Special Birthday Speakers for Maria’s 200th Birthday Year!


I am very excited to highlight our three special birthday speakers for this summer whom I believe touch on the life of Maria Mitchell in special ways.  And, I am very pleased that they have all agreed to come from some far distances to help celebrate Maria’s 200th!

Our first speaker will be on Wednesday, June 27 at the Nantucket Atheneum.  David Baron’s most recent work is American Eclipse which came out last summer.  He featured five astronomers – as well as other notables – and their trials and triumphs of observing and documenting the eclipse of August 1878 in Colorado.  Maria is one of the featured astronomers as she travelled out west with several of her students – including her sister Phebe Mitchell Kendall – to observe and record the eclipse.  Baron makes the event come alive in this book and notes the frustrations, challenges, and successes of observing in the late nineteenth century.  It really is a must-read and we hope you will join us for this FREE lecture at 7PM on the 27th.  A book signing will follow.  You can learn more about David Baron on his website. http://www.american-eclipse.com

On July 25, starting at 7PM at the Nantucket Historical Association’s Whaling Museum, we will welcome noted author, Dava Sobel.  Sobel is the author of Longitude and Galileo’s Daughter, as well as numerous other books and articles.  Her newest book, The Glass Universe, looks at the women of the Harvard College Observatory and their work as star catalogers – an almost all female group.  The MMA has a unique tie to the Harvard College Observatory – Maria played a small role in this program, Harvard Observatory’s helped the MMA to develop its Astronomy Department back in the early 1900s. and we had several ties to the women who were Harvard’s star catalogers, including our first astronomy director, Margaret Harwood.  It’s a wonderful book and we hope you will join us.  Tickets can be purchased via the NHA at 508.228.1894 for $25.00.  A book signing and a special reception with the author will follow this lecture.  http://www.davasobel.com/

And finally on August 22, at the Nantucket Atheneum we will be hosting J. Drew Lanham.  Professor Lanham is the author of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature as well as numerous articles, poetry, and research papers in peer reviewed journals.  He is the Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Master Teacher and Certified Wildlife Biologist Forestry and Environmental Conservation Department at Clemson University.  He will be speaking about his work in songbird ecology and his perspectives on the role African Americans in natural resource conservation.  His book is a must-read!  His picture will be FREE and run from 7-8PM.  A book signing will follow.  http://www.clemson.edu/cafls/faculty_staff/profiles/lanhamj

Please join us and celebrate Maria Mitchell’s 200th!