The University Library’s Special Collections has mounted two new exhibits which display materials from the history of Washington and Lee University’s Mock Convention. Both exhibits are now on display in the lobby area on Lower Level 1 in Leyburn Library, between Northen Auditorium and the Special Collections area.
One collection is entitled “Famous Last Words: Senator Alben W. Barkley and the 1956 W&L Mock Convention” and documents the 1956 W&L Democratic Mock Convention and Alben W. Barkley’s famous keynote address, a speech which ended with the speaker’s fatal heart attack. This display presents materials from the Scrapbook Collection of Carl Swanson, who was the Student Chairman of the 1956 Convention.
In addition to these physical items, we also can provide audio of Senator Barkley’s speech and silent video footage which includes the 1956 Mock Convention parade and a portion of Barkley’s speech. Important note: To access each of these media excerpts, click on the “View/Open” link in the center of the introductory page.
The second exhibit is entitled “Mock Con in the Archives” and consists of printed matter chronologically documenting the rich history and tradition of the W&L Mock Convention, 1908–2012. The collection includes programs, posters, and memorabilia collected and preserved by the W&L Special Collections and Archives, located in Leyburn Library.
These exhibits will remain on display until 1 April 2016.