Past Events

In our role as cultural presenters, the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center offers a variety of events that are open to the public and the Boston University community. Many event speakers come from our diverse holdings; past speakers have come from the fields of journalism, theater, politics, opera, dance and literature.


Friends Speaker Series: DAVE ITZKOFF: Author of the new Robin Williams biography

Friends Speaker Series
Tuesday, April 30, 2019 - 6:00 PM
George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave, Metcalf Ballroom, Second Floor
Admission: Free to Members of the Friends of HGARC & Students with a BU ID. General Public $25. R.S.V.P. (617) 353-3697

The New York Times culture reporter and author Dave Itzkoff will speak on the research and writing of his books, including Robin, a biography of Robin Williams, along with his other works. Itzkoff writes frequently about film, television and comedy. The evening will also feature the announcement of the winners of the HGARC Student Book Collecting Contest.

The evening will also feature an exhibition of items from the Robin Williams' archive, held by the Gotlieb Center.

Event starts at 6 PM in the Metcalf Ballroom on the 2nd floor of the George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave. It will be free to Members of the Friends of HGARC and Students with a BU ID. General Public tickets are $25, please call (617) 353-3697 to R.S.V.P.!

Click HERE to download the DAVE ITZKOFF flyer.


2019 Annual Nursing Meeting: Featuring Guest Speaker Roberta Gately, RN, BA

Nursing Archives Associates
Monday, April 29, 2019 - 5:30 PM
Trustee Ballroom - One Silber Way - Ninth Floor
Admission: Free and Open to the Public. RSVP required: 617-353-3698

Roberta Gately, a nurse, novelist, and former humanitarian aid worker, has provided nursing care from Africa to Afghanistan. She has written extensively on the subject of refugees for The Journal of Emergency Nursing as well as a series of articles for the BBC World News Online and the Huffington Post. She speaks regularly on the plight of the world's refugees and displaced. She has appeared both locally and nationally on TV and radio programs to discuss her novels and refugee issues. Her work has been honored with the Frances Slanger Lifetime Achievement Award (2017) by the Boston City Hospital Nurses Alumni Association and the Human Services Award (2007) by the Massachusetts Nurses Association. Gately lives in Boston where she works as a nurse at The Boston Medical Center. Her two previous novels, Lipstick in Afghanistan and The Bracelet, were based upon her experiences in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Ms. Gately will sign copies of her latest book, Footprints in the Dust, which will be available for sale at the event.

This event is free and Open to the Public. RSVP required: 617-353-3698.

Click here to download the event flyer



Student Discovery Seminar – The Art of Science

Student Discovery Seminars
Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 6:00 PM
HGARC Reading Room, 771 Commonwealth Avenue, Fifth Floor
Admission: Free and Open to Students with BUID

Join Professor of Astronomy Dr. Michael Mendillo and librarian Katherine Kominis in an exploration of the beauty and precision of science and nature as they have been depicted in texts and manuscripts over the centuries. At this Student Discovery Seminar, students can touch, hold and read original manuscripts, illustrations and books from our Rare Book and Manuscript Collections. The seminar takes place Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the main reading room of the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center.

Click HERE to download the Art of Science flyer.


Poems in Progress 2019

Student Enrichment Series
Saturday, April 6, 2019 - 10:30 AM & 12:30 PM
Martin Luther King, Jr. Reading Room, 771 Commonwealth Avenue, 3rd Floor
Admission: Free and Open to Students with a BU ID

Do you write poetry? Join Professor Christopher Ricks for a unique opportunity to discuss your poem with other writers. Students will each present a poem of his or her making, for discussion by others in the room. Each student must bring an original 10-30 line poem, which can be a translation. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants will be notified which session they are registered for no later than Thursday, April 4, 2019. The event takes place in the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center's MLK, Jr. Reading Room, 3rd floor, Mugar Library.

