Troy University to host Smithsonian exhibit "The Way We Worked"

Posted: Thursday, 30 April 2015

DOTHAN - Troy University's library at the Dothan Campus will serve as the final stop for a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibit exploring the history of the U.S. workforce, "The Way We Worked," starting May 19.

Part of the Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street program, "The Way We Worked" is adapted from an original exhibition developed by the National Archives and Records Administration. It explores how work has become a central element in American culture, and traces the many changes that have affected the workforce and work environments over the past 150 years, including the growth of manufacturing and increasing use of technology.

The exhibition draws from the Archives' rich collections, including historical photographs, archival accounts of workers, film, audio and interactives, to tell the compelling story of how work impacts our individual lives and the historical and cultural fabric of our communities.

The exhibit will be on display at the Dothan Campus library through June 25, and admission is free and open to the public.

"We are very pleased to be able to bring 'The Way We Worked' to the Dothan community," said Dr. Martin Olliff, an associate professor at TROY and Director of the Wiregrass Archives. "It allows us the opportunity to explore this fascinating aspect of our own region's history, and we hope that it will inspire many to become even more involved in the cultural life of our community."

The exhibit is presented by TROY and the Cultural Arts Center in Dothan, with support from the Alabama Humanities Foundation, AAA Cooper Transportation, Alabama Power Company, ALFA Insurance, Norfolk Southern Railroad, the National Archives, and the Smithsonian Institution.

In conjunction with the exhibit, TROY and the Cultural Arts Center will host several free public events including:

  • a community quilting bee at the Wiregrass Museum of Art on Saturday, May 23, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.;
  • a book talk with Dr. Jim Hansen, author of "A Difficult Par: Robert Trent Jones and the Making of Modern Golf," Tuesday, May 26, at 6:30 p.m. at the Highland Oaks Golf Course in Dothan;
  • a screening of the documentary "Quiltmakers of Gee's Bend" at the Wiregrass Museum of Art on Saturday, June 6, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.;
  • a workshop, "Local History WORKS!," with "The Way We Worked" Alabama lead scholar Dr. John Kvach, on Thursday, June 11, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Dothan Campus, and
  • a screening and discussion of the film "Brother Joseph and Grotto" with director Cliff Vaughan and producer Carol Anne Vaughn Cross, on Sunday, June 14, from 2-4 p.m. at St. Columbia Catholic Church.

In addition, the Cultural Arts Center is hosting a "The Way We Worked" photo contest, open until May 11. The winning images will be displayed at the Cultural Arts Center from May 18-June 20.

For more information on events, visit

"The Way We Worked" is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), state humanities councils across the nation and local host institutions. To learn more about "The Way We Worked" and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions, visit

For more information, contact Dr. Olliff at (334) 983-6556, ext. 1327, or