Books were provided to the show by the library archive. Photo by Jamie Browder.
On Oct. 23, the University of Montevallo History Department held Antiques Roadshow Montevallo in the J.A. Brown Room of Carmichael Library.
Organized by associate professor of history John Bawden, the event was modeled after the popular PBS program “Antiques Roadshow” in which specialists from auction houses and dealers across the country come to offer free appraisals of antiques and other rare items, offering insight into their historical origins.
“It’s a fun opportunity for people to talk about objects that are precious to their families, and to find out what their worth,” stated Bawden.
Bawden said the history department thought it would be interesting to replicate the show.
“The history program wanted to put on a fun event. That’s the basic idea. We’re not reinventing the wheel right; this is something we’ve seen on television. So, it’s the same idea, we’re inviting the campus to bring rare items, we’re gonna have the university archivist bring out rare items from the archives.”
Bawden brought many different items to the show, as well as the University’s archivist Carey Heatherly and other faculty and staff members.
Though the event was open to everyone, it was geared mainly towards history majors, who with research tools provided by Bawden, were tasked with appraising items themselves before getting confirmation from Heatherly.
Librarian Kathy Lowe brought in items as well, such as a hand carved wooden statue from Senegal and her father’s radio from around the 1930s-40s. Lowe remembers sitting around the radio with as a child with her family and being able to tune into Vatican Radio.
“That was a big deal to us. I keep it here in my office here at work.”
There were quite a few items brought in, all dating from a wide range of eras. Bawden himself brought in a number of objects, one of which was an ancient roman denarius coin that dated back to the era of Emperor Hadrian.
Lowe was surprised to learn that the radio still worked, after another professor at the event plugged it in and tuned in to Justin Bieber on the over 60-year-old radio.
“The idea is to bring our majors together and have fun,” said Bawden.
Caleb Jones is a graduate of the University of Montevallo. He has a major in Communication Studies, and minored in Multimedia Journalism and Spanish. He is a former news beat reporter with The Alabamian, and plans on pursuing a career in investigative reporting after graduation. Have a tip? You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org