Borrow the Internet from the Berkshire Athenaeum


The Berkshire Athenaeum now offers library patrons the opportunity to borrow Verizon Jetpack brand 4G mobile hotspots. Each hotspot can connect up to 15 WiFi enabled devices (tablets, laptops, smart phones) to the internet.

Hotspots are available on a first come, first served basis and are checked out at the Reference Desk for a one week loan, from Wednesday to Tuesday.  Patrons planning community events, family gatherings or meetings where internet access would be valuable are encouraged to reserve a hotspot in advance.

The hotspots are among the latest additions to the Athenaeum’s Technology Lending Program (TLP), an initiative fully funded since 2010 by the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum. The TLP makes technology available for patron learning, enrichment and entertainment in both the Adult and Children’s Libraries.

To check out or reserve a hotspot or ask for further information, contact the library Reference Department at or (413) 499-9480 x202

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Pearl Harbor Day Observed


The Athenaeum Local History Department has assembled an exhibit in the case in the Berkshire Authors Room honoring the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, highlighting Pittsfield connections and local news reports. Featured are two young men from Pittsfield who were killed that day; Edward J. Burns who was in charge of a ground crew at the Pearl Harbor base, and Roman W. Sadlowski who was aboard the U.S.S. Oklahoma. Included in the exhibit is some wonderful material from extensive WWII notebooks that were kept by the City’s Veteran’s Services Office for many years and  transferred to the Athenaeum this past year in order to make the material more accessible to the public. Also on view are photographs from the library’s Gravelle collection and reproductions of pages from local newspapers.

This display is an effort by the Local History staff  to honor the memory of those who served in WWII and to assure their surviving family members and friends that the service of the members of “The Greatest Generation” is not forgotten

Additional information about  observances and events in remembrance of the anniversary follow.





Pittsfield, 10 a.m.
A Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Ceremony will be held at the Veterans Memorial off of South Street in Pittsfield.  This year marks the 75th anniversary. The Berkshire Veterans Coalition, along with other volunteers, Color Guards, and Honor Guards will be in attendance.

Great Barrington [WWII exhibit in Great Barrington]

Norman Rockwell Museum


WWII Museum in Natick:,184156?

National Connections:

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Unusual Reprints Make Unique Holiday Gifts

history books

The Berkshire Athenaeum has displayed various Berkshire County historical books that have been reprinted for use by modern students and researchers.  Many of these volumes had been out of print for decades before being republished by The Berkshire Family History Association.  In the course of republishing, complete name indexes were created for most of the volumes.  The display can be viewed in the Blake Reading Room on the main floor of the Library. For the holiday season, copies of all of these books are available for purchase at the Local History Department of the Berkshire Athenaeum.  All proceeds from the sale of these books will benefit the Library.  Inquiries should be addressed to the Local History Department of the Library at 499-9480 x6.

Books on display with the cost of the reprint are:

The History of Pittsfield (1844/2001) by David Field    $15.00

A Guide to Berkshire County Cemeteries (1988) $10.00

History of the Town of Washington (1918/1992) by Crane & Thompson $22.50

History of the Town of Lanesboro (1905/1994) by Charles Palmer $20.00

History of Lenox and Richmond (1904/1994) by Charles Palmer  $7.50

The Western Boundary of Massachusetts: a study of Indian and Colonial History

            (1886/1994) by Franklin L. Pope $7.50

History of West Stockbridge 1774-1974 (1976/1990) by Edna B. Garnett $12.00

Taking the High Road (Savoy History pub. 1997) by Jane Phinney $18.00

Catholic Pittsfield and Berkshire (1897/1992) by Katherine F. Mullany


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3D Printing: Wow!



The Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield’s Public Library kicks off its Fall training series with classes on 3D Printing. 3D printing, a signature project of the Maker Movement, has arrived at the library with recent purchases of a SeeMeCNC Orion and two Ultimaker 2 printers.

Two types of instruction are being offered:

3D Printing, Wow! is a concept-based competency class. This conversational, two-hour, single session takes patrons through the foundations of 3D printing and printer management such as changing filament, navigating slicing software, submitting a design to the printer and low level troubleshooting. No design instruction is included. This class is a prerequisite for enrolling in advanced classes and using the library’s 3D printers. Please bring your general questions about the 3D Printing industry; we will address them as time permits!

Introduction to Tinkercad is a five part, skill-based series covering the design program Tinkercad. This series uses a learner-centered approach, with the librarian instructor introducing assignments and tutorials that provide hands-on learning. A significant commitment of time to outside class work is required; independent exploration is critical to learning and mastering design. Internet access is freely available at the Athenaeum for follow-up assignments. Pre-requisites for this series are: computer competency with a mouse, keyboard and web-browser; established e-mail account and password; familiarity with topics covered in 3D Printing, Wow!

Multiple sessions of 3D Printing, Wow!  are offered: Wednesday, October 26, 9:30 – 11:30 am; Thursday, October 27, 9:30 – 11:30 am; Wednesday, November 30, 9:30 – 11:30 am; and Wednesday, November 30, 1:30 -3:30 pm.

The Introduction to Tinkercad series is offered twice. The November Series consists of 5 classes taught Tuesday, November 1; Thursday, November 3; Thursday, November 10; Tuesday, November 15; and Tuesday, November 29, all scheduled for 1:30 – 3:30 pm. The December Series consists of 5 classes taught Thursday, December 1; Tuesday, December 6; Thursday, December 8; Tuesday, December 13; and Thursday, December 15, all scheduled for 1:30 – 3:30 pm.

Space is limited. Registration is required and may be made at the  library website,, or by contacting the Reference Department at or (413) 499- 9480 ext 202 during regular library hours.

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Preschool Halloween Parade: Friday, October 28, 11 am


Come Trick or Treat through the library in your Halloween costume!

Library staff will be giving out treats (no tricks!) as kids walk through all three floors of the library.
For babies and children up to age 5. Groups welcome. No registration required.  Children under age 10 must be accompanied by an adult age 18 or older, at all times.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum.



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Genealogy with Alan Horbal: October classes scheduled


The Athenaeum Local History Department announces a series of Genealogy classes scheduled for October. Basic Hands-on Genealogy with professional genealogist Alan Doyle Horbal will be offered on Tuesday, October 4, 11, 18, & 25, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.

Topics covered will include:

  • Outline and instruction on researching the 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940 U.S. Census.
  • Discovering how to find your ancestors’ emigration to the U.S. using the website and the website, along with several other databases.
  • Discover how to search for family members outside of the U.S. using
  • We will explore England, Canada, Poland and other countries.

All students must have an E Mail account and be computer literate. Limited space. We ask that you attend all four classes. You may bring your own laptop or use a library one.

This course is free and is sponsored by The Berkshire Athenaeum and The Berkshire Family History Association. Register at or call Local History and Genealogy Department at 499-9480 x6.

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Expanded Library Hours begin September 12


We are  delighted to announce that additional funding has been targeted toward extending library hours. Starting Monday, September 12, the Athenaeum is open Monday evenings until 9 pm. As we move into the start of this academic year, the Berkshire Athenaeum will be open Monday – Thursday each week, 9 am – 9 pm; Friday, 9 am – 5 pm; and all day Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm. We are grateful that the support of Mayor Tyer and the City Council makes it possible for us to offer 63 hours of service each week to our city.

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