Blog: Month: May 2020

War and Remembrance: Malden in the Great War

On August 23, 1917, the Malden Evening News ran a small ad inviting all military and naval men of Malden to have their photograph taken, without expense, by local photographer Mr. Carroll of Pleasant Street. Through these photographs, we remember and honor the Malden men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice during World War 1. Photographs from the Malden Historical Society Collection.

https://youtu.be/MiBYO_0jN40

A Malden Nurse on the Front Line: A Memorial Day Remembrance

On August 23, 1917, the Malden Evening News ran a small ad inviting all military and naval men of Malden to have their photograph taken, without expense, by local photographer Mr. Carroll of Pleasant Street.  The photographs were said “to become part of the city’s records of the War.”  Soldiers were invited to “go at once to his studio. You will not want to be absent from this historic group.”  This small ad resulted in an unusual photo collection held by the Malden Historical Society, a photographic remembrance of 66 men who gave the ultimate sacrifice during World War I. This collection contains only one woman’s photograph and the simple note, “Miss L. Florence Eastman, Army Nurse, died October 14, 1918.”

Born in 1894, Florence was the only daughter of Russell and Ada Eastman. At age 17 she enrolled at Morton Hospital in Taunton to train as a nurse, and completed advanced courses at Massachusetts General Hospital.  Later, she became a nurse at Malden Hospital.

When the war came, Florence entered the Red Cross, and then in December 1917 enlisted as an Army nurse assigned to Camp Upton in New York.  Florence became the Head Army Nurse of the Isolation Hospital at Camp Mills on Long Island, with 20 nurses and over 100 orderlies under her supervision.  According to the history of American Legion, Florence Eastman Post 280 (based in Mattapoisett), “her devotion to duty, her sympathy for the sick soldiers and her own consistent, cheerful disposition won the respect and esteem of all with whom she was associated.”  In 1918, she received her international passport and would soon begin nursing soldiers on the battlefields of France.

But Florence never made it overseas.  With the advent of cold weather, epidemics were raging in the military camps with scarlet fever, diphtheria, meningitis, measles, bronchitis, and a new pneumonia spreading quickly.  The Camp Mills hospital tents, with about 900 beds, were soon filled to overflowing with sick and highly contagious cases.  The army sought to transfer patients to civilian hospitals, but even that was difficult.  The local railroads refused to transport the contagious soldiers. Instead, the soldiers had to be transported in ambulances obtained by the Red Cross and the Women’s Motor Corps of America on a frigid 35 mile journey to New York through deep snow in almost zero-degree weather.

After months spent nursing soldiers with the Spanish flu, Florence herself caught the disease, and died in active service on October 14, 1918.   She was laid to rest with full military honors, and is buried in Mattapoisett’s Pine Island Cemetery (her father was the keeper of the Neds Point Lighthouse).  Due to a small ad in the Malden Evening News, Florence will always be part of Malden’s record of the Great War.

 

 

Get a Library Card & Borrow Online

While Malden Public Library remains physically  closed, you can still use our online resources to read or listen to a book, read a magazine or newspaper, watch a movie or TV show, learn a language, update your resume, and so many other things.

Don’t have a library card yet? Click HERE, fill out the form and please include Name, Address, Email Address, Phone Number, and cell phone provider and we will email you back your library card information.

We will be here to serve you as best we can.  For information and assistance, contact us at https://maldenpubliclibrary.org/contact-us/ or by phone at (781) 333-0640.

Now is the time to do and learn all of the things you’ve wanted to for a long time. Malden Public Library can help.

Mental Health Awareness in the Time of COVID-19

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and in light of COVID-19, nurturing our mental health has become even more necessary. We have highlighted some of the mental health challenges that have been exacerbated by the pandemic by providing books, audiobooks, movies, websites, and hotlines. We hope these resources will increase understanding of mental health and help you cope.

Hotlines, Mental Health, and Neurodiversity
Mental Health Ebooks for Children
Resources to Support Mental Health in Children
Mental Health Books and Resources for Teens
Mental Health Awareness Movie Recommendations
Stress, Anxiety, and Depression: Books and Resources
Loneliness and Connection: Books and Resources
PTSD, Trauma, and Recovery Resources
Racism and Bullying: Mental Health Consequences and Resources
Grieving: Books and Resources
Addiction and Recovery: Books and Resources

Creativity in Challenging Times: Museums at Home

A lot of creation comes from consumption of some kind; seeing, reading, listening to something inspiring primes the brain with energy for new ideas. But with everything closed and movement restricted some of the places that inspire the most are out of reach. Many museums have tried to fill that gap by making some or all of their collections available online. They are also hosting webinars, posting pictures, and even producing coloring books. Here too, the Malden Public Library is making our art collection available with a new piece of artwork every week with Monday at the Museum on Facebook. To help inspire and uplift, included below, are some links to museums offering art, culture, history and science add some richness to the stay at home creative life.

For Families

All the Library’s museum passes are locked up safe inside our building and all the local museums, zoos, and kid places are still closed down. But many our favorite family destinations available through our pass program are still available in some way online. Some of the museums also have daily offerings, live streams, and educational resources and not just virtual tours. So make sure to check out their web offerings to see what new events are available.

