Adult Programs

The Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives presents various programs of interest throughout the year. Check the Calendar for specific topics and events. All are welcome!

Do you have a suggestion for a program that you’d like to see at the Library?  Please share your ideas with us by emailing them to email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Tuesday, February 25 at 6:00 pm

Lecture by Ken Gloss on the Value of Old and Rare Books

 Please join us Tuesday, February 25 at 6:00 pm  for a lecture by Kenneth Gloss, proprietor of the internationally known Brattle Book Shop in Boston’s Downtown Crossing section, for a free talk on the value of old and rare books.

Ken, who is also a frequent guest appraiser on PBS’ Antiques Roadshow, will talk in part about the history of his historic bookshop (, which goes back to circa 1825.  He is a second-generation owner.  He will also talk about and show some of his favorite finds and describe some of the joys of the “hunt,” as well as explain what makes a book go up in value.  He has many fascinating anecdotes to share as well as guidelines for what to look for when starting a collection.  There is also a Q&A session before the conclusion of his talk.

Following the talk and question-and-answer session, he will give free verbal appraisals of all books that attendees have brought with them or will do so at his shop in Boston.

The Brattle Book Shop is one of America’s oldest and largest antiquarian bookstores.  2020 is the 71st year of Gloss family ownership.  Kenneth Gloss succeeded his late father, George Gloss, a well-known figure both in Boston and national antiquarian circles.  He had worked in the store since childhood and chose to go into the book business rather than pursue a doctorate in chemistry.  He became the sole proprietor upon his father’s death in 1985. “I found that books were in my blood and that I would never be really happy if I abandoned the business.”  Among the many organizations in which Kenneth Gloss is a member is the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, the New England Antiquarian Booksellers of America, the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Antiquarian Booksellers Association, the Committee for the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair and the Boston Society. He also is a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society as well as serving on the Board of Overseers of the USS Constitution Museum.

The Brattle Book Shop is proud to have been a contributor to the WGBH Annual Auction each year that the station has held this fund drive.  Ken has appeared as a guest appraiser on PBS’ Antiques Roadshow numerous times over the years and has been a popular guest on WBZ Radio as well as other radio, TV, and cable stations numerous times.  His bylined articles continue to appear in various antique journals and in print and online consumer publications.  The Brattle Book Shop is also the recipient of several “Best of Boston” awards in the categories of Best Book Shop or Best Antiquarian Book Shop.  In addition, it has been included in a list as one of North America’s best bookstores.

Saturday, February 29 at 4:00 pm

Speaker Series: David Levering Lewis

David Levering Lewis was twice the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, for part one and part two of his biography of W. E. B. Du Bois (in 1994 and 2001, respectively). He is the first author to win Pulitzer Prizes for biography for two successive volumes on the same subject.  He will give a talk titled “W.E.B. Du Bois “Then and Now.”

The author of eight books and editor of two more, Lewis concentrates on comparative history with special focus on 20th Century social history and civil tights. His interests include nineteenth-century Africa, 20th century France and Islamic Spain.

W.E.B. Du Bois was born February 23, 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Professor Lewis’s talk is given in honor of W. E.B. Du Bois and Black History Month.

Tuesday, March 3 at 10:00 am

Stockbridge Writers

The Stockbridge Library invites writers and would-be-writers to take a leap into creative and skillful writing on Tuesday, March 3 from 10:00 a.m. to noon.

The Stockbridge Writers will meet the first Tuesday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to noon. This program is free and open to the public.  Please bring a pen and notebook.  All writing levels welcome!
Led by Stockbridge resident Ramelle Pulitzer, MEd., writing sessions will gently follow the outline set in the book Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg.  Ramelle writes on a regular basis for her website New View Tours.  She looks forward to coordinating and leading a group of like-minded writers ready to explore writing practice as a way to improve and enjoy expressing oneself. 

Wednesday, March 4 at 3:00 pm

Curator’s Talk

Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives is proud to present an exhibiton 2019 Donations to the Museum & Archives.

On display are several of the donations to the Museum & Archives historical collections during the past year. These gifts range in size from single documents to multiple containers and vary in topic from art to commerce and from individual people to organizations. The unifying factor is that they all relate to Stockbridge.

One of the interesting things about this year’s donations is that many of them connect with other material in the Museum & Archives, giving a broader picture of life in town at different times. The memorabilia in the J. Murray Tracy Papers dovetails with both our World War II collection and the Williams High School Alumnae Records. Benjamin Eggleston’s painting, Youth, provides a clear example of the type of artwork discussed in the exhibit programs of the Stockbridge Casino Records.
The advertising items on display help us capture the businesses that have come and gone in the town while the documents, deeds, and letters describe the activities of local residents. Each donation helps paint a better picture of Stockbridge history.

