Aull Center for Local History and Genealogy Research
A branch of the Morgantown Public Library established in 2004 and dedicated to local history and genealogy, the Aull Center is located in the historic Garlow House. The house was built in 1907 and was home to the family of Aaron J. Garlow, president of the Second National Bank. Researchers are welcome to explore collections of books, photo albums, yearbooks, and a plethora of family histories. The Aull Center is also home to the J. D. Rechter Holocaust Memorial Library and a portion of the Appalachian Prison Book Project collection. It serves the public as a research center and forum for discussing the past.
Backstory and Context
The Morgantown Public Library acquired funds from the William and Josephine Aull trust to purchase the house in 2000. The Aull Center opened in 2004 and holds the Library's non-circulating local history and genealogical collections on the first floor. Researchers enjoy a beautiful historic setting as they work. 99% of the house's woodwork is original and a painted glass window displays a classic Appalachian mountain scene in one room. The Aull Center also hosts forums, such as the Morgantown Area History Roundtable, and occasionally offers tours of the house.2
Upstairs is home to two unique collections, the J. D. Rechter Holocaust Memorial Library and the Appalachian Prison Book Project. The Holocaust Memorial Library was established by Edith Levy, a Holocaust survivor from Vienna, Austria, who immigrated to the United States and settled in Morgantown. Levy had help from book dealer Ken Schoen, who also had family members in the Holocaust. The Library bears the name of Levy's father, who perished at Auschwitz. With more than 1,000 books on the Holocaust, the J. D. Rechter Holocaust Memorial Library is the largest collection of its kind in West Virginia.3 Also at the Aull Center is much of the Appalachian Prison Book Project (APBP) collection. Created by WVU English professor Katy Ryan in 2004, APBP is a nonprofit organization that has sent over 20,000 free books to incarcerated individuals in Appalachia.4
At the Aull Center, history is not just part of a mission statement, but brought to life every day through research, education, and preservation.
2. Rote, "The Ghosts of the Garlow House," 19; "Roundtable focuses on preservation," The Dominion Post.
3. "Aull Center," Main Street Morgantown; Board, "Holocaust Survivor Educates W.Va. Youth," WVPR.
4. Appalachian Prison Book Project website.
Appalachian Prison Book Project. West Virginia University. Accessed September 2017. https://aprisonbookproject.wordpress.com
"Aull Center." Main Street Morgantown. Accessed September 2017. https://mainstreetmorgantown.wordpress.com/aull-center/
Board, Glynis. "Holocaust Survivor Educates W.Va. Youth." West Virginia Public Broadcasting. March 24, 2014. http://wvpublic.org/post/holocaust-survivor-educates-wva-youth#stream/0
"Garlow House." Main Street Morgantown. Accessed September 2017. https://mainstreetmorgantown.wordpress.com/garlow-house/
"Queen Anne." Architectural Styles of America and Europe. Accessed September 2017. https://architecturestyles.org/queen-anne/
Rote, Lauren Wilcox. "The Ghosts of the Garlow House." Morgantown Magazine, June/July 2015, 19.
"Roundtable focuses on preservation." The Dominion Post. March 12, 2017, http://www.dominionpost.com/Roundtable-focuses-on-preservati
West Virginia Association of Museums. "Josephine and William Aull Center at the Garlow House." West Virginia Association of Museums Newsletter, Winter 2005. Accessed September 2017. http://wvmuseums.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2005_winter.pdf