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Simsbury Free Library
749 Hopmeadow Street
P.O.Box 484
Simsbury, CT 06070
Tuesdays and Thursdays
11:00 to 5:00
2nd and 4th Saturdays
10:00 to 2:00



To make a reservation or for more info,

call 860-408-1336

or email

History and Genealogy Lectures
Irish Genealogy: What You Need to Know Because Roadblocks Are Everywhere
Tuesday, February 10 at 1:00 p.m.

Historian and professional genealogist, Thomas F. Howard, will give a talk on Irish genealogy.  "Doing Irish genealogy successfully depends on building a solid foundation of facts, doing homework on what is available and how to get to it....before committing to the great expense of traveling to Ireland to do research. The bottom line is you need to know something to find more. The more you know the more targeted the search can become."  Free for members.  $5 for non-members.

Mysteries of the Smallpox Cemetery Solved, Restoration Planned, But No Good Deed Goes Unpunished 
Tuesday, March 24th at 1:00 p.m.

Historian and professional genealogist,Thomas F. Howard, shares the mysteries of East Granby's Smallpox Cemetery on Hatchet Hill, as well as the trials and tribulations of trying and actually restoring an ancient (18th c) cemetery.  Free.  

Chick Austin House Tour
Thursday, March 12th and April 9th at 3:00 p.m.

Back by popular demand!.  If you have ever wondered about that strange flat "Cardboard House" on Scarborough Avenue, here is your chance to tour the house of Chick Austin, the former director of the Wadsworth Atheneum.  Chick set out to introduce modern art to America and transform Hartford, the conservative insurance capital, into a cultural mecca that would become the talk of the art world during the years between the two world wars.  (See the photo album on the right.)  The tour costs $25 for members and $30 for non-members, and includes a docent-led tour of the house and same-day admission to the Wadsworth Atheneum. Space is limited.  Advance payment required.

Genealogy Programs

Genealogy Road Show with Diane LeMay

Saturday, January 10th and February 14th, from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


Our genealogist librarian, Diane LeMay, will try to solve any genealogy research problems patrons bring her.  Free to members.  $5 for non-members.


French-Canadian Genealogy Talk

Saturday, January 24th at 11:00 a.m.

Need help with your French-Canadian genealogy research?  Our genealogy librarian, Diane LeMay, will provide French vocabulary help and a list of general repositories in New England that focus on French-Canadian research. Bring any documents that need translating.    Free to members, $5 for non-members.  


Thursday, January 22nd at 1:00 p.m. -  The Hundred Foot Journey

In "The Hundred-Foot Journey," Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant - the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, the Maison Mumbai. That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Academy Award (R)-winner Helen Mirren), gets wind of it. Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own, escalate to all out war between the two establishments - until Hassan's passion for French haute cuisine and for Mme. Mallory's enchanting sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), combine with his mysteriously delicious talent to weave magic between their two cultures and imbue Saint-Antonin with the flavors of life that even Mme. Mallory cannot ignore. At first Mme. Mallory's culinary rival, she eventually recognizes Hassan's gift as a chef and takes him under her wing. (c) Disney  Rated PG.  Free.


Thursday, February 19th  at 1:00 p.m. -  Raise the Red Lantern

Celebrate the Chinese New Year!


After her father’s death, 19-year-old Songlian (Li Gong) marries the much older Chen Zuoquin (Jingwu Ma), becoming the latest concubine in Chen’s burgeoning harem and finding herself at the bottom of an oppressive hierarchy.  Set in the 1920s during China’s Warlord era, director Zhang Yimou’s lushly filmed drama earned an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film and won a BAFTA Award in the same category.  (from    Free.

Thursday, March 26th at 1:00 p.m. -  Best Exotic Marigold Hotel


Drop In Book Club

No need to join this book club.  Just drop in when you are in town or when the book is of interest.
Tuesday, January 13th at 11:15 a.m.:  The Boys on the Boat by Daniel James Brown
Tuesday, February 10th at 11:15 a.m.:  One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus

One Thousand White Women is the fictional story of May Dodd and a colorful assembly of pioneer women who, under the auspices of the U.S. government, travel to the western prairies in 1875 to intermarry among the Cheyenne Indians. The covert and controversial "Brides for Indians" program, launched by the administration of Ulysses S. Grant, is intended to help assimilate the Indians into the white man's world. Toward that end May and her friends embark upon the adventure of their lifetime. Jim Fergus has so vividly depicted the American West that it is as if these diaries are a capsule in time. (from Amazon)

Tuesday, March 10th at 11:15 a.m.:  Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach




 Add Row


Tuesday, May 20th, 1 p.m.
Connecticut History Talk with Tom Ratliff:  "Hartford from 1820-1920"
In this fifth and final lecture in his series exploring Connecticut's rich historical past, Tom Ratliff will talk about the period of rapid industrial growth and large-scale i
Tuesday, May 20th, 1 p.m.
Connecticut History Talk with Tom Ratliff:  "Hartford from 1820-1920"
In this fifth and final lecture in his series exploring Connecticut's rich historical past, Tom Ratliff will talk about the period of rapid industrial growth and large-scale i

Farmington Canal Tour

Chick Austin House Tour


History Day Competitors:  Kevin Gyurco, Sammi Dowd, Montana McMahon, Emilee Buytkins,  adviser Grantland Rogers, and Rachel Baumann (Igor Banaszuk not pictured).
The Simsbury Free Library was happy to support the 6 hardworking high school students who participated in this year's History Day in Connecticut competition.  
Congratulations to the two projects that placed in the District Competition at Torrington High School on March 15th:  Seniors Emilee Buytkins, Sammi Dowd and Igor Banaszuk won first place in the Group Documentary division and Freshman Montana McMahon won second place in the Individual Exhibit division!  These students will advance to the March 26th State Competition at Central Connecticut State University. 
Click Hartford Courant Article to read more about it!! 
Many thanks to history teacher Grantland Rogers, Simsbury Historical Society and the Simsbury Public Schools for their help in furthering an interest in history in Simsbury.