The National Archives will present an Author Talk with Book Signingwith cultural historian Kathy Peiss about her book titled Information Hunters: When Librarians, Soldiers, and Spies Banded Together in World War II Europe on January 23. During World War II, “librarians, archivists, and scholars traveled abroad to collect books and documents to aid the military cause. They collected enemy texts, followed advancing armies to capture records, and seized Nazi works from bookstores and schools. When the war ended, they found and helped restitute looted collections hidden in cellars and caves.” Peiss reveals “how book and document collecting became part of the new apparatus of intelligence and national security, military planning, and postwar reconstruction.”
The National Archives will present an author talk with book signing titled Congress at War: How Republican Reformers Fought the Civil War, Defied Lincoln, Ended Slavery, and Remade America by Fergus Bordewich on February 25. Historian Fergus Bordewich shows how a newly empowered Republican party “shaped one of the most dynamic and consequential periods in American history. From reinventing the nation's financial system to pushing President Lincoln to emancipate the slaves to the planning for Reconstruction, Congress undertook drastic measures to defeat the Confederacy, in the process laying the foundation for a strong central government that came fully into being in the twentieth century.”
Heurich House Museum will present a discussion titled Alewives, Brewsters, and Gruits: A History of Women in Beeron February 5. Contrary to stereotype, for over 5,000 years beer was the provenance of women and people of color. "Over time, women’s role shifted to that of a tavern or inn keeper, which likely meant they were still brewing the beer.” The discussion with Heurich House Executive Director Kimberly Bender and Drew McCormick, Beer Director at Pizza Paradiso, will consider the role women had in shaping the beer we drink today. The conversation will include Julie Verratti, Therea McCulla, and Bridgette Turner.
Planet Word -a language arts museum- is scheduled to open in the historic Franklin School building on Franklin Square at 13th & K in D.C. in Spring, 2020. The red brick building was designed by Adolf Cluss in 1869 and has been used for many purposes, including as a public school, a homeless shelter, a place for Alexander Graham Bell to test out his inventions, a teacher’s college and more. Cluss also designed other historic red brick buildings, including the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building and the Eastern Market.The Franklin School was one of the first public school buildings in the city, and became a model for age-graded classrooms and curricula.Both the interior and the exterior of the building have historic preservation status. CEO and founder Ann B. Friedman, a philanthropist and former reading teacher who is married to New York Times opinion columnist Tom Friedman, is creating the new museum.D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser selected a firm to spearhead the project in 2015. Planet Word will not have a collection – rather its exhibits will all be experiential or technology-based.Friedman has commented that “Instead of artwork or historic objects, the exhibits will center around “nouns, verbs, adjectives, puns, questions and quotations.” There will be no charge for admission to the $50 million museum.
The Folger Shakespeare Library building, which dates back to 1932, will undergo a major renovation beginning on March 1, 2020 to expand public space, improve accessibility, and enhance the experience for all who visit the Folger. Construction will conclude in 2022, and the building will reopen. During the multi-year renovation, public access to the building will be restricted, but Folger programs and events will continue at other locations in DC, and around the country. Image below: A rendering of the building after renovation.