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MRL to Host Local History Lectures in October

2021 Four-Part Series Focuses on Topics in Preservation & Conservation

The annual Deyerle Program Series on Local History returns to Massanutten Regional Library with four virtual events during the month of October. This popular lecture series features local historians, scholars and area experts who explore a broad range of subjects surrounding the history of the Shenandoah Valley. MRL Head of Reference Susan Versen will facilitate the hour-long programs via Zoom each Thursday evening in October at 7pm. Interested participants may register for the Zoom link via the library website calendar of events at:

This year’s series focuses on topics in preservation and conservation in the Valley as follows:

October 7 @ 7 PM: “NENA: Preserving Our Community”

Karen Thomas, founder and president of the NENA (Northeast Neighborhood Association) shares preservation work within this historical Harrisonburg community, including both the Dallard-Newman House and the Newtown Cemetery projects.

October 14 @ 7 PM: “Conserving & Protecting the River: Your Role & Ours”

Mariama Dryak from the Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River will discuss how Valley residents can preserve this natural resource treasure.

October 21 @ 7 PM: “Preserving with Pots: the Importance of Collections & Archives”

Dr. Scott Suter, Professor of English at Bridgewater College, will explore the importance of preserving artifacts and collections and discuss his new book, “A Potter’s Progress: Emanuel Suter and the Business of Craft.”

October 28 @ 7 PM: “Voices in the Silence: Locating & Preserving Burial Grounds”

Dr. R. Shane McGary Assistant Professor of Geophysics at James Madison University, explains his research and use of Ground Penetrating Radar to identify the location of unmarked antebellum African American cemeteries.

Now in its 17th year at MRL, the Deyerle Program Series on Local History is made possible through the generosity of the Deyerle family, in honor of their parents, Dr. Henry P. and Mary Elizabeth Deyerle. In addition to being respected medical professionals in the local community, the Deyerles were widely known for their passion for collecting American antiques. Their interest in 18th and 19th century domestic artifacts made in the eastern United States was instrumental in raising awareness for the work of the Shenandoah Valley artisans who were active during these centuries. The Deyerles’ collection preserved and highlighted the cultural traditions and artistic achievements from the Shenandoah Valley’s past, and it is this insight into local history that the annual Deyerle Program Series seeks to foster and encourage.

“The Deyerle series always gives us an opportunity to focus on our local history and environment and to learn from one another,” stated Susan Versen, MRL’s Head of Reference Services. “In recent years MRL has been working to expand the series to include the histories and members of all of our local communities so these stories can be known and celebrated. While we wish we could all be together in person, I am excited that technology allows us to hear from community experts on preservation and conservation in a way that is safe, welcoming, and informative during the pandemic.”

All events hosted by Massanutten Regional Library, including the Deyerle Program Series on Local History, are free and open to the public, and you do not need a library card to participate.

Inform. Inspire. Connect.

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