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Recording Lives at Lightning Speed

Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Registration is NOT required
Free and open to the public

Recording Lives at Lightning Speed

In conjunction with the Boston University Center for the Humanities Fall Forum, Recording Lives: Libraries and Archives in the Digital Age, we are pleased to host a conversation on local cultural organizations’ use of digital technologies to expand access to their collections. In this program, representatives from six cultural organizations charged with the material past will give a “lightning round” of presentations on how they are embracing the digital present to plan for the future. Audience members will be invited to join the discussion.

The Boston Athenæum first opened its doors in 1807 with aspirations of “combining the advantages of a public library [and] containing the great works of learning and science in all languages.” Today it remains a vibrant membership library and cultural center that serves a variety of members and other curious minds with an expansive circulating collection, rich collection of rare materials, and gathering place for the exchange of ideas.

The Congregational Library & Archives began in 1853 when a small group of Boston clergymen donated 56 books from their personal collections. It has since become an internationally recognized resource for scholars, religious leaders, and local churches and a thriving center for anyone seeking to understand a religious tradition that has deeply informed American culture.

The Handel and Haydn Society (H+H) is a Boston-based internationally acclaimed period instrument orchestra and chorus. Founded in 1815, H+H is the oldest continuously performing arts organization in the United States and is unique among American ensembles for its longevity, capacity for reinvention, and distinguished history of premieres. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Harry Christophers, the ensemble embraces historically informed performance, bringing classical music to life with the same immediacy as the day it was written.

Historic Newton is a public/private partnership between the Newton Historical Society and the City of Newton that inspires discovery and engagement by illuminating the stories of the Newton community in the context of American history. Historic Newton operates the Jackson Homestead and the Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds, maintains an archive related to the history of Newton, and cares for three historic burying grounds.

Bostonians founded Mount Auburn Cemetery in 1831 to solve an urban land use problem created by an increasing number of burials in the city, creating a tranquil and beautiful place where families can commemorate their loved ones. Mount Auburn quickly became the model for the American “rural” cemetery movement. Today Mount Auburn continues its dual role, serving as both an active cemetery and a “museum” exhibiting nearly two centuries of evolving attitudes about death and changing tastes in architecture and landscape design.

The 2016-18 Mellon Sawyer Seminars at Boston University, organized by professors Juliet Floyd (BU Philosophy), James E. Katz (BU Division of Emerging Media), and Russell Powell (BU Philosophy) and titled “The Philosophy of Emerging Computational Technologies: Humans, Values and Society in Transition,” focuses on ethical, social, legal, and epistemological issues arising out of emerging computational technologies. Experts from other universities will visit Boston University (BU) to discuss their ideas, joined by up-and-coming faculty in the Boston area and members of dedicated graduate seminars in philosophy and emerging media. The program’s aim is to foster an inclusive, reflective conversation in the Boston area about how best to thematize, research, and reason about philosophical, social, and ethical understandings of everyday life in an age of rapid technological transformation.

The Forum is co-sponsored by the Boston University Center for the Humanities, the Boston University College and Graduate School of the Arts & Sciences, the Boston University Office of the Provost, the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University, the Boston Public Library, and the Boston Athenæum.

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Auto-generated captions are available for most virtual programs. To request live captioning or other accommodations, please contact Hannah Weisman at or 617-720-7617 at least four business days prior to the event.