Registration Opens for Third Annual Digital Archives in the Commonwealth Summit

Registration is now open for the third annual Digital Archives in the Commonwealth Summit, which will take place at the Library of Virginia on December 6, 2019. Registration is free.

The Summit is an interdisciplinary conference focused on the creation, management, and use of digital archives throughout Virginia. Building on the success of previous Summits in 2017 and 2018, this year’s gathering will focus on digital projects that address the legacies of slavery and freedom in Virginia. We welcome individuals from various fields—archivists, scholars, librarians, museum specialists, and technologists—to attend and join the conversation.

The 2019 Summit is a joint effort between the University of Virginia Law Library, the Library of Virginia, George Mason University, and the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington.

You can register for the Summit here.

Panels this year include:

  • Virginia Untold: African American Narratives at the Library of Virginia
  •  Show & Tell: New & Upcoming Digital Projects from Around Virginia
  • The Stories We Tell: Complicating Institutional Narratives Through Archival Expansion
  • Community-Engaged Learning through Oral Histories and Community Archives
  • Positioning Digital Archives as Scholarly Endeavors
  • A lightning round with the opportunity for audience members to present

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Law School Participates in ‘Everyday People’ Exhibit

Eric Williamson
Associate Director of Communications and Senior Writer

The University of Virginia School of Law is presenting an exhibit of 100 images featuring black Law School life as part of a cross-Grounds exhibit, “Everyday People.”

Curated by the Arthur J. Morris Law Library, the UVA Law exhibit will be viewable on the second floor of the Law Library throughout February, which is Black History Month.

The images include numerous candid and historical moments — spanning from UVA’s and UVA Law’s first black student, Gregory Swanson, to the students, alumni and faculty of the present.

“This is an important legacy for our institution to honor,” said Special Collections Librarian Randi Flaherty, who led the installation. “We are grateful to have a photo archive, which includes contributions from student groups like BLSA, that makes this exhibit possible.”  

The Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library and the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library will also host similar exhibits.

Reposted from the University of Virginia School of Law’s News and Media site.

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A Weekend of Reflection

On the anniversary of last year’s neo-Nazi and white supremacist marches, we’re thinking about the ways in which the law school community has acted to promote justice in the past, the ways in which we can do more to promote justice in the present, and the library’s special role in preserving evidence of today’s struggles for future generations. We’ve selected several photographs from our archives that show some of the ways our students have engaged over the years with issues of justice, equity, and ethics. We hope that this weekend will provide an opportunity to reflect on the past year and recommit ourselves to working for a more just society.


Representatives of the Law School’s Legal Assistance Society meet with government officials to oppose legislation giving governors a veto over legal services programs. (L-R): Office of Economic Opportunity Director Donald Rumsfeld, President’s Special Assistant on Urban Affairs Daniel P. Moynihan, Dean Paul E. Miller of Howard University Law School, Legal Assistance Society Projects Director Daniel D. Sullivan, and unidentified persons. See VLW December 11, 1969.


Student protest
Students participate in a demonstration against the American invasion of Cambodia and the tragic slaying of students by National Guardsmen at Kent State University in 1970. During the protests, some law students wore armbands identifying themselves as “legal marshals” available to inform other students of their rights.


Student speaks with migrant worker
First-year law student Karl Racine talks to migrant worker Sene Lanoix as part of the Legal Assistance Society Migrant Farm Workers Project, 1985. See VLW, November 1, 1985.
Student protest
Students protest the South African policy of apartheid, 1985.


Candlelight vigil
Community members gather in response to neo-Nazi and white supremacist marches, 2017.


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Fitchett “Graduates” Summa Cum Laude

This week Taylor Fitchett retires – or “graduates,” as she calls it – from twenty years at the Arthur J. Morris Law Library. Taylor leaves behind a legacy of excellence in expanding the library’s research capabilities to include empirical research experts, building a Digital Collections department and a Legal Data Lab, digitizing significant historical materials from our Special Collections, and publishing books about the Law School’s history and architecture.

