Welcome, Neighbor. The Immigrant Experience

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Welcome, Neighbor F2 - LRLearn about the immigrant experience specific to our communities. Discover the intriguing stories of 16  people who moved to the Lehigh Valley in the Welcome Neighbor photography exhibit now on display at the Main Library. What did they leave behind and what are their hopes for their new country? How does their culture translate to the American experience? Join us for an informal discussion at the Main Library on Tuesday, June 6 at 6:30 pm with panelists from the Collective Memory Project who put together the project. Panelists are:

Marco Calderón —  professional photographer

Hugo Cerón —  teaches sociology/anthropology at Lehigh University

Jill Schennum —  teaches anthropology at County College of Morris

This project has been supported by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities‘ ‘We the People’ initiative, as well as Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, Alliance for Sustainable Communities-Lehigh Valley, Moravian College, Dave’s Camera City and Hope United Church of Christ.

Welcome Neighbor

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Welcome, Neighbor F2 - LRMeet the photographer at the Welcome Neighbor photo exhibit opening on Wednesday, May 3 from 6:30 to 8 pm at the Main Library. Discover the extraordinary stories of people who persevered and sacrificed to become your neighbor.

Women of Steel

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The Steel Blast Furnace is silent now, but women played a significant role at Bethlehem Steel, including union employees on the shop floor through upper management, wives of steelworkers, and women who joined the war effort during WWII.

Hear their stories at Women of Steel on Tuesday, March 7 at 6:30 pm at the Main Library.

More here

Central Tool Department 1980

Central Tool Department 1980

What was the Sifting Time? Moravian mystery revealed…

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moravian starThe Moravians were one of the most successful religious movements of the eighteenth century. At the peak of their popularity, however, a crisis occurred, forcing Moravians to distance themselves from the teachings they had previously embraced with much enthusiasm. As the crisis undermined notions of marriage as a sacred bond, leaders ordered any archival evidence to be destroyed. Moravian Archivist, Paul Peucker, will unravel the mystery of what Moravians called the Sifting Time on Tuesday, January 31 at the Main Library.


African American experience in Bethlehem

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13700uMoravian College Professor Akbar Keshodkar’s students will be presenting their research tracing the history of African Americans in Bethlehem at the Main Library on Wednesday, February 24 at 6:30 pm. A short video will describe the history of Bethlehem’s African American population, including when and how African Americans arrived and the challenges they faced. A discussion will follow the video.

More info here

Tell us your story…

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Story_Gathering2Do you live or work in Bethlehem? We want to hear your stories! Contribute your story at the Main Library on  Thursday, November 19. The Library is partnering with Lehigh University to create a living digital archive of Bethlehem history. The stories will be added to Still Looking for You, a digital project that explores the history of Bethlehem through the memories of the many people who have worked in, lived in, or visited the city. Drop in anytime to the Laros Room on the second floor of the Main Library between 3 pm and 5:45 pm to contribute your recollections. Photographs are encouraged, also, which will be scanned and returned.

The Man, the Mills, the Legacy…

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Bethlehem and the surrounding communities have benefited greatly because of R. K. Laros, but few people know who the man was or how the Foundation that bears his name was established. Moravian College student, Class of 2015, Jeremy Hachey researched the man, the silk mill Mr. Laros founded, and his philanthropy and will present a program about this innovative businessman and influential philanthropist on Tuesday, November 11 at 6:30 p.m. The presentation will be in the 2nd Floor Laros Meeting Room at the Main Library.

Free and open to the public. Registration is not required.Parking is available in the garage beneath the Library except police or City Council spaces. More here

Men of Steel tonight!

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Bethlehem Steel’s blast furnaces are silent, but the men who worked there remember what it was like to work at The Steel and grow up in south Bethlehem. Former steelworkers Lester Clore and Richie Check will speak about their experiences at the South Side Branch tonight from 6:30 to 7:45 PM. Lester Clore worked as a rigger for 33 years and is now a volunteer with the Steelworkers’ Archives Speakers Bureau. Richie Check also worked as a rigger for most of his 43 years at Bethlehem Steel. He and 11 of his relatives worked at The Steel and climbed the hill to their homes afterward. His story is like most of the steelworkers whose families moved from Europe to find work in Bethlehem’s biggest industry. Mr. Check is a founding member of the Steelworkers’ Archives Speakers Bureau.

Free and open to the public. Details