Ang Buhay sa Nayon/Life in the Valley

Come join us in Room 5211, Rose Library, on Saturday, April 25 from 2 pm – 3:30 pm to celebrate the opening of Ang Buhay sa Nayon/Life in the Valley – the first collection in the Shenandoah Living Archive. As you may know, the Shenandoah Living Archive is a new Libraries and Educational Technologies initiative that captures, creates, and curates life in the Shenandoah Valley. Last semester, students in Professor Sean McCarthy’s WRTC Digital Rhetoric class took on the task of prototyping the Shenandoah Living Archive concept. Now, we are excited to announce that the first collection in the Shenandoah Living Archive is open to the public!

Fil-Am-July4-2013.PNG-1“The Filipino American Community of the Shenandoah Valley float in the 4th of July Parade, 2013. Their entry won Most Creative that year.”


Ang Buhay sa Nayon/Life in the Valley is an oral history collection consisting of 23 interviews with 17 Filipino Americans – 15 immigrants and 2 second generations – who live in the Shenandoah Valley. Over the past year Hannah Moses, a Public History Master’s student, has been interviewing members of the Filipino American Community in the Shenandoah Valley. Though Filipino Americans are the second largest Asian American group in the United States, in the Shenandoah Valley they are a small but growing minority.
2014 Intl Festival“Members of the Filipino American Community of the Shenandoah Valley at the Filipino Booth, Global Village, Harrisonburg International Festival, 2013.”

While immigrants all over the country face challenges when they adjust to life in a new home, Filipino Americans in the Valley have to contend with struggles unique to their background and their new location. For example, Filipino Americans come from a country that was once a colony of the United States. Most of them grew up speaking English in school and were exposed to American pop culture early on. This can mean that adjusting to the United States was an easy process, or it can mean that they felt pushed to conform to American culture before ever leaving their home country. Ang Buhay sa Nayon/Life in the Valley collection contains the stories of Filipino Americans who came to the United States between 1963 and 2010. The variety of their experiences speaks to the incredible diversity of Filipino Americans and to the diversity of those who call the Valley home.

To learn more about the Filipino American experience in the Shenandoah Valley, come to the JMU Special Collection’s reception on April 25. Meet those who participated in the project, hear their stories, and learn about the rich diversity in this beautiful Valley. If you can’t make it to the event, check out Hannah Moses’ digital exhibit showcasing this collection –
We hope you can come celebrate with us April 25. Or better yet, come to Special Collections and dig into this collection yourself!


About Mark Peterson

Rare Books and Research Services Librarian at James Madison University Libraries.

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