Information for Scholars

Civility rules: Please review the NEH principles on civility and promise to abide by them. These rules will be discussed during the first day of the seminar.

Technology: A laptop will be very useful for the research portions of the seminar. Summer scholars who can bring a laptop should plan to do so, if at all possible. A tablet such as an Ipad would allow scholars to accomplish most of the research activities. If scholars do not have a laptop or tablet to bring, it may be possible to borrow a device for the duration of the seminar. Please contact the director with this request. The National Library of Medicine and the National Archives allow researchers to photograph print materials. A tablet camera is probably sufficient, but a higher quality camera will produce better images.

Identification: Access by researchers to all federal buildings (Library of Congress, National Archives, and National Library of Medicine) will require a government issued identification (driver’s license preferred). Participants are encouraged to bring an additional government issued identification, if available. Additional information about access will be provided during the seminar.

Clothing: Most days on the Virginia Tech campus (weeks one and three) can be pretty informal, as we’ll be meeting in a seminar room in the library room and it will be casual. We’ll have a reception one afternoon during the first week, with invited guests from Virginia Tech and the community, so the dress might be more like business attire but not formal. In DC, we’ll be going to government libraries where many (but not all) of the personnel will be in business suits, so that might be more of a professional attire. It will probably be hot and we will be using public transportation and / or walking, so you will want to be comfortable (and all the buildings are air conditioned). Dinners in DC will be on your own, so you’ll decide how formal to be. Most dining in Blacksburg is pretty casual.

Transportation: The seminar will provide transportation from Blacksburg to Washington DC in university vans. Scholars who have cars and wish to drive themselves are welcome to do so. In Washington, travel will be primarily by Metro and / or walking. The director will provide instructions on routes, travel options, and meeting times. Scholars will need to pay the costs of local transportation, approximately $10/day for trips on the Metro. Scholars who have cars in Washington are welcome to drive to the research sites, and instructions will be provided for meeting times. On the Virginia Tech campus, scholars are encouraged to walk from the residence hall to the library (less than ten minutes), as parking, construction, and traffic make driving impractical.

Arrival: To locate New Hall West on a GPS device, please use this address: New Hall West, W Campus Dr, Blacksburg, VA 24060, United States. Park in the lot across Washington Street or the lot on W. Campus Drive. The Roanoke-Blacksburg regional airport is approximately a 45 minute drive from Virginia Tech. The project director can assist in arranging for a shuttle for arriving scholars. Bus service is available for the return trip to the airport.

Check in: New Hall West is staffed 24 hours a day, and scholars may check in at any time. Please let the project director know approximately what time you plan to arrive.

Linens are provided at Virginia Tech..

Parking: All scholars driving to Blacksburg will receive a campus parking pass for three weeks. Scholars not staying on campus will receive daily passes. In DC, free parking is available at Catholic University for those scholars who drive their cars. Scholars who are driving directly to the research sites will need to find parking in the vicinity.

Food: Scholars who requested full meal service at Virginia Tech will have their meals at the D2 dining facility (more information including hours, menus, and allergy details are available here).  In Washington, scholars will be responsible for all their food. Each of the research sites has a cafeteria or other dining facilities available to scholars. Limited meal options are available on campus. More options are available in the surrounding neighborhood. Scholars will be provided with a morning break and an afternoon break each day that the seminar takes place in Blacksburg.

Weather: Because of its elevation, Blacksburg tends to be slightly cooler than the rest of Virginia, with daytime temperatures in July usually in the mid to high 80s. Most afternoons have the potential for thunderstorms (especially if you are planning a picnic or some other  outing). Extensive discussions of weather for Blacksburg and the New River Valley are available here. Washington will be hot, hazy, and humid. All of the buildings in DC are air conditioned, and can be cool. Extensive discussion of weather is Washington are available here.

Safety: Information about safety issues at Virginia Tech are available here. Safety issues will be discussed during the seminar. Questions and concerns should be sent to the project director.

More information about activities in the seminar locations:

Blacksburg: Arts Dining Downtown

Washington DC