Film and Discussion: Souls Without Borders: The Untold Story of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade

Wednesday September 23, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Professor and historian Anthony Geist makes a special appearance to lead a post-film discussion following the screening of his 2006 film Souls Without Borders: The Untold Story of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. This inspiring 52-minute documentary tells the story of a group of 2800 young Americans who helped fight against fascism in the bloody Spanish Civil War (1936-39). The film explores the spirit of commitment that led this group of volunteers — known as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade — to offer their lives for an ideal.

Drawing on in-depth interviews and previously unknown archival footage, Souls Without Borders follows the commitment of 12 Lincoln Brigade veterans from their origins in the Great Depression through Spain and World War II, McCarthyism and the Cold War, to their involvement with struggles for social justice today. This documentary includes extraordinary footage of the war and the seventy‐year history of the Lincoln Brigade, as well as interviews with some of the fifty survivors still living today.

Following the screening, Dr. Anthony Geist, the director of the film and Vice Chair of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives will lead a discussion, including information on volunteers from this area who fought in Spain as well as activism related to the Spanish Civil War at U-M and in the Detroit area. This event is cosponsored by the U-M Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.

Vintage Base Ball Game

Wednesday September 16, 2015: 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm -- Cobblestone Farm at 2781 Packard Road

Striker to the line! Join us for a game of base ball by the rules of 1860, when sportsmanship ruled, spitting was not allowed, and baseball gloves hadn't been invented yet! These bare-handed base ballists strike with wooden bats, hurl a handmade vintage ball, and leg it around the bases to score tallies. Come on out to this family-friendly event to see a mixed squad of players from the Monitor Base Ball Club and the Merries Vintage Ladies Base Ball Club, both located in Chelsea, MI play a rousing match. Afterward, the teams will invite curious cranks (fans) to try their hand at hurling and striking. Huzzah!

Make a Mummy!

Saturday October 24, 2015: 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for grades K–5.

Ancient Egyptians are well-known for mummification, and used certain techniques in order to complete the process. Join us in learning about this fascinating subject before creating your own mummy model!

Poets & Patriots: A Tuneful History of the United States Through The Tale of Francis Scott Key’s Most Famous Song

Monday August 17, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

The story of “The Star-Spangled Banner” is the story of the United States itself. The melody was famously set to new words by amateur poet and lawyer Francis Scott Key after the Battle of Baltimore in 1814.

Since the “dawn’s early light” on that now emblemmatic day, the song has grown and changed in ways largely forgotten today. This lecture and discussion by U-M Associate Professor of Musicology and American Culture Mark Clague will explore the history of the U.S. national anthem as a witness to the story of the nation itself.

This event is held in conjunction with the Downtown Library exhibit: Banner Moments: The National Anthem In American Life, which is on display in the Multi-Purpose Room through August. Celebrating the bicentennial of the U.S. National Anthem, this exhibit illustrates through interpretive panels, historical documents and photographs, the cultural 200-year history of “The Star-Spangled Banner” (1814–2014). The tale that emerges demonstrates the power of music and poetry to spark the social imagination and thus create a sense of shared community.

Mark Clague is a native of Ann Arbor and longtime fan of the Ann Arbor District Library. He serves as Associate Professor of Musicology and American Cutlure at the University of Michigan and is editor-in-chief of the George and Ira Gershwin Critical Edition and director of the University’s Gershwin Initiative.

Banner Moments: The National Anthem in American Life

Now through August 30, 2015 -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room Exhibit

Celebrating the bicentennial of the U.S. National Anthem, this exhibit illustrates through interpretive panels, historical documents and photographs, the cultural 200-year history of “The Star-Spangled Banner” (1814–2014). The tale that emerges demonstrates the power of music and poetry to spark the social imagination and thus create a sense of shared community.

The year 2014 marked the 200th birthday of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States of America. Inspired by the successful defense of Baltimore, Maryland from British attack on September 13 & 14, 1814, lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key penned his now famous lyric. Rather than extraordinary, Key’s creative impulse was typical of early America’s broadside ballad tradition in which new words were written to fit well known tunes. The result, however, was far from everyday—Key could not have predicted that his song would survive the moment, yet become his nation’s singular anthem.

Follow the “The Star-Spangled Banner” from the moments leading up to September 14, 1814 through the present day and explore the social history of our national song.

Polio: A Look Back At America’s Most Successful Public Health Crusade

Sunday April 12, 2015: 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

The U-M Center for the History of Medicine presents the 14th Annual Horace W. Davenport Lecture in the Medical Humanities featuring David Oshinsky, Ph.D., Director of the Division of Medical Humanities, NYU School of Medicine, Professor of History, New York University and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Polio: An American Story.

After a brief introduction by University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel, Dr. Oshinsky will reflect on the 60th anniversary of the polio vaccine, approved for widespread public use in April 1955.

David Oshinsky’s book Polio: An American Story won the Pulitzer Prize for History, among other awards, and influenced Bill Gates to make polio eradication the top priority of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Other works include A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; and Worse Than Slavery, winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for distinguished contribution to human rights.

Professor Oshinsky’s reviews and essays appear regularly in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and other international publications.

