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Library reveals new local history display

The Bethlehem Area Public Library (BAPL) is proud to announce the unveiling of a new display case, designed by renowned local artist and sculptor Michael Brolly. The display case, funded by the Friends of the Bethlehem Public Library, will house the library’s esteemed Local History Collection, featuring books, manuscripts and artifacts related to the rich history of the Bethlehem region.

The Friends of the BAPL, a dedicated group of library advocates and supporters, were made aware of the need for a specialized display case to showcase the library’s unique historical treasures. After consulting with BAPL Executive Director Josh Berk, the Friends reached out to Brolly, a Bethlehem-based artist with an international reputation for his exceptional woodworking and sculptural creations.

“We are thrilled to have Michael Brolly’s extraordinary craftsmanship on display at the library,” said Berk. “This new display case not only showcases our Local History Collection in a stunning and secure manner, but it also celebrates the incredible talent and artistry within our community.”

Michael Brolly, whose work has been featured in over a hundred national and international exhibitions, and is part of prestigious museum collections worldwide, designed and handcrafted the display case using high-quality materials and his signature attention to detail.

“It is an honor to contribute to the Bethlehem Area Public Library and play a role in preserving and celebrating the rich history of our community,” said Brolly. “This display case is not only a functional piece but also a work of art that reflects the library’s commitment to education, culture and the arts.”

The new display case is a stunning addition to the library’s interior, featuring a curved wooden frame and glass panels that allow visitors to easily view the featured items. The inaugural display showcases a selection of rare books and manuscripts from the Local History Collection, including “The Herb Garden” by Dorothy Bovee Jones, “Edible Wild Plants of Pennsylvania and New York” by John Tomikel, and “Plant Names and Plant Lore Among the Pennsylvania Germans” by David F. Hick.

The Friends of the Bethlehem Public Library and the library staff invite the community to visit the library and explore this remarkable new display case, which celebrates the region’s rich heritage and the talents of local artists like Michael Brolly.

Contributed article

Press photos by Dana GrubbBethlehem artist Michael Brolly explains his use of maple burl for the display case lock to BAPL executive director Josh Berk June 25. Brolly said he used a laser to add the eye surrounding the key opening.
A list of current items on display in the new case.