Black Cowboys at “Home on the Range”

Black men were among the first cowboys in the U.S. They roped, branded and saddled up for cattle drives. Some gained fame, such as Bill Pickett and Nat Love. But mostly, as time passed, pop culture erased Black cowboys from the Western milieu, creating a misleading image of the Old West as peopled by white men on horseback, riding the lonely grasslands. The Library’s collections help document a more accurate picture of what cowboy culture actually looked like in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, during the cowboy heyday.

Women’s History Month: Genealogy

During Women’s History Month, it’s good to remember that specialists in the Library’s Local History and Genealogy Section collaborate with researchers to help find female ancestors, who are often obscured in historical records. A video presentation offers help in tracking down female ancestors whose last name changed due to marriage, or whose names did not appear on home ownership and other records.

Researcher Stories: Walter Stahr

In this segment of a regular feature on authors who use the Library’s collections, we interview Walter Stahr, a lawyer turned historian. His latest biography, published in 2022, is “Salmon P. Chase: Lincoln’s Vital Rival,” a look at the influential treasury secretary and later chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court during the mid 19th century.

The Unexpected (and Illustrated) Dante

Dante Alighieri’s “The Divine Comedy” had been an epic religious and literary work for 150 years when a publisher in Florence attempted to do something that had never been done — illustrate it in a printed book. The year was 1481. Gutenberg’s revolutionary printing press was just 26 years old. Nicolaus Laurentii took on the […]