Nantucket Atheneum News

Like Independent, Classic and World Cinema? You’ll Love Kanopy

Kanopy is an on-demand streaming video service for public libraries that provides Atheneum patrons access to a large collection of films. The service is free of charge, but requires users to create an account with a current library card. Atheneum library cards are free, just come to the library to fill out a form and get one.

Atheneum patrons can watch up to 10 films per month. There is no due date, each film stays checked out on a user dashboard for three days.

The vast Kanopy library of more than 26,000 feature and short films is heavy on independent, art house, critic picks, foreign, shorts and documentary films. Included in that are 400 titles from the Criterion Collection, curated collections such as  Flicker Alley, which offers silent cinema and Avant-garde films, and Shout Factory, which offers an eclectic array of movies from the 1930s to the present day. In addition to feature films, Kanopy also has more than 3,000 videos from The Great Courses and television series from PBS, Music Box Films and Green Planet Films. Kanopy does not offer a big selection of Hollywood Studio feature films.

Kanopy films can be watched using a web browser on a computer or using an app for Roku, AppleTV, iOS and Android devices.

New York Times article on Kanopy (Aug. 2017)

Atheneum FAQ about Kanopy

Guadagnino Films A Sumptuous Antidote To The Gray Days of March

By Adelaide Richards

Italian film maker Luca Guadagnino’s works are the perfect antidote to the grey days of winter. They’re impeccably styled and shot in enviable locations like the sun-drenched island of Pantelleria in the Mediterranean Sea or an opulent Villa Necchi Campiglio in the heart of Milan.

His previous films include the acclaimed I Am Love (2009) and A Bigger Splash (2015). Guadagnino’s latest film, Call Me By Your Name, is an adaptation of Andre Aciman’s novel by James Ivory. Set during the summer of 1983, the film is a saga of first love and sexual awakening. It was nominated for four Academy Awards, won the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay.

Academy Award Winner Call Me By Your Name

The setting of Call Me By Your Name is an integral character: Northern Italy in the summer. It’s a kind of Eden, lush and blooming. The film was shot in Crema, Italy which happens to be Guadagnino hometown. One would be hard pressed to find a more idyllic location for a coming of age romance. (The villa where much of the film takes place was recently featured in Architectural Digest) Guadagnino has an impeccable eye for detail and extensive research was done; everything from the swimsuits to the radios perfectly fits the eighties time period.

Inspired by directors Maurice Pialat and Bernardo Bertolucci, masters of humanistic filmmaking, Call Me By Your Name has loftier ambitions than most Hollywood romances. “…he {Bertolucci} believes that the camera is a tool through which the director investigates the deepest and most hidden recesses of the actor’s identity”, Guadagnino said in an interview. Timothée Chalamet’s performance in the film garnered him an Academy Award nomination for best actor at 22-years-old, making him the youngest nominee in nearly eighty years. (Mickey Rooney was nominated in 1939 for Babes in Arms) Chalamet’s portrayal of Elio Perlman is radiant, raw and not to be missed.

 Call Me By Your Name is available on DVD and Blu-ray at the Atheneum.

old newspaper clipping 1813

America’s GenealogyBank

By Lincoln Thurber
Atheneum Reference Librarian

One of Nantucket Atheneum’s hidden gems, is America’s GenealogyBank.   -a primary resource genealogy website with records from the U.S. newspapers, historic books, and government documents. GenealogyBank is an excellent resource if you’re looking for historical/biographical content to fill-in information on your family tree. NewsBank has digitized a sizable collection of historical documents (1789-1994) and books (1749-1900); the vast majority of their records are from early newspapers – hence the name. If you’re looking for ‘a family tree maker’ or online groups, this is not the site for you. However, is a primary resource treasure, they offer good search options to their primary sources.

1837 news clipping of random eventsThrough basic name search or advanced search options, genealogists can find and browse digital images of obituaries, marriage notices, birth announcements, casualty lists, military and government documents, and other essential primary sources. Also, NewsBank’s GenealogyBank, provides the full text of modern U.S. newspaper obituaries and death notices, as well as enhanced Social Security Death Index (SSDI) records.

One of the more useful things newspaper provide are Obituaries. They, unlike any other resource, they can add incredible dimension to an individual’s family history research. Obituaries contain a wealth of information including facts and details that help capture the legacy of a person who might just be a name on your genealogy tree. Obituaries have the unique power to both tell a story and enable individuals to learn more about their family relationships.

