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May 22, 2019

JMU Libraries Collaboration Project “Exploring Rockingham's Past” Recipient of 2019 TechNite Innovation in Community Impact Award

On April 29, at the Nineteenth Annual Shenandoah Valley Technology Council Awards Gala, several individuals from JMU Libraries and their project partners were recognized with the JMU College of Integrated Science and Engineering's Innovation in Community Impact Award for their work on the collaboration project “Exploring Rockingham’s Past.” The Community Impact Award is given to an individual, team, nonprofit/civic organization, or company in the Shenandoah Valley that aspires to use its capabilities to help solve a social or environmental issue in a local community while using technology to amplify the impact of a service, mission, or project.

“Exploring Rockingham’s Past” is an ongoing collaboration between JMU's History department, JMU Libraries, and the Rockingham County Circuit Court Clerk's office designed to preserve and make select historical court records publicly available. The project is sharing thousands of historical legal records through a searchable and easy to use website. This resource will be important not only for scholars researching Rockingham's past but also for citizens and genealogists interested in exploring the history of their family and other community members.

The project also acts as a bridge between the campus and the community and provides an opportunity for graduate students to contribute to real-world projects that stay in and benefit the community. In return, history graduate students gain valuable technology skills and experience impossible to provide in the classroom. JMU Libraries provides space, equipment, IT services, training, and mentorship for digitizing, describing, organizing, and publishing close to 20,000 scans of court records.

 (From Left to Right) Dr. Kevin Borg (JMU History), Chaz Haywood (Circuit Court Clerk of Rockingham County), Kayla Heslin (M.A. in Public History ), Craig Schaefer (M.A. in Public History), and Kevin Hegg (JMU Libraries) were present to accept the award. 

Modified: May 23, 2019, 12:39 p.m.