Library Historical Images: Library Minutes and Patrons

Here is another example from the Library’s Historical Documents Project, funded through the Community Preservation Fund.

From The Library Minutes and Patrons of 1893, page one, lists the Rules and Regulations of the Falmouth Free Public Library:

Article I: The Library shall be open for the delivery of books on every Wednesday and Saturday, from four to six, and seven to nine o’clock, P.M.

Farther down the list of articles we find Article VIII: No person returning a book to the Library shall be at liberty to retake the same until the next Library day.  All the books when returned shall be delivered to the Librarian, who shall examine and place them upon the shelves before they are again given out, except by special permission of the Librarian.

By the way, we also discovered among the volumes that very first Falmouth Free Public Library cards were issued to S.A. Holton and Grace Holton.

Library Historical Images: List of Library Accessions

In conjunction with the Community Preservation Fund Project, we recently had the opportunity to view some delightful volumes and documents in the Library’s Historical Collection.

In the List of Accessions, as seen above, from April,1891, the first entry (written of course in the Library Hand!) reads: Among My Books by J.R. Lowell. How appropriate!

The following entries for that month include such tomes as Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson as well as Charles Lamb. On a lighter note an added title is John Burroughs’ Fresh Fields, 3rd. ed.

Friday Reads: This Old Man: All in Pieces by Roger Angell

Whether you are a baseball fan or not, whether you are old or young, man or woman, you will discover an inspiring, funny and moving essay in this collection by nonagenarian Angell.  The only writer to have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the former editor of the New Yorker magazine offers us a collection of essays, witticisms, cartoons, and poetry.

Reading this book is like sitting in a comfy chair listening to the voice of a favorite uncle recall memories of a life well lived.  Sprinkled with letters to and from famous and the not- so- famous, you never get the feeling that Angell wasn’t a really likeable, down-to-earth character.

In this treatise on getting older, Angell discusses aging with a touch of wistfulness, as well as the satisfactions and challenges, the feeling of being irrelevant, and sometimes ignored.

If you were a New Yorker magazine fan during Angell’s tenure at the magazine, you, like me, looked forward to his annual Christmas verse,” Greetings, Friends,” a paean to those who lived and died during that year.

Short on time? If you can only spend a few minutes browsing this book, stop at page 267 and read the signature piece, “This Old Man.”

This Old Man is shelved with the NEW books at 818.5 Angell.

Friday Reads: Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston edited by Keith N. Morgan

The latest volume in the Society of Architectural Historians’ Buildings of the United States series, this tome “analyzes the architecture, landscape and planning patterns of the capital of Massachusetts and forty-one of its surrounding towns.” If you enjoy architecture and/or like the city of Boston, you’ll enjoy browsing through this book.

The city itself has garnered many nicknames over it four hundred years: A City upon a Hill; Cradle of Liberty; Home of the Bean and Cod; the Hub of the Solar System, to name a few.  The buildings have evolved over that time and reflect its varied history.

The organization of the entries begins in Boston and fans out to the north, and then to surrounding suburbs. Each entry is assigned a two-letter code, derived from the neighborhood or community name, The entries are preceded by a brief listing of information- name, date, architect or builder, street location and level of public recognition or protection. All buildings and sites for which entries are provided are generally viewable from a public right of way. Key structures or sites that help explain the character and evolution of architecture and landscape architecture in the Boston region but are either not visible or have been demolished are included in the introduction.

Many of the entries are accompanied by photographs (sadly none in color..)

Take an armchair tour of the city and learn about the fascinating structures that reveal the history and development of Boston. Look for Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston Buildings of Massachuseets: Metropolitan Boston in the Reference Department. Call # REF 720.9744.

P.S. Did you know that one can stand at the corner of Washington and State streets near the Old State House and view 3 centuries of architectural design? From that vantage point you’ll see the Old State House (1712), the Ames Building (1889) and the State Street Bank Building (1966)

Friday Reads:  A Sense of Place

Looking for some eye candy to satisfy your appetite for beautiful architecture? I have a wonderful suggestion for you:  local architect Mark Hutker’s A Sense of Place:  houses on Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod, which features thirteen beautiful homes designed by his firm, Hutker Architects.

