Press Room

Posts Tagged ‘Inside BPL Collections’

Boston Public Library to Commemorate 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s Death with Two Exhibitions in Fall 2016

Posted on April 22nd, 2016 by BPL News in Media Releases

F1_title-pageFree and open to the public; presented by Iron Mountain

2016 marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, and Boston Public Library and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center will honor the Bard’s lasting legacy with two exhibitions at the Central Library this fall, as well as programming at library locations citywide. Boston Public Library holds one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Shakespeare in a public institution, including the first four folios of his collected works, 45 early quarto editions of individual plays, and thousands of volumes of early source material, commentaries, translations, manuscripts, and more.

“At some point in life, everyone has experienced the work of Shakespeare,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “These opportunities at the Boston Public Library give all the chance to learn more about the creative genius of Shakespeare and how his legacy lives on today.”

Shakespeare Unauthorized: Experience the original works of “The Bard”

Shakespeare Unauthorized, a major gallery exhibition on view from October 14, 2016 through March 31, 2017, will include extraordinarily rare first and early editions of familiar and beloved plays like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, and The Merchant of Venice, as well as all four Shakespearean folios, most notably the BPL’s own copy of the world-famous First Folio. Through the pages of these precious books, visitors can experience Shakespeare in his original language and spelling, just as he would have been read by book lovers and theater-goers hundreds of years ago.  Shakespeare Unauthorized will take place in the McKim Exhibition Hall on the first floor of the McKim building at the Central Library in Copley Square.

Shakespeare Unauthorized is made possible through the financial support of Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM), a leader in storage and information management services. Based in Boston, Iron Mountain provides charitable grants of funding and in-kind services to cultural and historical preservation projects like Shakespeare Unauthorized all over the world through its Living Legacy Initiative. (more…)

Boston Public Library’s Top Ten Books for Black History Month

Posted on February 3rd, 2016 by BPL News in General

2016 low resIn honor of Black History month, Boston Public Library publishes the annual “Black Is” book list, a compilation of recent works by and about African Americans for adult readers. BPL staff have undertaken the difficult task of narrowing down the list of titles to bring you their top ten favorite books from 2016’s “Black Is” book list.



To view the full “Black Is” book list, download a PDF or pick up a copy at any Boston Public Library location.

BPL’s Top Borrowed Books of 2015

Posted on December 11th, 2015 by BPL News in General

CompassBoston Public Library’s Collection Development team is pleased to present the top ten borrowed books of 2015. Check out the BPL catalog to locate these and other books to read.

  1. The Girl on the Train
  2. All the Light We Cannot See
  3. The Boston Girl
  4. Gone Girl
  5. Yes Please
  6. The Goldfinch
  7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck
  8. The Invention of Wings
  9. The Fault in Our Stars
  10. The Book Thief

Book lovers, additional 2015 top ten lists are also available:  Juvenile Books, Teen Books, E-books, Adult Fiction, and Adult Nonfiction.

Author Picks: Jennifer De Leon Top Ten Books

Posted on October 6th, 2015 by BPL News in General

Jennifer De Leon is not only the Associates of the Boston Public Library’s Writer in Residence, but she is also the author of the Boston Book Festival’s 2015 One City One Story selection “Home Movie.” In anticipation of the Book Festival (October 23-24 in Copley Square), we asked her for a list of her top ten favorite books.