Scrimshaw of whaling sceneWhile the Atheneum has many databases for news and views, the GenealogyBank is a voluminous site to try for recently deceased connections.  Those ancestors who’ve been “hiding” from you might turn out to be, well, like money in the bank.

operating 3D printer

3D Printer Club

One of the most important mandates for public libraries has been to provide equal access to information and knowledge. 3D printing, 3D scanning and other Maker Space technologies have the potential to drastically change the world, yet it is very difficult for most people to gain access to these technologies. Thus we believe there is a good opportunity for our public library to help bridge this divide.

Our printer, MakerBot Replicator 5th ed, can create polymer (bio plastic) objects based on a 3D digital model with a maximum size of 9.9” x 7.8” x 5.9”. In our private one-on-one sessions we explain how to find suitable files for 3D printing on the internet as well as show you how to create you own on We go over the process for scheduling 3D printer time on the library’s 3D printer, demonstrate the printing process, and give you ideas for what the 3D printer can do for you.

Call Lincoln, at the Reference Desk, for details about a private class: 508-228-1110 ext. 110

Nantucket Atheneum Fuses People & Knowledge

The Nantucket Atheneum plays a vital role in sustaining and supporting
the values islanders hold dear: a place where connections run deep, where people feel safe and where diversity is celebrated.

The Atheneum, open six days per week and year round, holds our
community together by fusing people and knowledge. In 2017 the library welcomed 165,000 patrons,  who came to check out books and dvds, conduct research, access the Internet or attend one of the Atheneum’s 1,300 programs.

Our 2017 annual report breaks down all our accomplishments by each department. Please take a look.

Who Was Vivian Maier?

By Elizabeth Kelly

In 2007, massive lots of photo negatives went up for auction as part of an abandoned storage locker sale in Chicago. Interested buyers bid on large bulk bins, sight-unseen, hoping to score a few treasures. Real estate agent John Maloof bought a box of negatives for about four-hundred dollars. Two years later he posted the photographs, many of them candid city shots and street portraits, on a popular image site. He was not the first to come across the pictures, nor to make them public, but his project would become the catalyst in a global obsession. Who was Vivian Maier?

Maloof chronicles his personal investigation in the documentary Finding Vivian Maier. The film is an intimate portrait of Vivian Dorothy Maier, an elusive French-American photographer whose remarkable work went undiscovered during her lifetime. Throughout her career, Maier avoided building close relationships, even with those she worked and lived with as a professional nanny. Her European ancestry is revealed but the clues end with her death in 2009, two years after Maloof purchased the negatives and only a few days before he first posted them online. She would never know that her work had been made public nor that it would become a critical artistic contribution to 20th century portrait photography.

Northwestern professor and author Pamela Bannos’ picks up where the documentary left off in her new biography, Vivian Maier: A Photographer’s Life and Afterlife. Bannos chose to focus her book on the intricacies of Maier’s personal life and the complicated ethical legacy her photography left behind. When Maier’s photographs and ephemera went up for auction her personal archive was suddenly scattered in the wind. Bannos relies on extensive genealogical research and her efforts to locate the disseminated ephemera in order to piece together the Maier estate.

She also attempts to debunk the public assumption that Maier was a casual street photographer. Bannos suggests the consistency and purposeful styling of Maier’s photographs over the course of decades proves she had technical skill and a natural eye. Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows, a 2012 photography book by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams, describes Maier’s work as remarkable and spontaneous. “Maier had few friends and was known to be difficult and temperamental. Yet her photography shows an exceptional ability to relate to and connect with people.” The book describes how she took only one picture of most subjects in order to capture the most intimate of moments.

The Bannos biography raises some valid questions about the distribution of Maier’s photographs. The Maloof documentary grossed $3.5 million and subsequent books and galleries have featured her work. The Maier estate is caught in purgatory between distant relatives and the buyers who originally bid on the auction lots. Furthermore, it is unclear why Maier never shared her own images with anyone. Some argue that making her work public has spared her from artistic obscurity while others feel that elusive nature was the original intention. The ethical and legal implications of the Maier estate are far-reaching. In Bannos closing words, “Vivian Maier’s story continues on without her.”

Elizabeth Kelly is a reference librarian at the Nantucket Atheneum.

The Sweet Literary Life: Author Crushes And Patisserie

If you could share a dessert in Paris with your favorite author what would you eat and who would you invite?

That is the question posed to the Atheneum staff at its monthly meeting in January. Their answers confirmed what we already knew – our co-workers are an interesting and diverse bunch.