“Hutker Architects, led by founding principal Mark A. Hutker, has designed more than three hundred houses along the New England shore.  In their design and construction, these houses honor the vernacular traditions of craft and indigenous materials and are deeply respectful of the beauty of the landscape.  As architects, the firm is committed to the principle “Build once, well,” looking to the historic architecture of the region as inspiration for contemporary design.  The result is an architecture that is at once highly contemporary and yet enduring, efficient, inevitable, and appropriate.” (From the front flap.)

Peruse this book and enjoy the beautiful photographs of these fabulous homes.  You can find several ideas here if you are contemplating building or decorating your dream home or redesigning your landscape. 

You can find this book in the new Oversize section with call number 728.0974 HUT

Friday Reads: Haunted Places: the National Directory

Just in time for the spooky season, we have just received Haunted Places the National Directory: ghostly abodes, sacred sites, UFO landings, and other supernatural locations by Dennis William. This revised and updated edition offers the “the most authoritative and documented study of supernatural phenomena in the United States. “ The Haunted Places directories have spawned serious paranormal research in all fifty states. They have inaugurated “the haunted travel industry!”

This intriguing guide is arranged alphabetically by state and then by town/city.  Each entry provides details of the haunting/ ghost/spirit as well as directions and contact information.  Boldface numbers at the end of each entry refer to the numbered list of resources in the Bibliography.

As the author cautions, remember many of the locations are private residences , so be sure to ask for permission to visit and never trespass!

Massachusetts boasts 44 entries with two in Falmouth!

The Village Green Inn, 40 W. Main St.

Built in 1804 this large house is haunted by the original owners, the Dimmick family. A teenage daughter Sarah died in the house in 1823, and her apparition, dressed in a white old-fashioned nightdress, is sometimes seen in one of the rooms. The specter of an older man wearing a flannel shirt has been identified as Dr. Tripp who owned the house after the Dimmicks moved out.

Wildflower Inn 167 Palmer Ave.

Built in 1898, recent renovations have spurred paranormal activity in this mansion. Workmen reported being tapped on the shoulder and on the hips, and their tools were in mysterious disarray when they arrived for work in the morning. The pool balls in the Billiards Room are rearranged every night by unseen hands, and an apparition of a young girl has been spotted in the Forget-Me-Not Room. The ghost has appeared several times at exactly 4:15 AM, and it is thought that is when the girl died in the room.

If the spirit moves you, check out this unique travel guide. Call # 133.1 HAU

Friday Reads:  Mrs. Adams in Winter

This month the Narrative Nonfiction Book Club read Mrs. Adams in Winter:  a journey in the last days of Napoleon by British historian Michael O’Brien.  The publisher describes it thus:

“Early in 1815, Louisa Catherine Adams and her young son left St. Petersburg in a Russian carriage and set out to meet her husband, John Quincy Adams, in Paris. She traveled through the snows of eastern Europe, across the battlefields of Germany, and into a France then experiencing Napoleon’s return from Elba. Along the way, she learned what Napoleon’s wars had done to Europe, what her old friends in the royal court in Berlin had experienced during the French occupation, how it felt to have her life threatened by reckless soldiers, and how to manage fear. Historian Michael O’Brien reconstructs for the first time that extraordinary passage. This evocative history of the experience of travel in the days of carriages and kings offers a moving portrait of a lady, her difficult marriage, and her conflicted sense of what it meant to be a woman caught between worlds.”

