History Room Live

History Room Live is a series of virtual, participatory Zoom programs where History Room staff, local experts, and library patrons discuss local history and genealogy. Zoom is a free virtual meeting software that lets us share our screens and see each others’ faces. The small group setting makes for great discussion!

We are currently planning our 2021 season! Interested in being a presenter? Contact Jill Piekut Roy.

Past sessions are available to watch below and on our YouTube channel.

Season 2 (2021)

April 9: King’s Dock

For National Poetry Month, Malcolm Hamilton leads a discussion of Roger D. Skillings’s poem, “King’s Dock.” The poem is about growing up in Bath and growing to understand its history.

Skillings’s poem relates to his childhood living for a time in an historic (1783) home on the banks of the Kennebec River in Bath. The poem describes that experience and the history that eventually drove the British out in 1775, who were sending masts and ship-building lumber back to England—but not before they and other European invaders drove out the native peoples. The end of the poem is Roger, as a mature man reflecting on the events of his life in Bath and their significance—man’s inhumanity to man.

Download a PDF of the poem here. Or, read it online in the Spring/Summer 1996 issue of TriQuarterly.

Malcolm’s list of Abenaki and Algoinquin Names related to Sagadahoc County and referenced in King’s Dock. [PDF]

Season 1 (2020)

December 18, 2020: Coffee Hour

History Room Live has been a wonderful experience for both staff and patrons in 2020! In the last session of the season, we shared our favorite holiday cards and our good holiday feelings. Coffee Hour sessions are not recorded.

December 11, 2020: A Journey Along the Peterson Canal

Join the History Room and Bath Historical Society for a virtual tour of Bath’s historic Peterson Canal—no boots required! Learn about how the Canal was originally dreamed up back in in 1791, the geographical surprises that caused it to be abandoned, and why Bath could be a considered a “twice-a-day island.” Brenda Cummings of Bath Historical Society leads our virtual walk along the canal, as she has done annually (in person) for many years.

December 4, 2020: Black History Month Community Teach-In/Read-In

Librarians Dawn Lee of RSU1/Morse High School and Roberta Jordan of Patten Free Library introduce the Black History Month Teach-In/Read-In, beginning now and culminating in February 2021. Learn how you can contribute by telling stories of Black Americans that have been left out of the history books, because Black History is American History.

Visit the project website here: https://sites.google.com/view/teach-inread-in/home

November 20, 2020: Coffee Hour

Coffee Hour is a chance for local history and genealogy enthusiasts to meet casually on Zoom. Coffee Hour sessions are not recorded.

November 13, 2020: Collection Highlights

Join Jill and our very cool document camera to see and learn about some of the unique materials found in the History Room. Each of them have a connection to something that happened in November, from the voyage of the Quaker City to the founding of the Patten Library Association.

November 6, 2020: The Great Influenza of 1918 Comes to Bath

Bath Historical Society joined us to screen a recording of Marla H. Davis’ 2018 talk, The Great Influenza of 1918 Comes to Bath, originally presented on October 20, 2018. Davis, a Bath native, retired Registered Nurse, and public-health advocate, has studied the the historic flu epidemic of World War I, focusing on the history surrounding the epidemic and its effects on the nation, the state, and the City of Bath, how the disease began, and what local steps were taken to combat it.

This week we’re chatted about the power of Queer/LGBTQ+ archives. Coffee Hour sessions are not recorded.

August 7, 2020: Using Ancestry for Beginners

Karen shares basic tips for navigating Ancestry.com and Ancestry Library Edition. She discusses methods of using the different search features effectively and covers the free services available through both sites.

Ancestry Library Edition is always available in the library and is available to Mainers for home use through September 30, 2020.

