Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 20, 1976 · Page 99
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 99

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 20, 1976
Page 99
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Page 99 article text (OCR)

4J -June 20,1976 Sunday (jaxette-Mail Charleston. W«l Virginia GIFT Science, Cultural Center Our Birthday Present By Richard Grimes It is said that when you give someone a · ilrthday present it is something you really eed yourself. ; So it is with West Virginia and the na- ion. Ih i«6, the year of the nation's 200th birthday, West Virginia offers as a Bice- tennial gift to the United States what it has done to revive its heritage. It has accomplished it with an expansive new Science and Cultural Center-a shrine of marble, .jranite and bronze that neatly packages West Virginia's past, present and future. · West Virginia is a state of humble begin- Tnings and one that has wrestled with pov- ·ierty ever since. If likened to the story of .'the prodigal son, however, it has done 1-well. The center cost $14 million to build, i Officials in arts fields around the country who have visited the center insist they ;have seen nothing like it. Gov. Moore, who "ipushed hard for its construction, says that ;oniy one or two other states have anything ·that even approaches the center. - IT IS a birthday present for West Virginia, too. West Virginia history never looked ;so good, except maybe when it was being .-made. '/True, it costs. But it also overwhelmes. Visitors will find that out on July 11 ,when the center opens its doors. There will be special performances at the center ithat day along with art displays and tours ;of the 75,000 square feet of the latest in 'art. theater, history, archives, museum land library tacilities. Manyot me Displays will be on line for the opening-day, although some others won't be ready until : this fall. : The center has been under construction '. for almost four years. It has the space of 'three football fields to show, you what is · available in history and culture. Yet everything that has been collected can't be displayed. There isn't enough room. · IF NUMBERS impress you. the state iwill have more than 200,000 artifacts on display. The State Library Commission has a microfilm record of 3 million vol: umes. The commission has on microfilms ev- '· ery copy of The New York Times ever printed. It has all the important documents printed daily by the U.S. Govern; ment printing office. One can find out about the latest U.S. policy with regard to ' Kenya, or what time the sun will set on a given day in the year 2,007. It also can show you a modern-day computer system that will send researchers into ecstasy. Within minutes it will tell ! you, via a New York Times Computer ; Bank, everything that has been gathered ' oh just about any subject since 1969. The library also will have the Lockheed Computer Bank which will go back even further, explained Frederic J. Glazer, execu- · live secretary of the commission. By the push of a button, the computer banks, for example, will show you every article written on coal mines in just about any major publication. On request, the computer will be more specific -- women in the .mines. At the push of a button, it will break down the crime of New York City. More specific, it will tell you the published records of all West Virgiians who committed crimes in New'York -- and so on. Glazer said its limits are unbelievable and he predicts it will become the research center of the state. The cost for a person to use the system may depend on the extent to which the public demands the time of the Library Commission's staff. It could be free and it could range between $12 to $22, depending on what is sought. Glazer-who said he has been carrying the plans for the new facility around with him for so many years they are tissue paper thin-said the center, in his estimation and in the estimation of his collegaues from other states, "is the most magnifi- eient facility of its kind anywhere." . "We'll be the brain, the end-all, the know-all for the state," Glazer asserted. * * * THERE IS MORE to the State Library. Glazer said it will not be a competing library as much as a backup library. The facility will have room for spillover books and documents which community libraries can use as a resource bank. There will be a book exchange operation, storage space for extra books with the ultimate aim of providing any book, periodical or document to any state library, school, college or university that requests it. Starting in April 1973, it has every article on any subject published in the Daily Mail, Gazette and Gazette-Mail categorized in booklet form by headline. "Our reference department will receive its place in the sun," boasts Glazer. It has hundreds of thousands of journals printed by every kind of organization, plus it subscribes to some 600 periodicals. The commission is working on a collection of state papers. The commission will preview, store and loan more than 1,000 films, including the best of Walt Disney, to King Kong, to educational and documentary films. It has a separate department for this. It has its own. photography laboratory, equipped to do high grade color photography. It has its own printing shop to do colorful promotions for libraries, school contests, bookmarks, booklets, bumper stickers, and such. 1 It has a general library with emphasis on the social sciences, history and business. The commission is prepared to tell you where just about any book written can be found--how many copies, and who has them anywhere in the world. It is done with microfilm and eventually