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Durham County Library Hosts Author Catherine W. Bishir

Program: Meet the Author: Catherine W. Bishir
Date: Sunday, July 13
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: Southwest Regional Library, 3605 Shannon Rd.
Cost: Free and open to the public

About: Durham County Library will host author Catherine W. Bishir for a discussion of her book, Crafting Lives: African American Artisans in New Bern, North Carolina, 1770-1900, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 13, at the Southwest Regional Library, 3605 Shannon Rd. A book signing will follow the reading.

From the colonial period onward, black artisans in southern cities, including thousands of free and enslaved carpenters, coopers, dressmakers, blacksmiths, saddlers, shoemakers, bricklayers, shipwrights, cabinetmakers, tailors and others, played vital roles in their communities. Yet only a very few black craftspeople are known today. Bishir offers an in-depth portrayal of urban African-American artisans in the small but important port city of New Bern. In so doing, she highlights the community’s often unrecognized importance in the history of nineteenth-century black life.

Bishir is the curator of Architectural Records Special Collections at North Carolina State University Libraries, where she spearheaded the creation of the website North Carolina Architects and Builders: A Biographical Dictionary. She is the author or co-author of six books, including North Carolina Architecture and Architects and Builders in North Carolina: A History of the Practice of Building. Bishir is a founding member and former president of the Vernacular Architecture Forum.

This program is sponsored by Durham Library Foundation. For more information, contact Joanne Abel at 919-560-0268 or visit

Durham County Library encourages Discovery, connects the Community and leads in Literacy. As a department of Durham County Government, the library furthers Goal 1 of the county’s Strategic Plan by enhancing cultural, educational and creative opportunities. For more information about the library, visit

Contact: Gina Rozier
919-560-0151 or

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