Click here to download the event flyer

Click here to download an application



Friends Speaker Series: Justice & Espionage

Friends Speaker Series
Tuesday, March 26, 2019- 6:00 PM
George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave, Metcalf Ballroom, Second Floor
Admission: Free to Members of the Friends of HGARC & Students with a BU ID. General Public $25. R.S.V.P. (617) 353-3697

The Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center and Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies present a panel discussion including Professors Erik Goldstein, Igor Lukes, Joe Wippl and John Woodward; sons of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg Michael and Robert Meeropol; and Cold War specialist Phillip Deery as they discuss justice and espionage in the United States. The panel will explore these issues in their historical context, and consider how their legacy may inform present-day world affairs. Come enjoy a complementary reception and the unveiling of the new exhibition Quest For Justice: A Celebration of the 100th Birthday of Author and Social Activist David Alman, in which Alman explores the case of the Rosenbergs. This event will start at 6 PM in the Metcalf Ballroom on the 2nd floor of the George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave. It will be free to Members of the Friends of HGARC and Students with a BU ID. General Public tickets are $25, please call (617) 353-3697 to R.S.V.P.!

Click HERE to download the Justice & Espionage flyer.


HGARC Book Collecting Contest 2019 Deadline

Student Enrichment Series
Monday, March 25, 2019 - 5PM Deadline
HGARC Reading Room, 771 Commonwealth Avenue, 5th Floor
Admission: Open to full-time students regularly enrolled at Boston University

In 1967, the Friends of the Libraries of Boston University (now the Friends of the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center) launched a book collecting contest to introduce students to the joys of creating their own libraries and to encourage them in this gratifying pursuit. The contest is held in March and April, with the winners announced at the Friends Annual Meeting. Awards range from $200 to $1,500, including a best essay category. The contest is open to all full-time students in the University's undergraduate, graduate and professional schools.

Click here to download the contest flyer

Click here to download the contest rules

Click here for a list of past winners



Conversations – John Keats: the Great Year of his poems, 1819

Student Enrichment Series
Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 7:00 PM
Richards-Roosevelt Room, 771 Commonwealth Avenue, 1st Floor
Admission: Free and Open to the Public

Join Doctoral candidate Emily Kramer and William M. and Sara B. Warren Professor of the Humanities Christopher Ricks for a conversation titled John Keats: the Great Year of his poems, 1819 on March 21, 2019 at 7:00 pm.

Click HERE to download the Keats 1819 flyer.


Student Discovery Seminar – True Crime

Student Discovery Seminars
Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 6:00 PM
HGARC Reading Room, 771 Commonwealth Avenue, Fifth Floor
Admission: Free and Open to Students with BUID

Ryan Hendrickson (HGARC) and Journalist Dick Lehr (Professor at COM) lead an exploration of a few of the world's most shocking tales of crime and murder ripped not from the headlines, but from the archives! At this Student Discovery Seminar, students can touch, hold and read original letters, manuscripts, journals and photographs from noted criminals, law enforcement agents and historians. The seminar takes place Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the main reading room of the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center.

Click HERE to download the True Crime flyer.


Student Discovery Seminar – Hollywood Blacklist

Student Discovery Seminars
Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 6:00 PM
HGARC Reading Room, 771 Commonwealth Avenue, Fifth Floor
Admission: Free and Open to Students with BUID

Join archivist Jane Parr and COM Professor Deborah Jaramillo in an exploration of when Hollywood blacklisted and turned its back on some of our greatest actors, screenwriters, and directors because of alleged Communist ties. At this Student Discovery Seminar, students can touch, hold and read original letters, manuscripts, journals and photographs from some of these "blacklisted" professionals. The seminar takes place Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the main reading room of the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center.

Click HERE to download the Hollywood Blacklist flyer.


