The month of March is Women's History Month. Our staff at the Redwood Library, to commemorate the occasion and its Thirty Year anniversary, has hand selected twenty books written by women. Come check out one of the books below and enjoy a piece of classic literature by many of histories great women writers.
Newport and the Irish go together almost as well as St. Patrick’s Day and corned beef and cabbage. The story of Irish Immigration into what is now Newport began in the 1600s as the new colonies started to grow. It wouldn’t be until the 1800’s that Newport would gain such a large population of Irish immigrants due to the Great Potato famine. They began working in coal mines in Portsmouth then with the introduction of the gilded age after the American Civil War, The Irish began to settle between the ports and lavish mansions of the Irish.
While working as a librarian at the Redwood Library, Frances Hubbert (1894-1967) also passionately pursued another project: securing the United States publication of Perfume from Provence (1935), a book by Lady Winifred Fortescue (1888-1951).
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.