The UMass Lowell Libraries will host a free, four-part reading and discussion series focusing on the history of Lowell.

The series, which begins Tuesday, Jan. 28, will feature local historians including Richard Howe Jr., and UMass Lowell professors Robert Forrant and Marie Frank, and Librarian Martha Mayo. Each will lead discussions on books from Arcadia Publishers on the city’s past: “Legendary Locals of Lowell,” “Images of America: Lowell,” volumes 1 and 2, and “Campus History: UMass Lowell.” Support for the series is provided by the UMass Lowell Center for Arts and Ideas.

The sessions will be held on the dates and cover the book noted below:

  • “Legendary Locals of Lowell,” on Tuesday, Jan. 28, led by Howe at O’Leary Library Learning Commons;
  • “Images of America: Lowell Vol. 1,”  on Thursday, Feb. 20, led by Forrant at Pollard Memorial Library;
  • “Campus History: UMass Lowell,” on Tuesday, March 11, led by Frank at O’Leary Library;
  • “Images of America: Lowell Vol. 2,” on Tuesday, April 8 at Pollard Memorial Library, led by Mayo.

The O’Leary Library sessions will be held at 61 Wilder St. on UMass Lowell’s South Campus and will run from 7 to 9 p.m. The Pollard Memorial Library sessions will be held at 401 Merrimack St. and will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The series kicks off with the discussion led by Howe of his book, “Legendary Locals of Lowell.” Howe has served as the Middlesex North District register of deeds since 1995.  He has been a leader in using computer technology to make the state’s system of land records more efficient and user-friendly. He is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School and also holds a master’s degree in history from Salem State University and a bachelor of arts in political science from Providence College. He served as an intelligence officer in the United States Army from 1980 to 1984. Today, he writes extensively about Lowell history and politics on his website, www.richardhowe.com.

Pre-registration for the program is not required, but highly encouraged. Those who pre-register will receive a copy of “Legendary Locals of Lowell” by mail. Free copies of the other titles will be distributed at the program. To obtain program material or to register go to http://libguides.uml.edu/lowellhistory or contact Sara Marks, instruction and outreach librarian at UMass Lowell, at 978-934-4581 or Sara_Marks@uml.edu.

“We are excited to offer our third reading and discussion series after two successful years,” said Marks. The previous series focused on the works of Beat Generation icon and Lowell native Jack Kerouac.

The University of Massachusetts Lowell Libraries consist of O’Leary Library on South Campus, Lydon Library on North Campus and The Center for Lowell History, located at the Patrick J. Mogan Cultural Center in downtown Lowell. Information regarding library services, hours and more can be found at http://libweb.uml.edu/.