Past Event

The Way We Worked

The Way We Worked, the Smithsonian’s newest Museum on Main Street exhibition, is curated by Bruce Bustard, from the National Archives. 

American work takes place everywhere – on the land, on the streets of our communities, in offices and factories, in homes, in schools, in water, and in outer space.  Through an exploration of the tools and technologies that enabled and assisted workers, from early American history through to the present day, this exhibit will explore how technology, society, and culture have shaped a more complex, and oftentimes more stressful, work environment.  

The Way We Worked will also explore the diversity of the American workforce – one of its greatest strengths and biggest challenges – and will showcase how people from different racial and cultural backgrounds both came to identify and segregate from one another. 

Finally, this exhibition will explore how Americans identify with work, how they come to know work as meaningful, and how, whether one lives in Steel Town USA, dons a uniform every day, or never leaves their home, work assigns cultural meanings and allows us to view our communities in a larger, social context.

The Way We Worked will be on display at this location from November 20, 2011 – December 31, 2011 before it travels to Beardstown, IL.

The Grand Opening Gala and Reception will take place on Sunday, November 20, 2011.

Local exhibition window displays will be located in multiple buildings along Archer Avenue in Marshall, IL and will be on display from September 24 – December 31, 2011.


nid%3D24977%7Ctitle%3D%7Cdesc%3D%7Clink%3DnoneThis exhibition is free and open to the public.

Library Hours:

  • 10 AM – 6 PM: Mondays, Tuesdays, & Wednesdays
  • 10 AM – 8 PM: Thursdays
  • 10 AM – 5 PM: Fridays & Saturdays

For more information about The Way We Worked exhibition and additional events, please contact the Marshall Public Library at 217-826-2535 or visit