News & Announcements
January 27, 2024
Myths surround the coyote and cloud our understanding of it. Learn the true story of th...Read More
January 27, 2024
As the furious winter rages onward, we shall gather close together to discuss the famed...Read More
January 27, 2024
The Seacoast Camera Club's Annual Photography Exhibition will be on display for public ...Read More
October 26, 2023
Join us for a new evening meditation program. Meditation is hosted weekly every Monday ...Read More
Check Out Past Library Events on our YouTube page!
Genealogy Workshop: Genealogy 101February 6, 2024
A recording of Genealogy 101, a workshop by Dorothy Marie Wilson Reagan, presented at the Portsmouth Public Library (NH) on January 21, 2024. Discover the essential tools and resources for genealogy research. Learn how to gather information from various sources, including census records, birth certificates, and family heirlooms. Develop effective strategies for organizing your research and building your family tree. Explore online databases and websites that can help you connect with other researchers and uncover new leads. Whether you're just getting started or want to take your research to the next level, this workshop is for you. You'll learn the basics of genealogy and embark on the exciting adventure of discovering your family's past! Thanks to our co-sponsor, The Ranger Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR)! Dorothy “D” Marie Wilson Reagan is a genealogy researcher currently enrolled in the International Institute of Genealogical Studies.
Local History: The Life and Times of Jonathan Mitchel SewallJanuary 17, 2024
A recording of The Life and Times of Jonathan Mitchel Sewall, a lecture by Nancy Hammond given on January 16, 2024 for the Portsmouth Public Library (NH). In the heart of Portsmouth, amidst the vibrant tapestry of its colonial past, lies the story of Jonathan Mitchel Sewall, a man now overlooked yet etched in the annals of history. Sewall, a lawyer, poet, and ardent patriot, left an indelible mark on the town he called home, weaving his life into its very fabric. Sewall's contributions extended far beyond the realm of literature. As a staunch advocate for freedom and liberty, he played a pivotal role in shaping the New Hampshire Bill of Rights, a document that enshrined the fundamental principles of democracy. Yet, Sewall's legacy has now become largely obscure, his name fading into the shadows of time. But thanks to the unwavering dedication of local author Nancy Hammond, Sewall's story is once again brought to light. Through Hammond's insightful narrative, we embark on a journey into Sewall's fascinating life, exploring his contributions to Portsmouth's legal, literary, and political landscape. His story is not merely a chapter in Portsmouth's history; it is a beacon of inspiration, a reminder of the profound impact one individual can have on a community. His legacy serves as an enduring testament to the power of the written word, the steadfast pursuit of justice, and the unwavering spirit of patriotism. Nancy Hammond is the author of The Life and Times of Jonathan Mitchel Sewall: 1748-1808, Poet - Lawyer - Patriot.
Ukraine and Russia: Understanding the Conflict, with Rebecca McGoryOctober 17, 2023
For this event, the presenter will describe the history of Russian-Ukrainian relations and the events that led to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February of 2022 to contextualize the ongoing conflict. Next, she will go into the current status of the war and all its moving parts, including the international relationships driving the hostilities. To close, she will offer a description of the various perspectives on the invasion coming from inside Russia, including media coverage within the country. The presentation will conclude with an opportunity to ask and answer questions. Rebecca McGory is a subject matter expert on the Russo-Ukrainian War and holds Master’s degrees in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Mediterranean Security, and Russian and Eurasian Studies. After living and working for many years in countries including Ukraine, Russia, and China, she currently works as a Program Officer at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, where the populations served include Ukrainians who fled the war in the last 18 months.
