Tag Archives: Cambridge History

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

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. 


Poetry, Coloring, and Cambridge History: Creative Mind Awareness Workshop (Free!)

Poetry, Coloring, and Cambridge History:  Creative Mind Awareness Workshop
Join us for an evening of poetry, coloring, and Cambridge history!  Poet Alan Feldman and artist Miriam Bucheli will offer a multidisciplinary workshop featuring Feldman’s poetry and Bucheli’s hand drawn designs.  Participants will listen to Feldman read his poetry while engaging in mindful coloring.  The workshop will end with a wrap up discussion.  Featured designs will include those from Bucheli’s 2017 publication, Amazing Cambridge, inspired by Cambridge’s history, architecture, and notable writers.  This experimental exercise is designed to encourage awareness, contemplate history, engage creative senses, and provoke thoughtful discussion.  Alan Feldman is the author of Immortality and the recipient of the 2016 Massachusetts Book Award for Poetry.  Miriam Bucheli is an illustrator, scientist, and founder of MirelliBooks.  This program is sponsored by the Cambridge Arts Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.  Space is limited.  Registration is mandatory.

Dates & Times:
6:30pm – 8:00pm, Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Main Library, Community Room


The Alice M. Ronchetti Papers are Now Available


Alice Ronchetti outside the Cambridge Public Library Branch No.1 in 1935.



We are pleased to announce that the Alice M. Ronchetti Papers, 1935-1973, have been digitized and can now be viewed online, in addition to the original hard copies being available for research at the Cambridge Public Library.

Alice Ronchetti worked as a librarian for the Cambridge Public Library for 38 years, from 1935 until her retirement in 1973. During her professional life, Ronchetti dedicated herself to the needs of both young people and adults. Her “unselfish and outstanding service to the citizens of Cambridge” was noted by the Board of Library Trustees in their resolution to accept her retirement from her position of head librarian.

This collection contains Alice Ronchetti’s professional documents and photographs. The documents include her Certificate of Librarianship and two letters that document her retirement: one acceptance letter from library Director Joseph G. Sakey and one resolution passed by the Board of Library Trustees. The photographs in this collection were taken at East Cambridge (now the O’Connell Branch) and Mount Auburn (now the Collins Branch). They depict Alice Ronchetti’s work life in the Cambridge Public Library system, including her co-workers, children she worked with, and events held at the library. Some of the photographs were undated and the dates have been estimated.

Alice Mary Ronchetti was born on May 24, 1912 to Cesar Ronchetti (b. 1884) and Clotilde Nicoli (1883-1974) in Boston, Massachusetts. She was one of six siblings (Alfred, Joseph, Rose Mary, Mary, and James). Her family moved to Cambridge around 1921. Ronchetti died on October 1, 1986 at age 74 and is buried in the North Cambridge Catholic Cemetery.

Lucius R. Paige Papers now available


Lease of Markethouse to J. Wellington, 1815, Lucius R. Paige Papers (021)

The Cambridge Room is pleased to announce that the Lucius R. Paige Papers are now available for research.

Rev. Lucius R. Paige was a Universalist minister, biblical scholar, historian, and public official. The youngest of nine children, he was born on March 2, 1802 to Timothy Paige and Mary (Robinson) Paige in Hardwick, Massachusetts.

As a young man, he read Hosea Ballou’s A Treatise on Atonement, which caused him to reject his parents Calvinist faith. In 1823 he wrote to Ballou describing the impact his work had on him, as a result he entered Ballou’s home in 1825 as a student. In 1825 he was settled and ordained in Springfield, Massachusetts where he remained for four years. He ministered for two years in Rockport before moving to Cambridge in 1832, succeeding Thomas Whittemore at the First Universalist Society.

Paige was married four times: first to Clarinda Richardson in 1826 by whom he had three children: Lucius R. Paige, Mary Jane Paige, and Henry Ballou Paige. His second wife was Abby Whittemore, sister of his colleague Thomas Whittemore. They had two children: a daughter Clarinda and a son Thomas Whittemore. He would marry Lucy Richardson in 1845 and Ann (Peck) Brigham in 1866.

Paige was heavily involved in town affairs, resulting in his resigning from the church in 1839. He served as Town Clerk from 1839-1840 and 1843-1846 and when Cambridge was incorporated, as City Clerk from 1846-1855. His public service continued with a career in banking until 1871 and as a representative in the Massachusetts legislature from 1878-1879.

He remained active in church affairs and preached occasionally for thirty years until failing health forced him to decline invitations. He suffered from bouts of illness over the years until dying in 1896 at the age of ninety-five. He is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Collection Overview
This collection contains manuscripts, town records, and hand drawn maps relating to Cambridge’s early history as collected by Lucius R. Paige. Paige maintained handwritten manuscript drafts, correspondence and personal notebooks throughout his research period.

Series 1 contains the handwritten manuscript of Paige’s book “History of Cambridge, 1630-1877”. Each folder contains around 25 pages of his manuscript. The series also contains handwritten copies of county probate files, deeds, and early town records of Cambridge.

Series 2 contains letters written by correspondents of Paige on the subject of local church histories and genealogies of Cambridge families. Paige was very interested in the histories of the founding families of Cambridge, and compiled the information he received into his notes that are found in the genealogical section of his History of Cambridge. As he himself was a reverend, Paige also kept correspondence with churchgoers around Cambridge who knew the histories of their own churches. This series is a substantial part of the collection.

Series 3 contains documents related to the general history of Cambridge including hand written copies of Revolutionary War muster rolls, and Paige’s personal endeavor to build a dike in Cambridge by his property. The Original Draft of the City Charter contains a handwritten manuscript of the Cambridge city charter with notations and edit marks in the columns. The Market House Records contain administrative records on the business of running a market house, including deeds and property documents while it was operating. The Cambridge Common, Town House, and Cambridge Bridge, records were donated by Charles Folsom in 1857. The records document Cambridge’s growing need in the 19th Century for modern infrastructure to meet the demands of the populace.

Wikipedia Loves Libraries at the CPL Tomorrow

Event details

Date: Saturday, November 17, 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Venue: Cambridge Public Library (Main Branch), 449 Broadway Cambridge, MA 02138
Cost: Free
Participants: The event is open to anyone and everyone that wishes to join. No previous editing experience is necessary, as a tutorial will be provided for Wikipedia newcomers, and experienced editors will be on hand to help out. While the session from 11:00 to 11:30 is tailored specifically to librarians and archivists, the session will be of interest to anyone unfamiliar with Wikipedia. Can’t be there the whole time? No problem. Join us for as little or as long as you like.
Details: Attendees should bring their own laptops and power cords. A computer lab is available for those that cannot or do not want to bring their laptops. Light food and drinks will be provided.
Registration: Pre-registration is not required, however it would be greatly appreciated if you could sign up here.

Schedule of events

11:00 AM – 11:30 AM: Presentation on Wikipedia aimed at Librarians, Archivists, and others unfamiliar with Wikipedia
11:30 AM – 12:00 AM: Tutorial for new and beginning users
12:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Edit-a-thon proper
12:00 PM: Cambridge Public Library archives are opened

Suggested topics for the Edit-a-thon

The edit-a-thon is Cambridge themed. Editors can work on whatever they choose to, including things that have nothing to do with Cambridge, but if you don’t have any ideas, below is a list of Cambridge related articles that could use work.

Articles that can be created from scratch

Articles that can be significantly expanded upon (mostly blank)

Articles that can be somewhat expanded on (already has some information)