Join us on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. in the Procter Gallery for a Curator’s Talk with Barbara Allen.

Thursday, March 5 at 12:00 pm

Cookbook Club

Do you like to cook?  Would you like a reason to learn to cook or try new recipes?  Do you just want something fun and different to do at lunchtime?  Then join our cookbook club!

On the first Thursday of the month, we invite you to gather together with fellow cooks and friends for lunch, while exploring different cuisines and cookbooks from the Library’s collection.

Our next meeting will take place on Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 12:00 p.m.  This month’s featured title will be Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman.

Here’s how it works:
1. Check the information in our enewsletter or on our website for the date of the next lunchtime meeting. You’ll also see which cookbook is going to be the source for our upcoming exploration. Typically, we’ll choose cookbooks that have interesting things to make but do not require elaborate preparations or impossible-to-find ingredients.
2. Stop in at the Library and ask for the month’s featured cookbook at the front desk. You won’t take it out; just browse at your leisure and have a look at the recipes.
3. From your browsing, choose a recipe that you’ll prepare and bring to the next Cookbook Club meeting. Copy the recipe and put a post-it on that recipe with your name (that way we won’t end up with duplicates).
Tip: choose something you’ll enjoy making—of course—but also keep in mind that the Library does not have a full kitchen, just a microwave and refrigerator. Things that can be served easily in small portions and that don’t require last minute prep will work best.
4. On the designated day, please bring your finished dish to the library with any needed serving utensils. If it is easier with your schedule, you’re welcome to drop your dish off in the meeting room, using the refrigerator if necessary.
5. If possible, also bring some plastic containers for those who may want to bring leftovers home (assuming we have leftovers!).
6. At each meeting, we’ll enjoy the shared food while also chatting about the featured cookbook and your experiences with the recipes. What would you recommend? What surprises, challenges, or need for creative adaptations did you encounter?.
7. The Library will provide plates, utensils, etc. Clean-up assistance is always welcomed.
8. At the end of the meeting, we’ll survey the group for their future cookbook interests and any other suggestions.

Please call the Library at 413-298-5501 with any questions

Saturday, March 7 at 4:00 pm

Speaker Series: Charlotte Bacon Ripley Sorenson

In Charlotte’s Way: A Woman’s Path Through Changing Times, Charlotte Bacon Ripley Sorenson describes her 80-year life journey as a witness to and participant in the enormous cultural and technological changes that have impacted society in general and women in particular during her lifetime. From the pre-television era to the era of artificial intelligence; from a time when professional choices for women were severely limited to a time when women leaders are found in all professions, Charlotte’s story is at once uniquely her own and very much all of ours. Joyfully open to adventure and diverse cultures and drawing from her experience living and traveling widely both in Europe and in Asia, Charlotte skillfully interweaves family anecdotes and spiritual and philosophical reflections with social, political, and historical facts and observations.

She writes with sensitivity, gusto, curiosity, and humor, placing intimate details and thoughtful insights in a broad context. Her descriptions of the natural world and our shared responsibility to the planet are thoughtful and vivid.

Thursday, March 12 at 5:00 pm

Book Club

Join the book club on Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. for a discussion of this month’s featured book, A Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery. Copies of the book are available at the main desk.

The book club generally meets in the Bement Room from 5:00 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month. Bring a friend! New members always welcome – even if you haven’t read the book!

Friday, March 27 at 6:00 pm

Berkshire Chamber Players Concert

The Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives is pleased to announce that a Berkshire Chamber Players Concert will take place on Friday, March 27, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.  This will be the final concert of the season.

Tickets will be available at the Library on a first-come, first-served basis; space is limited and advance ticket purchases are encouraged.  Tickets are $20 each.  Please call the Library at 413-298-5501 with any questions.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.  Any unclaimed seats will be made available to those on the wait-list ten minutes before the performance.

Concert Program 

Kathryn Andersen and Robyn Quinnett, violins

Marka Gustavsson, viola

Ronald Feldman and Roberta Cooper, cellos

Larry Wallach, harpsichord


Bach/ed. Diener Two Canons from Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080 (1742-50)
Canon Alla Duodecima in Contrapunto Alla Quinta Contrapunctus 14

Canon per Augmentationem in contrario motu
Kathryn Andersen and Roberta Cooper

Vivaldi Concerto for cello and strings in b minor, RV 424 (1740)

Ronald Feldman, soloist


Schubert Quintet for 2 violins, viola, 2 cellos in C, D. 956 (1828)

Allegro ma non troppo
Scherzo. Presto-trio. Andante sostenuto

The Stockbridge Library’s Berkshire Chamber Players concert series is generously sponsored by Robert L. Perkel, MD with additional support from Patricia Edwina Flinn.