  • Museum of Science: MOSatHome has daily offerings, virtual tours, science activities, webinars, and even events for adults.
  • New England Aquarium: Virtual Visits to the Aquarium offer live webcams, daily updates, presentations, activities, and resources.
  • The Boston Children’s Museum: Offers a virtual tour of the museum, and the website has a number of activities and resources.
  • The Dr. Seuss Museum: The website has some online Seuss related activities and lots of history of Seuss and Springfield.
  • The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art: Virtual tour of the museum and art and book posts and activities with videos and inspirational suggestions for a variety of ages.
  • The Franklin Park Zoo: Daily Facebook live offerings of content about the Zoo and its animals. Look for posts about #Zootoyou.
  • The Smithsonian Museums: The Smithsonian in Washington DC has loads of offerings for every type of kid. Whether live zoo cams, history activities, science and aerospace, art, coloring, music. Their virtual programming has weeks of fun online and available for free.

For Art Lovers

Before the shutdown many museums had begun making their collections available online. Quarantine has helped those virtual collections to grow in number and variety. For art lovers and people looking for inspiration for their next creative project here is a selection of both local, national, and international art museums that offer virtual access.

  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Adding to an already existing online selection the MFA has expanded access by including online programs, tours, curator’s posts, and access to a virtual tour via Google Arts and Culture.
  • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: With a number of online offerings about the art and the history of the Gardner the museum has also included blog posts and ongoing updates to things to come at the museum. And they have taken advantage of Google Arts and Culture to add their own virtual tour of the museum. Touring the gardens is especially inspiring.
  • Institute of Contemporary Art: There are a number of selections from the museum’s current exhibitions posted on their website. As well as their detailed plan for Covid-19 response and the work the museum is doing as a food hub for East Boston. But for regular curated content the best place to follow the ICA is on social media. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  • Harvard Art Museum: Online content via blog posts and art discussions. Also follow them on social media to get even more content.
  • Google Arts and Culture: Access to over 2500 museum tours from around the world. Famous institutions like the Guggenheim, MOMA in New York, Versailles, The Global Street Art Foundation (UK), Museo Botero (Colombia), The Hong Kong Museum of Art, and too many more to list. These tours are not just for art lovers. There are historical sites and natural history museums too.

History, Culture, Nature and Unique Museums

In addition to all of the museums listed with Google Arts and Culture there are a number of niche institutions, historical sites, natural history museums and cultural institutions that have gone online with content for interested browsers. Here are a few but if there is an institution or type of museum missing from this list head to their website and look for their online options.

Fun with Online Art

As more collections have come online, and more people have time to really appreciate them, a movement to replicate some great historical works has started. The instagram @covidclassics posts photos of classic painting recreations by four bored art lovers. The Getty Art Museum has also issued a challenge to replicate classic works of art with household objects.

You can follow the submissions on their Twitter account.

In response to the Getty challenge and the spirit of art and culture online. Here is Iggy Pup trying his very hardest to be a good boy like William Wegman’s wonderful Weimaraners.

Pretty good, right? Try it at home with some found objects and a camera. Feel free to tag the Malden Public Library on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram with the final result. #Creativityinchallengingtimes.

One more with Iggy the failed dog model.

Mayor’s Story Time (Online)

Join Mayor Gary Christenson and Library Director Dora St. Martin for a very special Mayor’s Story Time Online.  The virtual story time will be held on Thursday, May 14, at 10 AM.  The Mayor will read fun picture books to young children; and will be available to answer any questions the children might have about what a mayor does.  You can join the Library’s Story Room by clicking on the program title “Mayors Story Time” on the MPL website’s front page (under upcoming events): https://maldenpubliclibrary.org/  The instructions and password to enter the zoom story room will appear 10 minutes before the program begins.  If you have issues connecting, please call the Library Information number at 781-333-0640.  The program is free and no registration or special software is required.

Creativity in Challenging Times: Baking Bread

The wartime edition of the Victory Binding of the American Woman’s Cook Book was dedicated to General Douglas MacArthur and the war effort. In it are recipes that made the best of scarce ingredients and provided tips for making a lot from a little. In that dedication to MacArthur the editors wrote:

“His heroic leadership and gallant fight against overwhelming odds should inspire every American woman  to make the most of daily opportunities to support the war effort in her home and in every sphere of worthwhile war activity. there must be thousands of little ways to do a job better–thousands of opportunities to help–to create, to conserve and to serve. If every woman, every day, in everything she does, will do her utmost of accomplish the aims of our Government, then that combined effort will soon become a gigantic and valuable aid toward winning this war.”

While a pandemic is not quite a war and our kitchens have become a lot more gender inclusive the message of creativity, conservation, and contribution of collective effort is very applicable to our current circumstances. With social distancing and stay at home orders being the new war effort many of us find ourselves looking for ways to make do and fill our time with new and useful skills. And bread baking is both a necessary skill and one that has become emblematic of current social efforts to use our time to make and create something useful and delightful.