There were a few outliers who chose to meet in a different city. Such as having an eclair in Bath, England with Jane Austen. “Jane Austen hated Bath. She thought it was the most banal place. Yet, so many of her books take place there. I would want to sit with her in Bath and hear why she hated the place so much.”

Stephen King

Or, treating all 24 female writers represented in the book Fire From The Andes: Short Fiction by Women from Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru to mazamorra morada (Peruvian corn pudding) in La Paz, Bolivia.

Some chose a beverage instead of dessert – such as sharing an espresso martini with Stephen King, a hot chocolate with Dorothy Parker. “I just think she would be hilarious. I’d like to sit with her and listen to her make acerbic, cutting quips.” Drinking port with Frederick Douglass, sipping champagne with mulled strawberries with Oscar Wilde. “Oscar and I would be in a sidewalk cafe and gossip about all those Parisian writers.”

Isaac Asimov

When in Paris choose a classic French dessert seemed to be the theme for many. Chocolate croissants for Hillary Clinton, Indian novelist Arundahti Roy and Virginia Woolf. Beignets for Issac Assimov and comedian Trevor Noah.”I want to talk to Issac Asimov about both his science fiction writing and the serious lectures he delivered about science all over the world.”

Macaroons for Simon Winchester and that distinctive meringue confection named after a famous ballerina – Pavlova – for Leo Tolstoy. Tarte Tatin, the French version of apple pie, for Julia Child.”I waited on Julia when I was a bartender at 21 Federal. I was already taken with her, but after that I was really a fan.”

J. K. Rowling

Crepes for Sheryl Sandberg and creme brulee for John Irving.  Tres Leches for Dr. John E. Sarno. Chocolate cake for J.K. Rowling, Bruce Sterling and William Gibson.

If you could share a dessert in Paris with your favorite author who and what would you choose?


OBOI Chooses TransAtlantic

Now in its 12th year, the One Book One Island community reading project is distributing free copies of the book TransAtlantic, by Collum McCann, at island businesses. Beginning March 9 there will be nine days of free events related to the book’s themes and characters.

The acclaimed and award-winning novel spans continents, leaps across centuries, and weaves together real and fictional characters. McCann’s story follows Alcock and Brown setting a course for Ireland as they attempt the first nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1919. Frederick Douglass who finds the Irish people sympathetic to the abolitionist cause in 1845 as famine ravages the country. And, U.S. Senator George Mitchell who departs for Belfast in 1998 to shepherd Northern Ireland’s peace talks. These three crossings are connected by a series of remarkable women whose personal stories are caught up in the swells of history.

Pick up a free book at:

  • Annye’s Whole Foods
  • Nantucket Atheneum
  • Nantucket Historical Association main office
  • Nantucket Inquirer & Mirror
  • Saltmarsh Senior Center

The book supply runs out quickly and readers are asked to please return their copy to the Atheneum or pass it on to a friend when they have finished.

Free One Book One Island Events

FRIDAY, MARCH 9        5 – 7 pm
Exhibit: “Shades of Emerald,”
Artists Association Johnson Gallery, 19 Washington St.
Ongoing until March 17 (closed Sunday)

SUNDAY, MARCH 11     3:30 to 7 pm
Ceili on! Family fun event – live Irish music, Irish dance instruction, and an Irish chocolate shop. Hosted by Irish Rambles
The Muse, 44 Surfside Rd.

MONDAY, MARCH 12   5:30 pm 
Skype™ interview: U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, Northern Ireland mediator Dreamland Theater, 17 South Water St.

TUESDAY, MARCH 13   10 am & 5:30 pm
Transatlantic Book Discussion
Morning session: led by Molly Anderson and Lisa Lazarus
Sherburne Commons, 40 Sherburne Commons Ln.
Evening Session: Led by Molly Anderson and Sheryll Reichwein
Community School Parlor, 56 Center St.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14     11:30 am
Afternoon Tea & Movie – “The Quiet Man”
Hosted by Irish Rambles for Elder Ramblers
The Nantucket Hotel, 77 Easton St.
Please register for this event by calling 508-901-0010

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14     5:30 pm

Skype™ interview with author Colum Mccann
Dreamland Theater, 17 South Water St.

NHA “Food for Thought” Belfast: Peace, Now  What? – A Screening and Conversation Filmmaker John Stanton
Whaling Museum, 15 Broad St.