Saturday, April 25 at 7:30 pm

World Premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s “Music for String Quartet”

Join us for a benefit concert to feature the world premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s “Music for String Quartet” on April 25, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. at the Linde Center at Tanglewood. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives.

Tickets for the concert and gala, at $125 each, are now on sale through the BSO website or in person at the Tanglewood box office in Lenox, which is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays, or by calling 1-888-266-1200.

The concert also will include Bernstein’s rarely performed “Piano Trio” (for violin, cello and piano), “Elegies” for violin and viola by Bernstein’s close friend and colleague Aaron Copland, Mozart’s Piano Quartet in G minor K. 478, and Robert Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E flat, op. 44.
Bernstein wrote “Music for String Quartet” in 1936 at the age of 18. He asked an established quartet of young musicians in the Boston area to play through the piece, then gave the manuscript to the group’s first violinist Stanley Benson, who later served as a long-time violinist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Benson and his wife Clara, also a violinist, held onto the piece for more than 50 years, but it has never been performed publicly.
The Bernstein family’s publishing company, Amberson, has authorized this world premiere performance of the piece.
Bernstein’s “Music for String Quartet” will be performed by a stellar ensemble of musicians: Malcolm Lowe, violinist and recently retired concertmaster of the BSO; Natalie Rose Kress, a Washington, D.C.-based violinist currently studying at The Juilliard School; violist Daniel Kim, who holds the Lois and Harlan Anderson chair at the BSO; Ronald Feldman, retired BSO cellist who now is music director of the Longwood Symphony Orchestra in Boston and the Berkshire Symphony at Williams College; and pianist Melvin Chen, who is Deputy Dean of the Yale Music School and director of Yale’s Norfolk Chamber Music Festival.
Retired BSO Librarian John Perkel arranged to have the piece premiered as the centerpiece of the April 25 concert.  He said: “Ever since the approach of the Leonard Bernstein Centennial, I was determined to make this amazing event a reality. When I finally received the authorization to perform the Bernstein string quartet, I went into action and engaged these fine musicians and chose repertoire closely associated with Bernstein.”
According to Library Director Wendy Pearson, “We are delighted to host this world premiere as a benefit to fund cultural programming and community events for the Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives.”
The concert, at Studio E in Tanglewood’s Linde Center, begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a dessert reception at the adjacent Cindy’s Café.


Saturday, May 9 at 4:00 pm

ARTWEEK: Family Stories: A Crosstown Conversation

ARTWEEK: Family Stories: A Crosstown Conversation offered by Frank Gioia and Susie Kaufman

Saturday, May 16 at 4:00 pm

Speaker Series: Amir Ahmadi Arian, Author of Then the Fish Swallowed Him

Join us as we welcome Amir Ahmadi Arian, author of Then the Fish Swallowed Him on Saturday, May 16 at 4:00 p.m.

Yunus Turabi, a bus driver in Tehran, leads an unremarkable life. A solitary man since the unexpected deaths of his father and mother years ago, he is decidedly apolitical—even during the driver’s strike and its bloody end. But everyone has their breaking point, and Yunus has reached his.

Handcuffed and blindfolded, he is taken to the infamous Evin prison for political dissidents. Inside this stark, strangely ordered world, his fate becomes entwined with Hajj Saeed, his personal interrogator. The two develop a disturbing yet interdependent relationship, with each playing his assigned role in a high stakes psychological game of cat and mouse, where Yunus endures a mind-bending cycle of solitary confinement and interrogation. In their startlingly intimate exchanges, Yunus’s life begins to unfold—from his childhood memories growing up in a freer Iran to his heartbreaking betrayal of his only friend. As Yunus struggles to hold on to his sanity and evade Saeed’s increasingly undeniable accusations, he must eventually make an impossible choice: continue fighting or submit to the system of lies upholding Iran’s power.

About the Author: AMIR AHMADI ARIAN started his writing career as a journalist in Iran in 2000. He has published two novels, a collection of stories, and a book of nonfiction in Persian. He also translated from English to Persian novels by E.L Doctorow, Paul Auster, P.D. James, and Cormac McCarthy.

Since 2013 Amir has been writing and publishing exclusively in English. In recent years his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, LRB, Lithub, etc. He was the recipient of The Axinn Foundation/E.L. Doctorow Fellowship for 2016 – 2018 from NYU. His first novel in English, Then the Fish Swallowed Him, will be published by HarperCollins in 2020

Monday, June 15 at 8:00 am

Stockbridge Library 2020 Golf & Tennis Tournament

Sunday, June 21 at 12:00 pm

Sixth Annual William Selke Memorial Science Lecture

Sixth Annual William Selke Memorial Science Lecture featuring Rebecca and Brian Cosgrove of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration