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Reston@50 is part of larger grant project conceived by the George Mason University Libraries in 2013 and generously funded by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) to help celebrate Reston, Virginia’s 50th anniversary during the spring of 2014. 

The University Libraries’ relationship with the founders of Reston began nearly thirty years ago with the deposit of the Planned Community Archives collection (PCA) at George Mason University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) in 1987. The collection contains archival materials gathered and preserved by people and organizations associated with the history and development of Reston.  Other planned communities, such as Columbia and Greenbelt, Maryland, and those that were part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s New Communities Program, are also represented in PCA.  PCA is just one of several collections pertaining to Reston that are featured in Reston@50. The University Libraries have maintained a close working relationship with founding members of Reston, the Reston Museum and Historic Trust, and other supporters of Reston over the past three decades and welcomed the opportunity to share in Reston’s celebration of this milestone.

Items shown in Reston@50 help illustrate certain themes in the history and development of the new town, namely: Reston's beginnings; planning, designing, and marketing; villages, village centers, green spaces, and schools; business and government; recreation, arts, and culture; Gulf and Mobil; transportation; and community-mindedness. These items were selected and digitized by SC&A staff working on the grant project.

Along with Reston@50, and as part of the VFH grant project, the University Libraries, in conjunction with the Reston Museum and Historic Trust, sponsored a symposium on April 26, 2014 at the Reston Community Center in Reston.  The event, Reston at 50: Looking Back at Forward Thinking, featured lectures pertaining to aspects of Reston architecture, diversity in Reston, the Planned Community Archives collection, and other scholarship on Reston by George Mason University faculty and students.

George Mason University Libraries would like to thank the following individuals who contributed their time and talent to this grant project: Lindsey Bestebreurtje, Jason Byrd, Yvonne Carignan, Christine Cheng, Lee Ann Cafferata,  Jamie Coniglio, Anne Driscoll, Wally Grotophorst, Aaron Hartman, Kathleen Kehoe, Lynn Lilianthal, Dr. Harold Linton, Shelley Mastran, Jordan Patty, Dr. Zachary M. Schrag, Dr. Wendi Manuel-Scott, Mark Schwartz, Robert Vay, and John Zenelis.