Bruce Watson is the author of articles in Smithsonian and other magazines and newspapers. His most recent books are Freedom Summer: The Savage Summer of 1964 that Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy and Light: A Radiant History from Creation to the Quantum Age.
Hearth and Soul: A History of the Jones Library at One Hundred
Hearth and Soul: A History of Jones Library and One Hundred was written by distinguished author and Jones Library patron Bruce Watson who brings the history of the Jones Library to life, as the decades changed Amherst from a conservative farming community into a vibrant college town where, residents proudly proclaimed, “only the H is silent.”
“The Jones Library in Amherst ought to be, and doubtless will be, one of the finest in the state.”
—The Amherst Record, January 8, 1919
Incorporated in 1919, the Jones Library began its life in an Amherst hotel and ran weekly advertisements bombarding residents with reasons to visit their library regularly. In its first century, the library rose from the ashes after a devastating fire; constructed its stately home on Amity Street; steadied a community through the Depression, war, and even the 1960s; lent several million books and records, videotapes and DVDs; established archival collections of works by Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Robert Francis, and Julius Lester, among others; hosted thousands of meetings, concerts, and lectures; and survived the seismic shift from the age of print to the age of pixels.