news archives fair to showcase unique collections highlighting shenandoah valley history

Archives fair to showcase unique collections highlighting Shenandoah Valley history

bridgewater collegeA dozen archival institutions from across the region will exhibit unique collections that showcase Valley history during the Shenandoah Valley Archives Fair on Wednesday, Oct. 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The free event will be held at Bridgewater College on on the lower level of the John Kenny Forrer Learning Commons.

The fair will include the Robert R. Newlen ’75 & John C. Bradford special collections at Bridgewater College.

First held in 2019, the Shenandoah Valley Archives Fair is coordinated by local archivists and connects the regional community with Valley history. Styled as an expo, visitors will meet with representatives of regional collecting institutions and learn about unique primary sources that are preserved and shared by Shenandoah Valley archives.

Archivists will share the scope of their collections and explain how to conduct research with the primary sources. Visitors are encouraged to ask questions regarding the availability of primary sources in their areas of interest and research.

“The mission of special collections is to collect, preserve and share our work with the community, so it’s always exciting to make connections to history with primary artifacts,” said Stephanie S. Gardner, special collections librarian at Bridgewater College, in a news release. “We are proud to host the archives fair this year in the Forrer Learning Commons and are looking forward to showing the community what exists in regional repositories.”

Participating institutions include the Augusta County Historical Society, Clarke County Historical Association, George C. Marshall Foundation Library and Archives, Handley Regional Library’s Stewart Bell Jr. Archives, James Madison University Special Collections, Massanutten Regional Library, Rocktown History, Shenandoah County Library’s Truban Archives, Shenandoah University Special Collections and the Evangelical United Brethren Archives, Washington and Lee University Library Special Collections and the Waynesboro Public Library.

The Shenandoah Valley Archives Fair coincides with Virginia Archives Month. Celebrated during the month of October, Virginia Archives Month honors the institutions and individuals across the Commonwealth that help preserve and make accessible the important records of our actions as citizens, businesses and religious groups, and as a government and society.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.