Conversations - Walt Whitman: the year of his birth, 1819

Student Enrichment Series
Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 7:00 PM
Richards-Roosevelt Room, 771 Commonwealth Avenue, 1st Floor
Admission: Free and Open to the Public

Join Professor of English Anita Patterson and William M. and Sara B. Warren Professor of the Humanities Christopher Ricks for the first of two conversations commemorating 200 years of poetry.  The first event in this series is titled Walt Whitman: the year of his birth, 1819 and will be held on February 20, 2019 at 7:00 pm. The second conversation with Doctoral candidate Emily Kramer and Professor Ricks is titled John Keats: the Great Year of his poems, 1819 will be held on March 21, 2019 at 7:00 pm.

Click HERE to download the Whitman 1819 flyer.
Click HERE to download the Keats 1819 flyer.


Academy Award Winner Michael Douglas to visit Boston University To receive Bette Davis Lifetime Achievement Award

Bette Davis Awards
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 6:00 PM
George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave, Metcalf Ballroom, Second Floor
Admission: Free to Members of the Friends of HGARC, as well as Faculty, Staff and Students with a BU ID; General Public $25.

BU Students, Faculty & Staff should reserve their FREE tickets on EVENTBRITE.
Members of the public from the local community can order tickets for $25 each on EVENTBRITE.
Members of the Friends of HGARC should RSVP by calling: 617-353-3697

On November 28, acclaimed actor Michael Douglas will be honored by the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University and the Bette Davis Foundation with the Bette Davis Lifetime Achievement Award. HGARC will also open a new exhibition featuring items from Mr. Douglas' archive titled Michael Douglas: A Life in Film.

The event will feature a reception, awards ceremony, and opportunity to hear Mr. Douglas speak on his life and career.

An actor celebrating 50 years of experience in theatre, film and television, Michael Douglas branched out into independent feature film production in 1975 with the Academy Award-winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). Since then, as a producer and as an actor-producer, he has shown an uncanny knack for choosing projects that reflect changing trends and public concerns. Over the years, he has been involved in such controversial and politically influential motion pictures as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The China Syndrome (1979) and Traffic (2000), as well as such popular films as Romancing the Stone (1984) and Fatal Attraction (1987).  Mr. Douglas' papers are held at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University.



Conversations with Christopher Ricks - On Film: Frederick Wiseman's Institutions

Student Enrichment Series
Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 7:00 PM
Richards-Roosevelt Room, 771 Commonwealth Avenue, 1st Floor
Admission: Free and Open to Students with BUID

Join William M. and Sara B. Warren Professor of the Humanities Christopher Ricks on two occasions for the opportunity to view portions of Frederick Wiseman's documentaries and to discuss his work. The New York Times has called Wiseman "one of the important and original filmmakers working today." Part 1 is on October 18, and Part 2 is on November 15.

Click here to download the event flyer



Friends Speaker Series: Tony & Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and actor Michael Cristofer

Friends Speaker Series
Wednesday November 14, 2018 - 6:00 pm
George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave, Metcalf Ballroom, Second Floor
Admission: Free to Members of the Friends of HGARC & Students with a BU ID. General Public $25. R.S.V.P. (617) 353-3697

Michael Cristofer is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, director, and actor. Cristofer started his career as an actor and then became a playwright. In 1977, his play The Shadow Box opened on Broadway to rave reviews. The play would be nominated for multiple Drama Desk and Tony Awards, and would go on to win the 1977 Tony Award for Best Play and the 1977 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Cristofer later adapted the The Shadow Box into a television movie directed by film legend Paul Newman. It was nominated for three Emmy Awards and won the 1980 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Made for Television.

Cristofer would continue his illustrious theatrical run directing Candida on Broadway in 1981, as well as writing numerous plays, such as Breaking Up, Black Angel, The Lady and the Clarinet, Amazing Grace, and Man in the Ring, which received the 2017 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award. As a stage actor, Cristofer has appeared on Broadway in A View from the Bridge (2010), Hamlet (1992), and The Cherry Orchard (1977) with Irene Worth, Raul Julia, and Meryl Streep. He has also appeared in Don't Go Gentle (2012), The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures (2010), A Body of Water (2008), Trumpery (2007), and Romeo and Juliet (2007).

