First Meeting of the Westborough History Working Group

First Meeting of the Westborough History Working Group. Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 2:00 p.m. at the Westborough Public Library. Do you want to help the Westborough Center with its historical documents and records? Come to this inaugural meeting, where we will start adding dates to historical photographs that lack them and then plan how we want to go forward in the future. If you plan to attend, please e-mail Anthony Vaver, Local History Librarian, at avaver@town.westborough.ma.us, so that we can adequately plan space for us to work.

Architecture Tour Booklet

If you plan to attend the architecture tour on Sunday, make sure you download the booklet that will be used during the tour. Hope to see you there!

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British Influences on Westborough’s Architecture Walking Tour, Sunday, October 6, 2019, 1:00 p.m. at the Library steps.  Join R. Christopher Noonan and Luanne  Crosby as they talk (and sing!) about the interplay and influences of the British Empire’s architectural traditions on Westborough’s buildings, neighborhoods, and even cemetery design. This program is part of the Westborough History Connections series on Westborough and India under the British Empire.

Upcoming Westborough Center Program Reminders

Tonight (Weds., 10/2):

Introduction to Indian Classical Music, Its Overlaps and Differences with Western Music, Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. in the Library Meeting Room. Learn and engage in a 90-minute interactive workshop on Indian classical music. This program is part of the Westborough History Connections series on Westborough and India under the British Empire.

Sunday (10/6):

British Influences on Westborough’s Architecture Walking Tour, Sunday, October 6, 2019, 1:00 p.m. at the Library steps.  Join R. Christopher Noonan and Luanne  Crosby as they talk (and sing!) about the interplay and influences of the British Empire’s architectural traditions on Westborough’s buildings, neighborhoods, and even cemetery design. This program is part of the Westborough History Connections series on Westborough and India under the British Empire.

Westborough History Working Group

Can you put a date (or a span of potential dates) on this image of West Main Street in Westborough?

  • Image Title: Business Section – Westboro Massachusetts
  • Format: Postcard
  • Date: ????

Even if you can’t add a date to this image, come join the NEW Westborough History Working Group!

The Westborough History Working Group will be an informal gathering of people with an interest in history in general, and Westborough in particular, to work together on various projects in the Westborough Center for History and Culture at the Westborough Public Library. Projects may include:

  • Adding dates to historical photographs to the best of our collective ability.
  • Organizing collections and conducting research for exhibits and programs.
  • First peaks at new donations as they are opened for the first time.
  • A forum for sharing your knowledge and experiences about living in Westborough, both yesterday and today.
  • Informal (or formal) conversation about history topics in general with people who enjoy talking about history.

The general idea is for us to get together on a regular basis (however we want to define that), help the Westborough Center with its local history collections, and have fun doing so. We will start with trying to attach dates to the many historical photographs that lack them in our collection. We can then decide together what other activities we want to tackle. If you have ever wanted to see what it is like to work with rare collections in a library or museum, this is your opportunity.

All are welcome, whether you are a long-time Westborough resident or just moved here!

If you are interested in joining this group, please e-mail Anthony Vaver, Local History Librarian at avaver@town.westborough.ma.us to express your interest. Please include the following information:

  • Your Name
  • Your E-mail Address
  • Your general meeting time preferences (please indicate days of the week AND mornings, afternoons, or evenings on those days)

I will try to accommodate as many people as possible in identifying meeting times.

Two Program Reminders

Tonight (Sept. 18, 2019):

  • Minerals of Massachusetts, Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the Library Meeting Room. Learn more about where you live. Author and collector Peter Cristofono will talk about the many minerals that can be found in Massachusetts and the best places to find them.

Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019:

  • National Registration Voter Day, Tuesday, September 24 from 3:00-7:00 p.m. at the Westborough Center for History and Culture. Stop by and register to vote, if you haven’t already!

Photographer-in-Residence Exhibit Book Now on Display

A Special Exhibit Book: “Westborough: Portraits of a Town” by Brandin Tumeinski is now on display at the Westborough Center for History and Culture in the Westborough Public Library.

See the results of Brandin Tumeinski’s year-long project as the 2018-2019 Photographer-in-Residence in a spectacular book of portraits of Westborough residents that he took over the course of the year.

This special book is currently on display at the Westborough Center for History and Culture at the Westborough Public Library and will be available for viewing until the end of September.

Westborough State Hospital Program on Westborough TV

The celebratory lecture and launch of Katherine Anderson’s Westborough State Hospital book on August 1, 2019 was filmed by Westborough TV and is now available for viewing online: http://westboroughtv.org/history-of-the-westborough-state-hospital-katherine-anderson/.