Local History: 2423 – Portsmouth In 400 YearsApril 18, 2023
As Portsmouth honors the 400 years since its settlement in 1623, memories and stories of the city’s past have sprung to the surface. The history of this area is all around us and there is no shortage of resources for anyone wishing to learn about Portsmouth. But what have we learned from the past? And how will that inform our future? We now turn our eyes to the next 400 years and what lies in store. On April 17, 2023, a panel of community leaders shared their visions of a future Portsmouth, considering everything from the climate crisis and sea level rise to education, demographics, and everyday life. About the Panelists Steve Butzel, moderator, served as director of the Portsmouth Public Library (NH) from 2014-2022 and is currently the interim library director at the Fiske Public Library in Wrentham, MA. Through his business, Uncomfortable Fun, Steve is also a leadership coach and organizational consultant who works 1-on-1 with organizational leaders, hosts leadership retreats, and speaks at conferences around the country. He earned his MLIS from Simmons University and his BA from Yale University. Lucia Hillman is a senior at Portsmouth High School where she is a member of the Sustainability Club. She has lived in downtown Portsmouth for 15 years and cares deeply about its vitality and natural life. Lucia loves to surf (or pretend to surf), listening to podcasts, and moving her body in various ways. Her passion for the environment has led her to decrease her carbon footprint, whether it's walking to work or supporting local businesses over others. She also loves learning about different ecosystems, the gut microbiome, neuroscience, and the human mind-body connection. Lucia’s plans for the future include taking a four-week trip to Indonesia this summer, focusing on sustainable development and marine conservation, and taking a gap year before attending university. She is excited to participate in this panel and contribute to a creative discussion! Brian Murphy is a father, husband, educator, and architect. He lives in Portsmouth where he and his wife founded Placework, an architecture and planning firm. His work focuses on the effects of buildings on the environment and mitigating their role in climate change. Brian also teaches architectural design at UNH as well as topics related to architecture and the environment for middle school and high school programs. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and a Living Future Accredited profession through the International Living Future Institute. Rodney Rowland is the Director of Facilities and Environmental Sustainability at Strawbery Banke Museum where he is responsible for 37 buildings spread over 9 acres and oversees the Facilities, Restoration and Landscape Departments. He co-curator a 2021 exhibit at the museum titled, “Water Has a Memory: Protecting Strawbery Banke Museum and Portsmouth from Sea Level Rise” and he represents the museum on the Local Advisory Committee for the Historic Resource Study for the City of Portsmouth. #Sustainability #PortsmouthNH #SeacoastNH
Indigenous Stories: Making Place, Placing MakersApril 3, 2023
Making Place, Placing Makers: Connecting History, Memory and Land by Indigenizing New Hampshire Public Library Local History Collections Learn about the relationship between Indigenous representation in public library local history collections and the collective understanding of the land now known as New Hampshire. Findings demonstrate that New Hampshire public library's local history collections often lack recognition or an accurate representation of Abenaki histories, and, instead, hold a majority white authorship which relegates Abenaki peoples to a distant past, casting indigeneity in the light of myth and folklore. The harm of this relegation of Indigenous nations to antiquity perpetuates the genocide that began hundreds of years ago and prevents New Hampshire’s non-Indigenous community members from engaging with the complex history of the land which they now occupy. The findings of our presenters, a settler educator, and a settler librarian, illuminate the need for collaboration between libraries, communities, and Indigenous peoples to provide all patrons access to a more accurate understanding of the state’s history to create a more equitable and honest present. More About the Presenters Jed Crook has spent much of his career working at the intersection of social justice and education. He worked internationally with Protestant and Catholic youth from Northern Ireland as well as locally as the Assistant Supervisor and Resource Educator of the Adolescent Boys unit at the Nashua Children's Home. He studied the role of colonialism in K-12 science education at Keene State where he worked in the Office for Multicultural Student Support and Success. Jed currently works with the Organization of Refugee and Immigrant Success in empowering refugees and new Americans through food sovereignty and small-scale agricultural entrepreneurship as well as independently through his own regenerative farming and landscaping business. We are deeply indebted to the Indigenous peoples and nations that participated in this research. Lou Marie Judge is a librarian, musician, and printmaker who currently works at the West Springfield Public Library in the Adult Services Department. Besides working in public libraries, Lou has also been a research assistant at Harvard, a lecturer at Keene State College, a teacher, audio-visual archivist, and has spent time on the lecture circuit in Hungary. She holds a BA in Film Critical Studies, an MA in Film Theory, and a forthcoming MS in Library and Information Science. Her research interests include gender studies, social justice in LIS, techno feminism, and disability studies. We are deeply indebted to the Indigenous peoples and nations that participated in this research. Here are some of the links shared by the presenters during the presentation: Our Resource Guide https://sites.google.com/view/nhlandlibraries/resources?authuser=0 Mapping NH Indigenous Heritage Sites Indigenous New Hampshire Collaborative Collective https://www.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal Anthology with Lou and Jed's chapter https://litwinbooks.com/books/land-in-libraries/ Native Land Digital https://native-land.ca/ Facing East From Indian Country https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674011175 #IndigenousStories #NewHampshire #PublicLibrary