Presentation Slides [PDF]

July 31, 2020: A Place in the Army of Maine: African American Soldiers from Bath in the First Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment

Tim Richter and Brenda Cummings of Bath Historical Society present new research in their talk, A Place in the Army of Maine: African American Soldiers from Bath in the First Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment. Two thousand two hundred men served in the First Maine Heavy Artillery regiment during the course of the Civil War. Twenty-eight of those men were credited to Bath, and three of those twenty-eight were African Americans, making the First Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment perhaps the only Civil War regiment where Black and white men served together.

July 24, 2020: Architectural History, Part 1

Join us on Zoom for an introduction to architectural history! Jack Martin will show how local architectural styles relate to trends in art history, and introduce a few vocabulary words that you can use to impress your friends on your socially-distanced walks around town.

July 17, 2020: Coffee Hour

This week we asked: What are you reading?

Coffee Hour is a chance for local history and genealogy enthusiasts to meet casually on Zoom. Coffee Hour sessions are not recorded, but we did write down What We’re Reading on the History Room Blog.

July 10, 2020: Organizing Your Genealogy Research

Genealogy is a lot of fun, but keeping track of all those ancestors is hard work. Karen shares tips and tools for staying organized on paper and on your computer.

Presentation Slides [PDF] and Handout [PDF]

June 26, 2020: House History at Home

Jill shows how the History Room holds the keys to your property’s history. Then, she explains how to start the research process from the comfort of your home, using free and public online databases.

Presentation Slides [PDF] and Worksheets

June 19, 2020: Oral History From the USM Franco-American Collection

The History Room welcomes Anna Faherty from USM’s Franco-American Collection. Anna explains how oral history interviews preserve local culture and individual experiences, shares oral history recordings from the Lewiston-based collection, and offers a few tips for conducting your own oral history interviews.

Browse oral histories from the Franco-American Collection here.

Presentation Slides [PDF]

June 12, 2020: Coffee Hour

Coffee Hour is a chance for local history and genealogy enthusiasts to meet casually on Zoom. Coffee Hour sessions are not recorded.

June 5, 2020: Genealogy Drop-In

Karen hosts an interactive genealogy drop-in session, where she will talk briefly about getting started in genealogy using your own family photos, papers, and artifacts! Participants are invited to come prepared with research questions and to share a piece of their own family history.

Genealogy Drop-In sessions are not recorded to protect patron privacy.

May 29, 2020: A Brief Walk Through History

Jack joins Karen and Jill to take us on a walking tour – from home! “Bath, ME: A Brief Walk Through History” is an interactive map featuring photographs and information about many of the historic buildings in Bath. Jack created the StoryMap from a similar tour of Bath written in the 1870s by Levi P. Lemont. All the sites are within walking distance of each other, so you can try it out after the presentation! See the StoryMap.

May 22, 2020: Telling Your Story

Karen shares tools and tips for writing about your personal life experiences, and Jill presents an update on the How’s Your Week Going? COVID-19 Story Archive.

Presentation Slides [PDF]

May 15, 2020: Coffee Hour

Coffee Hour is a chance for local history and genealogy enthusiasts to meet casually on Zoom. Coffee Hour sessions are not recorded.

May 8, 2020: Postcards Past and Present

Jill presents a short history of postcards in honor of National Postcard Week and shares some historic postcards from the History Room collections. Amanda demonstrates DIY postcard making, and participants share postcards from their personal collections.

Presentation Slides [PDF]

April 29, 2020: Karen’s Tips for Learning Genealogy Online

Karen shares new and established educational opportunities that you can access at home for free, whether you’re a student learning about history, or a genealogist researching your ancestors. Then, she talks about how you can help others by sharing your own knowledge of local history and genealogy on FamilySearch.org.

April 22, 2020: Exploring Ancestry for Families

History Room staff Karen and Jill discuss temporary free access to Ancestry resources through Digital Maine Library. Karen presents a brief tour of Ancestry Library Edition and shows off a few fun-for-all-ages Ancestry collections, including a baseball-themed collection. She also demonstrates how to find free resources at Ancestry.com available for a limited time, such as NARA records and K-12 lesson plans – perfect for homeschooling!


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