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Posts Tagged ‘Inside BPL Collections’

BPL Collections & National Poetry Month

Posted on April 7th, 2014 by admin in General

shakespeareApril is a busy a month at the Boston Public Library, with many events taking place in honor of National Poetry Month. Today, the library hosts the Boston Shakespeare Sonnet-thon, which takes place in Rabb Lecture Hall from 5-8:30 p.m.

April is also the birth month of William Shakespeare, a favorite of the library. Two Collections of Distinction honor Shakespeare and the arts:

Shakespeare: The BPL holds one of the largest and most comprehensive collections in a public institution focusing on the writings of William Shakespeare and his contemporaries. The collection was the first in the United States to include the first four folios of the collected works of William Shakespeare, as well as some 45 early quarto editions of individual plays, many published during Shakespeare’s lifetime. As the preeminent Shakespeare collection from 19th-century America, this collection of 15,000 volumes is strong in Shakespeare’s most important editions, as well as source material, commentaries, and criticism.

Boston Theater: This collection is the only comprehensive history of Boston theater in the city. It documents the administrative, financial, and performance histories of five Boston theaters from 1794–2003. These theaters are the Federal Street Theatre (1793–1852), the first independent theater in Boston; the Tremont Theatre (1839–1843); the Boston Theatre and Opera House (1852–1856); the Charles Playhouse (1958–2003), the city’s only regional theater; and the Triangle Theater (1980–1988), a gay and lesbian theater. The collection contains programs, playbills, reviews, production material, costume and set designs, and trustees’ meeting minutes, as well as blueprints and construction and site plans.

To learn more about these and other collections, visit www.bpl.org/distinction.

 

Local Stained Glass Studies Highlighted

Posted on March 24th, 2014 by Anna Williams in General

The digitized collection of Charles J. Connick’s stained glass studies is extensive, containing over one thousands gouaches. The items contained within are not only visually stunning but historically significant, often viewed as on a par with the work of fellow stained glass masters Tiffany and LaFarge. New collections are continually being digitized by the Boston Public Library, and the library website offers an immense range of online digital collections available and free to all at www.bpl.org/collections/online/. You can also follow Boston Public Library on social media to see and share select images from the Connick Collection. This digitization project was made possible through the support of the Boston Foundation for Architecture, the Boston Society of Architects, and the Associates of the Boston Public Library

 

 

Massachusetts Stained Glass Studies Digitized

Posted on March 9th, 2014 by Anna Williams in General

Boston Public Library Digital Services team recently completed digitizing the Charles J. Connick and Associates archives for the state of Massachusetts. Connick Studios (1913-1986) was a leading and renowned producer of stained glass designs. These amazingly detailed pieces of art may be seen locally at Boston College, Marsh Chapel at Boston University, Holy Cross Cathedral, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Forest Hills Cemetery just to name a few.

The digitization of Connick’s study gouaches (rhymes with “galoshes”), or paintings made with opaque watercolors, provides the public with insight into the artist’s creative process, methods, and materials and encourages an appreciation of his finished work. Scholars are now be able to easily access and study Connick’s designs, while reduced handling and improved oversight of the collection helps to increase its longevity. This digitization project was made possible through the support of the Boston Foundation for Architecture, the Boston Society of Architects, and the Associates of the Boston Public Library.

Boston Area Charles J. Connick Stained Glass Locations

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Celebrating Women’s History Month

Posted on March 1st, 2014 by Gina Perille in General

silhouetteIn celebration of Women’s History Month, Boston Public Library has a variety of events and exhibitions on the schedule:

  • West African Women’s Empowerment: A Story in Photographs, an exhibition at the Faneuil Branch in Brighton.
  • Public Women, Private Lives, an exhibition opening March 7 in the Rare Books Lobby at the Central Library in Copley Square.
  • Women of History Film Series at the South Boston Branch at 1 p.m. on Tuesdays.
    • March 4: Queen Christina, starring Greta Garbo (1933)
    • March 11: Calamity Jane, starring Doris Day (1953)
    • March 18: Julie & Julia, starring Meryl Streep (2009)
    • March 25: The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt (2009)
  • Monday Night Film Series at the Central Library in Copley Square. The films begin at 6 p.m. and feature famous leading ladies from Massachusetts.
    • March 3: Dangerous (1935)
    • March 10: Harvey (1950)
    • March 17: Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
    • March 24: Moonstruck (1987)
    • March 31: The Accidental Tourist (1988)

Of course, notable women in history can be discovered throughout the library’s collections each day. Several appear within Boston Public Library’s collections of distinction, such as Francis Clalin, book designer Sarah Wyman Whitman, and the abolitionist Weston sisters. Others are highlighted via our digitized collections such as Amelia Earhart and Emily Dickinson.

Incunabula: Books from the Cradle of Printing

Posted on November 18th, 2013 by admin in General

gutenburgBoston Public Library’s Collections of Distinction feature historical marvels from around the world, including thousands of items that date back to as early as the 10th century. Among the collections are incuanbula, or “incunables,” which are books printed from the time that Johann Gutenberg perfected moveable types, sometime between 1440–1445 until January 1, 1501. The term comes from the Latin for “things from the cradle,” i.e., the cradle of printing. The incunables have stood the test of time – books of this age were printed on 100% rag paper and look as crisp and white today as the day they were printed, even though they are more than 500 years old.

The two earliest titles in the library’s collection of incunabula are attributed to Johann Gutenberg – a leaf from the Gutenberg Bible, printed between 1454-1455, and Catholicon, printed in 1460. The latter is one of only 12 copies located in the United States and the only one printed on vellum (calfskin).

Additional treasures in the collection:

  • Nuremberg Chronicle (1493), the first encyclopedic history of the world
  • Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (1499) printed by Aldus Manutius
  • Divina Commedia (1481) by Dante Alighieri with etchings by Sandro Botticelli
  • early editions of The Golden Legend and Canterbury Tales
  • the famous Columbus letter (1493) written to Isabella and Ferdinand documenting Columbus’ discoveries of the New World
  • a unique copy of an early Spanish Passion printed in Burgos in 1493
  • writings of Eusebius, Boccaccio, Martialis, and Thomas Aquinas

Visit the Collections of Distinction page to learn more.