askacuratorIt’s time again for Ask a Curator day, MCHS Style, this year with the added bonus of Twitter!  Tweet us today @mchist (with the tag #askacurator) with your questions, and we’ll see how well my crash course in Twitterdom goes.  (If nothing else, I’m happy to answer questions on future blogs, too.)

In the meantime, here’s a more thorough answer to one of last year’s questions: Is Upton Beall, first owner of our Beall-Dawson House, related to author Upton Sinclair (full name Upton Beall Sinclair)?  Author Jim Johnston, in his 2012 book From Slave Ship to Harvard: Yarrow Mamout and the History of an African American Family, provides this info: our Upton had a nephew, also named Upton Beall, who was a pastor in Georgetown in the mid 19th century.  According to Johnston (pg. 245), “[Rev. Beall] went on to become so well known that the Sinclair family named their son for him.  This is how the writer Upton Beall Sinclair got his name.”

And of course, I can’t leave my blog readers without an artifact.  September is Library Card Sign-Up Month, so here from our collections is a Montgomery County Public Library card, used in Rockville and Gaithersburg in the 1990s.  It’s the first design featured in the array of recent cards on the MPCL Library Card Sign-Up Month page.  Personally, I’m still rocking the second design; what kind do you have, fellow county residents? (And if you don’t have one, now’s the time!)  Don’t forget, many of the research books in our own library here at MCHS are cataloged in the MCPL system (though it’s worth noting that you don’t need a library card to use our library).