Summer Reading Suggestions

Anchee Min 

Goodreads, in their May 2013 Good Minds Suggest column, featured Anchee Min’s Favorite Immigrant Stories.

Min, herself an author, immigrated to the United States from China in 1984.

She lists five other works that resonate with her own experience.

These five books, and Min’s own, provide insight into the diversity of American immigration stories.

Perhaps some beach reading now that it’s so hot?

Open Archives Tours!

openarchives_2013

from our archival friends:

Spaces: Sacred and Profane, the Fifth Annual Open Archives Tour

Tours and Dates:            

  • City Collections: Cambridge Historical Commission, Cambridge Room of the Public Library, Cambridge Public Works Department
    June 17, 5:00 to 8:00 pm
  • Harvard Collections: Harvard Graduate School of Design, Harvard Property Information Resource Center (PIRC), Harvard University Archives
    June 18, 3:00-6:00 pm
  • Religious Collections: Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Christ Church, First Church in Cambridge, Congregational
    June 19, 4:00-7:00 pm
  • MIT Collections: MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS), MIT Institute Archives & Special Collections, MIT Rotch Library
    June 20, 3:00-6:00 pm
  • Ask-an-Archivist and Freemasons’ Lodge Collection: Bring materials from your personal collections and ask an archivist for suggestions as to the care of the item. Archivists from the Cambridge Historical Society, Harvard, MIT, and the National Park Service will participate. June 21, 3:00-6:00 pm

Cost:                         $5 Reservation fee per day

Contact:             Gavin Kleespies 617-547-4252, [email protected]

Space is limited. To reserve a spot, please visit www.cambridgearchives.org

 For the fifth year in a row, Cambridge archives will open their doors and invite the public in to see the rare items that are rarely seen. “Working in local history you get to know all sorts of cool places that have amazing resources,” said Gavin W. Kleespies, director of the Cambridge Historical Society, “but most people never get inside these institutions or only know of a few of them. Our city is full of archival collections of photos, letters, and diaries that are breath taking, shocking, and comic-and they are all in the city of Cambridge. This is an opportunity for anyone who is interested to glimpse items from world class archives and talk with the experts who know these collections. ”

Residents and visitors will be given the opportunity to visit thirteen institutions in this year’s Open Archives program, including eight archives that have never participated before.

This year’s theme is Spaces: Sacred and Profane, and each archive will interpret this in their own way and delve into their collections to display materials, including photographs, correspondence, ephemera, and more that relate to that theme.

“This is the largest archives tour in America and one of the only archives tours open to people who do not work in libraries or museums.” continued Gavin. “Last year we saw Julia Child’s Emmy, a lock of Amelia Earhart’s hair, an x-ray of a Picasso sculpture, manuscripts from W.E.B. Du Bois, a real John Hancock signature, and posters advertising the Byrds’s concert at MIT. It is an amazing set of tours.”

open_archives_tour_2013

Chinatown Walking Tour

The first Saturday of each month the Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC) offers a walking tour of Boston’s Chinatown.

Find out more about the history and culture of one of Boston’s most famous neighborhoods.

Advance reservations are requested.

Go to the ACDC website to find out more.

Also visit Boston.com‘s “A Historic Look at Chinatown” to see more of the sights.

 

Boston’s Immigration talk May 16, 2013

The Historic Shirley-Ustis House museum will be hosting a talk “Boston’s Immigration as it Impacted Boston and Roxbury” with Anthony Sammarco on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.

From their website:

Anthony Sammarco’s lecture will discuss Boston’s immigration period with a slide presentation that will focus on the city, its tenements, their interiors, and the social service agencies available to immigrants.  Roxbury will also be discussed in the same vein with early slides of the Shirley-Eustis House and neighborhood.

Mr. Sammarco is a noted historian and author of over sixty books on the history and development of Boston and its neighborhoods.  His book, Boston’s Immigrants was written to highlight the diversity of the city. Refreshments will be served following the lecture. Admission for each lecture is $5 for adults, $4 for students and seniors.

Shirley-Eustis House members and their guests are free. For more information about Shirley Place, its architecture, residents, gardens and collections, visit www.shirleyeustishouse.org, call 617-442-2275 or become a fan on our Facebook page to stay connected to our events and announcements.

The Shirley-Eustis House, 33 Shirley Street, Roxbury, MA, built in 1747 for Royal Governor William Shirley, was once a sprawling estate of 33 acres.  It continues to sit majestically in Roxbury surrounded by beautiful gardens and historic fruit orchards and remains the most imposing and best preserved of the four standing colonial governors’ homes in the United States.

