Author Archives: The Cambridge Room

Recording Available – Democratizing Book Collecting: The First Bibliophiles of Cambridge

We were fortunate to have Drew Griffin, the Library’s Senior Librarian for Adult Services and bibliophile, join us for a lively and informative workshop titled, Democratizing Book Collecting: The First Bibliophiles of Cambridge. The workshop, part of the Spring Lecture Series from the Cambridge Room, was recorded on April 13, 2022.

The following is a description of the workshop and a short bio of Drew Griffin:

Democratizing Book Collecting: The First Bibliophiles of Cambridge
Join Drew Griffin, Senior Librarian at the Cambridge Public Library, as he delves into the history of book collection in Cambridge. By 1850 two of the finest book collections in the Boston area were located within half a mile of one another on Mass Ave between Central and Harvard Squares.  The two bibliophiles, Thomas Dowse and George Livermore, show a distinctly American approach to book collecting.  Unlike their British peers they came from humble backgrounds, didn’t attended college, and emphasized the democratic nature of their bookish pursuits by opening their libraries to the public (Dowse) and writing articles on book collecting for the nascent Cambridge Chronicle (Livermore).

Drew Griffin has worked at the Cambridge Public Library for the past 15 years in various capacities.  Since 2016, he has served as Senior Librarian in the Adult Services Department.  Drew’s area of expertise is genealogy and rare book librarianship.   Over the past 3 years, Drew has taught many of the Library’s popular genealogy workshops, including beginner’s genealogy and DNA testing and genealogical research.  Also, in his spare time, Drew is an avid rare book collector.  He is a member several bibliophile clubs, including the Grolier Club in New York City and the Ticknor Society in Boston. 


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Democratizing Book Collecting: The First Bibliophiles of Cambridge

Date & Time:
April 13, 2022
12:00pm – 1:00pm
Virtual
REGISTER HERE

Join Drew Griffin, Senior Librarian at the Cambridge Public Library, as he delves into the history of book collection in Cambridge. By 1850 two of the finest book collections in the Boston area were located within half a mile of one another on Mass Ave between Central and Harvard Squares.  The two bibliophiles, Thomas Dowse and George Livermore, show a distinctly American approach to book collecting.  Unlike their British peers they came from humble backgrounds, didn’t attended college, and emphasized the democratic nature of their bookish pursuits by opening their libraries to the public (Dowse) and writing articles on book collecting for the nascent Cambridge Chronicle (Livermore).

Drew Griffin has worked at the Cambridge Public Library for the past 15 years in various capacities.  Since 2016, he has served as Senior Librarian in the Adult Services Department.  Drew’s area of expertise is genealogy and rare book librarianship.   Over the past 3 years, Drew has taught many of the Library’s popular genealogy workshops, including beginner’s genealogy and DNA testing and genealogical research.  Also, in his spare time, Drew is an avid rare book collector.  He is a member several bibliophile clubs, including the Grolier Club in New York City and the Ticknor Society in Boston. 

Register for Old House Dos and Don’ts

Date & Time:
April 6, 2022
12:00pm – 1:00pm
Virtual
REGISTER HERE

Old Houses Dos and Don’ts.
As times change so do the needs and desires of families when it comes to modern living. Historic homes are often altered to realize these dreams, but it can be hard to know how to make changes that are sensitive to the existing character of the house. This online lecture defines “preservation” and how to apply its tenets effectively to old homes.  Learn tips on how to read changes that have been made to old houses and identify those that were successful and those that weren’t.  Discover ideas for how to recapture the historic character of an old house as well as improve its energy efficiency.  Join us for this lecture presented by Elizabeth Paliga, Preservation Services Manager for Historic New England.

Register for Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, and Your Family Photos: Identifying African American Family Photos

Date & Time:
March 9, 2022
12:00pm – 1:00pm
Virtual
REGISTER HERE

Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, and Your Family Photos: Identifying African American Family Photos
Join us for a workshop presented by Maureen Taylor, an internationally recognized expert on historic photograph identification and family history research, as we delve into the history of African American family portraits.  Photo clues can be obvious or subtle from who’s in the picture to what’s being worn and who took the picture. We’ll explore the 5 basic questions to ask about your photos and how to figure out the story in the image.  This interactive lecture will help you discover identity and connections to your family that you never knew you had.

Maureen Taylor is an internationally recognized expert on historic photograph identification, photo preservation and family history research.  Sought out by clients all over the world, her pioneering work in historic research is unprecedented, evidenced by her success in solving photo mysteries.  The author of several books, scholarly articles and online columns, Taylor appeared on the View and the Today Show to discuss her photo identification methods.  She has been featured in numerous publications, including the Boston Globe, New York Times, and Better Homes and Gardens, and was dubbed “the nation’s foremost historical photo detective” by the Wall Street Journal. 

Register for: Central to It All: A look at Central Square, the Nightclub ManRay, and Twenty Years of Change

Date & Time:
September 22, 2021
6:30pm – 8:00pm
Main Library
Lecture Hall
REGISTER HERE

Central to It All: A look at Central Square, the Nightclub ManRay, and Twenty Years of Change
Central Square in the 1980s was at the jumping-off point for a new beginning. Shops, restaurants, and long-standing businesses lined the square. However, the one area that was expanding greatly was in the realm of nightlife. Venues such as the Middle East, The Cantab Lounge, and T.T the Bears were bringing in both local and national performing artists. Joining these venues was a nightclub, Campus, on 21 Brookline St. In 1985, that space became ManRay. A nightclub that promoted what they called the “Art of Nightlife.” ManRay promoted dance nights for many cultures, sub-cultures, and scenes such as Goth, Industrial, Fetish, New Wave, and those in the LBGTQIA communities. Like the other music venues in the square, ManRay had a dynamic roster of artists and bands that performed there that included Divine, Peter Murphy, KMFDM, Sleep Chamber, and, most notably, Nirvana.

