Curating Important Cultural Resources, Like John Brown Paper Doll & Disguise Kits

Remember a few months ago when I got really excited about hanging out with Civil War buffs?  It’s about to get real next week.  And there are John Brown Paper Doll & Disguise Kits involved.

What Would John Brown Do?

This is a tale of how our library mined a rich social information network to discover an amazing piece of local history and local art that had converged and was  just begging to be curated by the public library.  From a librarianship standpoint, I’m completely geeking out about this.  Hello there, Important Cultural Resources.

A few weeks ago, Lawrence Magazine  sent out a tweet with a link to download your own John Brown paper doll and disguise kit.  This tweet showed up in our @lawrencelibrary feed, and we loved it.  We often retweet Items of Cultural Importance, which is exactly what we did with the John Brown Paper Doll tweet:

In short, this initiated a dialogue between Lawrence Magazine, Lawrence Public Library, and the artist Jason Barr, which ultimately led to a John Brown Paper Doll giveaway that we’re doing in conjunction with three Civil War events at the library next week.  Even better? We’ve produced a giant version of the paper doll, cut out & with velcro, that is now an interactive, hands-on display in our lobby that celebrates and curates our local history.  Win win win win win.

This is all part of Civil War on the Western Frontier (CWWF), a neat slate of annual community events organized by the Lawrence Visitor’s Bureau. Cultural historic landmarks like the Eldridge Hotel, Watkins Community Museum, Theatre Lawrence, and Black Jack Battlefield have all got neat things up their sleeves this week and next.

And of course, everyone’s invited to come on down to the Lawrence Public Library on Aug. 17th (John Brown’s Raid lunchpail lecture), 18th (Dark Command film screening) and 20th (Thomas Ewing Jr. book signing) to commemorate CWWF and get your very own John Brown Paper Doll & Disguise Kit.  See if you can spot me in my John Brown disguise!


3 thoughts on “Curating Important Cultural Resources, Like John Brown Paper Doll & Disguise Kits

  1. This is awesome! Way to take initiative and make your library an even greater place to be–you truly are a rockstar librarian!

  2. Julia, thank you! I’m lucky to work in a library that is so open to embracing these serendipitous opportunities. I ❤ our local arts!

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