~ by Erin Doherty, Library Communications Student Assistant
On Monday, September 14, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries’ Department of Special Collections, in partnership with Silver Buckle Press and UW Continuing Studies, will open its doors to the public for its next “Holding History” event. Guests will meet with undergraduate and graduate students from a wide variety of academic backgrounds, as well as have the chance to lay eyes and hands on about a dozen rare volumes, including a Second Folio and the second printing of Shakespeare’s Sonnets.
While the event provides a unique opportunity for community members to interact with pieces of history, it also allows university students to share their knowledge outside the classroom. It is this, says Assistant Professor in the Department of English at UW-Madison Joshua Calhoun, that makes “Holding History” a genuine embodiment of the Wisconsin Idea.
“I want my students to take responsibility for the Wisconsin Idea,” said Calhoun. “Their knowledge is meant to be spread throughout the community. In some ways, I can’t present Shakespeare as well as these student can because they’re looking at it from a fresh perspective, asking questions and discovering aspects of these works that even I haven’t noticed.”
Event co-organizer Ryan Hussey, an undergraduate majoring in English/Creative Writing and Pre-Med, notes that Holding History is more than just exploring Shakespeare. It’s about providing students the chance to stretch their research and presentation skills.
“This is an amazing opportunity for the students as curators and also as a way to showcase their knowledge,” said Hussey. “It’s thrilling to watch them explore because some of them have experience with Special Collections, but others you get to watch grow in their experience from the ground up.”
Event check-in will start at 3:45 pm at The Memorial Library with the event starting at 4 pm. If you are able to join us, please RSVP to Sarah Marty at firstname.lastname@example.org by September 10 as space is limited. On the day of the event, enter via the main Memorial Library entrance and you’ll be directed to Special Collections.
This Holding History Event, hosted by Joshua Calhoun and UW Special Collections, is being offered in partnership with UW Continuing Studies and Silver Buckle Press.
Would you like to attend the workshop with Silver Buckle Press prior to the event in Special Collections?
Participants will start this half-day workshop with a lively, hands-on demonstration of letterpress printing with Silver Buckle Press. After learning how books were made in the early days of the printing press, we’ll visit UW Special Collections with heightened appreciation for the rare books that we will hold and explore.
What: Holding History: Shakespeare’s Plays & Poems
When: M, Sept 14, 2:30-5:30pm
Where: Memorial Library, 728 State St, Madison, WI
Continuing education credit:
or register by phone at
September 11, 2015
For additional information, contact Sarah Marty: 608-263-2790
Want to learn more? Visit Joshua Calhoun’s site to read more on his work and watch videos detailing his studies.