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Platt Memorial Library receives public programming grant

SHOREHAM — The Platt Memorial Library in Shoreham is one of 100 libraries in the country that has been awarded a Revisiting the Founding Era Grant. The grant is designed to promote public programming and community conversations that explore America’s founding and its enduring themes.
As part of the grant, the Platt will receive 10 copies of a reader containing scholarly essays on selected historical documents from the lauded Gilder Lehrman Collection, $1,000 to help implement programs, and additional digital resources, training and support from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the American Library Association. The resources will allow the Platt to launch a program series on the Founding Era. The programs are part of the joint speakers series Voices from the Past: Personal Histories and Hidden Perspectives. at the Shoreham and Orwell libraries.
Programming at the Platt kicks off in December with two introductory events called  Studying the Founding Era. Come on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 11 a.m. or Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 6 p.m. to pick up a bound copy of selected historical documents and get oriented towards upcoming 2019 discussions.
The first moderated discussion and presentation will be led by Matthew Keagle, Curator at Fort Ticonderoga, on Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m. Keagle will lead a discussion on Section II of “The Revisiting the Founding Era Reader: Realizing Independence.” The discussion will highlight the transition from colony to independent country through the lens of America’s military institutions.
Early in their history, the American colonies revived the flagging British tradition of local defense in the form of militias, which carried over throughout the Revolutionary War and into the new nation. Use and coordination of these forces, however, was not without debate. The discussion will delve deeply into the history and crucial issues, using several artifacts from Fort Ticonderoga’s collection to highlight the way military clothing expresses political sentiment.
The second moderated discussion and presentation will be led by Dr. William Hart, Associate Professor of History at Middlebury College, on Monday, Feb. 25, at 6 p.m. In this event, Professor Hart will lead a discussion on Section IV of “The Revisiting the Founding Era Reader: Governing a New Nation and the Unintended Consequences of Politics.” Professor Hart will trace how and why factionalism arose as the Founding Fathers struggled to govern our new nation, beginning with competing visions for the nation — federalist vs. anti-federalist.
This guided discussion will investigate key issues from the 1790s, a decade defined by political strife, bringing up questions that still have relevance today.
In addition to these events, Platt Memorial Library will be partnering with Orwell Free Library to engage Middle School students in a rich learning experience with the documents of the Founding Era.
All sessions are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Abby Adams at the Platt Memorial Library at 802-897-2647 or platt@shoreham.net

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