Simsbury Free Library Announces January 2014 Events; Sets Final Two "Connecticut History in Four Episodes" Dates

In January 2014, The Simsbury Free Library (SFL) will resume its drop in book club and documentary and foreign language film offerings as well as continue its Genealogy Road Show program.  In addition, the SFL has set the dates for its final two “Connecticut History in Four Episodes” lectures.  For all events, RSVPs are requested via email (simsburyfreelibrary@gmail.com) or phone (860-408-1336).

Genealogy Road Show, Saturday, January 11, 2014, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
If you are researching your family tree, but don’t know where else to look to find your missing ancestors, bring in your tree.  Genealogy librarian Diane LeMay can help with deciphering handwriting, online research, Massachusetts and French-Canadian research, and much more.  Free to members; $5 for non-members.

Drop In Book Club, Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 11:15 a.m.
Join the SFL for a discussion about “The Lacuna” by Barbara Kingsolver.  From www.readinggroups.com: In this powerfully imagined, provocative novel, Barbara Kingsolver takes us on an epic journey from the Mexico of artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo to the America of Pearl Harbor, FDR, and J. Edgar Hoover.  “The Lacuna” is the poignant story of a man pulled between two nations as well as an unforgettable portrait of the artist – and of art itself.

Foreign Film, Thursday, January 23, 2014, 1:00 p.m.
Watch “The Royal Affair” with the SFL.  This Danish film was nominated for the 2012 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.  The epic historical drama tells the true story of an ordinary man who wins the queen’s heart and starts a revolution.  It centers on the intriguing love triangle between the ever more insane Danish King Christian VII, the royal physician who is a man of enlightenment, and the young but strong Queen Caroline (from Magnolia). 

Connecticut History in Four Episodes
Join the SFL for a series of lectures exploring Connecticut’s rich historical past, covering our history from 200 million years ago to modern times, with a focus on the process of change – how we evolved from Native American landscape to Puritan colonies, from Puritan to Yankee, from Yankee to American, from farm community to mill village, and from textiles, clocks, and guns to the “arsenal of democracy.” 
The third and fourth lectures in this series are:
•    Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 1:00 p.m. “Yankee Ingenuity:  Our Industrial Heritage (1767-1980)”
•    Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 1:00 p.m. “Not So Steady Habits: Changing Demographics (1820-1950)”

About the Speaker
Tom Ratliff is a former English and Social Studies teacher who writes historical fiction for young adults. An expert on Connecticut History and the Civil War, he has a master’s degree in Early American History. 

Mr. Ratcliff is the co-author of the six-volume Matty Trescott series (written with Carole Shmurak under the pen name Carroll Thomas), and has written non-fiction books for young readers on the Civil War, the Pony Express, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the American Revolution, as well as graphic novelizations of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Last of the Mohicans, and Jack London’s White Fang. His serialized stories for young readers have been published through the Newspapers in Education program in several states.
For the past 20years, Mr. Ratliff has taught at Central Connecticut State University in both the History and Secondary Education Departments. Currently he is teaching online for the community college system and writing a book about Connecticut’s role in the American Revolution.

About the Simsbury Free Library
The Simsbury Free Library (the Simsbury Genealogical and Historical Research Library) opened on the second floor of the Hopmeadow District School in 1874.  In 1890, the Library’s collection was moved to its present location at 749 Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury.  Today the Simsbury Free Library (SFL) seeks to promote interest in genealogy and history by providing access to research material and expertise, artifacts, and educational and cultural programs.  It seeks to help patrons connect with the past and to learn from and be inspired by those who have gone before them.  The SFL provides a relaxed setting in which people can pursue family research history at their own pace.  For everyone from seasoned genealogy veterans to beginners, the SFL has the staff and resources necessary to help visitors develop the skills required to create family trees, search local histories, look up census records, explore vital records, etc.  
The Simsbury Free Library – the Gracious Yellow Lady – is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the second and fourth Saturdays of the month from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. as well as by appointment.  For more information, visit www.simsburyfreelibrary.org, call (860) 408-1336.


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