Library Hosts Russian History Seminar

Dozens of Tri-Town residents packed the conference room of the Mattapoisett Free Library on Saturday, January 12, for the first lecture in a five-part series on Russian history delivered by the town’s most famous historian, Seth Mendell.

The library is known for its educational outreach, which has included seminars on finance, birds, and health.

“We’ve had a lot of programs on local topics,” said library director Susan Pizzolato.  “This is a little more broad.  Seth is a popular speaker from the South Coast up to Boston.”

Mendell got his start teaching Russian history when he was an instructor at the Avon Old Farms School in Connecticut, where he taught from 1965 to 1990.  Since retiring back to his hometown of Mattapoiset, Mendell has delivered several lectures over the years.

“I used to do seminars, mostly on Mattapoisett history, over at the Historical Society,” Mendell said.  “I was talking with Susan last summer and I suggested I could do this series.”

 His first lecture covered Russia from the establishment of Kiev in the ninth century to the rule of Ivan III in the 1500s.

“This covers about 700 years, so it will be a broad brushstroke-style overview,” said Mendell.

There are four more lectures in the series, including one about the history of the Russian tsars.

“The library is trying to find more topics that are relevant to our community’s interests.  We’re always open to new ideas about what people would like to see,” said Pizzolato.

For more information on this series and other events at the library, visit

By Eric Tripoli

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