Check out this article from NCC’s paper about the amazing work Rayah Levy is doing here at BAPL on a project documenting the history of African-Americans in Bethlehem: Black Bethlehem: An incomplete story by Jamie Ratchford Contact Rayah if you would like to learn more about this project.
This season, BAPL is again selling some beautiful Snow Over Bethlehem holiday cards. These may be purchased at the front desk at the Main Library or online here. They are $15 in person and $20 online (includes shipping). Made in partnership with the Moravian Historical Society, these limited-edition holiday cards feature the illustrations from the beloved 1945 children’s Snow […]
We recently received an interesting question about the history of BAPL’s locations from one of our patrons on Facebook and we thought we’d share some information! Since its inception in 1901, the Main Library has been housed in four buildings: The first library and reading room was located in rooms of the Leinbach and Doster […]
In 2017, we honored Bethlehem’s most renowned literary citizen, the great early 20th century poet Hilda “H.D.” Doolittle, by having the site of her childhood home recognized as a Literary Landmark. Her childhood home just happens to be the same piece of land where the Bethlehem Area Public Library now stands. We’re not done with the […]
Happy #firstdayofschool! Enjoy this article from 1922 about the then-brand new Liberty High School from BAPL archives. It’s great to read about the excitement of a first day of school nearly 100 years ago! “So anxious were some of the pupils to resume their studies that long before the peals of the first bell were […]
In 1918, Bethlehem Steel didn’t just produce iron and steel—it ran a baseball league. Six factories were represented; the rosters included some of the greatest star players from the Major Leagues. The Bethlehem Area Public Library is proud to present Shoeless Joe, The Babe, & The Steel: The Highly Unlikely 1918 Bethlehem Steel League, Geoff Gehman’s talk on […]
July 19, 1742 is recorded as the date that a Moravian boys’ school was first established in Bethlehem. The school was held in several locations including the Brethren’s House and as a boy’s “institute” in 1755 at the newly built Familienhaus. The Brethern’s House (99 West Church Street) pictured below is just down the street […]
We’ve been working building a rich local history timeline on the library’s website, adding all sorts of interesting information about Bethlehem going back to its founding. There is interesting information about the surrounding areas as well. It can be found at bapl.org/local-history/local-history-timeline. Check it out! There are articles going back to 1741. One of the […]
We are working on our interactive timeline of Bethlehem’s history and just added some info on the time Marquis de La Lafayette came to visit (in 1777). Check this page for more information on Lafayette’s stay in Bethlehem and here for the full timeline (in progress).
The Revolutionary War often seems a distant memory for many Americans. Residents of Bethlehem might share this faraway concept of such distant historical events. Our city, however, played host to many important figures during the Revolutionary War, including the commander of the Continental Army himself, General George Washington. According to a recent article from 69 […]
Have you ever wondered who lived in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania over one hundred years ago? Have you ever wondered who walked these very streets that you walk on today? After all, Bethlehem played host to some of the greatest people in American history. George Washington, Ben Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton are just a few of the […]
Symbol of Progress The first thing most visitors to the main branch of the Bethlehem Area Public Library notice is the sculpture in the middle of the plaza. It’s not hard to see why–it’s huge! Sixty feet high to be exact. But what is it? What does it mean? Is it a stalk of celery? […]
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, […]
There is a new exhibit up on the first floor at the Main Library — it’s a collection of photos from our collaboration with PBS39 on the Vietnam War. The exhibit includes personal photos contributed by local residents and features images of people who served in the war, protested the war, lived in Vietnam at […]
The Bethlehem Area Public Library and the Moravian Historical Society are pleased to offer for sale limited-edition holiday cards featuring the illustrations from the beloved 1945 children’s book Snow Over Bethlehem, the charming fictional story of a Moravian Christmas in Bethlehem in 1755. In the early 1950s, the author of the book, Katherine Milhous, donated 11 of the […]