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Who was William Willis and What is the Willis Collection?

posted: , by Gabrielle Daniello
tags: Adults | Portland History
Photograph of the glass cases in the Portland Room that hold The Willis Collection.

The Willis Collection

Have you walked into the Portland Room and wondered about the crumbling leather-bound books behind glass that line the reading room?

These books belonged to William Willis, lawyer, editor, businessman, diarist, Portland mayor, historian…

Willis was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, in 1794. The family moved to Portland in 1803. Willis attended Harvard College, graduating in 1813, and then went on to study law under Prentiss Mellen and Boston Judge Peter O. Thacher. After a few years in Boston and a few years of travel, he returned to Portland to practice law as a partner of Mellen and, later, as a partner of William Pitt Fessenden.

Willis was an inveterate journal-keeper, writing in his diary almost daily from 1840 until 1870, the year of his death. They were not tracked down until 1957 when local historian William B. Jordan, Jr. discovered that they were in the possession of a great-grand-daughter of Willis who graciously allowed the library to take possession of them. (Library patrons can read the journals on microfilm.) In this entry from August 4,1864, Willis writes that he attended “a most loyal union discourse emphatically anti-slavery. Rain in the morning…”

Some entries from Willis' diary of August 1864.

Fragment of Willis’ diary from 1864.

The Portland Public Library also holds Willis’ own personal library. Willis was one of the founders of the Portland Public Library and served as its first president (1867-1870).

Image of the bookplate found in William Willis' personal books.

Bookplate

Somehow, despite his law practice, his responsibilities in public office and on the boards of various institutions, his nine children, and the keeping of a daily journal, Willis also managed to write history. His The History of Portland from 1632 to 1864 (published 1865) is still widely consulted by historians today.

Portrait of William Willis

William Willis

 


Downloadable ebooks: business and politics

posted: , by Sonya Durney
tags: Adults | Business

Did you know that  you can download new business and political titles right to your ereader?

In addition to titles provided by the Maine Infonet Download Library (a statewide ebook consortium) the Business and Gov’t Team here at PPL is hooking you up with even more business related content via Overdrive Advantage!

Visit the Download Library , log in with your PPL barcode number, then check out some of these great new releases:

jab jab right hook

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World  by Gary Vaynerchuk.

New York Times bestselling author and social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk shares hard-won advice on how to connect with customers and beat the competition. A mash-up of the best elements of Crush It! and The Thank You Economy with a fresh spin, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a blueprint to social media marketing strategies that really works. ”

hatching twitter

Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal by Nick Bilton

 “New York Times columnist and reporter Nick Bilton takes readers behind the scenes as Twitter grew at exponential speeds. He gets inside the heads of the four hackers out of whom the company tumbled.

Bilton’s unprecedented access and exhaustive investigating reporting—drawing on hundreds of sources, documents, and internal e-mails—have enabled him to write an intimate portrait of four friends who accidentally changed the world, and what they all learned along the way.”

maker

The Maker Movement Manifesto: Rules for Innovation in the New World of Crafters, Hackers, and Tinkerers by Mark Hatch

The Maker Movement Manifesto takes you deep into the movement. Hatch describes the remarkable technologies and tools now accessible to you and shares stories of how ordinary people have devised extraordinary products, giving rise to successful new business ventures. He explains how economic upheavals are paving the way for individuals to create, innovate, make a fortune–and even drive positive societal change–with nothing more than their own creativity and some hard work.”

orange

Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman

“With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187–424—one of the millions of people who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman’s story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison—why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they’re there.”

grounded

Grounded: How Leaders Stay Rooted in an Uncertain World by Bob Rosen

“The book argues that leaders at every level can be more self-aware, develop their untapped potential, and drive significantly better results—for themselves, their teams, and their organizations.

  • Shows readers how to build a personal leadership model that works with their values, goals and capabilities
  • Features fresh stories from leaders in a variety of organizations including the New York Fire Department, PricewaterhouseCoopers, The Lego Group, and Medstar Health
  • Gives leaders practical tools to face their toughest challenges with greater skill, confidence, and impact”

ted talk

How to Deliver a TED Talk: Secrets of the World’s Most Inspiring Presentations by Jeremey Donovan 

How to Deliver a TED Talk provides more than 100 invaluable tips–everything from opening with an explicit statement of audience benefits to framing your idea as an action-outcome response to a question worth asking. Whether you’re presenting to an audience of 1 or 1,000, this book is an indispensable resource for any public speaker.”

wolf

The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort

“By day he made thousands of dollars a minute. By night he spent it as fast as he could. From the binge that sank a 170-foot motor yacht and ran up a $700,000 hotel tab, to the wife and kids waiting at home and the fast-talking, hard-partying young stockbrokers who called him king, here, in Jordan Belfort’s own words, is the story of the ill-fated genius they called the Wolf of Wall Street. “

2016

The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America–and What We Can Do to Stop It by Thom Harmann

“Thoroughly researched and passionately argued, THE CRASH OF 2016 is not just a roadmap to redemption in post-Crash America, but a critical wake-up call, challenging us to act. Only if the right reforms are enacted and the moral choices are made, can we avert disaster and make our nation whole again.”

 

Visit Overdrive often to see what is new!

For help or to suggest titles please contact Sonya Durney, Business and Gov’t Team Leader, durney@portland.lib.me.us

Click here for directions to download to an ereader.

 

 


The Camden Conference

posted: , by Sonya Durney
tags: Adults | Government | Health | Science & Technology
CAMDEN

Portland Public Library would like to thank the Board of Directors of the Camden Conference for their generous donation to PPL; allowing the Library to purchase a collection of books and films related to the conference’s theme: The Global Politics of Food and Water.

Click here to browse the books and films now available at PPL for those who wish to explore this important topic further.

The Conference convenes on Friday evening, February 21, with the keynote address at 8PM, and continues on Saturday, February 22 from 8:30AM – 5PM and again on Sunday, February 23 from 9:00AM-12:30PM.

The 2014 Conference will provide a provocative look at the global dynamics of managing the world’s food and water resources at a time when the challenge to meet the ever-increasing demand has never been more critical. By 2050, our planet’s population may have grown by two billion, while other factors, including climate change, may have greatly reduced land and water resources essential for food production. The world will have to produce even more food without more land and with less water.

The Conference will address several issues related to food and water, including the contentious debate between industrial agriculture practices and small-scale farming operations; food security issues dependent on international cooperation; and innovations that encourage more productive farming and fishing.

Having outlined the issues, the Conference will examine options that can be considered by governments and citizens to promote secure access to food and water in sustainable ways. Throughout the weekend, enlightening presentations by leading international experts will cover promising policies and practices now being used in China, Africa, and North America.

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