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Boston Public Library’s Civil War Commemoration Continues
Performer to bring history to life at Orient Heights Branch

BOSTON — AUGUST 15, 2011 —The Boston Public Library continues its ongoing commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War with a range of programming that includes films, period re-enactors, musical performers, discussions of local regiments, and lectures by nationally renowned experts on all aspects of the conflict.

A performance will take place at the Orient Heights Library as part of this ongoing commemoration.

Performers and lecturers visiting neighborhood branches of the Boston Public Library include:

Jan Turnquist performs as Louisa May Alcott  at 6pm on Thursday, September 22, at the Orient Heights Branch in East Boston.


Programs, events, and exhibitions at the Central Library in Copley Square include:

The BPL’s Civil War Film Series continues on Monday evenings at 6pm through September 26. September films include Ride with the Devil, Cold Mountain, and The Last Confederate.

The Local & Family History Lecture Series will focus on Massachusetts’ involvement in the conflict as a local historian will speak on local regiments each month, as follows: the 54th Massachusetts Infantry on Wednesday, September 14; the 6th Massachusetts Volunteer Militia on Wednesday, October 12; the 9th Massachusetts Infantry on Wednesday, November 16; and the 20th Massachusetts Infantry on Wednesday, December 14. All talks are at 6pm. For more information visit the series’ web page.

Jeff Shaara, author of several works of fiction about the period as well as Civil War Battlefields, will kick off the Boston Public Library’s Lowell Lecture Series on Thursday, September 29. The series will continue with Gail Buckley on Tuesday, October 4; Tony Horwitz on Thursday, December 1; and Nell Irvin painter on Thursday, December 15. All of the Lowell Lectures will be held at 6pm in Rabb Lecture Hall.

Video highlights of the lectures will be made available online. For the complete schedule visit

The 2nd South Carolina String Band performs period music on Saturday, October 8, at 2:30pm in Rabb Lecture Hall.

Barbara Menard Pugliese speaks on the Practical & Fashionable Dress of the Civil War Era on Thursday, October 20, at 6pm in Rabb Lecture Hall.

Four exhibitions at the Central Library in Copley Square illuminate different aspects of the war:

· Home Front: Boston and the Civil War focuses on ten notable local residents and highlights original manuscripts, prints, artifacts, and other material from the Boston Public Library's special collections. Open daily through December 31 in the Johnson Lobby.

· Torn in Two: The 150th Anniversary of the Civil War showcases 50 historic maps interwoven with 40 photographs, paintings, prints, diaries, political cartoons, music, and press of the period, all drawn from the Boston Public Library's special collections. Open daily through December 31 in the Changing Exhibits Room.

· Winslow Homer's Illustrations brings to the public the library’s collection of prints by the renowned artist, primarily those created for illustrated weeklies between 1858 and 1873. This exhibition explores Homer’s portrayal of rural life in America, the brutality of the Civil War, the changing roles of women, and the favorite pastimes of the American people. Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9am-5pm; and Tuesday, Thursday: 9am -7pm; through September 30 in the Wiggin Gallery.

· Photo by Brady draws from the Boston Public Library’s collection of about 375 Civil War photographs taken by Mathew Brady, his colleague Alexander Gardner, and others from the Brady studio. These are part of the 20th Massachusetts Regiment Collection. Open Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm; through September 30 in the Rare Books Lobby.

In addition, guided tours of the Torn in Two and Home Front exhibitions are offered twice weekly through October on Saturdays at 2 pm and Thursdays at 6 pm. Visit the Library’s website for more information on tours.

The BPL’s dedicated web page,, offers details on the exhibitions, lectures, films, tours, and live performances as well as recommended books and movies for those wishing to explore the subject further. Visitors to can download a copy of the Boston Public Library’s Civil War brochure (pictured above, right).

For more than 160 years, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library was the first publicly supported municipal library in America, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Today, the Boston Public Library has twenty-seven neighborhood locations, including the Central Library in Copley Square. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts nearly 12,000 programs, answers more than one million reference questions, and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibits are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning.

Source: BPL Communications Office
August 15, 2011
617.859.2319, news -- at --

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