History Bites Lunchtime Lecture Series

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Amherst History Museum collection


Diana Lempel, consulting curator to the Amherst History Museum since May, will share some of her discoveries and insights from the Museum.

Managing the River Commons


New England's rivers were an important source of power and of food for the indigenous people and early settlers in the area. The history of their cooperative efforts to guard the river's resources has not been widely known.

Regicide in the Family


Local author and writing teacher Sarah Dixwell Brown discusses her research into her ancestor, John Dixwell, who fled to New England after signing Charles I's death warrant.

The history of the Amherst Record, 1844 – 1984

Jones Library Woodbury Room 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA, United States

Phyllis Lehrer, who now writes 'The Lehrer Report', will tell her stories of working on the weekly Amherst Record newspaper from 1976 until the paper closed in 1984.

History of the Emily Dickinson Museum


The Emily Dickinson home -- 'the Homestead' -- is a museum whose role and vision have changed since its founding in 1965.

The presentation will be over Zoom; here is the link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83249382098

Occupying Massachusetts – Layers of History on Indigenous Land


Occupying Massachusetts: Layers of History on Indigenous Land is an art book that engages with history and memory. Sandra Matthews's subtle photographs of vernacular structures and historic sites offer a uniquely personal meditation on the human occupation of land, with an emphasis on the long presence of Indigenous people, whose lands have been transformed by people coming here from all over the world since the early 1600s. The book also contains an essay, Finding a Way Forward, by David Brule.

Wachusett Reservoir

Jones Library Woodbury Room 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA, United States

Work on the Wachusett Reservoir was completed in 1905 and the reservoir first filled in May 1908  At the time, it was the largest man-made reservoir in the world, supplying drinking water to Boston via the Sudbury River. 

Lydia Maria Child – A Radical American Life


Lydia Maria Child (1802 - 1880) was a true heroine of the abolitionist movement; she gave up a promising career and her standing in society to spend 30 years battling slavery.

New England Libraries – Common PLACE

Jones Library Woodbury Room 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA, United States

-- Note the earlier time -- 11:30 instead of 12 noon! --

Local author Thomas Johnson's first book, Common PLACE, is a tour de force that explores the origins of the public library system in America. While many Americans may assume that public libraries exist(ed) worldwide, this illuminating book details the gradual evolution of a uniquely American institution that originated in New England.

Elena Palladino – Lost Towns of the Swift River Valley

Jones Library Woodbury Room 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA, United States

Local author Ellena Palladino will talk about her book about life in the Swift River Valley before it was flooded by the waters of the Quabbin Reservoir

King Philip’s War – a local perspective by David Brule

Jones Library Woodbury Room 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA, United States

This presentation by David Brule will be centered on events that occurred during King Philip's War in Northfield and in the region of Peskeompskut Falls (now encompassing the modern-day towns of Greenfield, Gill, Montague and Deerfield).

History of High Schools in Amherst by Joseph Scanlon

Bangs Center 70 Boltwood Walk, Amherst, MA, United States

The notion of ‘high school’ has been a consistent part of the American experience in many cities and towns over the last century. But in the town of Amherst Massachusetts there have been four (4) different college-preparatory schools over the span of 200+ years and our community can boast of a number of notable graduates.