History Mysteries with Mystery Authors Carrie Bebris, Susanna Calkins, Anna Lee Hube, and Sam Thomas

Saturday August 8, 2015: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

Mystery buffs! Do not miss this event featuring a panel of award-winning historical mystery authors, each with a brand new mystery book that has just been released!

Robin Agnew of Aunt Agatha’s Mystery Bookshop moderates this afternoon event, which will include book signings. Books will be for sale courtesy of Aunt Agatha’s Mystery Bookshop. There will also be ample opportunity for audience questions.

Panelists include:
• Award-winning author Carrie Bebris, author of the critically acclaimed Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mystery series (the further adventures of Jane Austin’s most beloved characters) is also a life member and regional coordinator of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Her seventh book in the Jane Austin-based series, The Suspicion At Sanditon, finds Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy have moved to Sanditon, the setting of Jane Austen’s final work. They have barely settled into their lodgings when they receive an unexpected dinner invitation from Lady Denham, one of the town’s most prominent residents. Thirteen guests assemble at Sanditon House—but their hostess never appears. The Darcys, like most of their fellow attendees, speculate that one of her ladyship’s would-be heirs has grown impatient … but then the guests start to vanish one by one.

• Susanna Calkins is the author of the award-winning Lucy Campion novels, which are set in 17th century London, a time period that gives Calkins the ability to write about both the plague and the Great Fire. Her main character, Lucy, began the series as a chambermaid, but in this third novel The Masque of a Murderer, Lucy is working as a bookseller's apprentice, selling broadsides with her fellow apprentice on the streets of London. On a freezing winter afternoon in 1667, she accompanies the magistrate's daughter, Sarah, to the home of a severely injured Quaker man to record his dying words, a common practice of the time. The Quaker, having been trampled by a horse and cart the night before, has only a few hours to live and Lucy is unprepared for what he reveals to her — that someone deliberately pushed him into the path of the horse, because of a mysterious secret he had uncovered.

• Anna Lee Huber is the award-winning and national bestselling author of the Lady Darby Mystery series, set in Scotland in the 1830’s. In A Study In Death, the fourth riveting mystery in the series, Lady Kiera Darby is commissioned to paint the portrait of Lady Drummond, but is saddened when she recognizes the pain in the baroness’s eyes. Lord Drummond is a brute, and his brusque treatment of his wife forces Kiera to think of the torment caused by her own late husband. When she finds Lady Drummond prostrate on the floor, the physician is called and Lord Drummond appears satisfied to rule her death natural. However, Kiera is convinced that poison is the culprit and intends to discover the truth behind the baroness’s death, no matter who stands in her way.

• Historian and teacher Sam Thomas is the author of the Bridget Hodgson series, set in 17th century York. All of the mysteries in the series focus on Bridget's work as a midwife. His latest novel, The Witch Hunter’s Tale, finds the Puritans scouring the British countryside for witches with often heartbreaking consequences. As women and children sicken and die, midwife Bridget Hodgson is pulled against her will into a full-scale witch-hunt that threatens to devour all in its path, guilty and innocent alike. As the trials begin, and the noose begins to tighten around her neck, Bridget must answer the question: How far will she go to protect the people she loves?

Do not miss this opportunity to meet these acclaimed authors and discover their passion for history and for mysteries!

Early Music Demonstration With The Rose Ensemble

Saturday October 3, 2015: 10:00 am to 11:30 am -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for grades 3–8

Explore the fascinating music from medieval Bohemia, Renaissance Poland and Baroque Russia, when saints were Kings and folk heroes were praised in love and battle. Through story and song, The Rose Ensemble engages audience members both young and old to experience music through an exploration of history, legend, culture and language.

This event is cosponsored by the U-M Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments, and The Academy for Early Music. This presentation is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund. a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Crane Group, and General Mills Foundation.

Show & Tell for Grown-Ups

Tuesday May 5, 2015: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room

This event will be recorded

We all remember Show & Tell - bringing a treasured possession to school and telling our friends why we love it so much. As adults, we have many more treasures today.

Show & Tell events for adults are sweeping the nation, with recent publicity of the trend in the Wall Street Journal. Described as The Moth Radio Hour meets Antiques Roadshow, these events focus on connecting people through their personal histories.

Bring a treasured object, new or old, to this Show & Tell session for adults. An old photo or letter, family heirloom, vacation memorabilia, an ancient artifact, a work of art - it’s the story behind the piece that matters. No performing; this is amateur storytelling at its best.

Each participant will have five minutes to tell the story behind the object. Anyone is welcome! We will create a short video of you telling your item's story and post it to the aadl.org website.

Attendees are also welcome to just watch and enjoy.The local organizers for this event are members of the Association of Personal Historians and are promoting Show & Tells in May to celebrate Personal History Month.

The History of the Minifigure With Jonathan Bender, author of “LEGO: A Love Story”

Wednesday July 15, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for adults, teens, and youth grades 4 and up.
This event will be recorded

Jonathan Bender, author of LEGO: A Love Story will present the history of the LEGO Minifigure, from the first ones in Denmark to all the varieties available today. You can bring your own minifigures for an opportunity to trade them with other attendees!

This event will also include a hands-on building component, creating minifigure worlds.

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