THURSDAY, MARCH 15  5:30  pm
INSIGHTS Presentations and Discussion:  Frederick Douglass in Ireland, Dr. Christine Kinealy.  The Irish Famine with Dr. Catherine Shannon
Whaling Museum, 15 Broad St.

FRIDAY, MARCH 16  5:30 pm
Concert: “From Newfoundland to New Found Freedom: An evening of Irish and African American Music”
African Meeting House, 29 York St.

Children’s Irish Story Time (ages 3 to 5)
Hosted by Irish Rambles
Bookworks, 25 Broad St.

SUNDAY, MARCH 18     3 to 5 pm
Join fellow readers for a celebration – refreshments, music, step/set dance with audience participation, Irish – American comedian Kevin Flynn, videos, and Irish craft station and displays of Irish art and objects.
The Nantucket Hotel, Ballroom, 77 Easton St.

Irish films at the Atheneum:  Fri. 1/26 at 7 pm “Waking Ned Devine;” Wed. 2/7/ at 7 pm “Ondine;” Sat. 2/17 at 3 pm “Into the West” (for families); Wed. 3/7 at 7 pm “The Wind That Shakes the Barley.”

Irish Craft Stations – Fri. 3/9 to Sun. 3/18 at the Artists Association (24 Amelia Dr.), Atheneum (1 India St.), Community School (56 Center St.), Saltmarsh Center (83 Washington St.). March 9 – 18, days and hours vary.

For more event information please visit

A Special Thank You to our sponsors

ONE BOOK ONE ISLAND 2018 is made possible by grants from Nantucket Island Resorts, the Tupancy-Harris Foundation, The Nantucket Hotel, Hale Family Foundation together with the financial and staff support of Annye’s Whole Foods, Egan Maritime Institute*, Maria Mitchell Association*, Mitchell’s Book Corner, Museum of African American History, Nantucket Artists Association, Nantucket Arts Council, Nantucket Atheneum,* Nantucket Bookworks, Nantucket Chamber of Commerce, Nantucket Community Foundation, Nantucket Community School, Nantucket Conservation Foundation*, Nantucket Dept. of Culture & Tourism, Nantucket Dreamland Theater, Nantucket Historical Association,*  Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror, Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum, and Nantucket Preservation Trust.*

*Founding Sponsor

Portrait photo of Abraham Lincoln

Class: Peter Panchy, ‘Presidents & Precedents: Selections From U.S. History’

Join us for a conversation about the history of American democracy and governance that examines the vision of our Founding Fathers and how it has evolved into the political system and balance of power we experience today. The January sessions revolve around Abraham Lincoln, the Dred Scott decision and the Civil War Constitutional Amendments.

Lead by Peter Panchy, the class meets twice monthly from October to May and each session will focus on how a particular US President or US Supreme Court decision impacted the course of American politics and impact on democracy. Panchy will provide the history and context, but there will be plenty of time for discussion.

Peter Panchy has taught history at Nantucket High School for over 20 years and currently is teaching AP American History. He has also taught college at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He has a B.A. from Harvard and a Masters of Education from Lesley University.

Interwoven Stories Stitching Workshops

The Artists’ Association of Nantucket and the Nantucket Atheneum present a one year community-based stitching and textile project inspired by life on Nantucket.

Participants are asked to create a work that celebrates their experience of Nantucket. It can be made up of images or words or both.  The content of the pages will be open and prescriptive so as to give people plenty of room to express themselves. Anyone interested in participating can pick up a free kit of embroidery materials at a monthly stitching workshop.

Want to make a page? Come to a stitching workshop on January 23 or February 6 at 5:30 pm at the Atheneum to get a free kit, create a design or stitch together. There will be people on hand to help you with all phases of the project.

The project concludes during the 2018 Nantucket Arts Festival with an exhibit of handcrafted, embroidered “pages” made by Nantucketers. In addition, the Interwoven Stories project includes a printed catalog with a photograph of each work and a short artist statement.

The kits contain a cotton “page” and the supplies needed. Throughout the year, the two organizations will hold monthly stitching sessions as well as other programs that fete the talent of the island’s many stitchers, both past and present.

The project was started by island summer resident Diana Weymar (website: who has facilitated other Interwoven Stories in New Jersey and Washington State. Weymar kicked off the project this past fall by showing works from other projects and will help curate and celebrate the 2018 exhibit.

The project has received a grant from the Nantucket Arts Council.

Future workshops will be posted on the Nantucket Atheneum calendar.

Photo: A section of Laurie Gilmour’s page, titled “No Time For Housework!”