Community Life

Wangari Maathai

The Extraordinary Wangari Maathai

Born in rural Kenya and educated in the United States, Wangari Maathai was the first woman in East Africa to earn a doctoral degree, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and is the founder of the Green Belt Movement. Her incredible story is the subject of several picture book biographies for children.

YWCA Blue Triangle

YWCA Blue Triangle Branch Collection

The Nashville Room has a small exhibit of photographs to celebrate the availability of a new collection documenting the activities of the YWCA Blue Triangle Branch. Come see our resources!

young karaoke star

Banner Clippings: Cowpokes and Sing-alongs

One of our most-utilized resources here in Special Collections is the Nashville Banner clippings: articles about every aspect of Nashville life from the 1950s through the 1990s. In this post, I use Banner clippings to tell you the story of two popular types of night spot entertainment: mechanical bull riding and karaoke!

xmas wrapping

Happy Holidays Remembered

In the 1950s and 60s, Church Street was a bustling shopping center that truly went all out for the holiday season. A pop-up exhibit of vintage ads and Nashville Banner photos of downtown Christmas Cheer will greet everyone who enters Main’s lobby this December!

Robert Churchwell: Nashville's Pioneering Journalist

Exploring the holdings of Main Library’s Special Collections, I stumbled upon a local figure I hadn’t heard of before—Robert Churchwell. Hired by the Nashville Banner in 1950, Churchwell was the first black journalist and full-time reporter for a Southern newspaper.

World AIDS Day ribbon

World AIDS Day

This December 1st marks the 30th annual World AIDS Day. Help break down stigma by checking out some library material on HIV/AIDS health information, its history and early activism, and the personal experiences of people living with and affected by this virus. 

1989 SFoB poster

Southern Festival of Books returns to NPL for 30th Anniversary

Every October, the Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word, turns our “it city” into “lit city.” With three days of thoughtful, exciting programming, this event has long been a fall-time favorite, appealing to more than just bookworms. I investigated the roots of this community-building festival using primary and secondary sources from NPL Special Collections.

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