Ornament and Identity in the Immigrant-Built Tenements of Boston and New York

The Shirley-Eustis House in Boston will be hosting a talk “Ornament and Identity in the Immigrant-Built Tenements of Boston and New York (1870-1920)” with Zachary Violette on Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.

Here’s more description from their website:

Zachary Violette will examine the ways immigrant tenement builders in Boston and New York used architectural ornament to create meaning in the buildings they built for the poor and the working class at the turn of the 20th-century.  To reformers, the decorated tenements were cheap shams and bad housing as they were making these buildings an important site of contested meaning over questions of taste and property, workmanship and honesty, class, ethnicity, and control of the built environment.  Mr. Violette is a PhD candidate in American and New England Studies at Boston University.

Refreshments will be served following the lecture. Admission for each lecture is $5 for adults, $4 for students and seniors. Shirley-Eustis House members and their guests are free.

For more information about Shirley Place, its architecture, residents, gardens and collections, visit www.shirleyeustishouse.org, call 617-442-2275 or become a fan on our Facebook page to stay connected to our events and announcements. 

The Shirley-Eustis House, 33 Shirley Street, Roxbury, MA, built in 1747 for Royal Governor William Shirley, was once a sprawling estate of 33 acres.  It continues to sit majestically in Roxbury surrounded by beautiful gardens and historic fruit orchards and remains the most imposing and best preserved of the four standing colonial governors’ homes in the United States.

The Memoir Project: Recording the Memoirs of Boston’s Seniors

from our friends at the BPL:

The Memoir Project: Recording the Memoirs of Boston’s Seniors

Wednesday, May 8 2013, 6:00 p.m., Commonwealth Salon, Central Branch, Boston Public Library

My Legacy is Simply This by Tula Mahl

Since 2008, Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Boston’s Elderly Commission have partnered with a local nonprofit, Grub Street, to produce The Memoir Project. The project has gathered senior citizens from Boston neighborhoods to write down their personal memories. The project guides participants in sharing their stories through writing their memories in bound journals for their families and future generations to learn from and remember. Project staff will describe how the partnership came about and explain the techniques they use for gathering and writing oral histories.

Speakers include:

  • Tula Mahl, Deputy Commissioner of Communications and Policy for the City of Boston’s Commission on Elderly Affairs
  • Christopher Castellani, Artistic Director at Grub Street and author of three novels
  • Michelle Seaton, Lead Instructor and creator of the curriculum for the Memoir Project
  • Judith Klau, Senor Participant from the South End workshop of the Memoir Project

Read more about Grub Street and the Memoir Project by clicking here.

 

Tracing the West End Families: Yesterday and Today

from our friends at the BPL:

Tracing the West End Families: Yesterday and Today

Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 6:00 p.m., Commonwealth Salon, Boston Public Library

Richard Andrew Pierce on West End Families

Richard Andrew Pierce provides insight to those facing the challenges of researching family histories in the unique urban neighborhood setting that is the West End. He is a consultant to the West End Museum and a professional genealogist in Boston. Mr. Pierce has traced the ancestries and missing heirs for hundreds of clients. His books and articles include: The Stones Speak: Irish Place Names from Inscriptions in Boston’s Mount Calvary Cemetery, The Wampanoag Genealogical History of Martha’s Vineyard, and a five-part series of articles on the ancestry of President Kennedy for the New England Historic Genealogical Society’s American Ancestors website.

Iranian Immigrant Stories April 12, 2013

This coming Friday, April 12, 2013, the American Islamic Congress will present Immigrant Stories by Iranian Women.

As the AIC website explains,

“AIC’s “Muslim Women in the Arts Series” includes as its latest installment a discussion with artist Niloofar Ziae and author and university lecturer Dr. Mitra Shavarini on their experiences as Iranian female immigrants to the US. As part of the evening, Ziae’s artwork will be exhibited and Shavarini will read from her new memoir “Desert Roots.””

For more information and registration, go to the AIC website here.

Also, explore the story of Desert Roots at Dr. Shavarini’s website.

 

The West End: From Early Immigration to Urban Excess, BPL, April 10

from our friends at the BPL:

The West End: From Early Immigration to Urban Excess

Wednesday,  April 10, 2013, 6:00 p.m., Commonwealth Salon, Central Branch Boston Public Library

James Campano and Duane Lucia on Boston's West End

James Campano and Duane Lucia of the West End Museum present a broad look at an important American urban neighborhood from the seventeenth century to the present time. The West End Museum is a neighborhood museum located at 150 Staniford Street on the ground floor of West End Place, and is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and interpretation of the history and culture of the West End of Boston.

Mr. Campano is the Founder of the West End Museum and Mr. Lucia is the Executive Director.