Cristofer worked as artistic advisor for eight years and then co-artistic director of River Arts Repertory in Woodstock, New York, a company which produced new plays by writers such as Richard Nelson, Mac Wellman, Eric Overmyer, and others.

An accomplished screenwriter. Cristofer has written the screenplays for such films as Falling in Love (1984), The Witches of Eastwick (1987), The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), Breaking Up (1997), Casanova (2005), and Georgia O'Keeffe (2009). His directorial credits include Body Shots (1999), Original Sins (2001), and the HBO Pictures film Gia (1998) starring Angelina Jolie, which was nominated for five Emmy Awards and won Cristofer the 1999 Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television. Cristofer will also be directing the upcoming crime drama The Night Clerk, starring Tye Sheridan and Helen Hunt.

Cristofer is also known for his roles on hit television shows, such as The Magician, Gunsmoke, The Rookies, Kojak, Rubicon, Suits, Smash, Ray Donovan, Elementary, and American Horror Story: Coven. He is currently on the main cast of the USA Network's hit thriller Mr. Robot as E Corp CEO Phillip Price.

Mr. Cristofer's papers are held at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University.

Click here to download the event flyer



Student Discovery Seminar – The Outdoors, Indoors…

Student Discovery Seminars
Wednesday, November 7, 2018 - 6:00 PM
HGARC Reading Room, 771 Commonwealth Avenue, Fifth Floor
Admission: Free and Open to Students with BUID

Come explore the great outdoors, indoors in the archives! Ascend Mt. Denali, visit the Antarctic, photograph wildlife, forage for food, and explore early environmentalism, all through the eyes of some of America's great outdoor pioneers!

Click here to download the event flyer



Conversations with Christopher Ricks - On Film: Frederick Wiseman's Institutions

Student Enrichment Series
Thursday, October 18, 2018 - 7:00 PM
Richards-Roosevelt Room, 771 Commonwealth Avenue, 1st Floor
Admission: Free and Open to Students with BUID

Join William M. and Sara B. Warren Professor of the Humanities Christopher Ricks on two occasions for the opportunity to view portions of Frederick Wiseman's documentaries and to discuss his work. The New York Times has called Wiseman "one of the important and original filmmakers working today." Part 1 is on October 18, and Part 2 is on November 15.

Click here to download the event flyer



Student Discovery Seminar – Soviets, Secrets & Spies

With Professor Alexis Peri, CAS, and Claudia Willett, HGARC
Student Discovery Seminars
Wednesday, October 17, 2018 - 6:00 PM
HGARC Reading Room, 771 Commonwealth Avenue, Fifth Floor
Admission: Free and Open to Students with BUID

Join us for an exploration of spy-related material the Center currently holds. We'll go deep into the operations of Soviet spies and their counterparts and uncover secrets and treasures along the way. Seminar held by History professor Alexis Peri and HGARC archivist Claudia Willett.

Click here to download the event flyer



Friends Speaker Series: Photojournalist Jonathan Alpeyrie & Casting Director and Producer Bonnie Timmermann

Friends Speaker Series
Thursday, October 4, 2018 - 6:00 pm
George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave, Metcalf Ballroom, Second Floor
Admission: Free to Members of the Friends of HGARC & Students with a BU ID. General Public $25. R.S.V.P. (617) 353-3697

Photojournalist Jonathan Alpeyrie's career, which stretches over a decade, has brought him in over 36 countries, covered 13 conflict zones, mostly in East Africa, the South Caucasus, the Middle East and central Asia. On April 29, 2013, during his third assignment to Syria, Alpeyrie was betrayed by his fixer and handed over to a band of Syrian rebels. For eighty one days he was bound, blindfolded, and beaten. He chronicles his ordeal in the book The Shattered Lens: A War Photographer's True Story of Captivity and Survival in Syria. After gaining his freedom, Alpeyrie met Bonnie Timmermann, one of Hollywood's most successful and prolific producers and casting directors. Intrigued and moved by his story, Bonnie helped Alpeyrie land the book deal for The Shattered Lens which he dedicated to her. The two are now collaborating on a film based on the book and on other projects as well. Join us for an on-stage discussion about the creation of the book, and their ongoing collaboration.

