All posts by Barbara Pero Kampas

Barbara Pero Kampas

Barbara Pero Kampas

Barbara Pero Kampas has worked at the Phillips Library since 2006 and is currently the head of library collections. Kampas stewards the library collection, develops digital initiatives and works on special projects within the library and with museum curators. An avid quilter, Kampas researches the collection for design ideas. She is the author of The Great Salem Fire of 1914: Images from the Phillips Library Collection.

Inscribed book page

Celia – Poet and Painter

After writing the first blog about Celia Thaxter and her island garden, I immersed myself in the reading of her poetry and learning more about her life as an artist.  …

The Garden in Its Glory, 1892

Island gardener

I have always been interested in strong, female artists.  I admire their tenacity to create, regardless of obstacles they may face.  Every time I purchase a new car I name …

Girl on a Swing, Drawing/Painting

Celebrating a poet

March is National Women’s History Month, which celebrates the many different roles played by women throughout history, many of whom pushed beyond the stereotypes of their time.  April is National …

Ghost of Christmas Present, A Christmas Carol, 1887

Phillips Library advent calendar, December 22

Marley’s Ghost, A Christmas Carol, 1887 The Christmas Carol has been one of the most popular holiday stories since Charles Dickens first published it in December 1843, financing the costs …

Salem Fire Factory Ruins, Boston Street

Honoring Great Salem Fire

On June 25, 1914, a fire alarm sounded at 1:37 p.m.  An explosion had occurred at the Korn Leather Factory on Boston Street in Blubber Hollow, the leather district in …

Two Watercolor Floral Paintings from Kitty M. Bradlee Collection

She paints, she draws

Occasionally, I roam through the stacks of our collection to explore what I am not familiar with as a treat after a project has been finished or, in this case, …

Three examples of advertising cards for clipper ships: Dreadnought, Cremorne, and Audubon.

Setting sail

It is exciting to announce that one of my favorite collections at the Phillips Library, MSS 470 – Sailing Ship Card Collection, 1852-1894, 1918, 1990, is now fully processed and …


Who writes like that?

Recently a colleague was looking through handwritten catalog cards and remarked, Who writes like that today?  His comment reminded me of the penmanship handbooks and scrapbooks we hold in the …


The duty of owning books

Three books written by Alberto Manguel are included in my personal library, The Library at Night, A History of Reading, and A Reader on Reading.  I refer to these texts …