Morrow Library: not just an old library

Marshall University’s John E. Morrow Library is frequently overlooked by students working on research papers, projects and other class assignments.

Morrow Library, dedicated in 1937, is home to 827 unique collections of a variety of different books, articles, videos and more. The collections cover a variety of topics, mostly applying to history, literature and political science majors.

“There are certain academic disciplines that find our collections more interesting than others,” said Morrow Library archivist Nat DeBruin.

DeBruin said many students do not realize how many resources Morrow Library has to offer and instead only use the Drinko Library or online databases.

“Partly because our collections are the older materials,” DeBruin said. “I think that probably the single biggest reason is because ours are the older collections.”

Some of the larger collections include the Rosanna Blake Library of Confederate History, The Nelson Bond Papers and the WSAZ TV News Film Archives.

The Rosanna Blake Library of Confederate History contain books and artifacts, many of which pertain specifically to the life of Robert E. Lee. Librarian Jack Dickerson works exclusively in the Blake collection and can help students with papers and projects pertaining to Civil War history.

The Nelson Bond Papers is a collection from science fiction author and Marshall graduate Nelson Bond. Bond wrote over 250 short stories during what was considered the Golden Age of Sci-Fi and many of those manuscripts are housed in Morrow Library.

The WSAZ TV News Film Archives contains film reels from past WSAZ newscasts dating back to the 1970s. Many of the archives are contained on reels, VHS tapes and are currently being transferred to DVD.

Morrow Library also contains the stack towers, a six-floor system of rooms of bookshelves.

“Stop at the front dest first,” DeBruin said. “We will usually draw them a little map.”

The Morrow Library staff asks that students sign in and leave their student IDs at the front dest before going into the stacks, so the staff has an account of how many people are in the building for safety reasons.

DeBruin and the other library staff recommend library users announce themselves when entering different rooms in the stacks.

“I try not to sneak up on anyone. You know, just tap on a bookshelf and let them know you are coming,” DeBruin said.

The Morrow Library has many resources students would not otherwise be able to access through Internet databases. The library staff reminds students not to count them out when working on finals and term papers.

“The traditional library is not dead. All the information you need and you are seeking is not on the computer,” DeBruin said. “We have the resources and materials you need to do research right here.”

MacKenzi Kyle can be contacted at [email protected]