Ella Johnson Library Brings WWI Centennial Traveling Exhibition to Kane County

Ella Johnson Library Brings WWI Centennial Traveling Exhibition to Kane County

The Ella Johnson Memorial Library in Hampshire is hosting the World War I Traveling Exhibition from Dec. 2 through Dec. 22 (2016) and will host a soiree in honor of the event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5.

All ages and history buffs throughout Kane County are invited to see the exhibition that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the nation’s entry into the war. The library is located at 109 S. State St. in Hampshire.

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-2-31-03-pmThe exhibition is made possible via the Library of America, which was awarded a $550,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in partial support of World War I and America, a major initiative involving public programs in all 50 states. The initiative includes a traveling exhibition, a multimedia website, and the publication of an unprecedented anthology of writings by Americans who experienced World War I.

The grant to Library of America is the largest awarded by the NEH this year to a museum, library or cultural organization.

The project will bring members of the veteran community together with the general public in libraries and museums around the country to explore the transformative impact of the First World War by reading, discussing and sharing insights into the writings of Americans who experienced it firsthand. The project also provides scholar-moderated opportunities for those who served in more recent conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan to bring their experiences to bear on historical events and texts, illuminating for a wide audience the lasting legacies of World War I, and the similarities and differences between past and present.

The grant enables Library of America to develop and make widely and permanently available World War I and America: Told by the Americans Who Lived It, an annotated narrative collection. Edited by Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer A. Scott Berg in collaboration with an advisory board comprised of distinguished World War I scholars Jennifer D. Keene, Edward G. Lengel, Michael S. Neiberg and Chad Williams, this important new anthology will encourage exploration and discussion of the war’s meanings and resonances long after the centennial is over.

World War I and America brings together the editorial and marketing resources of Library of America (“the most important book publishing project in our nation’s history” — Newsweek) with the public programming expertise of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the scholarly and organizational resources of the National World War I Museum and Memorial and the World War I Centennial Commission, and the national outreach into the veteran community of the Wounded Warrior Project, Warrior Writers, Voices from War, and Words After War.

The grant will fund programming to be undertaken in 120 libraries located in all 50 states beginning in January 2017, and extending throughout the centennial year and beyond.

The Ella Johnson Library is one of the 50 participating libraries that will host the companion traveling exhibition of documents, images and interpretive texts prepared by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The WWIAmerica.org website features multimedia resources for public programming and individual discovery, including video commentary by scholars and veteran-writers, a free downloadable reader of historical texts, an interactive timeline of events and an exhibition of documents and images from World War I.

Signature live events are planned for Kansas City, MO, at the National World War I Museum and Memorial (April 6, 2017), and New York City, the latter in partnership with the NYU Cultures of War and the Post-War Research Group and the veteran-writers organization Words After War.

Library of America, a nonprofit organization, champions the nation’s cultural heritage by publishing America’s greatest writing in authoritative new editions and providing resources for readers to explore this rich, living legacy.

SOURCE: Ella Johnson Library and wwiamerica.org

About the Ella Johnson Library

ella-johnson-libaryThe Ella Johnson Memorial Public Library has served the Hampshire area community since 1936. The present 7,200-square-foot library was completed in 1990 at a cost of approximately $545,600, and was dedicated in honor of Emily Duchaj, its long-time director (1968-1990). Today, the library houses more than 40,992 print and audiovisual items and subscribes to more than 250 newspapers and magazines. The library houses public computers, a mobile learning lab, a microfilm reader, copiers  and printers.