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Past Events › History & Genealogy

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August 2014

Tilling the Soil: African American Genealogy Series

August 16 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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In the final class of the series, teens will interview relatives to obtain interesting family stories that provide valuable information for tracing family roots.

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Genealogy Lock-In

August 8 @ 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Come to the Grand Rapids History and Special Collections department for a free after-hours program just for genealogists! Learn how to use the microfilm reader/scanner/printer, save images, and take advantage of free copying and printing during the event. Use the time to search databases—we will have plenty of computers available or bring your own laptop and use the library’s WiFi network. Bring your genealogy questions or Ancestry and Heritage Quest problems—volunteers will be on hand to assist. Network with other…

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Reading the Great Lakes

August 7 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Come explore the Lakes with us! We’ll read a range of titles including mystery, history, fiction, and nonfiction all taking place in the Great Lakes region—from Chicago to Cleveland. This book club will be lead by our smart librarians and will take place the first Thursday of every month. Additional copies of the book are available to be checked out on Level 4 of the Main Library. For a complete list of books, visit www.grpl.org/rtgl. August’s selection is The Undertaking…

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July 2014

Reading the Great Lakes

July 3 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Come explore the Lakes with us! We’ll read a range of titles including mystery, history, fiction, and nonfiction all taking place in the Great Lakes region—from Chicago to Cleveland. This book club will be lead by our smart librarians and will take place the first Thursday of every month. Additional copies of the book are available to be checked out on Level 4 of the Main Library. For a complete list of books, visit www.grpl.org/rtgl. July’s selection is Rabbit Run…

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June 2014

Tilling the Soil: African American Genealogy Series

June 14 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Genealogist Jessica Trotter will explore the basics of genealogy research, basic genealogy resources, and sources particularly useful for African American research. Learn more about DNA research and sharing research. Jessica has been researching her family for the past sixteen years and during that time she’s come across some fabulous resources, made a few colossal mistakes, and still made progress—even if it wasn’t always the way she intended.

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Reading the Great Lakes

June 5 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Come explore the Lakes with us! We’ll read a range of titles including mystery, history, fiction, and nonfiction all taking place in the Great Lakes region—from Chicago to Cleveland. This book club will be lead by our smart librarians and will take place the first Thursday of every month. Additional copies of the book are available to be checked out on Level 4 of the Main Library. For a complete list of books, visit www.grpl.org/rtgl. June’s selection is A Sand…

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Poetry in Michigan/Michigan in Poetry: The Vital Ongoings of Michigan Poetry

June 3 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Poet William Olsen will discuss poetry in Michigan, looking at both its diversity and it universities as seen in his anthology Poetry in Michigan/Michigan in Poetry. Poetry readings by Olsen, Linda Nemec Foster, and Amorak Huey will be followed by a question and answer session. Join us for an evening full of poetry and lively discussion.

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May 2014

Reading the Great Lakes

May 1 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Come explore the Lakes with us! We’ll read a range of titles including mystery, history, fiction, and nonfiction all taking place in the Great Lakes region—from Chicago to Cleveland. This book club will be lead by our smart librarians and will take place the first Thursday of every month. Additional copies of the book are available to be checked out on Level 4 of the Main Library. For a complete list of books, visit www.grpl.org/rtgl. May’s selection is Coop by…

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April 2014

Path of Destruction: The Story of West Michigan’s Worst Natural Disaster

April 24 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Ernie Ostuno, author of Path of Destruction, will discuss the April 3, 1956, tornado. The tornado touched down in Hudsonville, MI, killing 17, injuring 340, and leveling downtown Standale. Many people, some of them badly injured, helped the National Guard in the immediate recovery by searching for neighbors trapped under the debris of what had been their homes. Local history librarian Tim Gleisner will share the library’s archival materials on the natural disaster that affected our city.

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Tilling the Soil: African American Genealogy Series

April 19 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Tracing your African American family roots is exciting, but with so much information available it may be confusing where to begin. This presentation will introduce you to valuable resources to assist in researching your family history, provide preparation methods, and give tips for organizing your findings. Become the master gardener of your family tree!

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