Library Resources

The Malden Library has a number of resources to help people learning to bake, or for those wishing to improve their baking skills. We have an extensive cookbook collection both in print and online. But while the library is currently closed there are still cookbooks available to download. And here is a handy list of bread baking books to get you through the challenging times and spark a little baking creativity.

The library also has many cookbooks in Local History that might inspire some classic baking. Included here are a few select recipes using various ingredients to offer an historical perspective on a new hobby.

Selections from the Victory Binding of the American Woman’s Cook Book. ©1942 pages 104, 107, 116,121
Better Homes Recipe Book ©1933 pages 13, 14.  Page 13 here. 
New England Cook Book ©1936 page 32
99 Potato Recipes Tested by 33 Famous Cooking Experts ©1938 page 16
100 Standard Recipes Each One Tested ©1927 pages 12-13 
Aunt Jenny’s Favorite Recipes ©1938 page 39

And if that is not historical enough you can read a Smithsonian article about an ancient yeast starter created from 4,500 year old Egyptian pottery and ancient grains thanks to the work of amateur baker: Seamus Blackley. It is probably a level of bread most of us will only dream of baking.

Online Inspiration

For those looking for quick inspiration or in need of recipes that fit a narrowing list of available ingredients included are a few online suggestions for different types of bread.  A quick search with ingredients on hand may yield suggestions for suitable recipes. It is also a good idea to check for tips and tricks for typical ingredient substitutions in recipes. What’s Cooking America has a chart that offers the most common substitutions for flours, and eggs other ingredients; it is a useful resource for more than just baking.

Sourdough

Firstly, the most popular bread baking tool right now is a good sourdough starter. With the surge in consumer demand yeast is in short supply so many bakers are making breads with different types of leavening. And while the library has books to borrow on the topic, sourdough starters are trending on most news sites and social media. First, read Sudeep Agarwala’s Washington Post article about catching your own wild yeast and building a sourdough starter. It will give you the science and the know how to bake some very delicious bread. After that check out the hashtag #quarantinystarter on instagram and twitter and the work of Andrew Janjigian. He has a simple sourdough starter published at Cooks Illustrated. This is the sort of creative baking that is backed and encouraged by biology!

Soda Bread

The next bread that new bakers may want to try is baking soda bread. Made famous by Irish Soda Bread there are a number of soda based breads that use the effervescent qualities of a baking soda based chemical reaction to make bread rise. There are several baking soda and baking powder based recipes in the historic recipes above. But there are also a few updated versions. Irish soda bread is the iconic soda bread and Forbes has a selection of recipes from Irish chef, Darina Allen. Beer bread is another variation like this recipe from New York Times. Here is another soda base recipe from Bon Appetit magazine that includes whole wheat and seeds to make a hearty dense loaf.

Flatbreads

Flatbreads are also a good alternative for those with limited ingredients and for those who are looking for quick and tasty option. And Saveur has a list of 16 recipes to try at home that will use a variety of ingredients and are easy to prepare. Fry bread is also a related and straightforward option this recipe is from the Smithsonian and includes a little historical context for the recipe and the people who created it.

Creative Distancing

As quarantine continues, and even when Massachusetts begins to open back up, it will still be important to limit contact between people for the foreseeable future. Shortages may still continue and we will have to creatively fill them. As citizens we are not being asked to buy government bonds or to enlist to help a war effort but we are making other sacrifices. We are being asked to close down, stay home, to wait to keep each other safe.  And that waiting can be anxious and overwhelming. Filling the time and space that this situation creates requires a new set of skills. We have guides, fortunately, there are historical examples of how previous generations have endured creatively. There are online outlets ready to teach and guide people in need of distraction and information. And there are library resources set up and ready to inspire.

So if you need to bake some bread while you are waiting to go back to normal. If you need to learn to sew a mask for your daily walks.  Or you want to start a digital paint night, poetry slam, or book discussion via video conference so you can express yourself. Or if you need to plant a Covid-19 victory garden in buckets on the the porch. Then do the things that help you endure and wait, let your creativity guide you through this challenging time.

Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) is Now Online!

Are you looking for a way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Or maybe experience the work of more Latinx artists and support more independent cinema? For the month of May the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) is available for free. This is the 19th year of the festival founded by Edward James Olmos, Marlene Dermer, Kirk Whisler and the George Hernandez. The festival features full length films, shorts, music, animation, and classes for people looking to expand their skills.

This is an international film festival that focuses on the works of Latinx creators telling stories that impact Latinx communities both here in the United States and abroad. It is an opportunity to see some interesting perspectives and new voices in cinema and music. The festival is available to stream at the LALIFF website and is free and open to all.

Additionally, the festival is promoting the work of the Youth Cinema Project. They will be hosting live reading events by student participants on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 10 am EST. The live readings feature the work of the students in the Youth Cinema Project program paired with a panel discussion. These are great events to inspire teens and young adult filmmakers to tell their own stories and get more involved in filmmaking. More information and past events are available on their website and on their Youtube channel.