The program was standing room only, and no doubt some people were unable to stay as a result or were turned away at the door, so now is your chance to see this fabulous program.

Westborough State Hospital Book Program

The Westborough Public Library will celebrate the publication of Westborough State Hospital with a lecture by the author, Katherine Anderson, on Thursday, August 1, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the Meeting Room.

Join award-winning author and asylum historian Katherine Anderson for a discussion of her newest Images of America book on the history of the Westborough State Hospital. Katherine has been photographing and researching the hospital for nearly a decade and will present a collection of images, artifacts, and little known facts about Westborough State. As a bonus, meet Mimi Baird, author of He Wanted the Moon about her father’s story of his time as a patient at Westborough.

The Westborough State Hospital, formerly known as the Westborough Insane Hospital, was the second homeopathic hospital for the insane in the United States. Its unique treatment methods were at the forefront of mental health care until it closed its doors as one of the last Massachusetts state hospitals in 2010. Solomon Carter Fuller, a pioneering African American pathologist, studied physical changes in the brain due to Alzheimer’s at the hospital, which was also the only New England state hospital with a dedicated unit for deaf and hard of hearing patients.

Katherine Anderson is a veteran special education teacher and has been researching and writing about asylums and mental health care for more than a decade.

Extended Deadline for Photographer-in-Residence Applications

Ebenezer Lincoln getting into his buggy on Main Street, Westborough, photographed by F. E. North.

Westborough has a strong photographic history. Many photographers maintained studios in Westborough over the years, which is partly why the documentation of Westborough’s history is so rich and deep. In celebration and recognition of this history, the Westborough Public Library through the Westborough Center for History and Culture will annually designate someone to serve as a Photographer-in-Residence to capture the life and culture of Westborough over the course of one year. The overall goal is to continue adding to Westborough’s photographic legacy, showcase how various photographers approach capturing Westborough’s life and culture differently, and in the process document changes in the town over time.

The position of Photographer-in-Residence includes a $1,000 stipend, and the term runs from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. Anyone interested in serving in this position should submit a statement of vision for the year-long project and a sample portfolio of no more than twenty (20) photographs by Friday, June 14, 2019. The statement of vision and sample portfolio can be dropped off at the Westborough Public Library’s circulation desk in print and/or in digital form on a thumb drive. This year’s winner will be announced by Friday, June 28, 2019.

  • Positions are open to all ages from high school and up.
  • Positions last for a one-year term, from July 1 to June 30.
  • The Photographer-in-Residence will receive a stipend of $1,000 for the year, half of which will be awarded at the beginning of the term and half at the end.
  • The Photographer-in-Residence is required to submit twenty-five photographs every three months for a total of 100 photographs taken throughout the year. Each photograph should capture Westborough’s life and culture in some way, and information about each photograph (title, date, description, identification of people and events in the photographs, etc.) must be included. Photographs can be submitted in digital and/or printed form.
  • Anyone interested in applying for the position must submit a statement of vision for the year-long project and a sample portfolio of no more than twenty (20) photographs in print or in digital form on a thumb drive. A committee will decide who will be awarded the position.
  • Terms can be renewed, but preference will be given to qualified photographers who have not yet served in the position.
  • Applicants do not need to be Westborough residents, but they need to be willing to engage enough with the Westborough community to produce results.
  • All photographs submitted as part of the year-long project become the property of the Westborough Public Library.

Contact Anthony Vaver, Local History Librarian, at avaver@town.westborough.ma.us with any questions.

Reminder: Introduction to the Game of Cricket, Sat. May 11 (Rain date: May 18)

Learn about the history, worldwide appeal, and rules of cricket from members of the Westborough Cricket Club on Saturday, May 11 at 10:00 a.m. (with a rain date of May 18) at Hennessy Field on 1 Upton Road.

The event will begin with an overview of cricket and the skills needed to play it. Members of the audience will then be asked to play in a game, while others are encouraged to stay and watch the action. Food trucks will also be on hand to provide refreshment. Anyone interested in playing in a cricket game can pre-register at http://westbororec.com/info/activities/program_details.aspx?ProgramID=30096.

This program is part of the Westborough History Connections series at the Westborough Center for History and Culture at the Westborough Public Library.

Information: Jennifer Kirkland, Westborough Recreation, jkirkland@town.westborough.ma.us, 1-508-366-3066; or Anthony Vaver, Westborough Public Library, avaver@town.westborough.ma.us, 1-508-366-3050 (ext. 5284).