Stephanie Mathis, Honors 409
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What Middletown Read Event in Muncie
Carnegie Library News:
Dr. Frank Felsenstein and Dr. James J. Connolly will provide an insider’s look at the “What Middletown Read” project on Tuesday, September 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Carnegie Library at 301 East Jackson in downtown Muncie. The two have recently released a book What Middletown Read: Print Culture in an American Small City.
A large cache of circulation records circa 1891-1902 from the Muncie Public Library were discovered in 2003 and offer unprecedented detail about American reading behavior at the turn of the twentieth century. The circulation records were mined for information and additional research was conducted to create the “What Middletown Read” database. Muncie became known as “Middletown” from the Robert and Helen Lynd sociological studies beginning in 1929.
“What Middletown Read” is much more than a statistical study. Felsenstein and Connolly researched diaries, meeting minutes, newspaper reports, and local histories to trace the development of the Muncie Public Library in relation to Muncie’s cosmopolitan aspirations. The authors profiled individual readers and explored children’s reading in relation to schooling and books discussed by local women’s clubs.
Books will be available for purchase, and Dr. Felsenstein and Dr. Connolly will offer book-signings following the program. Light refreshments will also be served.
The “What Middletown Read” program is sponsored by the Muncie Public Library, the Center for Middletown Studies, the Delaware County Historical Society, Ball State University Libraries and the Friends of the Alexander M. Bracken Library. The event is free and open to the public, and free parking is available downtown.