by Jody Brumage
We are excited to announce the opening of another part of Senator Byrd’s Collection for researcher access. The Library Collection is comprised of almost 800 titles, including a wide range of subjects from Ancient Greek and Roman historians and philosophers to volumes on early American history and constitutional law.
A few months ago, we published a blog describing part of Senator Byrd’s Library Collection which was being processed and cataloged by CLS Intern Dylan Rosenlieb. These books comprise the main section of the collection, containing over 600 individual books which Senator Byrd amassed over his 57 years in Congress. Some of these titles even pre-date his time in office, such as school books and yearbooks from Senator Byrd’s early education at Mark Twain High School. Senator Byrd also collected older books of speeches and memoirs of former members of Congress which date back to the early 19th century.
By Jody Brumage
In 1992, Senator Robert C. Byrd wrote in one of his Byrd’s Eye-View columns that “I have long believed that West Virginia is a prime site for the development of a viable and productive tourism industry.”
While West Virginia’s official greeting, “Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia,” is widely known today, that has not always been the case. Asserting West Virginia’s role as a major tourism attraction was a major goal of Senator Byrd’s congressional career.
In 1961, during his first term in the U.S. Senate, Byrd published a Byrd’s Eye-View entitled “Tourism can be New Big Industry for West Virginia,” stating that “The only reason West Virginia’s tourism industry is not currently enjoying its full potential is that the State lacks the kinds of developed recreational areas and facilities needed to attract great numbers of travelers.” Byrd identified two key problems in the statement: first, West Virginia lacked a sufficient number and variety of areas set aside for tourism, and second, the state also lacked infrastructure to bring tourists to these places. Byrd’s lengthy career in public service would address both of these problems.
By Jody Brumage
Followers of the “Posts from the Archives” blog series will recall a post from this past February describing our project to inventory Senator Byrd’s Audio/Visual (AV) Collection in preparation for digitization. At the time, we had just started digging into the boxes and sorting the materials by media type. Now, several months later, we’ve made significant progress on this endeavor, though we are still making exciting new discoveries.
Welcome to the Byrd Center Blog! We share content here including research from our archival collections, articles from our director, and information on upcoming events.