Click here to download the event flyer



Student Discovery Seminar: Farm to (Research) Table: Food, Cuisine and Agriculture

With Professor Karen Jacobs, SAR, and Sarah Pratt, HGARC
Student Discovery Seminars
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 6:00 PM
HGARC Reading Room, 771 Commonwealth Avenue, Fifth Floor
Admission: Free and Open to Students with BUID

Interested in nutrition? Love poring over cookbooks? Would you call yourself a foodie? Then join us for our first Student Discovery Seminar of the Year! We'll take you on a culinary tour of the archive. Come explore (and even hold in your hands!) artifacts from famous chefs, food writers and more!

Click here to download the event flyer



BOSTON REVISITED: Fifty Years of the Bay State Banner – Exhibition Opening

Center Events
Sunday September 23, 2018 - 1:00 PM
Howard Gotlieb Memorial Gallery, 771 Commonwealth Ave, First Floor
Admission: Free and Open to the Public

The Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University is proud to open "BOSTON REVISITED: Fifty Years of the Bay State Banner", a major exhibition that chronicles the journey and the evolution of challenges and successes within the black community in Boston and New England as seen through the photographs of the African American owned news weekly. The exhibition is presented in conjunction with the publication of a new book, Boston's Banner Years: 1965 - 2015 - A Saga of Black Success. Banner publisher and editor, Melvin Miller will be present to sign copies of the book, which will be available for purchase at the event.

The exhibition portrays these five decades of history in Boston in the areas of education, employment, banking and business, housing, community organizations, social movements, demonstrations, politics, law enforcement, civil rights, sports, music, and the arts.

The event is free and open to the public and the reception begins at 1:00 pm; R.S.V.P. 617-353-3697 by Tuesday, September 18, 2018.

Click here to download the event flyer



"Remembering the 100th Anniversary of the Influenza Pandemic with a presentation: 10,000 Grip Cases in Lynn: Nurses Needed," featuring Dr. Barbara Poremba, EdH, MPH, MS, RNCS, ANP, CNE

Nursing Archives Associates
Monday, May 7, 2018 - 5:30 PM
One Silber Way, 9th Floor, Trustee Ballroom
Admission: Free and Open to the Public

Join the Nursing Archives Associates for their annual meeting, featuring BU School of Nursing Alumna Dr. Barbara Poremba. Dr. Poremba will speak on the influenza pandemic of 1918 from both an individual and institutional perspective.

Barbara Poremba, RN, MPH, MS, RNCS, ANP, CNE is an adult Nurse Practitioner and Visiting Lecturer at Salem State University's School of Nursing. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Massachusetts. She then proceeded to earn her Master of Nursing as a Community Health Clinical Specialist from Boston University before moving on to Harvard University, where she received her Master of Public Health specializing in Maternal and Child Health. She then returned to her undergrad alma mater, University of Massachusetts, to receive her Doctorate in Multicultural Public Health Education and Media Development. Finally, she received her Post-Master's Certificate as an Adult Nurse Practitioner from the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. As a lecturer at Salem State University's School of Nursing Dr. Poremba teaches courses in Public Health Nursing, and Population Health and Community Nursing. Dr. Poremba writes opinion pieces on Public Health issues for the Salem News and has also published a number of photo essays and audio pieces.

Following the talk there will be a reception.

Click here to download the event flyer