Taylor’s influence will long be visible throughout the library. She reclassified all of the books, spearheaded the building of myLab and the Collaborative Classroom, renovated the reference area, and diversified study spaces by adding standing desks, carrels, and group study rooms. We expect that she’ll turn that creative design impulse toward her garden now. We can’t wait to see the results!

The library staff will remember Taylor for all of these accomplishments, but also for so much more. Here are some of our reflections  —

I treasure Taylor’s heartfelt dedication to students, and to our staff. She has taken good care of us in so many ways – from enhanced study spaces to taking time to chat. She leaves a great legacy of warmth, and always good humor.

– Kristin Glover

Taylor started me walking for exercise. When she started here, she let everyone know that she liked to walk and hoped to get a group to join her. It took a while before I joined her and one other co-worker, but that started our almost daily walking. The other co-worker only lasted a few times, but she and I continued for years. Most of our walks were also chat times, usually personal stuff but sometimes work issues. She conned me into more extra chores because she had me cornered. She would ask me for ideas and then tell me to go ahead and do it (grrrrr).

– Diane Huntley

When I was out sick with pneumonia, Taylor would call just to see how I was doing and to make sure I was taking care of myself. She cares about everybody here like family.  

– Carol Sue Wood    



I am definitely going to miss how Taylor makes fun of how “ugly” my dog is…..she’s done it with each of my three bulldogs, including this stunning girl, Olive.

– Cathy Palombi


Taylor always listened and was always open and encouraging of new ideas. Many of the major accomplishments within the law library during her tenure were because she trusted and encouraged the people around her to be creative, try things out, and be successful.

Taylor also always had a wonderful sense of humor. She took her job seriously, but never took herself too seriously. Unfortunate encounters with carpet glue, slips on the stairs, getting in costume for presentations at professional conferences, accidentally being popped in the nose by one of her employees: she was able to laugh with us no matter what happened. That was central to her leadership. She taught us that we were important and our work was valuable, but that nothing we encountered in the library was ever so serious that we could not be forgiving of ourselves and see the humor in our own mistakes or the mistakes of others. She would sometimes say, when she saw someone smiling at work, “Obviously you have no comprehension of the seriousness of the situation. . . .” Then she would smile herself. 

– Ben Doherty


Taylor Fitchett - Grilled Cheese Night

Taylor Fitchett- Halloween


Wait, who?  The library director??  Taking me to lunch???  Gulp.

I had applied for a position here at the Law Library and was taken aback that Director Fitchett wanted to meet me as part of the interview process. After all, it wasn’t a faculty position. Why would she—the library director—make time in her schedule for me, a Circulation Assistant candidate? As I was to learn, starting with that delightful lunch and in the eleven years since, that’s just Taylor. She cares.  Really cares. And the library, the people it serves, and the staff who run it, are all better thanks to her.

– Tim Breeden

I’ve admired Taylor’s ability to delegate and trust us, and let us to figure out by ourselves how to do something that we wanted to do or thought should be done. I’ve admired her generosity.  I’ve liked and enjoyed her sense of humor, our long talks and her making fun of me when looking for my glasses and the keys. She will be missed.

– Cecilia Brown   

Before Taylor, we were often daunted by the immensity of changes that would make us a better library. We needed to convert from an archaic classification system to the widely used Library of Congress system, but it was too big a job. We needed to reorganize our book stacks, but there were too many books to move. Taylor saw possibilities, not obstacles, and she convinced us that we could do these things. And we did.

– Kent Olson

I’m deeply grateful for the excellent leadership that Taylor has provided over the past ten years. She’s spearheaded many remarkable achievements, all with a sense of humility, humor, compassion, and grace. As Maya Angelou observed, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I doubt any of us will soon forget what Taylor has done, nor many of the things she’s said! But I know for a fact that I’ll never forget how she’s made me feel from the day I first walked through the Law Library door — like family.

– Amy Wharton

Even though she was only going to give me a B for my library snowman [Editor’s note: the snowman was a true work of art!], Taylor definitely deserves an A+ from me. She has taught me what it means to work in a library, which goes beyond just the books on the shelves. This little pipsqueak is forever grateful! 

