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Sunday August 13 

Alan Earls

Massachusetts, the Library State

When Benjamin Franklin donated more than 100 books to the tiny Massachusetts town, newly named in his honor, he probably didn’t realize the impact he would have. In 1790, the citizens of the Town of Franklin voted to make Ben’s books freely available to any resident – a library policy that is all but universal in today’s libraries but was a novelty at the time. His books are still on display at the Franklin Public Library, though too fragile for modern citizens to borrow or even touch.


Those books are among the treasures and the remarkable stories of our libraries, including:

* The oldest library building in the United States, now part of the Sturgis Library in Barnstable, MA

* The location of the first dedicated children’s library in the world, at Arlington, MA

* The first taxpayer-supported library, at Wayland, MA –a town named for its library benefactor.

* The W.E.B. Dubois Library at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, the tallest in the western hemisphere.

* The first large city library to be funded by the public-— the Boston Public Library – with its millions of books and priceless art treasures.

* A death on the Titanic that led to creation of the Centerpiece of the Harvard Libraries -- largest academic library system in the world.

* Local libraries with remarkable art treasures

Join us for these storeies and more

When: Second Sunday of the Month, 1:15pm

Who: Local Historians

What: 60-90 minute presentations on a wide range of historical topics from the Life of Horace Mann to Model Trains

Where: Main Room          Franklin Historical Museum


Sponsored by the Friends of Franklin Historical Museum

Second Sunday Speaker Series 2023

Every year the Franklin Historical Museum plays host to a series of twelve speakers. The Franklin Historical Commission, in partnership with the Friends of the Franklin Historical Museum, is happy to announce the Second Sunday Speaker Series for 2023.

January  - Joe Landry- Franklin Town Trains

February -  Rob Lawson - cancelled/ rescheduled

March - Mary Olsson Stories from the Union Street Cemetery

April - Closed Happy Easter

May - Mary Olsson - The Life of Horace Mann

June 11 - Ingrid Grenon - From One Century to the Next - A History of THE WRENTHAM STATE SCHOOL and the Institutional Model

July 9 - Jim Johnston - COLLECTING MANIA

August 13 - Alan Earls - Massachusetts, the Library State

September 10 - Professor Rob Lawson - Dean History and the Universalists.

October 8 - Mike Tougias

November 12 - TBA

December 10 - Scott Mason - History of Model Trains

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