From the times of Elizabeth I and Shakespeare

Harriet Miranda

Wandering past several bookcases in the Oviatt Library, students look for a quiet place to study, a computer from which to print out their assignments or for their friends in private study rooms.

What students may not realize is that the campus library houses many special collections, such as artifacts from the Elizabethan era of the 16th century, which are exhibited in the C.K. and Teresa Tseng Gallery on the second floor.

The exhibit, “The Sun That Lights the Rainbow: The Life and Times of Elizabeth I,” will be on display until Dec. 27.

“The exhibit shows actual artifacts from the Elizabethan period,” said Tony Gardner, curator of special collections and archives.

Each display case shows artifacts from books on politics, education, religion, medicine and replicas of elaborate costumes that were relevant during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Many of the artifacts featured in the exhibit are actually part of the campus’ collection.

“The Friends of the Library were very generous,” Gardner said. “We acquired (the items) through gifts, and some that we have bought through the years.”

Gardner said this isn’t the first exhibit to feature such old artifacts, though it’s the first to feature genuine replicas of costumes of any era.

The Elizabethan period is significant in history for being the zenith of the English Renaissance and when playwright William Shakespeare wrote his plays. The writings of significant people, such as Mary Queen of Scots, are also on display.

“It’s actually really interesting,” said Cynthia Jacobo, fourth year sociology major. “I had no idea that CSUN had exhibits like this.”

Jacobo said she found out about the exhibit just by walking past it.

“It’s unfortunate that more students aren’t in here taking advantage of something so interesting,” Jacobo said. “I think professors should tell their students about it.”

But some students, like Claudia Sanchez, fourth year business administration major, said they did hear about it through professors.

“I think (I heard it from) my Chicano/a studies speech teacher,” Sanchez said. “When I found it, I couldn’t believe how these are the actual things from (?) 500 years ago.”

Sanchez suggests that other professors should also tell their students and perhaps even lure them to the exhibit with extra credit points.

“It will be beneficial to their education,” Sanchez said. “I know I learned a thing or two.”

The Oviatt Library currently has another exhibit on display, “Our Collective Memories: The Sixties,” in the lobby on the first floor. Students are able to examine articles that reflect the trying times of the 1960s, most written by students at CSUN, decades ago.

All exhibitions are open to the general public during regular library hours.

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