– Rebecca Hawes

Whenever a staff member completed a project, Taylor was likely to assign them a grade. She was a notoriously difficult grader and a B+ was considered high praise. Taylor has earned so many A+’s  from the members of her staff that she now “graduates” summa cum laude. We wish her all the best as she turns the page to a wonderful the next exciting chapter in her life.

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Wharton Takes Over as Law Library Director

Reposted from University of Virginia School of Law News & Media / February 1, 2018Mike Fox

A new chapter is being written at the University of Virginia School of Law, with UVA Law librarian Amy Wharton taking over as the fourth full-time director of the Arthur J. Morris Law Library.

Wharton, who earned a bachelor’s degree from UVA in 1987, had been a research and web services librarian who joined the Law Library in 2008.

“This appointment has added personal significance for me as an alumna of the University,” she said. “My UVA education has served me well throughout my career, so it’s gratifying to be able to give back to my alma mater through this important leadership role. I can’t imagine serving as library director at a better law school or library.”

Taylor Fitchett, who had served as director since 2000, announced her retirement in December but remained in the role through the hiring interim. An internal six-member committee chaired by professor George Rutherglen conducted the search for a new director.

Wharton holds a master’s in library and information studies from the University of Oklahoma and a J.D. from George Mason University.

Wharton has practiced law in Virginia and the District of Columbia, and is an associate member of the Virginia State Bar. She is also a past president of the Virginia Association of Law Libraries.

Wharton’s duties in her most recent position included providing research support to faculty, training and assistance on using databases and software, and evaluating research databases for acquisition.

Wharton has provided research and reference assistance and serves as a library liaison to first-year law students and summer research assistants. She has also taught legal research.

“Through its services, collections and space, the Law Library contributes to the key things that make this a great law school: research, education and community,” she said. “I have a great deal of pride in who we are and what we do.”

Wharton said getting to direct library operations will be a meaningful experience and that she looks forward to continuing to foster the library’s relationship with faculty and students.

“The Law School has long succeeded in promoting an exceptionally strong sense of community,” she said. “When alumni visit, it’s clear from the interest they show in our library that it was an important part of their experience.”

She said UVA Law’s leadership under Dean Risa Goluboff and Fitchett, as well as the faculty’s support as a whole, have set up both her and the library for continued success.

“That Amy is one of our own is a testament to both Taylor and Amy,” Goluboff said. “I am confident that Amy’s vision, experience and diligence will make the library’s future as bright as its past.”

Her predecessor leaves a legacy of being a model manager, Wharton said, and has recruited and retained a talented team.

“She’s been a strong advocate for making sure that the library has what it needs to succeed in fulfilling its mission to the Law School,” Wharton said of Fitchett. “Taylor genuinely cares for each member of the staff and everyone here with whom she’s worked, and she’ll be greatly missed.”

Managing the Law Library’s growth and transition into the digital age has been a top accomplishment, Wharton said. “We’ve come a long way.”

“The one thing that can always be counted on is change,” she said. “The Law Library is interdependent with a number of rapidly evolving ecosystems involving higher education, legal services, publishing and technology. We’ll adapt to change where we must and lead where we can and should.”

Moving forward, Wharton said, staff are taking a close look at library support for education and scholarship around emerging technologies that affect law and society, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.

“We’ll have a lot of conversations in the coming months with stakeholders at the Law School and experts beyond our walls,” she said. “I expect that we’ll see new library initiatives emerging from these conversations.”

Media Contact
Director of Media Relations / (434) 982-6832

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Happy Bingeing to All!

This year for the first time, the Law Library will be closed for the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. No more will the library staff be wandering around a space devoid of students, or any other patrons for that matter. Instead, if the weather’s good we’ll be out and about walking our dogs, enjoying the scenery, and catching up on errands. If the weather’s not so good, we’ll be at home with our fingers firmly on our remotes. Here’s what folks from the library said they’d be binge-watching over the holidays!

Leslie Ashbrook:

The Great British Bakeoff (Season 4—most recent on Netflix). Reasons: Mary Berry. Choux pastry. Baking puns. Civility.


