Shenandoah Valley Archives at Work: Three Initiatives that Preserve and Share Diverse Regional History


The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia is filled with a number of small community and academic archives that work to preserve the rich history of a unique region. While these institutions are small, their work is mighty. Valley archives and their staff conduct numerous creative projects that combine best practices, a commitment to the community they serve, and a dedication to diverse voices. This session will feature a profile of three small archives from the Shenandoah Valley and three projects that launched to better serve the needs of their community. The institutions and the projects they will discuss are: • Bridgewater College Special Collections and the 2021 exhibit “State of Change: Civil Rights and the Virginia Constitution” that used primary sources to engage viewers with both local and state Black history. • Rocktown History and the project “Shape Note Traditions of the Shenandoah Valley” which reunited scattered musical collections from small archives throughout the Shenandoah Valley into a new, more accessible, digital format.
• Shenandoah County Library’s Truban Archives and the “Bondage Biographies Project” which works to document the lives of enslaved persons in Shenandoah County through an online database.