Middle Ages coming to Marshall Public Library thanks to new display
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POCATELLO — If you’re longing to experience a little bit of the Middle Ages, you don’t need a time machine. You just need to visit the Marshall Public Library in Pocatello.
The library is currently hosting a display from the Pocatello chapter of the Society of Creative Anachronism, a nationwide non-profit organization dedicated to researching and educating people about the culture, weaponry, arts and society of the Middle Ages. The display features clothing, weapons, musical instruments and more.
“(The S.C.A.’s) emphasis is on historical accuracy and they do a lot of creative work that has an educational context, which we like to encourage here at the library,” library spokesperson Jen Hawkins told EastIdahoNews.com. “We like to both inform and entertain. They’re also an active club that welcomes new members, and because we focus on community involvement, we thought that would be a great fit.”
Hawkins said members of the local S.C.A. chapter, known as the Shire of Stonegate approached her after hearing she is constantly looking for ideas for displays in the library. They met with Hawkins, making a case for why their handiwork would make for a great display that would fascinate, entertain and educate.
The display helps give interested learners an inside look at period-specific heraldry, clothing, flag design and other items that would have had great significance in the lives of everyday folks in the Middle Ages.
“They’ve got some beautifully detailed costuming and needlework,” Hawkins said. “They’ve got some leatherwork, weaponry, armor, various arts and crafts and paintings. Really quite a variety.”
Those who want to learn even more about medieval times can join the S.C.A., where they can learn period-accurate cooking and metalworking techniques, as well as participate in battle reenactments.
So far, the display is a hit with the public.
“People have complimented the beauty and intricacy of the work itself,” Hawkins said. “And as I understand it, several people have come away wanting to become members.”
Hawkins also said that the involvement of historians in the work and research of the S.C.A. has influenced people to take an increased interest in history, in turn increasing the number of readers visiting the library’s historical nonfiction section.
The S.C.A. display is a unique opportunity for local history buffs and offers a whole spectrum of aspects that visitors will love.
“Really beautiful work that you’re not going to see anywhere else, enthusiastic and eclectic members who are very welcoming and just something for everybody,” Hawkins said, “It’s for history buffs, anyone who’s looking to be more creative or better informed.”
You can find the Society of Creative Anachronism’s display on the second floor of the Marshall public library from now through the end of December. If you have any ideas for future library displays, you can contact Jen Hawkins at (208) 232-1263 ext. 106 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.