Sarah Vowell. Photo: Bennett Miller

On the Road with Lafayette

October 29, 2015

The Marquis de Lafayette, a French aristocrat who fought for the US in the American Revolutionary War, is a ubiquitous but overlooked character in American history. He touched many significant events, people, and places: the Revolution, Herman Melville, Marie Antoinette, and also our modern parks, cities, and roads. The name “Lafayette” is everywhere in the US, … Continue reading On the Road with Lafayette


Columbia University History Professor Eric Foner. Photo by Daniela Zalcman.

Newsmaker: Eric Foner

October 27, 2015

Your most recent book is a fascinating look at the Underground Railroad and antislavery networks of pre–Civil War New York City. Explain how you came across the document that shed new light on these events. ERIC FONER: It was totally accidental. Madeline Lewis, an undergraduate history major at Columbia who also worked for my family … Continue reading Newsmaker: Eric Foner


Image of damaged pages from a manuscript in Timbuktu showing the effects of chipping. (Photo: Alexio Motsi and Mary Minicka for the Timbuktu Manuscripts Project.)

Preserving Africa’s Heritage

August 21, 2015

Musa Wakhungu Olaka, African global and international studies librarian at the University of Kansas, described the collaboration between the University of Southern Florida (USF) and Ibuka, an umbrella organization of various groups representing survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. “The Rwandan genocide was a major tragedy to Rwanda and humanity,” Olaka said, “that resulted in … Continue reading Preserving Africa’s Heritage


tablet with historical document

Digitizing History

July 31, 2015

Cambridge goes online Cambridge Archive Editions (CAE), in partnership with East View Information Services, has digitized its collection of British archival documents from the 18th to the 20th century, including original print volumes and accompanying maps, and made them available as online editions via the East View ebook platform. Twenty-five years’ worth of accumulated CAE … Continue reading Digitizing History


Ephemera from the local history reference collection at Albany County (Wyo.) Public Library in Laramie.

What To Collect?

July 29, 2015

Where to begin The patron base for your LHRC will help determine types of materials and subject matter to acquire. Another factor is how much space you have to house the materials. And, of course, your budget is an important consideration. What can your library afford? You may have to build slowly, but that’s okay. You … Continue reading What To Collect?


Heidi Abbey Moyer (Photo: Bob Skalkowski)

Bookend: A History of Women’s Lives

June 1, 2015

The Alice Marshall Women’s History Collection is named for Alice Kahler Marshall (1923–1997), a local journalist, researcher, and avid collector, who was fascinated by the “contradictions between the realities of women’s lives and the stereotypes of women’s behavior.” The collection, compiled over 50 years, encompasses material on all areas of women’s lives from the 15th … Continue reading Bookend: A History of Women’s Lives


Karen Muller

The More We Change

March 18, 2014

In 1887, the Newberry Library in Chicago opened its doors as a public research library, with ALA charter member William Frederick Poole at the helm. The Newberry 125: Stories of Our Collection highlights 125 objects in the collection. The array of objects—from beautiful illuminated medieval manuscript Psalters to Thomas Bewick print blocks to a photograph … Continue reading The More We Change