For Herman Melville's 200th birthday, the Berkshire Athenaeum is being recognized as a literary landmark and its Melville collection is growing this fall.
"For over 75 years the Berkshire Athenaeum has been the home of the largest collection of Melville family, personal memorabilia in the world as well as one of the largest research collections available for scholarly research," said Kathy Reilly, who heads the local history department.
During the American Revolution famed French Gen. Marquis de Lafayette played a significant role as an ally by the United States.
So much so that President James Monrow invited him on a farewell tour of the nation in 1824, celebrating the country's 50th birthday. Lafayette traveled all 24 of the United States, including going directly across the Berkshires on his way to Boston.