Aspiring writers and historians who use memoirs for research might learn something new from West Virginia author C. Robert Barnett.
Barnett will present “Memoirs as History: Small Town Life in West Virginia in the 1950s” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3, during the next after-hours lecture hosted by the West Virginia Archives and History Library of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.
Barnett will discuss the differences in style and content between history, autobiography and memoir by presenting examples from his book about growing up in Newell in the Northern Panhandle in the 1950s. He also will use his book to show how his memoir is more than a personal story because it is set in a historical context. Barnett will cite other popular West Virginia memoirs to illustrate social history.
Barnett is professor emeritus at Marshall University, where he taught sports history for 35 years. He has written numerous articles, reviews and academic papers, and his work has appeared in such publications as Goldenseal, the West Virginia Encyclopedia, and the Journal of Sport History. His most recent publication is a memoir, Growing Up in the Last Small Town: A West Virginia Memoir (2010). His next book will be about the history of sports in West Virginia.
The Jan. 3 lecture will take place in the archives library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex, in Charleston. All sessions are free and the public is invited to attend. The library will close at 5 p.m. and reopen at 5:45 p.m. for participants only.
Advance registration for the workshop is not required, but is encouraged. To register in advance, contact Bobby Taylor, archives library manager, at (304) 558-0230, ext. 163, or by e-mail at Bobby.L.Taylor@wv.gov. Participants interested in registering by e-mail should send their name, telephone number and the name and date of the session. For additional information about the workshop, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.
The Archives and History Library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday. The library is closed on Sunday.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.