Celebrating Shakespeare – a JMU Tradition

by Julia Merkel William Shakespeare lived from 1564 until April 23, 1616. This April, Shakespeare’s legacy will be celebrated worldwide. James Madison University formally kicks-off honoring the Bard with a lecture on April 4th, along with exhibits in Carrier Library, Rose Library, and the Prism Gallery at Festival. If one is not able to see the Carrier Library exhibits, please visit the online exhibit instead! In preparing for the Carrier Library exhibits, English Graduate Student, Megan O’Neill and Art History Junior Madison Whitesell discovered that celebrating Shakespeare has a 100-year old tradition here in Harrisonburg and at JMU – or, the “Normal” as it was affectionately known back in the day. From May 25 – 26, 1916, the Harrisonburg and Madison communities came together for an all-out Shakespearean love-fest captured in “Brilliant Scenes at Pageant’s End,” a Daily News-Record article from May 27th touting Shakespeare’s 300th anniversary as a momentous two-day event with audience members from Harrisonburg, Rockingham and adjoining counties. Children from the Main Street School School star as a very young Queen Elizabeth, Robin Hood, and Foresters (JMU Special Collections Historic Photographs, #Stsk08) Faculty member, Miss Ruth Hudson, organized festivities on Thursday with school groups from Broadway, Waterman, and Continue reading Celebrating Shakespeare – a JMU Tradition

1855 Recipe Book – Taste of the Past

by Halle Forbes, Student Assistant Need some new recipes to test out? JMU Libraries’ JMuse Café is hosting a presentation all about food originating right here in the Shenandoah Valley. The presentation will be held in Rose Library on January 28th at 6:30pm. The presentation and discussion will include the history of over 80 handwritten, classic recipes, from how to make a cheap white cake and coconut pudding, to how to remove ink stains. These timeless techniques will be read and discussed. In addition, Chef Tassie Pippert will present selected recipes of main dishes and desserts for all to sample. Many of these recipes are found in a Shenandoah Valley recipe book from 1855 found in JMU’s Special Collections. Although the authors of the cookbook are unknown, the recipes live on even today, as this event showcases. The Cookbook is believed to have been written in Rockingham County. This book is significant as it predates the Civil War. Materials from that time period, such as this handwritten, family resource, are not widely available. JMU’s Special Collections purchased this book from the estate of Lois Gaynor, of Elkton, Virginia, in an auction. The recipes have been transcribed by Mark S. Purington, Continue reading 1855 Recipe Book – Taste of the Past