Tag Archives: Lunchtime Lecture Series

Democratizing Book Collecting: The First Bibliophiles of Cambridge

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

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 Linked Descendants: African American Genealogy Prior to 1870

Date & Time:
April 8, 2021
12:00pm – 1:00pm

Linked Descendants:  African American Genealogy Prior to 1870
Join us for a workshop with Sharon Leslie Morgan, renowned genealogist and founder of Our Black Ancestry, as we delve into African American ancestry before abolition.  Researching African American families prior to the 1870 Census is a challenge that may be overcome by finding linked descendants – or the white families who enslaved most of the Black population.  Learn new research techniques and use genealogy as a tool for confronting slavery and heal. 

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.

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.  For our kick-off event on February 25th, author’s Bill McEvoy and Robin Hazard Ray will discuss the fate of those banished to Boston Harbor’s Rainsford Island.  In March, the Leventhal Map Center will take us on a walk through Cambridge using historic maps.  Becky Cooper, author of We Keep the Dead Close, will talk about the murder of a Harvard graduate student that gripped the nation.  Check our schedule as we continue to add more programs throughout the Spring.