UPDATE JULY 20: MaineCat requesting has been restarted. Please be aware quarantine protocols will result in longer than usual delivery times. PPL To Go is up and running! Place a hold. Wait for your pickup notice. Then make an appointment to pick it up. We look forward to seeing you! Our COVID-19 page continues to have links to current health information in multiple languages. Reference will be answering questions Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm, 871-1700 x725. If you would like to get a library card, please email lending@portlib.org
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Juneteenth

posted: , by Raminta Moore
tags: Adults | Seniors | Art & Culture | Genealogy
image scan of the Emancipation Proclamation

Emancipation Proclamation. Lithograph by L. Lipman, Milwaukee, Wisc., Feb. 26, 1864. Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress.

 

Today marks the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, on June 19th, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger led Union soldiers into Galveston, Texas, with the news that the War was over and slavery was abolished. According to Juneteenth.com, there are several guesses as to why the two year delay. Some speculate, that the messenger carrying the notice from the Federal government was murdered. Another theory assumes, that the information was withheld by slave owners hoping to continue to have labor for their cotton harvests.

Pres. Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the people of Texas, since there were few Union troops around at the time to enforce it. But, with the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee in April 1865 and the arrival of Gen. Gordon Granger’s regiment in Galveston, troops were finally strong enough to enforce the executive order. Newly freed men rejoiced, originating the annual “Juneteenth” celebration, which commemorates the freeing of the slaves in Texas.

Although Juneteenth has been informally celebrated each year since 1865, it wasn’t until June 3, 1979, that Texas became the first state to proclaim Juneteenth an official state holiday.

Photo of Uncle Billy McCrew, freed slave

Billy McCrea, a former slave who remembered the Union troops coming into Texas in 1865 and being told that he was free. Photo by Ruby Terrill Lomax, September 30, 1940.

Currently only Hawaii, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana are the only states that do not celebrate Juneteenth.

Juneteenth Resources and Local Events:

Resources:

  • PPL resources regarding Juneteenth and Emancipation.
  • For a list of African American parks from the National Parks Service, please click here.
  • For recordings of former Texas slaves, please click here.
  • For African American Culture in Maine, please click here.
  • For information on African American genealogy from the Library of Congress, please click here.
  • The Freedmen’s Bureau Project has compiled nearly 1.8 million records of men, women and children, searchable online. To use this database to find your African American ancestry, please click here.
  • For the “resolution recognizing the historical significance of Juneteenth Independence Day and expressing the sense of the Senate that history should be regarded as a means for understanding the past and solving the challenges of the future” by the 111th US Congress, please click here.
  • For the African American Biographical Database, collecting information on African Americans from 1790 – 1950, please click here.

 

Events:

  • Juneteenth! with Janaesound, Rodney Mashia, B. Aull, Abdul Ali
    Fri, June 19, 2020, State Theatre Facebook   Doors: 8:00pm – Show: 8:00pm – all ages
  • The third and final installment in Maine Inside Out’s outdoor June performance series is a recognition and celebration of Juneteenth in Portland’s Congress Square Park. Hosted by the MIO Portland group, the event will feature the final performance of MIO’s original play “Unspoken Truth” along with original artwork created in partnership with the Maine Center for Electronic Music. Please come join us for the final performance of this powerful, bold play.
  • The Slave Liberation Project, Installation by Hi Tiger in honor of Juneteenth
    Friday, June 19th, 5:30 – 7:30 Engine, 163 Main Street, Biddeford
  • The National Museum of African American History & Culture’s virtual event, Juneteenth: A Celebration Of Resilience

PPL Is Bolder Than Ever!

posted: , by Heather Wasklewicz
tags: Adults | Teens | Teen Reads | Teen Events | Teen Health | College & Career | Homework Help | Parents & Teachers | Kids & Families | Kids Programs | Early Literacy | Kids Reading Lists | Fun & Games | Discover Portland | Seniors | Art & Culture | Business | Careers & Jobs | Genealogy | Government | Health | Health@PPL | Welcome | Health Resources | Health Outreach Specialist | Medlineplus | Latest Health News | Language Learning | World Languages | English Language Literacy | News | Portland History | Science & Technology | Readers Writers

Portland Public Library unveiled a new look on Wednesday, May 15, 2019.

It’s a big week at PPL! We are making some noise! Noise, you say, in a library? Yes!

Did you know that Portland Public Library is the most visited cultural institution in all of Maine? Over 600,000 people visit PPL each year at our four locations (not counting all who use our online services for language-learning, practice tests, small business info, Consumer Reports, and more!).

Did you know that PPL offers over 1,000 workshops, discussions, exhibits, and events throughout the year?

You already know we have great wifi, but did you know we lend wifi hotspots to take home? How about hosting free tax filing support? Ballot issue discussions? Coding workshops? And Legos!

PPL is constantly evolving to mirror the dynamic community we serve, growing and changing as we facilitate the vibrant conversations of our city. We provide the rich experiences and access to resources you’d expect from a big city library tailored to the unique flow and interests of life in 21st century Portland.

When you have a library card, you’re a Library insider. And even library insiders don’t know all this about PPL, so chances are our friends and neighbors throughout Greater Portland don’t know about it either. Help us spread the word. We are excited to change our logo, colors, and messaging to boldly speak out about the Library’s evolution as an epicenter for lifelong experiential learning, civic and cultural gatherings, and partnership in community-wide innovation. Today’s PPL is vital to our great city, that is on-the-move in so many ways!

There is literally something for everyone at today’s PPL, whatever your stage of life. And it is FREE. Enjoy our expert staff, services, collections, and programming. Our storytimes, performances, business seminars, computer help, music-making, telescopes, 3-D printer. Our amazing partnerships with creative leaders and thought trailblazers. It’s all to share, discover, and build more…together.

Welcome to PPL!


October is American Archives Month – Researching your house

posted: , by Abraham
tags: About the Library | Library Collections | Adults | Art & Culture | Genealogy | Portland History

Is your house turning 100 years old? Are you curious what it looked like in years past? Who lived there? Who the neighbors were? The Portland Room and Archives have several resources that can help you answer these questions.

The Portland City Directories in the Portland Room date back to 1823, but most useful are the ones that date from 1882, as they include an alphabetical listing of streets along with the heads of household at each address. The directories also have an alphabetical listing of heads of households that include their home address, and often their work address and occupation. Once you have the head of household name, you can go to the census records [available through Ancestry.com (in-library) or HeritageQuest.com] and see who else resided with them, as well as obtain biographical information on those residents.

The Portland Room has two digitized maps, the 1882 Goodwin Atlas and the 1914 Richards Atlas, that show streets, addresses, footprints of buildings and what the buildings are made of, as well as a print copy of 1957 Sanborn fire insurance map.

If you home is in a historic district, it may appear in the “Portland Historic Resources Inventory” compiled by Earle Shettleworth and John E. Pancoast (1975). If your house is part of this inventory, the address and name of the house is given, as well as date built, architectural style, and what it was built of. Occasionally pictures can be found, as well as the architect’s name.

24 Monroe St., in 1957 from the Portland Room photo Archives

24 Monroe St., in 1957
from the Portland Room photo Archives


A great source of photos are the 1924 Portland Tax Records available online through Maine Memory Network. Newspaper articles may also be a source of pictures or articles written about your house. Articles appearing in the Portland newspapers from 1945-1992 are indexed.

The Portland Room also had several books on how to trace the history of your home. So come on in and we will help you find the resources that will help you tell your house’s story.

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