Graduate students to lead library history tour

Leon Mire, Associate News Editor

Two graduate students will lead a guided tour of the new Booth exhibit “A Question of History: Public History in Illinois” at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Marvin Foyer and Reference Hallway near the north entrance of Booth Library.

Aaron Martin and Hailey Paige, both graduate students in historical administration, helped create the exhibit along with other students in the 2016-17 class and support from Booth Library. Martin is a graduate assistant for the Historical Administration program, and Paige is a graduate assistant for the Tarble Arts Center.

Martin and Paige will be available to answer questions about the exhibit, as well as questions about the process of creating an exhibit, such as deciding on a theme, surveying audiences, getting loans from other institutions and installing the exhibit.

Among the items in the exhibit is a time capsule kept by the Coles County Historical Society 50 years ago and opened in March. The exhibit also includes natural history specimens kept in museums during the 19th century, such as skulls and turtle shells. It also features the Mackinaw cache blades, “one of the most remarkable collections of lithic projectile points in North America,” according to the program guide.

The exhibit was created in part to raise awareness about the importance of public history after the Illinois State Museum closed temporarily from October 2015 to July 2016 as a result of the statewide budget crisis. According to the program guide, the exhibit “trace(s) the role of the public and the historical institutions of Illinois to show how history continues to be vital to our cultural heritage and identity.”

The exhibit was put on display March 30 and will remain in Booth Library until July 31, 2017.

Leon Mire can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]