MARAC Spring 2020 in Harrisonburg will feature various tours and workshops to complement concurrent sessions.


The Local Arrangements Committee is excited to offer a variety of tour options that are sure to delight MARAC Spring 2020 attendees. Join us Thursday, April 16 and Saturday, April 18 as we explore the city of Harrisonburg and the surrounding area.

Thursday, April 16

T1. Edith J. Carrier Arboretum
Time: 10:00am-12:00pm
Minimum: —
Maximum: 25
Fee: $10 per person

The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum is a 125-acre woodland sanctuary, public urban garden, and forested greenspace on the campus of James Madison University. The Arboretum inspires outdoor engagement, preserves native plant species and wildflowers, provides opportunities for research, and promotes knowledge of the botanical and natural world. The guided tour, led by Arboretum staff, will cover the history of the Arboretum, flowers in bloom, and notable trees.

Participants will depart from Hotel Madison at 9:25 AM for a 30 minute walk across the campus of James Madison University to the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum. (Interactions with the infamous JMU Quad Cats are likely, but not guaranteed.) Parking is available at the Arboretum, but it is extremely limited. The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum is located at 780 University Blvd., Harrisonburg, VA 22807.

T2. Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library
Time: 1:00pm-4:00pm
Minimum: 10
Maximum: 17
Fee: $15 per person

Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library is located in the heart of historic Staunton, Virginia, just 30 minutes from Harrisonburg. Participants will receive a guided tour of the restored Greek Revival manse, the Presbyterian term for parsonage, where Woodrow Wilson, 28th president of the United States, was born in 1856. After the guided tour participants will have ample time for free exploration of the museum and series of galleries, learning more about Wilson’s life and legacy. Of particular interest is Wilson’s original 1919 Pierce-Arrow limousine.

Participants will leave Hotel Madison by bus at 1:00 and arrive in Staunton at 1:30. Attendees will participate in a guided tour and free exploration until 3:30 and return to Harrisonburg at 4:00. WWPL is located at 20 N. Coalter St., Staunton, VA 24401.

T3. Virginia Quilt Museum
Time: 1:00pm-3:00pm
Minimum: —
Maximum: 50
Fee: $10 per person

Located in the historic Warren-Sipe House, the Virginia Quilt Museum is the official quilt museum of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The museum celebrates and nurtures Virginia’s quilting heritage and is a resource center for the study of the role of quilts and quilting in society. VQM offers three floors of rotating, curated gallery space featuring significant work by early and contemporary quilt artisans. Current exhibitions include Jennifer Emry’s Rescue, Repair, Recycle, Reinvent and Linda Fiedler’s Then and Now – Beyond Tradition.

Participants will depart from Hotel Madison at 12:45 for a 10 minute walk downtown to the Virginia Quilt Museum. Attendees planning to arrive on their own should meet at the museum promptly at 1:00. VQM is located at 301 S. Main St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

T4.  Hone Quarry Cliff Trail Hike
Time: 1:00pm-4:30pm
Minimum: —
Maximum: 15
Fee: $5 per person

Take advantage of the picturesque views of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley on a short hike to the Hone Quarry Cliff Trail overlook. The trail is steep and rocky in places, but is only a ½ mile hike to a scenic rock ledge overlook with spectacular views of Shenandoah Mountain. There is a second overlook only ⅓ mile beyond the first overlook.

Participants will travel via personal car to the Hone Quarry Picnic Area located at Hone Quarry Rd, Dayton, VA 22821. Carpooling is highly encouraged. Hikers should dress appropriately for the occasion. Directions from Harrisonburg: take U.S. 42 South/South High St. for approximately 3 miles to the intersection with State Route (S.R.) 257 at Dayton. Turn right off U.S. 42 onto S.R. 257 (west) and proceed until you reach a stop sign. Turn left still on S.R. 257 to Briery Branch. In Briery Branch, turn right still on S.R. 257 and follow to the intersection of S.R. 257 and Forest Development Road (FDR) 62. Turn right onto FDR 62 and follow 1.7 miles to the Hone Quarry Campground. From Picnic Shelter Parking, cross FR 62 to find the trailhead.

