May 12, 2022

Stories from the Archives – The Palette Club

From Our Local History Collection The Bethlehem Palette Club: The Arts in Postwar Bethlehem In the years after World War II, the arts flourished in Bethlehem. The Palette Club, a local group of artists, held their first meeting on June 11, 1947. Nine artists joined together to form the club with the common goal of […]

BAPL News, Local History
March 22, 2022

A Farewell to the Boyd Theater

The History of the Boyd Theater by Julia Brennan  Ah, movies! The cultural time capsules preserved within a motion picture, full of great costume design and bad acting! Nah, just kidding, there are plenty of great movies out there. Movies have really kept society pushing through despite difficult times over the decades – they make […]

Local History
March 10, 2022

“Nine Prominent Women” – the founding of BAPL

We were recently asked an interesting question by the City’s Director of Equity and Inclusion, our friend Janine Santoro. Were there important women in the history of BAPL that we could highlight as part of the City’s Women’s History Month Celebration? Good question, Janine! We knew that there must be, as women played a prominent […]

Local History
February 12, 2022

Bethlehem and the Olympic Games – An Early Connection!

Did you know Bethlehem had a historical connection to the Olympics? 1908 was the fourth Summer Games of the modern Olympic competitions. The games were held in London that year, and they were the longest Summer Olympics in history (187 days). There were also marked by controversy, including several disputes between British and American athletes. […]

Local History
January 28, 2022

Tales from the Archives: “As To Vaccination”

This article is part of an ongoing series to let people know what kinds of things are hanging out in our local history archive, the Bethlehem Room, as well as the local history services we can provide. “As To Vaccination” Letter to the editor Bethlehem Daily Times, March 7, 1881 While fulfilling patrons’ various research […]

Local History
December 17, 2021

Tales from the Archives: “Voros Lukacs: Pioneer Polar Trail Blazer”

This article comes out of a multi-year effort to index the “hanging clip files”—which are articles and pictures cut from newspapers and other sources over the past 130 years (give or take), lovingly saved by our wise predecessors at the library—that take up many long drawers in the Bethlehem Room. From time to time as […]

Local History
September 23, 2021

Tales from the Archives: “You’d Better Clean Your Plate”

This article comes out of a multi-year effort to index the “vertical clip files”—which are articles and pictures cut from newspapers and other sources over the past 100 years or so, lovingly saved by our wise predecessors at the library—that take up many long drawers in the Bethlehem Room. From time to time as we […]

Local History
July 21, 2021

Check out our historical Musikfest display!

We here at the Bethlehem Area Public Library are overjoyed to see the return of Musikfest again this year! In celebration we put together a small display using local history materials from the library archives and items on loan from Information Technician Mary Catherine Bluder, who also created the display. From pins to postcards to program […]

Local History
March 1, 2021

100 Years…100 Yearbooks

In celebration of Liberty High School’s 100th graduating class in 2022, the Bethlehem Area Public Library is creating a digital archive of LHS Yearbooks. “We at BAPL want to give LHS alumni and their families a glimpse into Bethlehem’s past,” says Reference Librarian Matthew Rothfuss, the project’s lead. “By digitizing LHS yearbooks we aim to […]

BAPL News, Local History
June 30, 2020

Historical Newspapers at BAPL.org

BAPL’s online archive of local newspapers has gotten a facelift! The Morning Call and Express-Times have long been available through bapl.org, but as text-only. Now the online version of recent years (2018-present) is a full replica of the actual print newspaper. By following the link through the library’s homepage, you can search and view full color photos, as […]

Local History
April 13, 2020

This week in 1884

Elizabeth Saraceno from BAPL South Side has finding lots of gems while researching local history at the library. Check out this article from 1884. That’s 136 years ago! The “local record” column includes observations such as “Country roads are again in a passable condition,” “Youthful spring appears in an overcoat and gum boots,” and “Straw […]

Local History
April 3, 2020

Jackie Mitchell threw herself into history on April 2, 1931

BAPL is digging deep in the archives for some historical “Throwback Thursday” posts (#tbt). This first one tells the story of the great Jackie Mitchell, who made history on the baseball field and even once came to the Lehigh Valley! Read about her history-making performance on April 2, 1931, as well as her appearance at […]

Local History
March 25, 2020

Maps

Historic Maps of Bethlehem The Bethlehem Area Public Library is a great source for old artifacts on the historic town of Bethlehem, PA. Some of the most interesting artifacts that the library has (which anyone can access for study and/or leisure) are maps of the town of Bethlehem from the bygone years of 1873, 1886, […]

Local History