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2023 - 2024 Speaker Series


Presented in Partnership with the Bethlehem Public Library


BHA is now collaborating with the Bethlehem Public Library to sponsoring our Speaker Series Program.  All take place on from 7:00 to 8:45 p.m. in the library’s large Community Room.  Registration is recommended as there is a capacity limit. 


Call the library at 518-439-9314 or register using this website


The programs will also be announced in the library's Footnotes newsletter every 2 months.


The programs are open to the public.


Click here for pictures of previous programs

Up Coming Programs 


March 20, 2024, Michael Lucas: Life After Emancipation - Slavery to Freedom

Learn how Black families in the Bethlehem and Albany area transitioned from slavery to freedom following the Abolition of slavery in New York in 1827.

Enslaved people of African and Native American descent were used as the primary labor force in New York from the 1620s until gradual emancipation abolished the institution in 1827. The number of enslaved people per household was smaller in NY than the southern plantations but several wealthy landowners around Albany did retain over 5 slaves on their rural estates. Three of these were the Nicoll-Sill house in Bethlehem, Schuyler Flatts in Colonie, and the Van Schaick Mansion in Cohoes. History & archaeology can tell us about the strategies these families used in the transition from slavery to freedom in the 19th century. 

Registration is recommended due to seating limitations.  To register click here

April 17, 2024, Robb Haberman: Writing in the Service of His Country: The Revolutionary War Memoir of James Selkirk

Previous Programs

February 21, 2024, Mike Engle: History of Diners in New York: Through his research Mike Engle has become a diner historian and local eatery aficionado.  

​November 15, 2023 John Wexler: Land Between Waterfalls:  Documenting Five Centuries of Indigenous Land Use in the Town of Bethlehem.


​October 18, 2023 Jill Knapp: Upstate New York Tenant Farmers’ Rebellion. An over-view of the Anti-Rent war in Rensselaer and Albany counties, and the incident in which Deputy Sheriff Griggs of Rensselaer was killed in 1869.


​Sept. 20, 2023 Stewart W. Lehman: The Stereoscope, a Gilded Age “Virtual Reality” Experience. In the 19th Century the new art of photography changed how people viewed the world.  

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