Join us for a look into Central Square during the years of ManRay’s existence. Through presentation and a rich panel of speakers, we will explore the years of 1983 to 2006 and witness the growth and dynamic change within the square, through the lens of ManRay and its twenty years at 21 Brookline St. 

Date Change: Researching the History of Your Cambridge Home

Date & Time:
August 18, 2021
3:00pm – 4:00pm
REGISTER HERE

Research the History of Your Cambridge House
Are you interested in learning more about where you live or the property you own? This hour-long, in-person workshop will guide you through a variety of online resources that will help you research your home. Discover when your building was built and by whom. Find out who lived in your house and how your neighborhood has changed.

Register for Research the History of Your Cambridge House – In Person Workshop

Date & Time:
August 11, 2021
3:00pm – 4:00pm
REGISTER HERE

Research the History of Your Cambridge House
Are you interested in learning more about where you live or the property you own? This hour-long, in-person workshop will guide you through a variety of online resources that will help you research your home. Discover when your building was built and by whom. Find out who lived in your house and how your neighborhood has changed. 

Recording Available – Healing the Historical Trauma of Slavery Through Genealogical Research

We were fortunate to have Sharon Leslie Morgan, renowned genealogist and founder of Our Black Ancestry, help commemorate Juneteenth at the Cambridge Public Library. Morgan’s workshop, Healing the Historical Trauma of Slavery Through Genealogical Research, was recorded on June 17, 2021. The workshop was part of the Cambridge Room’s Lunchtime Virtual Lecture Series.

The following is a description of the workshop and a short bio of Sharon Leslie Morgan:

Juneteenth Commemoration: Healing the Historical Trauma of Slavery Through Genealogical Research
Has your genealogical research forced you to confront the racial wounds of the past – from slavery to the many forms of racism it engendered?  Facing “historical trauma” is as necessary for African Americans researching their ancestors who were enslaved as it is for White people who discover their ancestors were enslavers. 

To commemorate Juneteenth, join us for a workshop with Sharon Leslie Morgan, renowned genealogist and founder of Our Black Ancestry, as we learn about historical trauma and how it affects people today.  Morgan will introduce the STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) model for healing historical trauma and show how genealogical research can help heal the trauma of slavery.   

Sharon Leslie Morgan is a writer and genealogist. She is the founder of Our Black Ancestry, an online community dedicated to providing resources for African American genealogical research, preserving historic materials and properties, and promoting healing of wounds that are the legacy of slavery.

Morgan is the co-author of Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade. She is also a contributor to Slavery’s Descendants: Shared Legacies of Race & Reconciliation, and The Little Book of Racial Healing: Coming to the Table for Truth-Telling, Liberation, and Transformation.  In 2019, Morgan received the prestigious James Dent Walker Award from the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society

A staunch advocate of racial justice, Morgan has taken STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) training at Eastern Mennonite University and is actively involved with Coming to the Table, an organization that promotes linkages between descendants of people who were enslaved and descendants of the families that enslaved them for the purpose of healing from the trauma of slavery.

Register for Healing the Historical Trauma of Slavery Through Genealogical Research

Date & Time:
June 17, 2021
12:00pm – 1:00pm
REGISTER HERE

Juneteenth Commemoration: Healing the Historical Trauma of Slavery Through Genealogical Research
Has your genealogical research forced you to confront the racial wounds of the past – from slavery to the many forms of racism it engendered?  Facing “historical trauma” is as necessary for African Americans researching their ancestors who were enslaved as it is for White people who discover their ancestors were enslavers. 

To commemorate Juneteenth, join us for a workshop with Sharon Leslie Morgan, renowned genealogist and founder of Our Black Ancestry, as we learn about historical trauma and how it affects people today.  Morgan will introduce the STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) model for healing historical trauma and show how genealogical research can help heal the trauma of slavery.   

Sharon Leslie Morgan is a writer and genealogist. She is the founder of Our Black Ancestry, an online community dedicated to providing resources for African American genealogical research, preserving historic materials and properties, and promoting healing of wounds that are the legacy of slavery.

Morgan is the co-author of Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade. She is also a contributor to Slavery’s Descendants: Shared Legacies of Race & Reconciliation, and The Little Book of Racial Healing: Coming to the Table for Truth-Telling, Liberation, and Transformation.  In 2019, Morgan received the prestigious James Dent Walker Award from the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society

A staunch advocate of racial justice, Morgan has taken STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) training at Eastern Mennonite University and is actively involved with Coming to the Table, an organization that promotes linkages between descendants of people who were enslaved and descendants of the families that enslaved them for the purpose of healing from the trauma of slavery.

Register for Interview Techniques to Tell Your Family’s History

Date & Time:
June 10, 2021
12:00pm – 1:00pm
REGISTER HERE

Interview Techniques to Tell Your Family’s History
Join Alyssa Pacy, Archivist at the Cambridge Public Library, to learn the fundamentals of oral history.  This workshop will prepare you to easily interview family members.  We will cover an introduction to oral history, interviewing techniques, the use of a digital recorder, and methods to preserve your recording.