Preservation and Access: Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Period of Performance

5/1/2009 - 10/31/2011

Funding Totals

$279,914.00 (approved)
$279,914.00 (awarded)

Encyclopedia Virginia

FAIN: PW-50312-09

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (Charlottesville, VA 22903-4625)
Matthew S. Gibson (Project Director: August 2008 to February 2012)

Development of the Encyclopedia Virginia, an online reference work of comprehensive, peer reviewed, and digitally born content that focuses on Virginia's people, history, government, economy, and culture.

Encyclopedia Virginia (EV), a multi-year online publication of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH), is a publicly accessible reference work of comprehensive, peer-reviewed, and digitally-born content that focuses on Virginia's people, history, government, economy, and culture. With this proposal, EV seeks funds to develop sections of entries that explore the facts, complexities, and interpretations of pre-colonial and colonial Virginia history and to use this content as a proving ground to demonstrate to similar projects the benefits of robust markup and open technology standards. This project is important not only because of the content we are building, but also because of how we are building it: with a deliberate eye towards longevity and adaptability.

Media Coverage

Black Confederates Cont. (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Ta-Nehisi Coates
Publication: The Atlantic
Date: 4/18/2011
Abstract: In his interview with the Takeaway, Kevin Levin pointed out that one reason the Black Confederate myth continues is because academics haven't done enough public debunking. Leaving aside our need to believe certain myths, I think part of the problem is that so much of academic debate is hidden behind the curtain of conferences and JSTOR. My sense is that there are reasons even beyond that owing to some larger split between the University and the public. I'd hear more from the Horde on that point. With that said, I was glad to see this thorough entry in the Encyclopedia Virginia on black confederates, authored by Jaime Amanda Martinez, a historian at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke."

Digital Encyclopedia Aims to be All Things Virginia (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Jane Ford
Publication: UVAToday
Date: 7/30/2009
Abstract: "Want to know about the history of Massive Resistance, women's suffrage, the Wreck of the Old 97 or other topics of history, government, economics, culture and the people in Virginia? Visit Encyclopedia Virginia. The free and interactive electronic resource, an endeavor of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, was launched in November with content covering 20th-century history, literature and the Civil War."

Encyclopedia Virginia Aids Students, History Buffs (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Keith McGilvery
Publication: NBC29
Date: 2/10/2011
Abstract: Discussion of EV and use of LAYAR, geospatial data.

New York Times (Media Coverage)
Publication: Times Topics
Date: 6/9/2011
Abstract: The NY Times has republished some of EV's entries to help profile and advertise some of their archival content related to the Civil War. Entries that the Times posted include John Brown, George Pickett, Belle Boyd, Winfield Scott, and Robert E. Lee

Early Users Find Savings in Cloud Storage (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Mark Everett Hall
Publication: Computer World
Date: 7/13/2009
Abstract: Discusses EV's use of cloud storage for images and media assets as a redundant preservation mechanism

Associated Products

Encyclopedia Virginia (Web Resource)
Title: Encyclopedia Virginia
Author: Matthew Gibson
Abstract: With generous funding from NEH in 2009, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities was able to create content related to the topics of Virginia's Precolonial and Colonial history and culture. Assets created, edited, and aggregated include digitally born entries reflecting contemporary scholarship related to the content focus, unique digital assets (e.g. portraits, manuscripts, and audio/video material) from partnership organizations, and transcribed primary documents to add layers of depth and context to the topical entries.
Year: 2009
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Encyclopedia Virginia is a publicly accessible online publication of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. As a web publication, the Encyclopedia adds an entirely new dimension to the work done by VFH over the last thirty years. With the mission to develop the civic, cultural, and intellectual life of the Commonwealth by creating learning opportunities for all Virginians, VFH brings together the resources and content to make the Encyclopedia a valuable tool for exploring the people, history, government, economy, and culture of Virginia. Currently on the site users will find deep and broad coverage in topics related to Precolonial and Colonial history, Civil War history, and Twentieth-century history.