  1. ZenzeleZENZELE: A LETTER FOR MY DAUGHTER, by J. Nozipo Maraire: The whole book is a series of letters from a mother in Harare, Zimbabwe, to her daughter, Zenzele, Harvard-bound. When I was 16, I spent a summer in Zimbabwe with the program Global Routes. I lived in a village and helped build a medical clinic and paint a world map at a primary school. I picked up this book in the capital, Harare, and it has stayed with me ever since. The mother’s message(s) to her daughter are so poignant and beautiful.
  1. AMERICANAH, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: One of the best books I’ve ever read. A true masterpiece. I’ve been reading work by Adichie for years but this big book really made an impact on me as a writer and a reader. The way she takes the reader by the hand through so many settings—from Princeton, New Jersey, to Victoria Island in Lagos, Nigeria—it is something to admire, and study.
  1. GROWING UP POOR: A LITERARY ANTHOLOGY, edited by Robert Coles: I return to this anthology again and again, as a reader and as a creative writing teacher. I first came across this book when I was house-sitting for a successful author in the Boston area. He had it on his ceiling-high bookshelf, right between Tolstoy and How to Train Your Dog, or something like that or other. I picked up the anthology and immediately I knew I had to buy it for myself—Helena Maria Víramontes, Langston Hughes, Sherman Alexie. I love this book.
  1. EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU, by Celeste Ng: A page-turner. A gorgeous novel. A sad and powerful story. A mystery. There are so many ways to describe this magnificent book. From the first line—“Lydia is dead”—I was under the spell. I can’t wait for Ng’s next novel!
  1. DrownDROWN, by Junot Díaz: I never knew a book could be so well written, so sad, so funny, and so close to home. It took years for me to be able to relate to books on a cultural level. Until high school, I’d only read white authors. In fact, it wasn’t until college that professors and mentors started gifting me books by Julia Alvarez or Sandra Cisneros (which I loved). Yet, when I first read the stories in Drown by Junot Díaz, I was breathless. He can condense worlds—entire worlds—into well-chosen details, perfectly sliced lines of dialogue, a single description. To then have the chance to study with Junot at the VONA (Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation) for several summers from 2006–2009, was a blessing. I learned so much from him.
  1. THE BEAUTIFUL THINGS THAT HEAVEN BEARS, by Dinaw Mengestu: This is a book I have on my shelf in my office at home. This is a book with many pages folded over. This is a book I return to when I am stuck with a scene, when the writing is clunky, when I am feeling less than motivated to keep going. I read one paragraph of this exquisite novel set in Washington D.C., and Ethiopia, and I am back to the magical world that is literature. I owe Dinaw so much.
  1. THE CIRCUIT, by Francisco Jímenez: This book is a gem. I have lost count of how many times I have read it. The autobiographical novel—twelve mini stories, really—is narrated by Francisco as a boy soon after he and his parents and two brothers crawl through a wire fence in a Mexican border town at night. So begins their journey on the “circuit” as migrant farmworkers in California in the 1940s. I have taught this book in many of my classes—ranging from a third grade classroom in San Jose, California, where I taught in the Teach For America program, to college creative writing classes, to adult memoir classes, and, currently, in my 7th and 8th grade classes at the Boston Teachers Union School in Jamaica Plain (Boston Public Schools). I return to this book for many reasons—among them, figurative language, exceptional dialogue, imagery, characters in conflict, and others—but above all, this is a good book because it tells a good story. People want to know what happens next. And even though I know how the story ends, each time I return to this book, I find something new.
  1. AGAINST LOVE POETRY: POEMS, by Eavan Boland: I love Eavan Boland’s poetry. I first heard her read “Quarantine” when I was a waiter scholar at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in the summer of 2007. I was in tears by the end of the poem. That had never happened. Ever. The poem tells the story of a young couple that died of cold and hunger in Ireland in the 1940s. The lines that kill me:

         “In the morning they were both found dead.
Of cold. Of hunger. Of the toxins of a whole history.
But her feet were held against his breastbone. The last heat of his flesh was his last gift to her.”

  1. AlexieTHE TOUGHEST INDIAN IN THE WORLD, by Sherman Alexie: He is a master storyteller. “An Indian Education” is my favorite piece in this collection. I think I have it memorized.
  1. TRAIN TO TRIESTE, by Domnica Radulescu: “It is 1977 and seventeen-year-old Mona Manoliu has fallen in love with Mihai, a mysterious boy who lives in the romantic mountain city where she spends her summers. She can think of nothing and no one else. But life under Ceausecu’s Romania is difficult. Hunger, paranoia, and fear infect everyone. One day Mona sees Mihai wearing the black leather jacket favored by the secret police. Is it possible he is one of them?” Her journey later takes her to Chicago, and finally, back home to discover hard truths about her past. I could not put this book down when I first read it years ago. In fact, I’m going to find it now and read it again.

Rare Chronique Anonyme Universelle Now Viewable Online

Posted on July 13th, 2015 by BPL News in Media Releases

Chronique Anonyme UniverselleLate 15th century treasure depicts the history of the world

Today, the Boston Public Library announced that the Chronique Anonyme Universelle, or “Genealogy of the Bible,” a 35-foot scroll and manuscript dating from approximately 1470-1479 is now available online. The ornate manuscript depicts the history of the world from Creation to 1380, tracing the genealogy of individuals from the Bible to the royal houses of France and England, and weaving in biblical stories alongside Roman and Greek history. Users can view the scroll at the BPL’s Digital Commonwealth portal, zooming into the piece to see the historic writing and colorful images of castles, medieval sword fights, and the Garden of Eden. (more…)