Boston Public Library’s Fall Local and Family History Series underway

Boston Public Library’s Local and Family History Lecture Series returns this month, featuring talks from public historian Elon Cook Lee and author Barbara F. Berenson, and continue through December. The schedule can be viewed on bpl.org. All talks take place at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.

  • Public historian Elon Cook Lee, program director and curator at the Center for Reconciliation, discusses the history and legacy of the first slave ship to enter Boston’s waters and explores the lives of the charter generation of Africans in Massachusetts on Wednesday, September 12 at 6 p.m. in Rabb Hall. Presented as part of the Partnership of the Historic Bostons’ commemoration of Boston Charter Day.   
  • Barbara F. Berenson, author of Massachusetts in the Woman Suffrage Movement explores how activists laid the foundation for the next generation of suffragists to triumph over tradition on Wednesday, September 26 at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon.  
  • Author and historian Dina Vargo shines light into the cobwebbed corners of Boston’s hidden history, including colonial mobs celebrating their hatred of the Pope in an annual celebration called Pope’s Night and a centuries-long turf war that played out on the streets of quiet Chinatown in 1991. Wednesday, October 10 at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon.
  • Dee Morris, author of Boston in the Golden Age of Spiritualism: Séances, Mediums, and Immortality explores how world-renowned magician Harry Houdini declared the famous Boston medium Mina “Margery” Crandon a fake on Wednesday, October 24 at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon.
  • The 1918 flu pandemic killed nearly one hundred million people worldwide. Lori Lyn Price, MAS, MLA, reviews its devastating effects on Boston and two of its suburbs. She also highlights resources for researching the epidemic’s effect on Wednesday, November 7 at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon.
  • Boston Globe writer Emily Sweeney and author of Gangland Boston: A Tour Through the Deadly Streets of Organized Crime  sheds light on how gang violence unfolded during Prohibition, how the Italian mafia rose to power, and how the Gustin Gang came to be on Wednesday, November 14 at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon.
  • Professional genealogical researcher Michael Brophy explores the origins and intentions of the Orphan Train Movement, in which over two hundred thousand children were transported from New York to the Midwest and beyond between 1854 and 1929 on Thursday, December 6 at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon.

Boston Public Library provides educational, cultural and civic enrichment, free to all, for the residents of Boston, Massachusetts and beyond, through its collections, services, programs, and spaces. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library is a pioneer of public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. As a City of Boston historic cultural institution, Boston Public Library today features a Central Library, twenty-five branches, a map center, business library, archival center; extensive special collections of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, and prints; and rich digital content and online services. The award-winning renovation of the Central Library in Copley Square, completed in 2016, together with new, renovated and historic branches, provide a transformed library system for the next generation of users. Boston Public Library enriches lives, hosting thousands of free educational programs and exhibitions, and provides free library services online and in-person to millions of people each year.  To learn more, visit bpl.org.


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