Saturday, April 18

T5.  Hugo Kohl Jewelry
Time: 1:30pm-3:00pm
Minimum: —
Maximum: 10
Fee: $10 per person

From the 1790s to the mid-1940s, master engravers created jewelry by carving each design into a steel block by hand resulting in a “hub.” Hugo Kohl’s Museum of American Jewelry Design and Manufacturing houses the largest collection of jewelry hubs in the United States. Designs for filigree rings, pendants, earrings, cufflinks, lockets, and wedding bands are in the Hugo Kohl vault.

Participants will depart from Hotel Madison at 1:15 for a 10 minute walk downtown to the Hugo Kohl’s Museum of American Jewelry Design and Manufacturing Company. Attendees planning to arrive on their own should meet at Hugo Kohl promptly at 1:30. Hugo Kohl Jewelry is located at 217 S Liberty St #103a, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.


Full and half-day workshops, offered on Thursday, April 16, will explore archival basics, rare book stabilization, transforming narratives through community partnerships, and more!

W1. Collective Archivism: Transforming Narratives Through Civic Experiential Learning
Time: 9am-1pm (half-day workshop)
Cost: $60
Instructors: Steven Thomas, Northeast Neighborhood Association; Meg Mulrooney, James Madison University; Carah Ong Whaley, James Madison Center for Civic Engagement

This workshop will offer participants a community experiential learning opportunity, visiting local sites to better understand how community-based organizations, libraries, and universities can authentically partner to redress systemic erasures of the narratives of traditionally marginalized and underserved communities. The instructors will also explore how to develop living collections to transform our understanding of the social, political, structural and historical issues that contribute to persistent political and socioeconomic inequalities, while celebrating the contributions of social justice movements to American society and democracy.

This workshop will include a bus and walking tour and will conclude with lunch, reflection, discussion and idea generation for developing a collective experiential archive.

W2. Understanding Archives: An Introduction to Archival Basics
Time: 9am-4pm
Cost: $90
Instructor: Dyani Feige, Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts

Proper archival procedures enable safe and effective management of collections. Topics covered during this workshop include the fundamentals of archival appraisal, acquisition, and access; proper storage materials; and the most common preservation problems found with paper-based archival collections. The session will also touch on processing, arrangement, and description. This workshop is appropriate for individuals who may have found themselves in the role of archivist without formal training in the profession, or for those seeking a refresher course.

W3. Map Cataloging Basics
Time: 9am-4pm
Cost: $90
Instructor: Paige Andrew, Penn State University

This workshop will give participants the basic knowledge and skills needed to create accurate, high-quality bibliographic records for sheet maps, either by original or copy cataloging. The workshop will cover various elements related to historic and contemporary maps and participants will come away with an understanding of the differences between maps and other formats and the variability likely to be encountered on each map, as well as the confidence to apply cataloging skills and standards to maps in an understandable manner.

W4. Stabilization Techniques for Book Collections
Time: 9am-12pm
Cost: $45
Instructor: Jill Deiss, Cat Tail Run Hand Bookbinding

This hands-on workshop will teach participants techniques for repairing and stabilizing minor damage to cloth and leather books including damaged corners, split joints, and tattering at the head and tail of a book’s spine. These minimally invasive repairs are designed to be reversible and utilize pH-neutral and acid-free materials. In some cases, these treatments will serve as an intermediate state prior to later conservation treatment, while in other cases these books will be adequately stabilized with these minimal treatments.

Please feel free to bring your own books to work on. If you have no books to bring, you can use books supplied by the instructor. If you have bookbinding hand tools, feel free to bring them, but it is not necessary.

W5. On a Roll: Storage and Handling of Rolled, Oversized Paper Collections
Time: 1:30pm-4:30pm
Cost: $45
Instructor: Amy Sullivan, George Mason University

Storing oversized paper items such as blueprints, tracings, and maps presents a challenge for many archives. This workshop will review various preservation techniques and considerations for housing these oversized materials.