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Past Events › History & Genealogy

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April 2014

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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Genealogy Lock-In

April 11 @ 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

April 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. April’s selection is The Story…

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March 2014

Why 27 Million People Attended the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair

March 31 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Discover Michigan’s numerous contributions to the Chicago World’s Fair. From the massive Michigan Building with 3,000 examples of Michigan wood to the award winning exhibits in the Mines and Minerals Building and samples of Michigan furniture form Grand Rapids, Michigan’s contributions to the world’s fair were impressive. Come see why Michigan contributed to the success of the world’s fair.

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The Great Michigan Read: Annie’s Ghosts

March 15 @ 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Three area experts will explore the themes found in Steve Luxenberg’s book Annie’s Ghosts, which was selected as the 2014 Great Michigan Read. Author D.E. Johnson will discuss Eloise Hospital using information and photos gained from researching his book Detroit Breakdown. Christy Buck, executive director of The Mental Health Foundation will provide an overview of mental health treatment and practices from the 1900s to now. Genealogist Don Bryant will share tips on how to find your family’s real past. Sponsored…

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Reading the Great Lakes

March 6 @ 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. March’s selection is The Death…

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February 2014

Living History and The Colored Car: The Backstory

February 20 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Sharing the process of researching and writing her latest book, author Jean Alicia Elster will provide the backstory to the creation of The Colored Car. Elster will also explore the challenge of keeping historical authenticity within the plot while creating a storyline and characters that will engage twenty-first century readers. Interspersed throughout the presentation, she will read selections from various chapters of The Colored Car. A book signing will follow the presentation. Sponsored by the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation. Consider a…

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Taste of Soul Sunday

February 16 @ 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Join us as we celebrate African American history and culture at the ninth annual Taste of Soul Sunday. Sample African American art, music, literature, history, and food. Free and open to the public. Call 616-988-5400 or visit www.grpl.org/tasteofsoul for more information. Sponsored by the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation. Consider a gift today.

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Reading the Great Lakes

February 6 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
+ Google Map

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. February’s selection is The Fourth…

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January 2014

History Detectives

January 18 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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A day-long event made up of six programs exploring various aspects of Grand Rapids history. Presented by area historians and members of historical and cultural organizations, topics are varied and reflect the unique heritage of West Michigan. Topics include: Women and World War II; When the Automobile Came to the Furniture City; Mr. Rover Visits Grand Rapids; The Mystery of West Michigan’s Sunken Canoes; Remembering Grandville Avenue; 40 Years of Historic Preservation. These programs are sponsored by the Grand Rapids…

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