News from the Reference Desk Category: History

Origins of Winter Holiday Celebrations

Mistletoe, presents, candlelight–all of these and more are part of winter holidays.  The origins of the traditions carried out this time of year are both ancient and modern.  The editors of JSTOR an online resource of academic articles have collected a variety of articles which address aspects of the winter holiday season.  You will learn more about Santa Claus, mistletoe, the lights of Hanukkah, poinsettias,  the winter solstice and other treasured aspects of this time of year.  Take time during this busy season to immerse yourself in the lore of the winter holidays.  May this experience bring you understanding and a greater appreciation of the season.

Veterans Day, 2018

November 11, 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice which ended World War I–The Great War.  Ceremonies commemorating this event have been taking place across the United States and in Europe. The Great War impacted nearly every community in the United States but has often been considered the “Forgotten War.”  Today there are resources online which document many of the individual stories of the war.  Links to the stories of Illinois families can be found on this page of the United States World War I Commission website. Mount Prospect was just over a year old on the Armistice Day in 1918, but Mount Prospect’s citizens felt the impact of the war as well.  Relics of that time can be found at the Library’s Illinois Digital Archives page.  Among them are a uniform jacket and a gas mask.  After the war Mount Prospect veterans formed VFW  Post 1337 and the American Legion Post 525.  The names of the women who were charter members of the American Legion Auxiliary of Post 525 may be seen here.  Veterans in both organizations continue to be active in the community today and do much to honor those who served in the past and do so now.  Never forget.

 

Seeing Into the Past

Books and other texts can link us intellectually to the past but photographs and films of other eras take us into those past moments.  Photographs from 1911 are not exactly rare but they are precious.  Film showing motion was only just becoming more available in 1911 so a film of New York City in that year is a very special resource.  A Swedish documentary film company sought to document the most celebrated sites in the world at that time.  Look here to see its film of a New York street scene in 1911.

There are  no films of Mount Prospect in 1911.  The  town was only just beginning to make a name for itself at that time.  There are some photographs of the people and a business, however.  Go to the Illinois Digital Archives to see children of Louis F. Busse and workers at the Wille Brothers Company in photographs taken around 1911.  The original photographs are in the collection of the Mount Prospect Historical Society.

New Web Resource: National Geographic Virtual Library

The Library now subscribes to National Geographic Virtual Library and National Geographic Kids (brought to you by the incredible database company, Gale Cengage). The Virtual Library contains every single page of every issue of National Geographic since it began publication in 1888, all issues of National Geographic Traveler, published since 2010, and over 300 books.

The incredible photography takes on an amazing glow. Take a look at the about the Photo Ark article for proof of that. Every Last One. 

All articles can be saved to your computer, Google Drive, or saved to your folder in a Gale account. You can print them or email them to yourself or others.

The Objects in Our Lives

Over the past few decades many electronic devices and other objects once vital in our lives have become obsolete.  Remember rotary telephones or even telephone booths?  The importance these objects had in our lives is significant.  Many museums are collecting these items to document the development of technology and our relationship to it.  At the McKinley Museum in Akron, Ohio, an exhibit includes objects from the 1980s.

The Mount Prospect Historical Society has been collecting items since the late 1960s.  These objects reflect the growth of Mount Prospect over the past 100 years.  They can be seen at the Friedrichs Museum in Mount Prospect at 101 South Maple.  If you cannot make it there in person, you can see professional photographs of many significant objects in the museum in a digital collection called Dimensions of Life in Mount Prospect.

It was almost a year ago that the Village unearthed the time capsule from 1992 as part of Mount Prospect’s Centennial Celebration.  If you haven’t viewed the items in the Library’s second-floor Harold Weary Genealogy Room, come and take a look before they become part of the new time capsule that will be buried in October 2017.