Publishers are gearing up for fall!  New biographies and memoirs are sure to be popular and many will hit the bestseller lists.  Check the ECRL catalog in the coming weeks for the following:
Bruce by Peter A. Carlin – the life of Bruce Springsteen based on interviews with family, band members, friends, and ex-girlfriends

But Now I Seeby Steven Holcomb – the Olympic gold medalist faces possible blindness

Butch Cassidyby W.C. Jameson – the life, exploits, and controversial death of Robert Leroy Parker

Call of the American Wild by Guy Grieve – the author escapes to the Alaskan wilderness and builds a new life

Five Lieutenants by James Carl Nelson — five brilliant young soldiers from Harvard serve their country during WWI

A Gift of Hopeby Danielle Steel – the romance novelist discusses her tireless work with the homeless

The Godfather’s Daughter by Rita Gigante – growing up in the household of Vincent “The Chin” Gigante, head of all five New York crime families

Heisman by John M. Heisman – the first authorized biography of the man memorialized by the Heisman Trophy

Hello, Gorgeousby William J. Mann – Barbra Streisand’s early New York years and her rise to stardom

Killing Kennedy:  The End of Camelot by Bill O’Reilly – focuses on a 20th century assassination shrouded in mystery and conjecture

Lady Bird Johnson:  An Oral History by Michael L. Gillette – 37 newly released oral histories collected over 14 years

Marmee & Louisa by Eve LaPlante – Louisa May Alcott’s relationship with her mother based on recently discovered family papers

Martin Luther King Jr:  A King Family Tribute edited by Angela Farris Watkins – family members share their memories

Pray the Gay Away by Bernadette C. Barton – the extraordinary lives of 50 Bible Belt gays and lesbians

Thornton Wilder:  A Life by Penelope Niven – the life of the great playwright and literary icon based on his personal papers

Titian:  His Life by Sheila Hale – a definitive study of the great Renaissance painter

Twitch Upon a Star by Herbie J. Pilato – Elizabeth Montgomery “Bewitched” thousands of TV viewers in the 1960s

The Voice is All by Joyce Johnson – a groundbreaking portrait of Jack Kerouac as a young artist

Bob Gray
East Central Regional Library


It was the largest and most luxurious ocean liner of its time.  Captained by Edward J. Smith, the RMS Titanic left Southhampton, England, for New York City on April 10, 1912.  Four days later, at 11:40 pm on April 14th, the ship struck on iceberg in the North Atlantic, south of Newfoundland, Canada.  In the early morning hours of April 15th, the Titanic broke in two and sank to the ocean floor.

1517 people perished.

April 15, 2012, is the 100th anniversary of a maritime disaster that continues to fascinate people around the world. 

East Central Regional Library has a wide variety of materials on the Titanic in various formats that can be requested and borrowed from your local branch library.

If you enjoy fiction, consider these novels, all published in 2012:

“By the Light of the Silvery Moon” by Tricia Goyer

“The Company of the Dead” by David Kowalski
“The Dressmaker” by Kate Alcott
“Echoes of Titanic” by Mindy Starns Clark
“Hearts that Survive” by Yvonne Lehman
“Promise Me This” by Cathy Golke

For nonfiction readers, the following 2012 titles should prove interesting:

“Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage” by Hugh Brewster
“Shadow of the Titanic” by Andrew Wilson
“Titanic:  Last Night of a Small Town” by John Welshman
“Titanic in Photographs” by Daniel Klistorner
“Titanic Tragedy” by John Maxtone-Graham
“Voyagers of the Titanic” by Richard Davenport-Hines

For film buffs, the library offers both feature films and documentaries:

“Titanic” starring Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck (1953)

“A Night to Remember” starring Kenneth More and Jill Dixon (1958)
“Titanic” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet (1997)
“Titanic” starring Toby Jones and Linus Roache (2011)
“Titanic:  the Complete Story” (2011)
“Titanic:  100th Anniversary Collection” (2012)
“Titanic:  the Definitive Documentary Collection” (2012)

 These are only a few of the items you’ll find in the ECRL catalog.  For additional materials in various formats (for children, teens, and adults), access our homepage at and click on “ECRL Catalog” on the upper left. 
And remember that library staff are always happy to assist with queries and suggestions!