Ben Doherty:

Netflix Marvel Series

Netflix Marvel Series. Luke Cage was our family show; great music too. Need to catch up on the other series (though skipping the weak link of Iron Fist).


Kristin Glover:

It’s been 200 years since Jane Austen wrote about life, love, and land. This fall I’ve finally gotten around to reading her novels for the first time, and will spend part of the break watching them come to life in the BBC series of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth, Sense & Sensibility, and a recent take on Emma in the movie Clueless.


Rebecca Hawes:

Westworld Season 1

I’ll go with Westworld Season 1, because we have it in Klaus! Think Jurassic Park, but Thandie Newton is a robot.  I watched this the old fashioned way, week by week as it was released.  I liked it so much, however, that I want to watch it again (preferably all in one sitting) in preparation for its return in the spring.  It has an all-star cast: Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, James Marsden, Jeffrey Wright, Ed Harris, Anthony Hopkins.  The show was a little predictable, but half the fun was trying to figure out what would happen next before it actually happened!  Also, if these opening credits don’t get you excited, what DOES? 


Katherine Jenkins:

Glow Season 1

GLOW, season 1. Why? Because the subject matter is unique and interesting–the show is about a real-life women’s wrestling league in L.A. in the ’80s. I also appreciate the racially diverse cast. Plus, the NY Times said that GLOW “is at heart a scrappy misfit story,” and I am a sucker for scrappy misfit stories. On Netflix. The library doesn’t have it but it should.


Micheal Klepper:

Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017 – Season 1, Amazon Prime Video). Set in the late 50’s, with a set design only Amazon could afford, a life changing experience sets Mrs. Maisel on a path to become a stand-up comedian in the style of Lenny Bruce.  Her true-life banter of being a housewife is priceless, not only on stage but also in the courtroom and at home. Rachel Brosnahan stars, with a strong supporting cast including Alex Borstein, Tony Shalhoub and Kevin Pollack.  Recently nominated for the Golden Globe for Best TV Comedy.


Loren Moulds:


I will be watching —

The second season of Victoria on PBS: Fancy period drama

The second season of Top of the Lake on PBS: Powerfully acted, deep and tense crime storyline.

Elf, on repeat: “Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?”

Dark on Netflix: Creepy German sci-fi series, blend of hard-core Stranger Things and a pensive Twin Peaks

Godless on Netflix: Brutal Western drama, stark and well acted. Definitely meant to be binged despite maybe being a bit too drawn out.


Kent Olson:


I’ll be getting in the holiday spirit watching Fargo Season 3. I’m not sure that it’ll be able to top the warmth and fuzziness of Season 2, but I’ll give it a try. Fargo always makes me feel like I’m back home in Minnesota for the holidays!


Cathy Palombi:


My binge recommendation for the holidays is the Australian show, Rake, co-created by and starring Richard Roxburgh.  As terrific as the supporting cast is, you’ll be mesmerized by Roxburgh’s character, Clever Greene, a brilliant but self-destructive barrister.  He’s equally endearing and infuriating, whether defending the indefensible or promising to be a better man in his complex, screwed-up personal life.  Four seasons available—season 5 coming in 2018!


Amy Wharton:

Stranger Things

Stranger Things, Season 2

I don’t know whether it’s tiny Eleven’s indomitable mind powers, the thought of a creepy parallel universe just a whisper away from our own, or seeing all of the artifacts of my ’80s childhood brought back to life, but this Netflix thriller has what it takes to keep me glued to the set. Justice for Barb!!!

Happy holidays!

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A Brief Reflection on Difficult Times for Our Community

The Law Library stands with our Dean and all in our community who are trying to grapple with the horror brought here last weekend by white supremacist groups. We’re deeply grateful for the many expressions of care and concern we’ve received from so many this week, including our colleagues at the American Association of Law Libraries and the Virginia Library Association, vendors, friends, and current and former students working in the U.S. and beyond. Knowing that others stand in solidarity with us is a gift that can’t be measured. 

candlelight vigil
Community members left their candles at the base of the Jefferson statue at the end of last night’s candlelight vigil.

