Boston Public Library to hold lecture series focusing on changes in Allston-Brighton, East Boston, Mattapan
The Boston Public Library will hold a series of lectures over the next five months that will take an in-depth look at changes in city’s neighborhoods, focusing particularly on Allston-Brighton, East Boston and Mattapan.
The lectures will be a part of the library’s Local and Family History Lecture Series, which is now in its 11th year and “includes information about the history of Boston and its neighborhoods and features tips and guidance for those beginning their own genealogical research,” the library said in a statement.
The lectures are scheduled to be held at 6 p.m. on select Wednesdays from January through May in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square.
The series will include the following lectures. For more details about each event, visit
- Jan. 15 - James Madden explores how Boston’s once solidly ethnic and predictably patterned neighborhoods are now multiethnic and diverse, and more difficult to map.
- Jan. 29 - BPL staff members Kim Tenney, Henry Scannell, and Gail Fithian discuss tips and tricks for researching your family’s home to enrich ancestors’ stories.
- Feb. 12 - Architect Antonio Di Mambro examines the economic and technological transformations of East Boston and looks ahead to the challenges and opportunities that may shape its future.
- Feb. 26 - Cartographer Jonathan Wyss and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center’s Evan Thornberry examine digitized, building-level detailed maps and instruct participants on how to utilize online resources to locate a range of historical information.
- March 12 - President and CEO of the Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly Amy Schectman discusses how outmigration from Mattapan and Dorchester is connected to Jewish migration patterns in and around Boston. Dr. Kerri Greenidge speaks about the evolution of Mattapan from mid-nineteenth century to today.
- March 26 - Marian Pierre-Louis describes the role oral history plays in recapturing family stories and building stronger bonds, particularly within immigrant communities.
- April 9 - Historian and author Anthony M. Sammarco discusses how Brighton came to be one of the most unique and culturally rich neighborhoods in Boston.
- April 23 - Professional genealogist and lecturer Meredith Hoffman details how to utilize online, local, and specialized Jewish resources in her talk “Researching Your Jewish Ancestors in Old Boston Neighborhoods.”
- May 7 - James O’Connell explains the migration of residents of Boston’s neighborhoods to surrounding suburbs during the twentieth century and examines the settling patterns of specific ethnic groups.
- May 21 - Archivist Joanne Riley shares examples of “goldmines” for family research and provides tips for gaining access to various local archives. Following the talk, the speakers from the Local & Family History Lecture Series join together for a roundtable discussion on the evolution of Boston’s immigrant gateways and neighborhood development.