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November 18, 2011

Traveling Smithsonian exhibit opens at Marshall library

MARSHALL, ILL. — “The Way We Worked,” an exhibition created by the National Archives, and part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the Illinois Humanities Council, will be on display in the Marshall Public Library, 612 Archer Ave., in Marshall, Ill., though Dec. 31.

“The Way We Worked” explores how work became such a central element in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and work environments over the past 150 years.

Step back in time at 2 p.m. (CST) Sunday for the grand opening of the exhibit. At 2:30 p.m. near the fireplace in the front of the library, Dr. Robert Bruno, professor of labor history at the University of Illinois Chicago, will give a short talk about labor called “From the Workplace to the Ballot Box: Organized Labor and the American Political Process.” 

Then take a tour of this fascinating national exhibit led by trained docents. Get a sense of Marshall’s work heritage by looking at a display of historic local business memorabilia and photos, watch video interviews of local folks about their work in years past, and try your hand in the “Name That Tool” contest to win tickets to the Doudna Center for Performing Arts at Eastern Illinois University.

Watch for several “mystery workers” walking about in authentic work attire from long ago. The Friends of the Library invite the public to enjoy a classic array of cookies and cider in the library’s activity room-turned old-fashioned kitchen.

In addition to the offerings inside the library, several displays depicting work in  the community through the years have been placed throughout the downtown in storefront windows.

Look for these at Ewbank Insurance, Clark County Genealogical Library, the former Wallace Jewelry, the former Tracy’s Antiques and Court House Realty.

Also tour the Gaslight Art Colony at 516 Archer Ave. to see a special exhibit of member artwork on the theme of work. The gallery reception is from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday. It will also be open during the grand opening.

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