Opening the Redwood Annals to the earliest days of the Library always encourages me to make connections between now and then. As we pass through the first week of November, adding books to our collection and starting new projects, our forebears at the Redwood Library were doing the same. At a meeting held on November 4, 1747, 270 years ago as of this weekend, “The Company met in the Council Chamber” and made decisions that continue to be relevant to our work today.
The 2017 Fall Life of the Mind Salon Series concludes on Wednesday, November 8 when Fred Zilian, adjunct professor at Salve Regina University, examines life on Aquidneck Island during the British-Hessian Occupation. For almost three years occupying forces held sway over Newport, and island conditions were tense, militarized, regimented, and dangerous. Daily life greatly differed between citizens who were loyalists and those who were patriots.
As the spookiest night of the year approaches, your Redwood Librarians are preparing the only way we know how, by reading everything we can find on witchcraft and demonology on our shelves. We have pulled two books on these subjects from our special collections to share with you and hopefully alleviate any witch- or demon-based fears you may have about this Halloween season.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. This reading list will compliment the upcoming lecture on the struggle surrounding the construction of the Newport Bridge, and explore the world around the Newport Bridge, including Narragansett Bay, The United States Navy, and transportation on the water before the Bridge. To coincide with the lecture, David McCullough's history of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge will be available to enjoy as well!
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.