We had a vibrant discussion about the personal significance of this journey for Mrs. Adams, the nature of her marriage to John Quincy Adams and the style of historical writing that the author employed.  The discussion served to help readers understand the book better than they did on their own as we highlighted significant passages and delved deep into questions.  We were very interested to note that unlike our usual fare, this book was not written like a novel, putting the reader in the carriage right next to Mrs. Adams and her son.  Rather, it was written from a more distant voice of a careful historian who was reporting and analyzing facts, down to the smallest possible detail.  Some of us yearned for a more narrative telling with character development and intimacy, but others thoroughly y enjoyed the plethora of detail about social conventions, descriptions of towns and practical considerations of taking such an arduous trip.

This book was a finalist for the Pulitzer prize and was very highly regarded by many professional reviewers.  Try it with your book club and see what you think.

Friday Reads: Road Trip USA: Cross-country Adventures on America’s Two-lane Highways by Jamie Jens

Chock full of photos, maps and reproduction old-time postcards, browsing through Road Trip USA: Cross-country Adventures on America’s Two-lane Highways you can almost re-live that family vacation of yore!

A valuable guide if you are planning a trip, there are six color coded road trip itineraries. Each descriptive entry offers suggestions on where to eat and stay along with pricing and contact information.

The Road Trip itineraries are:

Pacific Coast- orange

Border to Border – green

The Road to Nowhere-yellow

The Great River Road-teal

Appalachian Trail – fuschia

Atlantic Coast- blue

Enjoy traveling off the beaten highway? Not only will you’ll find fascinating places to visit but some great local signs like this one in Texola on the Texas/Oklahoma border:

There’s No Other Place

Like This Place

Anywhere Near This Place

So This Must Be The Place

A brief summary of each state precedes a selection of interesting places to visit. The state seal along with an image of the state flower graces each state chapter.

Look for this U.S. travel guide under Call # 917.3 ROA 2015

Happy motoring!!

Friday Reads:  London, A Literary Anthology

London, a Literary Anthology, selected by Richard Fairman

Beautiful illustrations, many from the British Library, bring you straight into the city. Short essays, descriptive poems bring London to life in thirteen delightful chapters. Many of the collected pieces are short, others several pages and each will bring a vivid image of the city.  You’ll find such great writers as Robert Louis Stevenson, Lord Byron, Anthony Trollope, and Oscar Wilde. More contemporary authors such as Zadie Smith and Peter Ackroyd are included.

In this handsome book you’ll learn about the seamy side, south of the River Thames and read an entry from Angela Carter’s Wise Children: Why is London like Budapest? A. Because it is two cities divided by a river.

Carter, on her 75th birthday, recalls the sights, smells and urban deprivation on the “wrong side” of the river.

Cross Westminster bridge and enter a world of wealth and privilege.  From Joanna Baillie’s essay: London:

It is a goodly sight through the clear air,

From Hampstead’s heathy height to see at once

England’s vast capital in fair expanse,

Towers , belfries, lengthen’d streets and structures fair.

If you are planning a trip “over the pond” to London, or perhaps just an armchair visit, be sure to pick up London, a Literary Anthology selected by Richard Fairman. You’ll find it on the NEW nonfiction shelf, Call # 808.8 LON

Friday Reads: Very Good Lives: the Fringe Benefit of Failure and the Importance of Imagination

Friday Reads: Very Good Lives: the Fringe Benefit of Failure and the Importance of Imagination

By J. K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling, author of the popular Harry Potter series, was invited to deliver the commencement address at Harvard University in 2008. Remembering the address given at her own commencement by Baroness Mary Warnock, Rowling realized she couldn’t recall a word the Baroness spoke. Bearing this in mind she decided to speak on two topics close to her heart: the benefits of failure and the importance of imagination.

On Failure:

“The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in our ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity.”

On Imagination:

“Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation; in its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.”

This small book urging the graduates to “live the good life” by daring to fail and empowering their imagination, is shelved in the NEW nonfiction under Call # 158.1 ROW.

Rowling has directed that proceeds from the sale of Very Good Lives will benefit Lumos, an organization she founded to transform the lives of disadvantaged children.

My take:  Don’t be afraid to fail, cherish your friends and let your imagination work for you.

P.S. it took me less time to read the book than write this blog!