The next few months in the Archives are bringing many fascinating speakers, both in-person and virtual. Do you want to stay up-to-date about Archives events and happenings? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here!

A black and white photograph of a child walking their small down through the snow.

January 18th, 6 p.m. – Managing DNA Kits Safely Through Different Companies (Virtual)

Join Genealogist Suz Bates to learn about methods for managing your DNA results.

DNA and genealogy can really help with your research, but what are some ways to keep your DNA information safe? Suz Bates, a professional genealogist will discuss and demonstrate managing tools in Ancestry DNA, MyHeritageDNA, 23andMe Ancestry, and FTDNA kits.

Register here.

February 7th, 6 p.m. – Quilts: Secret Codes to Freedom on the Underground Railroad (Virtual)

Join Connie Martin as she tells the stories passed down to her great-grandmother Lizzie of how her family survived the antebellum period through trials and tribulations, and how they used quilts that contained hidden codes and secret messages to assist abolitionists–white and Black–to guide enslaved people to freedom through the Underground Railroad to Canada.

During this presentation, Connie shares eighteen different quilt patterns in replica quilts and refers to a book her mother, Dr. Clarice Boswell, wrote about their family called Lizzie’s Story: A Slave Family’s Journey to Freedom.

This speaker is co-sponsored by the Illinois Humanities Road Scholar Speaker Bureau.

Register here.

March 14th, 6 p.m. – Meadowbrook: A History – Author Talk and Book Signing (In-person)

Local author and Urbana Park District Commissioner, Roger Digges, will discuss his new book, Meadowbrook Park: A History. Digge’s book traces the history of Meadowbrook Park, from its origins as 131 acres of McCullough family farm, to the present day. Join us in discovering the resources used to document the history of this local park, from maps and photos, and talk briefly about the prehistory of its landscape.

Diggies is an avid fan of Meadowbrook Park, where he and his spouse Cathy have walked for 18 years. In 2014, Digges began researching the park’s prehistory and how the park was developed by the Urbana Park District. Meadowbrook: A History is his first book. Digges has been an avid birder for nearly four decades, and writes a monthly column, Bird of the Month for the Champaign County Audubon Society. Digges is a master naturalist who has participated in a number of citizen science projects, some of them at Meadowbrook. He currently serves as one of five commissioners on the Urbana Park District’s board.

Books will be available for purchase and signing at the event. No registration required for in person events. 

-Sara Bennett

Archives Librarian