Posted on January 28th, 2016 by BPL News in General
Sari Mauro, Digital Archivist for the Congregational Library and Archives (CLA), paid a visit to the Central Library in Copley Square on Wednesday night to share tips on navigating the CLA’s records for the audience of amateur genealogists and researchers.
The CLA, located at 14 Beacon Street, was established in 1853 and houses materials documenting the history and records of the Congregational Church, a religious tradition descended from Puritanism. However, the CLA’s collections are not just for those seeking information on the history of New England’s churches; as Mauro noted, because colonial churches kept track of all town business, the CLA is a great resource for genealogists trying to track down an ancestor’s birth, death, or marriage dates as well as property and tax information.
To help the audience with their research, Mauro provided tips for navigating the CLA’s archives, both online and in-person. She reviewed key denominational search terms and examined how to best use those terms when locating materials. She also explored digital resources that genealogists can access remotely, including the CLA catalog, over 18,000 digitized church records as part of the New England’s Hidden Histories project, the obituary database, and more. Mauro also pointed audiences to a digitized Spider-Man comic book, in which the super hero travels back in time to fight Puritan and Salem witch trial judge Cotton Mather.
The Local and Family History Lecture Series runs through May and features lectures of interest to both amateur genealogists and local historians. See the full schedule via www.bpl.org/localhistory.
Posted on January 14th, 2016 by email@example.com in General
Tags: Architecture, Around the BPL
Artist Pierre Puvis de Chavannes’ Philosophy panel on the wall of the grand staircase in the McKim building at the Central Library in
Copley Square is undergoing restoration. The panel is one of eight allegorical murals that surround the Central Library’s grand staircase, each panel depicting an academic discipline, including Astronomy, History, Chemistry, Physics, Pastoral Poetry, Dramatic Poetry, and Epic Poetry.
Chavannes’ panels were painted on linen canvas in Paris and adhered to the library walls in 1895-96 using the “marouflage” technique, binding canvas to plaster support with an adhesive paste. Over time, the plaster and adhesive behind Philosophy has weakened, jeopardizing the panel.
Conservators, led by Gianfranco Pocobene, head of conservation at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will stabilize the mural and detach it bit by bit until the entire canvas can be safely removed in one piece for relining onto a stable solid support and re-installation. This ambitious procedure has rarely been attempted on a marouflaged canvas, making the project complex and extraordinary.
The conservation team will work in the McKim building’s Cheverus Room for six to eight weeks to restore the work, addressing any areas of paint loss and lining the canvas with a rigid honeycomb support. The panel is expected to return to its location on the grand staircase in April 2016.
BPL is thrilled to further their commitment to preserve the institution’s treasures for future generations. This masterpiece – like every other artwork in the building and collection – is freely accessible to the public.