Lunchtime Lectures from the Cambridge Room

Join us for a weekly virtual series on Thursdays at noon, featuring author talks, lectures, and workshops on genealogy and Cambridge history. 

Preserve Your Family Treasures
Many of us have collections of treasured documents and photographs of significant events, ancestors, or bygone historical eras – items that create a record of who we are and where we come from. These collections deteriorate over time, but making small changes in storage and handling can have a huge impact on the lifespan of the materials. In this lecture, Alison Fulmer, a Preservation Specialist with the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) will provide an introduction to the preservation and care of historical materials such as scrapbooks, letters, journals, books, and photographs. We will discuss simple steps for identifying and correcting improper handling and storage of paper-based and photographic materials in family collections.

Alison Fulmer, a Preservation Specialist with NEDCC, serves archives, libraries, museums, historical societies, and other cultural heritage institutions in the New England region and beyond, providing training programs, assessments, consultations, and disaster assistance. She holds a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh and is certified by the Academy of Certified Archivists.  NEDCC offers conservation treatment, digital imaging, and audio preservation services, as well as preservation training, assessments and consultations, and disaster advice on collections.

Date & Time:
May 6, 2021
12:00pm – 1:00pm
REGISTER HERE

American Treasures from the Cambridge Public Library’s Archives and Special Collections
Join Drew Griffin, Cambridge Public Library’s Senior Librarian for Adult Services, as he takes us on a tour of the American Treasures in the Library’s Archives and Special Collections.  This lecture will focus on letters from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Paul Revere, Margaret Fuller, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and more.  Discover all our Library has to offer with special, virtual trip into the vault.

Date & Time:
May 13, 2021
12:00pm – 1:00pm
REGISTER HERE

Buns, Beards, Bodices and Bustles:  Understanding Ancestors Through Clothing
Ancestral fashions and the industry that produced them left behind a fascinating legacy of images and information.  Join Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective, to discover genealogical clues by looking closely at the clothing and accessories your ancestors wore.  Come with your questions and learn the basics of photo detecting through the lens of fashion. 

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. 

Date & Time:
May 20, 2021
12:00pm – 1:00pm
REGISTER HERE

Getting Started in Irish Family Research
Join the New England Historical Genealogical Society to help you start researching your Irish family.  This workshop will offer the latest tips and tricks for delving into sources both in the United States and Ireland.  Bring your questions and get started on your genealogical journey!

Melanie McComb, Genealogist, assists library visitors, both on-site and online, with their family history research. She also provides lectures on a variety of genealogical topics. Melanie holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York at Oswego. Her areas of research interest include Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Kansas, Prince Edward Island, Québec, and Ireland, and she is experienced in DNA, genealogical technology and social media, Jewish genealogy, and military records.

Date & Time:
June 3, 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.

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

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.  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.

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