from the archive

Author: Hannah Schmidl

Hannah is the library's National Endowment for the Humanities fellow, tackling all things humanities-related.

Celebrate Douglass Day virtually

Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave turned abolitionist, social reformer, and orator, did not know his birthday. Instead, he chose to celebrate his birthday on February 14. Douglass Day is celebrated annually on this chosen day. Each year, people around the country gather to learn about Black history through public events and a transcribe-a-thon. (A transcribe-a-thon is […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Stay cool and tune into virtual summer reading programs

We are more than half way through 2020 and a good part of the way through the summer. As some activities and businesses slowly open up, remember that you can continue to connect virtually with the librarians at Princeton Public Library through upcoming adult summer reading programming. If you haven’t yet participated in any of […]

Your voice matters

We are all living through a strange and uncertain time. Most things about our lives have completely changed, from work routines to grocery store trips to family life. Are you keeping track of these changes by keeping a journal or photo-documenting? Each of our experiences of this time are unique and important. What was it […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Help illuminate history

How are archival materials made discoverable by researchers and the public online? One way that some archives are working to expand access to their digitized archival collections is by crowdsourcing transcription work. Transcribing can be a lengthy and costly process for archives, so some are choosing to open some collections up for members of the […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Read your way to resolutions

Are you already contemplating resolutions for next year? I’m just wrapping my head around the close of this decade, and with that, considering what I might try to change for the 2020s. If, like me, you are not quite prepared to commit, why not prepare yourself by reading books about your anticipated resolutions? What more […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Challenge yourself to read banned books

September 22-28, 2019 is Banned Books Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Its purpose is to draw attention to banned books and the issue of censorship. This year’s theme is “Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark” and we should “Keep the Light On.” The top books that were challenged in the previous […]

Posted in Uncategorized

PPL’s Scientist in Residence: Robert Vanderbei

As part of our summer reading program, “A Universe of Stories,” Robert Vanderbei is the library’s Scientist in Residence. Professionally, Vanderbei  is a professor in the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering at Princeton University. He previously worked at Bell Labs. Personally, Vanderbei has been interested in astronomy and the universe since he was a […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Out and about for Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month. Whether you know a lot about the topic or you’re interested in learning more, the library’s Museum Pass program can help you explore art and history related to women. Check the website for availability to book your pass. The Guggenheim Museum is currently exhibiting Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Anytime resolutions

It’s that time of year: Get in shape! Spend less! Cook more! Sleep better!  Did you make any resolutions for the new year? Or, like me, are you put off by the insistence of headlines around the turn of a new year, such as “The One-Second Workout” and “948 Meaningful Resolutions to Make This Year” or […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Making sense of the world

Recently a colleague posed this question to the library staff: What books are helping you understand the world right now? The results of this survey are compiled in a public book list, and you have the opportunity to contribute your own book ideas to this list. In addition to books, podcasts can help provide context for contemporary events and […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Summer movie marathon

A few months ago, my partner and I started watching the Greatest American Films of All Time, according to the American Film Institute, starting with #100. This is a long-term entertainment plan, given that finding the time to watch even one movie per week is challenging. Prior to this undertaking, I might watch one movie a […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Memorial Day activities

Memorial Day is set aside as a day of commemoration for all those who have given their lives in service to the United States throughout its history. Memorial Day has been observed, in some form, since the 1860s and the end of the Civil War.  Flags will fly at half mast, flags are placed at […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Free admission

Modern art, classical art. World history, American history, New Jersey history. Airplanes, dinosaurs, medical oddities, giant sculptures. What do all of these things have in common, you ask? Cardholders can see all of them for free with a museum pass from the library. The Museum Pass Program is popular, but I didn’t realize how popular […]

Winter reading challenge

This season, I’m taking part in a Winter Reading Challenge with a variety of friends and acquaintances across the country. The challenge is broken into numerous categories in a shared spreadsheet which I check regularly to see the progress of my competitors/reading-mates. Each category is worth a certain number of points, and the challenge winner […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Take a break

Just relax. Sounds so easy, right? We’ve all heard that taking breaks and stepping away from our desks throughout the workday help increase productivity and overall well-being at work. In addition to the tips found at Zapier and Idealist for optimizing your time at work, I queried my colleagues about their preferred relaxation and break-time activities […]

Posted in Uncategorized

A book, a talk, and a walk in the woods

After living in Phoenix, Arizona before moving to New Jersey a year ago, the variation in wilderness between the two places continues to be striking. Phoenix is the sixth largest city in the country and New Jersey is the most densely populated state, and although those facts seem to suggest that wilderness would be in […]

Posted in Uncategorized

When science meets history

As the library's first Humanities Fellow, my job is to make the humanities, from literature to public policy to history, more interesting, accessible, and engaging for the public through programs, collections, and other library activities. Ever on the hunt for new ideas, the inspiration for the library's current History of Science series grew out of a conversation with my uncle.