‘HistErie’: Erie County Libraries Offers Historic Events May 22-28


(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) – All through next week, the Erie County Public Library has partnered with other organizations to promote the preservation of history.

From May 22-28, the library will host events and workshops at its branches, in the community, and via Zoom. Over 25 participating organizations and individuals will offer over 30 different programs throughout the week.

“A lot of people came together to make this event possible… It’s hard to pick just one group,” said Courtney Baran, digital collection librarian at the Erie County Public Library.

Baran had the idea. She has a background in public history and is involved in much of the libraries’ historical programming. Originally, she presented the idea of ​​HistErie to her manager. She had wanted to organize the event last year, but she did not have the opportunity.

“This year I made a list of a few things that I thought would be fun to do, and said maybe some of the local historical organizations would like to be involved,” Baran said. It is now a local history week with more than two dozen entities that have signed on to its idea.

The time has come. May is Historic Preservation Month. Baran said community investment in preservation is important to the cause.

“Historic preservation is often thought of as being for someone who fulfills that role, like a historian – but it’s really something the community should be involved in,” Baran said. “This event aims to make community history opportunities available to people across the county.”

Many events are free. Those that are not free are offered at a reduced cost.

The week will feature the history of Fort LeBoeuf, a screening of the film “Saving Places”, the history of amusement parks in western Pennsylvania, information on building preservation, the history of crime and murder in Erie, history tips and local information. walking tours.

The library plans to open the vault in its Heritage Room at the Raymond M. Blasco Memorial Library, MD (160 E. Front St. in Erie). Library staff will show visitors around the vault every 15 minutes beginning at 1 p.m. The last tour will end at 3:30 p.m.

“It’s going to be a visit of about 30 minutes. We’ll walk through the Heritage Room and Vault to look at fun things, like our rare books and funny letters found in the institutional archives,” Baran said. “They will also see the process of preserving materials and why it is important. I’m excited for it myself.

In addition to library staff, the week will include events from Mercyhurst University Associate Professor and History Department Chair Dr. Benjamin Scharff, ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum, Erie City Preservation Planner Chris Kinder, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Erie Museum of Art, Warner Theatre, Erie Maritime Museum, Erie Preservation Secretary and Erin Phillips, history-focused social media influencer, Fairview Area Historical Society, Fort LeBoeuf Historical Society, Goodell Gardens & Homestead, Hagen History Center, Historicorps, Hurry Hill Maple Farm, Jefferson Education Society, architect Jeff Kidder, writer and historian Jennifer Sopko, Lawrence Park Historical Society, Lawrence Park Garden Club, Mercyhurst University – Thomas B. Hagen Department of History, Our West Bayfront, Preservation Erie, Almost Isle Lighthouses, WQLN, Yahn Planetarium – Penn State Behrend.

There’s so much going on during HistEry week it’s hard to list them all, but the library has a itinerary on his website. Baran noted that some of the programs encourage pre-registration. People can pre-register online. Because so much happens in a week, even Baran has to choose certain events over others.

“The one I’m saddest to miss is the 101 Years of Almost Isle event taking place at the Tom Ridge Center,” Baran said. “I wish I could go, but I’m doing my own tour that day.”

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As with past events, the library has over 400 take-out packets for people to learn about historic preservation at home.

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