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Raise a Pint to this Old Settler

Maybe you’ve experienced sleeping in the guest room of an elderly relation and had to avert your eyes from the creepy, antique photo on the wall or dresser; the kind of photo that resides in an ornate wooden frame and rests on a doily. Maybe you slept facing the opposite wall or slept with the covers over […]

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Abolition! African American History at the Library

The Local History and Special Collections Department, located on the fourth floor of the downtown library, is a pretty special place. You can find all various materials to assist with historic research, house history research, and genealogy. There a lot of books on the shelves (this is a library after all!) but it’s the books […]

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From morning ’till fried chicken. Eating on the Northeast side (but mostly Plainfield Ave.)

Growing up on GR’s northwest side and going to elementary school on the northeast side has nothing to do with this post, other than the fact that I was within walking distance of some of these restaurants. I do venture a little outside the boundary of GR here. It is not by choice, but by […]

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Notable rare book: American Brewing Academy’s 10th year anniversary

One recent addition to our rare books collection a book published by the American Brewing Academy (ABA) of Chicago in celebration of its tenth anniversary (1891-1901). The ABA held a 4-day reunion in honor of the occasion, as marked by the numbers at the top of the volume (9.30-10.3…1901…) The first thing I noticed about […]

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The secret side of Miss America: how the pageant supports women

Guest post by intern Abby Geluso We all know the Miss America pageant, right? The one the nation watches with rapt attention as fifty-two young women strut across the stage, dazzling the crowd with their smiles, sequins, and charm. For most of the country, that’s all there is to the pageant…and to the women. For too […]

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An Evening with Maureen Dunphy

You may think you know Michigan, but are you familiar with the 30,000 tiny islands in the Great Lakes Basin?

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Digging into the past

Guest blog from intern Brian Hall For the past three months, I’ve been working on a project with the Local History department here at the library. I learned last summer that our library has a large archive of photographs. Lots and lots of photographs. Just in the collection I worked with there are somewhere in […]

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Say hello to our newest digital collection

We are pretty thrilled to introduce our newest digital photograph collection: the Robinson Studio – Grand Rapids Herald series. As of today, you can explore nearly 800 photographs from the Robinson Studio between the 1930s and 1960s. The photos were taken for the Grand Rapids Herald, a local newspaper some of you may remember. They […]

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Discovery in the Archives

During the American Civil War the city of Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas made a considerable contribution to the war effort in the form several regiments of volunteer infantry and cavalry as well as smaller units of artillery and engineers. A less know contribution made by the city was serving as the training point […]

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How to Succeed at an ESO: Grand Rapids SCORE and Your Library

There is no such thing as a natural entrepreneur. It is a learned skill. That’s why every entrepreneur, no matter their industry, age, or expertise, needs a mentor. A good mentor can help an entrepreneur avoid the pitfalls they faced, seize opportunities, and save great amounts of time and heartache. Luckily, for the entrepreneurs of […]

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