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Looking At The Past


Looking At The Past

There is so much history.  There is history of all kinds.  History will always be there for one to revisit, if one would like to know more about the past, to find something linked to and understand the present, and to help one navigate forward — perhaps, better — in the future.

Would you like to know more about our history?

Keep On Learning - Looking At The Past

There are several library resources you can turn to for written, compiled, and educational work on local history, US history, and world history.

Let’s start our list with local history.

Patrons can access our online resource, Local History Archive, through our Library’s website.  A search feature in the archive makes it easier to go through tons of materials from the local newspaper, town books, library photos, and the high school yearbooks.

Digitized versions of the West Essex Tribune, the town’s local paper, are available for the years 1929 to 1931, and 1934 to 2014.  The Local History Archive also provides 10 books that contain wonderful true stories from as early as the 1700s!  The stories about Livingston were written, gathered, authenticated, and compiled by town residents, the New Jersey Writers’ Project, and the Proceedings of the Livingston Historical Society.  The works make one feel the experiences of the residents in the past.  Also available in the online archive are photos of the Library, from way back when, as well as digitized versions of Crossroads, the Livingston High School yearbook, from 1957 to 2009.  Come look, and see if you know the stories, and recognize the faces and the smiles.

If you are in the Library premises, please pass by the Reference Desk if you’re looking for more on local history.  Our librarians can, upon request, retrieve materials from our Local History Room which houses articles collected over the years.

Next on the spotlight are US history online courses available through the Library.

Universal Class has numerous titles that would help one learn more about our country’s past, how some individuals contributed to where and how we are now, how events led to famous / infamous events, how the wars happened, and more.

You can browse through Universal Class to find courses on American History Review, American Heroes and Villains, Twenty African Americans Who Changed History, Twenty Women Who Changed History, History’s Greatest Conspiracies, American Revolutionary War, American Civil War, World War I, World War II, The Vietnam War, The Gulf War, and the History of Terrorism 101.

So there’s got to be a reason why there are plenty of history buffs among us.  The names, places, and events come up here and there.  Some may be familiar, some may not be at all.  Won’t it be good to know why we need to thank people like Susan B Anthony, Dorothea Dix, Fannie Lou Hamer, Francisco Menendez, and Medgar Evers?  When we imagine ourselves living in the past, would we have done what Harriet Tubman, or Rosa Parks, or General Robert E Lee had done?  Wouldn’t it be the greatest honor, on top of remembering holidays, to understand what the veterans and those who serve(d) our country went through?  It’s not just in the movies.  It happened in real life!

Writers of tales and/or truths can find rich material in historical events.  Visual creatives have produced many projects based on bygone times.  In like manner, we hope too that you’ll be one of the lifelong learners who crave subjects like these.  Wouldn’t these be perfect for you?  These online resources are available 24/7 for your research.  Try and see how these can improve your work, your collection of information, or your craft.

“Why not just google the details then?”  “Why even study history?”  “Or why even bother taking on more courses when these are taught in school?”

Well, for one, there’s heft in these courses which were developed by knowledgeable instructors.  Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provide by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  Accredited(!!!) versus whatever-the-search-engines-bring-you is something to consider.

For most, taking these online courses have many advantages.  Maybe, it’s to find details that weren’t covered when you first knew about it.  Or maybe, it’s to find another angle about what happened.  Or  maybe, it’s to try to relive (or try to find ways to prevent, or find ways to model solutions on) what everyone experienced then.  Or maybe, looking back at the past is a way to manage through the present, when topics of current events, or future possibilities, are trending in our daily feeds.  (The decade did start with a lot of newsworthy events.)

Or maybe… it’s just to get that elusive A++ in History!!!

Now, if you’re thinking beyond the borders, beyond the recent century, beyond cultures, and are more interested in world history, we have something for you as well.

Universal Class also offers titles such as Ancient Civilizations 101, Pre-Columbian Mythology, Norse Mythology 101, Egyptian Mythology, Greek Mythology, Celtic Mythology, Angels 101: History, Religion, Spiritualism and You, Buddhism, Judaism 101, Hinduism 101, Christianity 101, and World Religions 101.

Wait, here are more resources for you to choose from — particularly for — the busy bees whose hands are occupied but whose ears are eager to feed their hungry minds — or for — the commuters who would like to enrich their moments while passing through landscapes.

We have audiobooks featuring The Great Courses in Overdrive.  Just type in “The Great Courses” in the search feature and a whole slew of topics will be presented to you, all subscribed to by our Library, for you.  If you haven’t heard of them yet, The Great Courses are college-level lectures given by professors, on a huge range of subjects.  For this month’s theme, there are courses a-plenty on history.

Hoopla has plenty of offerings as well!  There are ebooks, audiobooks, videos, and comics galore in Hoopla.  Try the following series:  History in a Hour, History (50MINUTES.COM), and Images of America.

It would be just like sitting in a university classroom (or going with a tour guide), and paying attention to a knowledgeable academician (without the anxiety of being called on, without the need to sneak covert bites of noisy yummy snacks, and without paying for tuition!).  Pause, fast-forward, rewind… anytime!

All of these courses, books, and lectures, are available for you online!  Courtesy of an incredible supporter of lifelong learning… the Livingston Public Library!

— Janea Agbayani, Technology Department Library Specialist

For more information, visit:

For other topics, themes, and resources suggested for lifelong learning pursuits, visit our blog under the tag:  Keep On Learning.

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