Keeping Up-to-Date with an Age-Old-Art

JMU Libraries’ Preservation Officer Attends Summer Workshops at Cat Tail Run School for Bookbinding Arts by Julia Merkel The time to hone “bench” skills, learn new repair techniques, and catch up with colleagues in the book arts is always a welcome opportunity. This Summer, I was able to attend three workshops at the Cat Tail Run Bindery. Incidentally, the school and bindery are run by proprietor Jill Deiss, a JMU graduate. The bindery opened in 1991, and the School for Bookbinding Arts followed soon after as an alternative to traditional apprenticeships. Deiss believes that bookbinding can be effectively taught through short, focused courses within a carefully designed curriculum (perfect for working professionals.) She has seen her students develop advanced skills with many going on to full conservation training. Cat Tail Run is a busy and magical little place tucked away in the wooded rolling hills northwest of Winchester, Virginia. Customers of the bindery are as varied as private citizens wishing to have family bibles restored or new theses and dissertations bound to oversize county record books built to withstand extremely heavy use to prestigious institutions such as the Folger Shakespeare Library, the National Cathedral, or the Smithsonian requiring period appropriate Continue reading Keeping Up-to-Date with an Age-Old-Art

The 19th Amendment: A History of Women’s Rights at JMU

By Fiona Wirth JMU Libraries is pleased to present the sixth Dressing for Education exhibit collaboration between Special Collections and the JMU Historic Clothing Collection. This exhibit celebrates the upcoming 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment’s ratification and explores the civic engagement of women on campus through artifacts, manuscripts, and clothing. The 19th Amendment: A History of Women’s Rights at JMU is free and open to the public during all library hours in the historic west wing of Carrier Library now through Spring 2020. This exhibit was curated by Julia Merkel ‘92M and Pamela Schuelke Johnson ‘90M with the assistance of Madison Whitesell ‘17, Ashley Roth ‘17, Fiona Wirth ‘18, Matthew Perkins ‘18, and Renessa Rabenda ‘21. As a student assistant for Special Collections and Preservation, I was incredibly involved behind the scenes in the research, writing, and curation of this exhibit. My introduction to the exhibit process began in Summer 2017, a year after planning had already begun by previous assistants. While a basic outline had been organized and rudimentary background research formatted, I was tasked with perusing resources to configure the best examples with which to pursue our narrative. In researching the history of women’s civic engagement at Continue reading The 19th Amendment: A History of Women’s Rights at JMU

Color Our Collections – February 5-9, 2018

Join us for the Color Our Collections event, February 5-9, 2018! Led by The New York Academy of Medicine, the event invites you to download images from library and cultural institution collections, color them, and share them on social media using the event hashtag #ColorOurCollections. Download a PDF of coloring pages sourced from JMU publications held by JMU Special Collections by clicking on the image below:  

Nancy Bondurant Jones: Shenandoah Legend

On Wednesday, December 13th, the Shenandoah Valley lost a beloved member of the community. Nancy Bondurant Jones was a well-known author throughout the Valley, and she leaves a unique mark on all that either read her work or had the pleasure of working with her to inspire the next generations. Selena St. Andre, Special Collections Student Assistant, has been working all semester to process a recent addition to the papers of Nancy Bondurant Jones held in Special Collections. Selena wrote this tribute, and update about her work on the collection.