This season, an exhibit on the Victorian Yuletide will be on display on the 4th Floor of the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library. The exhibit features period clothing, jewelry, and children’s items from the collection of the Woodruff-Fontaine House (built in 1871) on Adams Avenue, in the heart of Victorian Village.
The Woodruff-Fontaine House boasts one of the finest and most extensive collections of Victorian clothing and textiles in this part of the country. A few choice pieces from this remarkable collection are featured in the exhibit, along with children’s clothing and toys from over a century ago. Come take a look and get a glimpse at Christmas of yesteryear!
Each Wednesday in October we are offering free genealogy workshops here at the Central Library. Thanks to Justin Thompson and the fine folks at our TV station, WYPL, you can watch the programs you missed:
African American Genealogy with Lanny Ross:
Preserving Family History with Willy Bearden:
Genealogy on the Internet with Laura Cunningham:
Do you want to get down and dirty in Memphis history? Or perhaps you want to climb around in a few family trees? We are always looking for a few good volunteers!
In the Memphis Room, we rely upon our awesome volunteers to help provide access to our resources and to assist customers with genealogical research. There are several ways you can lend your talents to the Memphis Room, including:
- Process a manuscript collection. Preserve and organize historical materials and create a finding aid. (See examples of finding aids here.) Your finding aid will be added to the library’s catalog.
- Create a digital collection. Scan and create metadata for digital items to be added to Dig Memphis. Those with knowledge of digital photography can put their skills to use on our large-format items, such as maps and posters.
- Assist others with genealogical research. We are always looking for volunteers to staff our Genealogy desk on the 4th floor.
- Transcribe or enter data. Are you a great typist? Do you have a knack for reading 19th century handwriting? We have a project for you!
For students, we also offer a formal internship program and can adjust these projects to fit your school’s requirements. Talk to your professor and then contact us.
Anyone interested in volunteering or interning should call the History Reference Desk at 901.415.2742.
Thanks to the hard work of University of Memphis history student Christopher Montoya, the Colton Greene is now available online.
Colton Greene, a businessman and Civil War veteran, is remembered as the originator of the Mardi Gras celebrations in Memphis in the 1870s. The collection contains materials related to his service in the Civil War as well as documents related to the planning and execution of the extravagant Mardi Gras celebrations hosted by the Mystic Society of Memphi.
A few highlights include hand-drawn maps of the Trans-Mississippi Military District, numerous invitations to Mardi Gras events, and pages from the sketchbook, Mardi-Gras Costume Designs for the Society of Memphi.