Mason Libraries Announces Artist-in-Residence Program Pilot

George Mason University Libraries is excited to announce a new venture: the Mason Libraries Artist-in-Residence Program. For our first (pilot) year, we’ve invited Adriana Monsalve, a photobook artist and publisher, to join us in a research and visual arts project.

Throughout April and May 2019, Monsalve will be dividing her residency between the Mason Libraries (particularly the Fenwick Gallery and the Special Collections Research Center in Fenwick Library) and the Mason School of Art to lead a series of in-class lectures and workshops, and to conduct research in the library’s photobook and artists’ book collections. The residency will conclude with an exhibition curated by Monsalve, a special artist’s talk, and the publication of a collaborative zine produced by Mason students and faculty.

“I am a storyteller and visual communicator that produces in-depth stories on identity through the nuances in between. As a daughter of immigrants from the Caribbean Republic of Colombia, I have struggled with the concept of ‘home.’ As immigrants, we are everywhere and we have to belong somewhere, so we’ve made habitats for ourselves in pocket towns of people like us. I’m documenting to show you something I’ve found and ultimately, something I am. I’m documenting so you know I was here. I am an artist, book maker, and educator… but I am still reclaiming space. I am growing into the many things that were made for me at the intersection of personal, political, and poetic.”

About Adriana Monsalve: Adriana Monsalve is an artist and collaborative publisher working in the photo book medium. Together with Caterina Ragg, they run Homie House Press from Beltsville, MD and Lambrate, Milano, Italy. HHP is a radical cooperative platform where they challenge the ever-changing forms of storytelling with image + text.

Monsalve earned a Masters in Photojournalism from the University of Westminster, London in 2013. In 2018, she was awarded the Lucie Independent Photo Book Prize for her collaborative photo book, Femme Frontera, a project which was funded by the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures and was part of the Master Artist Grant for 2017.

The works of Homie House Press have been collected in the Library of Congress, the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and Maryland Institute College of Art, among other private collections. At Mason, you can find Monsalve’s photobooks and HHP publications in the Mason Libraries Artists’ Book Collection, housed in the Special Collections Research Center.

See more on Monsalve’s work and HHP at http://www.adrianastories.com.


This residency is sponsored by the George Mason University Libraries, the Mason School of Art, and the Mason University Life Programming Fund. For more details about the program and upcoming events, visit the Fenwick Gallery website, http://fenwickgallery.gmu.edu/residency.

And the winner is…

Thank you to everyone who participated in our very own take on March Madness, as curated by our Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) team! SCRC selected their staff favorites, and each week the voting commenced, bracket-style. The competition was fierce, but the people have chosen, and the winner is:

Professor Arthur M. Whitehall, Jr. of the University of North Carolina, January 1950, Oliver F. Atkins photograph collection, C0036, Box 15, Folder 11, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries

SCRC’s Staff Picks will remain on display through August 2019, so please come by and check them out in person. They are also available for viewing in SCRC’s Flickr album.

Marchives Madness!

Visit. View. Vote!

The Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) has opened their new exhibition featuring SCRC staff favorites, and they would like you to vote for the winner!

An online exhibition has been created that features all of the items physically on display in the SCRC Exhibition Gallery. Check them out in SCRC’s Flickr album and then vote for your favorite by taking the survey.

Voting will take place each week in March in the style of #MarchMadness. The first week 32 items will be chosen, the next week 16 items will be chosen, and so on. Prizes will be awarded each week to a random participant. Then, join SCRC in Fenwick 2306 for a March Madness watch party on March 21!

Mason Libraries Collections now featured in DPLA

The University Libraries is pleased to announce its participation in the collaborative effort, Digital Virginias, created by a group of universities in Virginia and West Virginia. In addition to George Mason University, Digital Virginias partners include University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, College of William and Mary, and West Virginia University.

Digital Virginias is the newest hub to join the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) – a nationwide digital project with the goal of maximizing public access to our shared history, culture, and knowledge. DPLA currently has 40 partners, including such national treasures as the National Archives and Records Administration, the Smithsonian Institution, the New York Public Library, and others, including representatives of most of the 50 states. DPLA collections contain millions of items available to the public for research and exploration. Digital Virginias is currently comprised of more than 58,000 items, and expects to grow both collection items and participating regional partners throughout the upcoming year, thus building a network that will extend to capture and expose digital collections across both Virginia and West Virginia.

Within the Mason Libraries, preparing to join this endeavor was a team effort. Lynn Eaton, Director of Special Collections Research Center, and Bob Vay, Archivist, identified collections that the Libraries could submit to the hub. Peggy Griesinger, former Metadata Librarian, prepared all of the metadata for the items and served on the hub Group’s metadata committee (Tricia Mackenzie, Head of Metadata Services, and Ashley Howell, Metadata Specialist, will take over metadata duties going forward). Wally Grotophorst, Associate University Librarian for Digital Systems & Strategies, served on the hub’s Strategy Group.

About Mason’s collaboration, Lynn Eaton remarks, “The University Libraries Special Collections Research Center is excited to be able to add selected collections to the DPLA hub, as this provides an additional point of contact to our digital content. We appreciate the opportunity to be part of the planning group, and look forward to adding even more of our manuscript materials to this incredible resource.”

Bob Vay adds, “It was gratifying to be asked to participate in this project. Two of the several collections we chose to include (George Mason University Yearbooks and the “Frankly Speaking” radio programs) are among my personal favorites. Inclusion into the DPLA exposes them to a much wider audience. I see this as a big win for those who desire access to interesting content!”

John Zenelis, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, commented that “Digital Virginias is an ambitious longer-term undertaking to make accessible to scholars and to the general public alike the rich cultural resources that reside at not only the currently six participating universities, but to gradually encompass the holdings of other higher education institutions, historical societies, museums, and other cultural entities in the two states. As part of the Digital Virginias network, Mason Libraries has taken on the role to assist other such organizations in the greater Northern Virginia region as they initiate digital projects for future inclusion in the Digital Virginias service hub.”

To search items in the collection, visit https://dp.la/news/digital-virginias-is-now-a-dpla-hub. For more about Digital Virginias, visit https://digitalvirginias.org/.