will be able to fit the entire system into a shoe box. THERE IS a library communications system with a Twix line to libraries all over the country or toll-free line to libraries. Twelve counties which are small and have no library backup facility will now have such a place at the center. They can come and select books they want. The state has built "instant libraries," which are compact, circular structures, in 17 counties. In case you have never seen one, there is a full-size version built in the center for you to tour. There is a separate section just for the handicapped. It contains books for the blind, educational aids for the deaf, books with large type for those with failing eyesight--all available for libraries across West Virginia. The state has been experimenting with preparing the Sunday Gazette-Mail in Braille. There are reading lounges and lounges for employes. * * * IF YOU LIKE museums and history, the center will intrigue you. The state will vividly show you life in a log cabin, in the country store, in the houseboat, in the riverboat, the proper dress for the historical past. Everything is exacting. The museum will even have dolls of all the state's first ladies. Besides the state, private groups, civic groups, individuals, companies and others have contributed items and talent. Ireland and Associates of New York, a display firm, is coordinating the layout. Helene Sarkis is in charge of the display for Ireland, assisted by Christa Maiwald. The tour of the museum will be somewhat chronological. It will trace the trail JUNE On June 17, 1775, patriots were ordered "don'l fire until you see the whiles of their eyes," and proved they could act as an army, at the battle of Bunker Hill. ENNIAL MESSAGE YOU BY... CHTTO 4 LOCATIONS ST.ALBANS IIT.35 AT 1-64 BRIDGE 755-8J34 DfEII EVENINGS TIL! PH. DOWNTOWN 141 SIIIIMEIISST. 343-5641 OPEN EVENINGS TULIP.". SPRING H1L 4lf 3 NKCOMIEM.S.K 761-1173 OPENEVENMCS TlUPJy AIAWNACITY 3112 935-3441 DPENEjfEMIIfiS -Till Ml. WHERE SERVICE COMES FI -Stall Photo by Chet Hawes Surrounded by Trees, Flowers and Shrubs, New Center Provides 75,000 Sq. Feet of Space Science and Cultural Center Is Massive Show-place of the Indians in West Virginia with a map, artificats and a mood display. It will cover the era of Daniel Boone with a fort constructed to set the stage. The cloths, the flint rocks, the guns, the spinning wheels all will be authentic. There is a settlers Abin of real log construction with a fine stone fireplace, a 30 spindle bed, a spinning wheel from the 1700s, two deer skin rugs, and other items. Outside the cabin in a dirt lawn will be the state's oldest gravestone and this October there will be an old covered wagon parked outside the structure. * * * A WEST VIRGINIA^UNIVERSITY professor and his students collected the many items for store. On the side of the store Mail Pouch Tobacco will paint one of its famous signs. Many of the walls will have graphic blowups of historic scenes. There will be a model of the Rumsey Steamboat invented in West Virginia. There will be a flatboat to walk in, a dock and a blowup of a town to give one the effect of coming into shore. Industry is putting together a presentation on energy with a minitheater and audio visual effects. There will be a time tunnel through which you can walk. There will be a display of West Virginia's role in the Civil War. with artifacts, visual blowups and a tent camp scene in the center. There will be displays of dolls, of clothes, and there will be a recreated Victorian drawing room with wallpaper the same as was in Lincoln's Box in the old Ford Theater. There is preserved furniture from 200 years ago, moved here from the old Greenbrier School for Girls. Victo- rian costumes were donated by a lady in Elkins. There is a transportation display with everything from bikes to trains. There are displays of World War I and World War II. There are artifacts of all kinds. For example, Major Alex Laidley of Charleston gave the state a 2,000 time capsule, prepared about a century ago, which, when opened, will tell people what they will be reading and doing, and what should be imported in that year. There are hand painted fans. THE EXHIBITS are permanent in na-, ture, but there will be changing exhibits, also. Every tour will be guided and the center, in an effort to get away from con-, formity, will not be a 9 to 5 operation. ;· Officials are contemplating a 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. schedule for Monday through Saturday,and noon to 8 p.m. for Sunday. The idea will be for everybody to be able to use it on any day of the week. Noted one official: "It belongs to every West Virginian and, one time or another, we'd like everyone to see it." AMERICA, LAND OF LIBERTY Let us remember the words of Emma Lazarus engraved on the base of the Statue of Liberty: ". . . Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teaming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door." America is the land of the free, it is our tradition and our heritage. St. Albans Mall State Rt. 60 St. Albans Capitol Quarrier Sts Charleston 4 McDonalds Everybody's Bank wantsYOU That's right, you. You're not just anybody-and we want to help you make even more of yourself. Look at our services: Great Day Savings. Everything Checking. Big Wheel Auto Loans and You First Personal Loans., Sure there's something here for everyone. But there's also someone here to work with y-o-u. That's why we think you're going to want us-in a great big way! the bonk of /*. olbon/ SERVING THE LOWER KANAWHA VALLEY SINCE 1900. f SM'-®1974Le|iSha«eiGclnickAdv.Jn£

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