Our hearts go out to the families and friends of Heather Heyer, who lost her life while defending our core societal values of diversity and equality, and to those of Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the rule of law in our community. Many others – some with whom we have personal ties — were severely injured during these incidents, and we extend our hopes for the swift and complete healing of their wounds.

It is hard to express our sentiments with any greater eloquence than did Law School Dean Risa Goluboff:

“It is not only our values but our mission that puts us at the center of the struggle to do better. We are in the business of educating and equipping the next generation of lawyers to promote justice, equality, and the rule of law. At my most optimistic, I believe that this weekend will prove galvanizing for our students, as they enter a profession committed to testing ideas through dialogue and persuasion, rather than violence and intimidation. Now more than ever, the mission of the Law School and the values we hold dear are critical to healing and bettering this city and this nation.”

Our librarians and staff are preparing to welcome our new and returning students this year. We stand ready to do our part to help equip them with the knowledge, skills and resources they need to become facilitators and leaders of tomorrow’s better society. We are honored to serve both an institution and a profession that enable that possibility.


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Jefferson Trust Award to Facilitate Digitization of Jeffersonian Law Book Collection

Congratulations to our Digital Collections team, which was just awarded a grant from the Jefferson Trust to fund the Digital 1828 Catalog Collection Project. The project seeks to assemble and digitize all of the law books that were hand selected by Thomas Jefferson for inclusion in the 1828 Catalogue of the Library of the University of Virginia.  

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Remembering Jeb

With deep sadness, the Law Library joins Special Collections assistant Teresa Ritzert in mourning the loss of her service dog, Bubba JEB (“Just Everyone’s Bubba”), who succumbed to canine cancer on Monday.

While at the Law Library, Jeb acquired another job as well. Once he got Teresa safely settled in her office, he would act as the Library’s social chair.  Stationing himself at his regular spot in the hallway outside Teresa’s door, Jeb would watch intently for any sign of a friend – whether that friendship was established or just about to be – who would stop by to give a treat or a rub. Jeb took his duties as social chair very seriously, setting up a daily schedule of rounds for himself on the first and second floors, stopping for brief visits wherever each of his BFFs (that is to say, everyone) was regularly found.When Teresa came to work for the Special Collections department of the Law Library in July 2015, Jeb came to work here, too. Jeb’s primary job was to escort Teresa, who is deaf, to and from work. Last fall, MoreUs featured a two-part article on Jeb and his life as a service dog.

Last fall, we learned with great sorrow that Jeb had cancer. Through chemotherapy, remission and the eventual resurgence of his illness, Jeb came to work nearly every day, never shirking his duties of service, nor on his social obligations. Even when depleted of energy by his illness, he would rally at the sight of a student or staff member “bubba,” bounding down the hall to greet them with exuberance and joy. Students and staff were very supportive of Jeb and Teresa throughout Jeb’s illness. Some brought in a regular supply of venison for his special diet. Others visited frequently and took him outside for walks. Teresa attributes much of Jeb’s unexpectedly long life and well-being to the outpouring of love and support that he received from the Law School community.

The Law Library has set up a memorial display for Jeb at the bottom of the main stairway. A large writing pad has been placed there for those who wish to share their thoughts and memories of Jeb with Teresa.

Many songs require ears to be heard, but those like Jeb’s require only the heart. Though Jeb is gone, his song goes on, and we are all the richer for it.  

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Welcome, Rebecca Hawes!

AJM is delighted to welcome Rebecca Hawes as our new Faculty Services Coordinator. Rebecca manages faculty delivery requests and the Student Delivery Service (SDS). She also supports faculty research, data services, and social media outreach, and she staffs the circulation desk.

Faculty Services Coordinator Rebecca Hawes
Faculty Services Coordinator Rebecca Hawes

Rebecca graduated from the University in 2014 with B.A.s in American Studies and Religious Studies. Most recently she was a college adviser at Nelson County High School, where she worked to improve college access for first-generation, underrepresented, and low-income students. She is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Museum Studies at Johns Hopkins University through its distance learning program. Rebecca is a fan of dogs, dance and travel. Her favorite destinations to date have been London, Paris, and Salzburg.  

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