Daryl Michael, 2002.

From Innocence to Reality: A Family Memoir: Patricia Simms Harrison, 2002.

City of Nitro 2003 City Calendar: The city, [2002].

On the Plains in '65: George H. Holliday, 1883 [UMI Books on Demand photocopy, 2002].

Songs of West Virginia University: George Harris Healey, 1934, c1931.

The Jeffersonian: Thomas Jefferson Junior High School (Charleston, WV), newsletter issues from 1931 through 1977.

Fayette County Cemetery Records, Volume II: High Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery: Fayette- Raleigh Genealogical Society, no date.

Fayette County Cemetery Records, Volume III: Mount Hope, Scarbro, Hilltop, Pea Ridge Road, Salem, Gatewood: Fayette-Raleigh Genealogical Society, no date.



"SHAPING THE CAPITOL COMPLEX: CASS GILBERT, INC.": Collection of photographs and documents on display in the Archives and History Library and on the Archives and History Web site.

CIVIL WAR CAMP, MAY 10: Jenkins Plantation, Green Bottom.

GENEALOGY AND HERITAGE WORKSHOP, MAY 17: Harrison County Genealogy Society, Clarksburg.

VANDALIA GATHERING, MAY 23-25: Capitol Complex, Charleston.

MEMORIAL DAY, MAY 26: The Library will be closed.

WEST VIRGINIA DAY, JUNE 20: The Library will be open.*

INDEPENDENCE DAY, JULY 4: The Library will be closed.

LABOR DAY, SEPTEMBER 1: The Library will be closed.

COLUMBUS DAY, OCTOBER 13: The Library will be open.*

VETERANS DAY, NOVEMBER 11: The Library will be open.*

THANKSGIVING DAY, NOVEMBER 27: The Library will be closed.

THANKSGIVING WEEKEND, NOVEMBER 28 AND 29: The Library will be open.*

*Only the Archives Library will be staffed--all other Archives offices will be closed. The State Museum will be open any time the Archives Library is open. The West Virginia Library Commission Library in The Cultural Center is closed weekends and all holidays.


Fredrick Armstrong: Director
Debra Basham: Archivist (photographs, special collections)
Constance Baston: Researcher (Veterans Memorial Archive)
Greg Carroll: Historian (Civil War, Native American history)
Dick Fauss: Archivist (microfilm and moving images collection)
Elaine Gates: Library Assistant (microfilming and microfilm repairs)
Joe Geiger: Assistant Director (Historian, Web page)
Ed Hicks: Photographer (archival photography, darkroom)
Mary Johnson: Historian (West Virginia History)
Terry Lowry: Library Assistant (Civil War)
Cathy Miller: Library Assistant (WV State documents, periodicals)
Sharon Newhouse: Secretary
Harold Newman: Library Assistant (microfilming, Revolutionary War)
Pat Pleska: Manager of the Veterans Memorial Archive
Susan Scouras: Librarian (cataloging, Kentucky, library collection, newsletter editor)
Jaime Simmons: Library Assistant (records of the 1700's and early 1800's, Pennsylvania)
Bobby Taylor: Library Manager
Nancy Waggoner: Office Assistant
Working on special projects: Allen Fowler.
Volunteers: Carolyn Conner, Bill Kelley, Angela Tolbert, and Bob and Lucile Foster.

This newsletter is a publication of :

The Division of Culture and History
Archives and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Charleston, WV 25305-0300
(304) 558-0230
Nancy P. Herholdt, Commissioner

Permission to reprint articles from West Virginia Archives and History News is granted, provided: (1) The reprint is not used for commercial purposes, and (2) the following notice appears at the end of the reprinted material: Previously published in West Virginia Archives and History News, [Volume and issue numbers], [Month, Year], a publication of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

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