From Dracula to Steampunk: 5 unique events at UVA Library

By Molly Minturn | October 6, 2023

Sure, you can visit the University of Virginia Library to borrow books (we have more than 5 million of them!), to find a cozy study space, or even to use a 3-D printer, but did you know we offer events ranging from workshops to gallery talks for UVA and the Charlottesville community throughout the year?

Below, check out five upcoming events for those who love art, crafting, cosplay, and Halloween. All Library events are free.

Dracula event banner 1. Dracula Daily: An evening with author Matt Kirkland

On Monday, October 9, the UVA Library will host Matt Kirkland, author of “Dracula Daily,” in the Harrison/Small Auditorium. Kirkland will sign copies of his new publication (books will be available for sale) and talk about the creation and evolution of the “Dracula Daily project, which started out as a wildly popular email newsletter. Visitors will have the opportunity to interact with Kirkland and explore the history of Dracula in print. Refreshments will be served, jack-o’-lanterns will be on display, and vampire-themed costumes are encouraged.

  • When: Monday, Oct. 9; 6 – 7:30 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.)
  • Where: Harrison/Small Auditorium
  • Registration is required: Register on Eventbrite here.

Book safe photo 2. Make a Book Safe Workshop

Bring an old book to hollow out and turn into a safe place to store your valuables! A limited number of books will be available; all other tools will be provided. No experience is needed. It only takes an hour to make a safe, so you won’t need to stay for the whole workshop time. Registration is required.

Halloween craft with glowing eyes 3. Halloween Maker Craft Workshops

The Scholars’ Lab TinkerTank is offering workshops during the week before Halloween (and on Halloween Day) to drop in and create a light-up craft. Participants can also use our button makers, sewing machines, CNC paper cutter, and electronics to make Halloween costumes, decorations, and decor. All supplies are included, all for free!

  • When: Oct. 24-27, Oct. 29-31; 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. each day
  • Where: Scholars’ Lab TinkerTank (Clemons, third Floor)
  • Registration is required; individual workshop calendar listings below.
    10/24, 10/25, 10/26, 10/27, 10/29, 10/30, 10/31

Harlem Renaissance exhibition banner 4. Final Friday — Their World As Big As They Made It

Join us for a Final Friday celebration of our new exhibitions, including “Their World As Big As They Made It: Looking Back at the Harlem Renaissance,” which features the visionary works of writers, artists, and thinkers whose creative and intellectual pursuits reflected the diversity of discourses that defined Black American identity and political consciousness in the early 20th century.

Five artists with connections to UVA and Charlottesville have works on display as part of our “As Big As You Make It!” project (supported by a grant from the UVA Arts Council), connecting artists working today to Harlem Renaissance poetry from a century ago. 

This is a free event and an open house-style celebration. Gallery talks are slated for the following times: 

6:15 - Main Gallery - Their World As Big As They Made It with curators Krystal Appiah and George Riser
6:30 - First Floor Gallery - Out of the Box, On the Wall: Russell Smith’s University of Virginia from the Toll Gate with curator Garth Anderson
6:45 - First Floor Gallery - Portrait of a Poet—Revisited: William Edward West’s Percy Bysshe Shelley with curator Annyston Pennington

Steampunk workshop photo 5. Steampunk Cosplay Workshop

Do you have a great Steampunk cosplay or Halloween costume in mind? Need some motivation and materials? Come to the TinkerTank Makerspace for an in-person workshop to make a leather and brass light-up wrist cuff, or use the materials to make your own costume accessory! All materials are provided. This is an open workshop; feel free to come and go whenever you can.

For more events, check out the UVA Library Calendar.