A Question of History: Public History in Illinois
Mar 30 – Jul 31 all-day

Eastern Illinois University’s Booth Library will debut a new exhibit, “A Question of History: Public History in Illinois,” on March 30, 2017.  The public is invited to view this exhibit at any time during the library’s business hours.

The exhibit was produced by students in EIU’s Historical Administration graduate program. For more information about the exhibit and related programming visit the web page here.

On Oct. 1, 2015, the Illinois State Museum closed its doors for nine months amidst a statewide budget crisis. This closure brought the topic of public history in Illinois to the forefront of a national conversation about the relevance of history. In an effort to raise awareness about the importance of public history, EIU’s 2016-2017 Historical Administration class, with the support of Booth Library, will present “A Question of History: Public History in Illinois.”

Featuring items from institutions across the state, including the Illinois State Museum, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, and the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, this exhibit traces the role of public and historical institutions of Illinois to show how history was and continues to be vital to our cultural heritage and identity.

The opening reception will be held at 7 p.m. March 30 in the library’s West Reading Room and includes a keynote address by Dr. Samuel Wheeler, Illinois state historian.

In conjunction with the opening of the exhibit, the Historical Administration Program will host several events around Charleston focusing on public engagement with history. Admission is free, and all programs and the exhibit are open to the public.

The schedule of events follows:

  • “Museums, Mementos, and Memory: A Pop-Up Museum” will be open for one day only, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 22 on the Library Quad. This exhibit will feature a collection of souvenirs from historical and cultural institutions. To loan items for inclusion in the exhibit please contact Jessica Craig at
  • “Finding Yourself: Using Archives to Research Your Family Genealogy,” by HA student Cayla Wagner, will be at 5:30 p.m. April 5 in the Witters Conference Room 4440 in Booth Library. This event informs participants how to use the Illinois Regional Archive Depository to research their family history.
  • “A Keeper of History: Dr. Michael Wiant on Archeology, Public History, and Preserving the Past,” will be held at 5:30 p.m. April 10 in Witters Conference Room 4440 in Booth Library. The lecture discusses the intricacies of being “a keeper of history.”
  • “Asking the Question: A Guided Exhibit Tour” will be offered at 5:30 p.m. April 12 in the library’s Marvin Foyer. HA students will give detailed stories of certain artifacts and the institutions that care for them.
  • “Photos, Papers, and Publications: Restoring Personal Documents” will be presented by Bob Bertrand at Pensees Bookshop in Charleston at 5:30 p.m. April 19. This workshop will familiarize individuals with the basic materials and techniques used in the restoration of book bindings and their contents. Due to limited space, please contact Hailey Paige at to register for this event.

“A Question of History: Public History in Illinois” will be on display in the Marvin Foyer of Booth Library from March 30 through July 31, 2017. For more information about the exhibit or programming visit the exhibit web page,

During the spring semester, Booth Library’s regular hours are 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 1 a.m. Sunday. For more information call 581-6072, or find the library on Facebook or Twitter.

Finals Week Snacks
May 1 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Booth Library will serve free popcorn and lemonade to help students who are studying for final exams. Look for some of our staff members on the main (third) floor of the library! Get yours while supplies last!

Certified therapy dogs
May 2 @ 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Feeling stressed as the end of the semester nears? Booth Library has you covered, with a variety of activities planned.

First, let your friends and families know how you’re preparing for final exams by sending them a “Don’t worry, I’m at Booth Library!” postcard. A limited number of postcards are available in the Marvin Foyer. Students are encouraged to fill out and address a postcard, then place it in the mailbox. Your friends at Booth Library will mail it for you!

On May 1-2, certified therapy dogs will greet students from 2:30 to 5 p.m. in the Library Quad north of the library.

Beginning April 28, mad-libs, coloring pages and bookmarks, and Sudoku puzzles will be available to take and complete on your own. Coloring supplies may be borrowed from the reference or LTS desks.

Students also are invited to help complete a larger jigsaw puzzle or group coloring page. These will be set up on the main (third) floor.

From 7 to 9 p.m. May 1, free popcorn and lemonade will be served to students while supplies last.

All activities and refreshments are free.

For finals week, the library will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. April 29 (extended hours); noon to 1 a.m. April 30; 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. May 1-4; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 5.

For more information on the library, call 581-6072 or find the library on Facebook or Twitter.

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