Pratt Chat is the official blog of the Enoch Pratt Free Library.
Join us for stories about experiences, events, programs, collections, and all kinds of treasures found at the Pratt Library.
Before joining the Enoch Pratt Free Library as a Social Science and History librarian in 2012, Claire interned at The Health Sciences and Human Services Library at the University of Maryland Baltimore and the Loyola/Notre Dame Library. She also spent time as a patron doing family research in the Maryland Department, where she learned that her Baltimore roots go back to the mid-19th century. Prior to library school, she earned an MFA in creative nonfiction writing and undergraduate degrees in psychology and english. In addition to reading, she enjoys traveling, exploring local hiking trails, loose-leaf Chinese teas, and well-executed puns.
- What My Grandmother Couldn't Tell Me: Missing Pieces of the Past
As a child, I spent many afternoons poring over my grandmother’s photos, the majority of which were stored in albums. However, the oldest images—black-and-white or sepia-toned pictures in various stages ...more
- History: Jane Austen in Bath
Family lore holds that Jane Austen learned of her parents’ decision to leave their home and move to Bath with this abrupt announcement. Since Jane Austen set two of her novels (Northanger Abbey and Persuasion) ...more
- Gathering the Sons, Daughters, and Enthusiasts of Erin
Recently, the New York Times released their 46 recommended travel destinations for 2013. At first glance, the featured activities on this list are as varied as the locations in question. Descriptions boast ...more
- Here We Come A-What-Ing? Unveiling Wassailing for the Holidays
Confession: When I first heard the traditional holiday song "Here We Come A-Wassailing," the first stanza sounded a lot to me like "here we come a-waffling among the leaves so green." In my defense, I ...more
- Did the English and Wampanoag Really Eat Pumpkin Pie? A Brief Look at Thanksgiving's Origins
On this Thanksgiving Eve, many of us are preparing to gather around the centerpiece of this beloved tradition: food. Although no two Thanksgiving menus are exactly identical—regional fare such as sauerkraut ...more
- A Frightful Morass: Name Variations and Genealogy
If you’ve ever used Census records to hunt down family members, you may have noticed something unusual about your ancestor’s name. ...more
- Reclaiming Identity: An Antietam Unknown Is Laid to Rest
The Battle of Antietam was the first major engagement in the American Civil War to take place on Union soil. It was also the bloodiest day in the entire four-year conflict. When the guns on both sides ...more
- Hammering Through the Brick Wall: 3 Tips for New Genealogists
It’s a fact: Regardless of skill level, experience, or serendipity, all family historians will encounter dead ends in their research. ...more
- Adventure is Worthwhile in Itself: The Ongoing Search for Amelia Earhart
Nikumaroro, an island fragment of the Republic of Kiribati in the central tropical Pacific Ocean, doesn’t receive many visitors. This month, however, the uninhabited coral atoll became the focus of a privately-funded ...more