In 1780 Newport Rhode Island was in ruins. The garrison of British and Hessian troops had finally evacuated Aquidneck Island the previous October, after three years of occupation. The occupation cost the island somewhere between 300-500 buildings, its wharves, warehouses and many small boats were broken and destroyed, and the economy was devastated. The Redwood Library was to not be exempt from these depridations.
November 11th, a date memorialized today as Veterans Day, was once known as Armistice Day, the date in 1918 that brought the Great War to a halt. While the fighting stopped on that fateful day, it took almost another 8 months to offically bring the war to an end, and with it the hope of a world without war cautiously began. How did the war end, and who did it affect? What was the outcome for the allies after the war, and what was the outcome for the central powers.
As the temperature drops and the leaves change color, there's something spooky in the New England air, reminding us that Halloween is nearly here. As we prepare our costumes and stock up on candy, we may catch a showing of Hocus Pocus on TV, or reread one of our favorite Harry Potter books. But while witches take on a more benign persona in today's pop culture, being accused of witchcraft was once a death sentence in New England. That's why we've chosen books that explore the history of witchcraft in New England and the Salem Witch Trials for our Halloween reading list. While we get in a spooky mood, they are an interesting but harrowing reminder of the New England's Puritan past and the effects of a real witch hunt on a society.
In honor of Indigenous People's Day, which occurred this week, this Reading List will focus on the individuals, tribes, and populations that were native to North America before western cultures arrived. These texts will offer a look into the history and diversity of indigenous tribes in America, and how their cultures and lifestyles affected the world that they lived in.
Between September 24th and September 29th, reading establishments across the United States will celebrate Banned Books Week, a period discovering titles that have been banned or challenged throughout their history. As in the past, The Redwood Library and Athenaeum will join in on that celebration as well. For this year however, we turn to our staff, to recognize some of their favorite banned books. We hope you enjoy them as much as they do!
Here at the Redwood Library, we are celebrating the 128th Birthday of Agatha Christie, who was born September 15th 1890. The titles chosen for this reading list will reflect the life of Agatha Christie, whether through biography, or through her own works, which are renowned worldwide. Agatha Christie's mysteries have spearheaded the genre into a world unto itself, and will continue to do so for generations to come!
Going deep into our vaults today we have pulled a rare gem, The Acts and Laws of the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in New England in America, printed here in Newport by Samuel Hall in 1767. This book of course will cover all of the laws that were passed by the colonial Rhode Island government since it was chartered in 1663. Before the acts and laws are presented however, the book is prefaced by a copy of the Royal Charter, granted by King Charles II in 1663.
As we are in the midst of Summer, lets enjoy a few titles that evoke feelings, memories, and some of the things we love most about summer! With these great titles, blending both fiction and non fiction, you can sit back, relax, and while away the hours as you reminisce about summers past.
In June of 1769, a major astronomical event enveloped the western world with excitement. The transit of Venus was a momentous occasion from one side of the globe to the next. Members of the Royal Society in London were sent to far off places to observe and record the event.
This year, amidst scandal, the Swedish Academy will not be choosing a recipient to receive a Nobel Prize for Literature. With this setback, a group of other intellectuals in Sweden are coming together to develop an Alternative Prize for literature. This group has nominated several authors, and has developed a website where readers can vote and contribute to the New Academy's, as the group is calling itself, judgement. If you click on the link below, you can read more about the alternative Nobel Prize, the individauls coming together to provide, and vote yourself for your favorite authors.