Currently, all programs are online. All programs are FREE and open to the public.

Upcoming Webinars Date and Time
March 2021

The Military Tract - New York Revolutionary War Bound Land

Duett Skip portraitThe State of New York awarded 1.68 million acres of bounty land in Central New York to its soldiers of the Revolutionary War. The military bounty land opened up Central New Y​ork to white settlement and left an enduring system of land designation that survives today. Join us for this presentation by Skip Duett and learn of the timeline, location, and physical layout of Military Tract Townships;  the award process – who got land and how; and the Balloting Book and other records pertaining to the Military Tract.  Have an ancester who is a Revolutionary War solder? Your New York Revolutionary War soldier may be identified in Military Tract documents.

Skip Duett is a professional genealogist, speaker, and author specializing in Upstate New York research with an emphasis on early land records. In the DNA arena, he is conducting cutting edge research in the application of advanced Y-DNA analysis for genealogy. He serves on the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society (NYG&B) Family History Advisory Committee.

March 23, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Register for The Military Tract webinar.external link icon

April 2021

Swing Era in the Capital District- 1935-1945 

Harry Vincent Orchestra bandBill Schilling and Michael Catoggio share their research into the history of the Swing Era in the Capital District. The PowerPoint slide-presentation explores the musical venues and the local musicians who brought this significant cultural moment to the Albany area. The talk will also introduce the lecturer's website: www.albanynyswinghistory.comexternal link icon

Bill Schilling is a retired librarian with a Masters in Library Science from UAlbany. He has worked in university libraries, the Albany Public Library, and the New York State Library. He has had a lifelong interest in jazz, especially on the local level. He currently serves on the Board of Capital District Jazz, Ltd.

Michael Catoggio is a retired librarian with a Masters in Library Science and undergraduate preparation in history. He has served as the Albany History Librarian at Albany Public Library, Head of Adult Services and Interim Director at the East Greenbush Community, Assistant Professor of Library Science at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and Humanities Librarian at the Anchorage (Alaska) Public Library. HIs father, Dominic Catoggio, played in various bands during the Era and learning about his career represents the inspiration and motivation for this project.

April 8, 2021

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May 2021

Talking Book and Braille Library 101 (TBBL) 

TBBL logoThe New York State Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL) is a free library service for residents in Upstate New York who have difficulty reading standard print due to blindness, low vision, a diagnosed reading disability, or a physical disability. TBBL's service includes free circulation of audio and braille books and magazines through the US Postal Service, long-term loan of playback equipment, and access to a free online downloading service called Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD). 

In this free webinar, librarians Shawn Lemieux and Jane Bentley, will provide an overview of TBBL services, discuss eligibility, and explain how patrons can access books and magazines.

May 5, 2021 
11:00am – noon  

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Jane Addams and Her Vision For America 

 In 1910, Jane Addams (1860-1935) was one of the most famous women in America, the revered founder of Hull-House settlement in Chicago, and a participant in virtually every social reform campaign of the era. But in 1917, when Addams publicly opposed America's entry into World War I, her fortunes changed dramatically. For more than a decade, she was vilified for opposing the war, as well as for her liberal social views. By the 1930s, however, concerns over the Great Depression were overshadowing the hatreds of the 1920s, and Addams found herself back in favor. Once again she was hailed as a great American, and in 1931 she became the first woman ever to win the Nobel Prize for Peace.Today, many people barely remember Addams' name. But it is still true that we live in a world she helped to shape, by the causes she supported and the people she inspired. This course will explore Addams' remarkable life, and consider what it can tell us about social reform, about women's lives in early 20th century America, and about the practical challenges of trying to put our nation's democratic ideals into practice.

Sandra Opdycke, Ph.D. is a retired historian. She recently published When Women Won the Vote, about the woman suffrage movement. She has also written books about the flu epidemic of 1918, the WPA of the 1930s, and Bellevue Hospital, as well as a biography of Jane Addams, an historical atlas of American women's history, and several co-authored books and articles on social policy. She worked for a number of years at Hudson River Psychiatric Center, and later taught American History and Urban History at Bard, Vassar, and Marist Colleges. She serves as an occasional lecturer at the Center for Lifetime Studies in Poughkeepsie.

May 18, 2021 
12:00pm – 1:00pm 

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Archived Programs: Selected past programs were recorded and can be viewed online.

Reasonable Accommodation: Please let us know if any reasonable accommodation is required (Americans with Disabilities Act) at least 1 week prior to the program date by calling 518-474-2274.

Location: Unless otherwise indicated, programs are online.

More information: For more information about these classes, call at 518-474-2274, or send an email to

You can also receive future program announcements via our Facebook page.

Last Updated: February 26, 2021