April 12, 2024

The 2024 Carnegie Society Book Club


The 2024 Carnegie Society Book Club – hosted by co-chairs Brooks and Bert Mathews and Deborah and Walter Clair, was held in the Special Collections Center of Nashville Public Library’s main branch on April 7, 2024. Carnegie Society members gathered in the Nashville Room – centered between the Civil Rights Room and the Votes for Women Room – and enjoyed canapés prepared by Catering by Johnny Haffner and sipped on Prosecco and wine before moving to the auditorium for the evening’s highlight. 

The selection for the 2024 book club was The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray – a work of historical fiction around the life of Belle da Costa Greene who became J.P. Morgan’s personal librarian in 1905. The book centers around her as a black woman passing as white as well as her transforming the library into a public institution in 1924. 

The program – a special collaboration between The Morgan Library and Museum in New York and the Library Foundation – featured a presentation by Erica Ciallela – exhibition project Curator on Belle da Costa Greene at the Morgan. A Public Historian and Archivist with a research background in 19th and early 20th century African American women’s history and education, Erica began at the Morgan as a Belle da Costa Greene Curatorial Fellow, processing the Professional Papers of Belle da Costa Greene. Before coming to the Morgan, Erica worked at the Prudence Crandall Museum, a National Historic Landmark in Canterbury, CT. 

Erica Ciallela’s presentation can be watched HERE


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