Bob Gray
Reference and Interlibrary Loan Librarian

Theodore Roosevelt Digital Library

Here’s a great place to find primary source documents on Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States.
From the website:

Unlike modern presidents, Theodore Roosevelt does not have a presidential library. Instead, his personal and presidential papers are scattered in libraries and other sites across the United States. The mission of the Theodore Roosevelt Center is to gather together and digitize copies of all Roosevelt-related items, to make his legacy more readily accessible to scholars and schoolchildren, enthusiasts and interested citizens. Items in the digital library include correspondence to and from Roosevelt, diary entries, notes, political cartoons, scrapbooks, newspaper columns and magazine articles by and about Roosevelt, speeches, and photographs. Users can also view film clips and listen to audio recordings.

Barbara Misselt, Director

Veterans History Project

Today is Veterans Day. Thank you to all Veterans for your service!

The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. The United States Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000. The authorizing legislation (Public Law 106-380), sponsored by Representatives Ron Kind, Amo Houghton, and Steny Hoyer in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senators Max Cleland and Chuck Hagel in the U.S. Senate, received unanimous support and was signed into law by President William Jefferson Clinton on October 27, 2000. The address for the site is

Veterans can contribute to the project by personal narratives through audio and video-taped memoirs or written memoirs; correspondence via letters, postcards, v-mail and personal diaries; and visual materials in the form of photographs, drawings and scrapbooks. There is information on the site on how to contribute memoirs, etc.

The database is searchable by name of war or conflict, branch of service, and other variables by selecting Search the Veterans Collections from the main page. You can also browse the collection by a variety of ways by selecting the browse tab on the search page.

The collection provides interesting reading and is an excellent primary research  source.

Barbara Misselt, Director 
information in this post from the Veterans History Project site

“Last Man’s Club” at Minnesota Digital Library

This column shared by Minitex and the Minnesota Digital Library. Reprinted with permission

This is a special edition of “Digital Delights from Minnesota Reflections,” in honor of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War.

Sometimes, memories are our only companions.

July 21, 1930, marked the 69th anniversary of the First Battle of Bull Run.  In Stillwater, an old man named Charles Lockwood sat at a table surrounded by 33 empty chairs, drinking a bottle of burgundy wine.  Why did this Civil War veteran relive his memories of the bitter conflict alone, with only a bottle of wine to console him?

The records of the “Last Man’s Club,” contributed to Minnesota Reflections ( by the Stillwater Public Library, answer this question.

Charles Lockwood was a member of Company B of the famous 1st Minnesota Volunteer infantry.  The 1st Minnesota suffered heavy losses in the First Battle of Bull Run as well as Antietam, later showing heroism at Gettysburg.  View an accounting of Company B officers and soldiers:,1724.

After the war, 34 surviving veterans of Company B formed an organization known as the “Last Man’s Club,” devoted to keeping the memories of the 1st Minnesota alive.  The group held an annual banquet every year on the anniversary of the First Battle of Bull Run.  View a book of “Last Man’s Club” member biographies:,1728.

As time passed, so too did veterans of Company B.  View a list of deceased and living members of the Last Man’s Club by following this link:,1726.

In joining the “Last Man’s Club,” each veteran promised that, if he were the organization’s last surviving member, he would drink a bottle of burgundy wine in his comrades’ honor.  Charles Lockwood was the “Last Man.”  Thus, on July 21, 1930, he convened the final meeting of the “Last Man’s Club,” fulfilling his promise to drink the wine of memory alone.

Click the following link to view a soliloquy by the last survivor of the Last Man’s Club, entitled “The Wine of Memory:”,1727.

Read a poem entitled “The Last Survivor to His Dead Comrades” by following this link:,1725.

To view other Last Man’s Club records, conduct an advanced search for “Last Man’s Club” in the Stillwater Public Library’s collection.

Minnesota Reflections contains other Civil War collections.  The Hennepin History Museum (Minneapolis) contributed a ca. 1905 descriptive book of Hennepin County Grand Army of the Republic members to Minnesota Reflections.  Follow this link to see a page from the book:,1076.  Search for “Descriptive Book of Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, Hennepin County, Minnesota” to find the item from the Minnesota Reflections homepage.

The Olmsted County Historical Society (Rochester) contributed letters and other materials documenting a Minnesota family’s Civil War experiences.  Follow this link to read an 1863 letter written by soldier Jacob Dieter:,928. Browse the entire Dieter family collection by using the advanced search feature to limit your search to the Olmsted County Historical Society.  Then search for “Dieter.”

The Civil War ended long ago, but the conflict lives on in national memory.  Though we will never know how Charles Lockwood felt as he drank the wine of memory one summer’s day in 1930, explore Minnesota Reflections to peer into the state’s Civil War past.

Alex L. Ames
Graduate Assistant, Minnesota Digital Library Coalition
Learning Resources & Technology Services

Barbara Misselt, Director