Redwood Journal

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Small collections can provide a wealth of information about a person’s character, preserved for us in a few scribbled lines in a note written over a hundred years ago. Such is the case with our manuscript collection of Jane Stuart (1812-1888), American painter and daughter of Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828). In the collected letters at the Redwood, she entreats a woman to join her for lunch and sends several notes of regret to another and in doing so, helps to sketch out an idea of who she was as a person, beyond her well-known artistic talents.

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baglio

The 2017 Fall Life of the Mind Salon Series continues on Wednesday, October 25th when Ray Rickman holds a conversation about race in 2017. Mr. Rickman will discuss how to talk about race with peers and people outside your own cultural group.

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mfarias

Our portraits may be our most visible art collection, greeting visitors in every room, but the Redwood Library is also home to several collections of artistic works on paper. This week, the spotlight falls on our holdings of the works of Alfred Bendiner (1899-1964), which were given to the Redwood Library by the Alfred and Elizabeth Bendiner Foundation in 1996. Bendiner was an architect, a muralist, a caricaturist, an author, and a world traveler whose work shows his many talents and interests with humor.

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This Reading List will provide resources on the Brown Family, focusing around two brothers, John and Moses Brown, who as time progressed developed differing thoughts on the slave trade. These publications, which include Ms. Brown's new book, Grappling with Legacy, can augment readers knowledge of the Brown family, and their important history here in Rhode Island.

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mfarias

Many of the men and women whose portraits line the walls of the Redwood Library are the descendants of families who have been in New England since its earliest days. Joseph Hurlbut Patten (1801-1881), the son of Reverend William Patten (1766-1839) and Hannah Hurlbut (1769-1855), is proof of this regional lineage on both his father’s and his mother’s sides, each with long histories in the area.

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The Claiborne Pell Bridge was completed in 1969, after three years of construction. For several years before that however, there was conflict and difficulty in the development of the bridge. From the initial discussion of the bridge in 1945, until plans were approved in 1965, there was discussion and unsurity whether the bridge would ever be made.

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mfarias

This week at the Redwood, we became detectives again, searching for information on a book in our collection that recently caught our eyes. Our copy of L’Email des Peintres (1866) by Claudius Popelin (1825-1892) was stored in its own personal box, hiding its magnificent binding from immediate view. Today, we decided to open it up and begin to try and piece together its origins.

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mfarias

Today’s Redwood Library is open daily to both members and visitors, with different policies and privileges for both, but this has not always been the case. A look through the annals has revealed an evolving visitor services policy first recorded in the early 1800s that identified anyone not previously known to the library as a “stranger.” This blog post observes the changes made throughout the 1800s to today.

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We are kicking off Banned Books Week with a list of our favorite classic banned books. Celebrate your freedom to read this week!

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While the original construction of the Redwood Library, as designed by architect Peter Harrison, met the needs of its members in 1750, the library had to grow in the centuries that followed to accommodate an ever-increasing collection of books and to serve its new members.

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