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

New Exhibit Now Open

By Evelyn Riley, Graduate Student Assistant, and Natalie Hoak, Student Intern Our newest Special Collections exhibit is now on display and open to the public! Please stop by for our Gallery Talk on Friday, April 18 at 3 pm.  This will be outside the Special Collections Reading Room, Carrier 205.  Hope to see you there! The exhibit, “A Chance to Live”: African-American Experiences in Rockingham County, Virginia from Slavery to the 21st Century, highlights the multifaceted transformation that occurred over the past 200 years by approaching African-American history with a local lens.