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Neighborhoods focus of latest Public Library lecture series

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  January 2, 2013 10:50 AM

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From the evolution of Chinatown to the stories of the Boston Harbor Islands to the history of the West End, Boston’s diverse neighborhoods offer a plethora of historic stories for their residents and the Boston Public Library’s latest series aim to share those stories.

The library’s Local & Family History lecture series kicks off its tenth year this month with lectures focused on Boston, its neighborhoods, and people who make up these communities.

The talks, which run through May, will also focus on family and community archives, and memoirs, and is part of the library’s ongoing Building Boston initiative that celebrates the city’s public spaces.

The talks, listed below as provided by the library, are set to be held in the Orientation Room of the Central Library in Copley Square.

• James Madden speaks about how people, place, and planning interacted throughout history to create the Boston of today. Wednesday, January 9, at 6 p.m.

• Melissa Mannon presents strategies for protecting and caring for personal papers in her talk “The Unofficial Family Archivist.” Wednesday, January 23, at 6 p.m.

• Tunney Lee speaks about Boston’s Chinatown and how it has evolved into an active residential neighborhood and a vital commercial and services center for Greater Boston.Wednesday, February 13, at 6 p.m.

• Alice (Yee) Kane presents a historical overview of Chinese immigration during the 19th and 20th centuries in her talk “They Came for the Gold and Stayed: An Introduction to Chinese-American Genealogy.” Wednesday, February 27, at 6 p.m.

• Department of Conservation and Recreation Archaeologist Ellen Berkland presents the history of the Harbor Islands and explains why it can be considered a neighborhood. Wednesday, March 13, at 6 p.m.

• Suzanne Gall Marsh shares stories of the Boston Harbor Islands in her talk “Being a Genealogy Detective for Harbor Islands Stories.” Wednesday, March 27, at 6 p.m.
• James Campano and Duane Lucia of the West End Museum present a broad look at the West End, an important American urban neighborhood from the seventeenth century to the present time. Wednesday, April 10, at 6 p.m.

• Professional genealogist Richard Andrew Pierce provides insight on researching family histories in his talk “Tracing the West End Families: Yesterday and Today.” Wednesday, April 24, at 6 p.m.

• Tula Mahl, Christopher Castellani, Michelle Seaton, and Judith Klau present “The Memoir Project: Recording the Memoirs of Boston’s Seniors.” The project has gathered senior citizens from Boston neighborhoods to write down their personal memories. Wednesday, May 8, at 6 p.m.

• Joanne Riley, University Archivist at the University of Massachusetts Boston, shares examples of archival collections used by historians and researchers in her talk “Memories and Mortuary Records: Community Archiving Projects at UMass Boston.” Wednesday, May 22, at 6 p.m.

E-mail Kaiser at Johanna.yourtown@gmail.com.

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