We have written in the past about the legacy of Sarah Bliss and her work cataloguing for the Redwood Library, but a recent addition to the Kaminski Handwriting Collection, a project by David Kaminski found at davidkaminski.org, connects her to a larger tradition of handwriting in libraries.
Black History month truly began in 1926 when a historian by the name of Carter Woodson announced that the second week of February would be “Negro History Week”. This week, chosen because it coincided with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas, was used to coordinate teaching of black history in public schools.
The Matthews family published a series of newsletters from 1915-1917, which can be viewed in the Delivery Room at the Redwood. In the works, we've discovered a few Valentine's Day poems perfect for this time of year.
Pastor Henry N. Jeter's Twenty-five Years Experience with the Shiloh Baptist Church and Her History (1901) is part local history, part autobiography and provides us with an account of the Church's founding and his own life in Newport.
Of the 46 Original Proprietors of the Redwood Library, there are some that we know relatively little about, such as Simon Pease, who was one of the men that helped make the Redwood Library possible. Do we know anything else about him?
Depending on your personal view, February 14 is either just another day on the calendar or quite possibly the most romantic day of the year. Regardless of how you feel about Valentine’s Day, it is hard to resist a good love story. Perhaps it has to do with how a good story mimics real life. We feel tied to a character through the emotional turmoil of falling in love. We know how “they” feel even though “they” are just words on a page.
Robert Feke was a well-known colonial American portrait artist who worked in Newport, Boston, and Philadelphia in the mid-1700s. While he left behind several physical records of his life, namely his portraits, there is still a lot that is unknown about him, particularly the details of his early life before he became known as a painter, but there is a story that suggests he practiced his skills in some unusual circumstances.
Even small manuscript collections can provide a wealth of information, an insight into personal experience within the context of history. Our collection of the Marjorie W. Champlin papers consists of only four folders, but it spans fifty years of political and personal correspondence in the life of a single person.
The fact that not all editions of a work are created equally is a lesson that can be learned by exploring any collection. In our own vault collection, we have two very different copies of the same popular poem, the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám as translated by Edward Fitzgerald (1809-1883).