Our popular Winter Lecture series begins January 11, 2022! All lectures will be in-person with limited seating. If you are interested in attending the lectures virtually, please contact the library or follow the link next to the lecture you want to attend (available soon).

Location: 1177 N. Idaho Rd., Apache Junction, AZ 85119
Dates: Tuesdays, January 11 – February 22, 2022
Time: 2:30 PM
Cost: Free
Format: In-person with limited seating; if you are interested in attending the lectures virtually, please contact the library or follow the link in the description of the lecture you want to attend.

Upcoming Lectures

January 11 , 2022
The Evolution of an Icon — The History of Arizona Highways Magazine
Presented by Win Holden
Former publisher Win Holden will share the fascinating story of how abrochure produced by the Arizona Highway Department evolved into one of the most respected and revered publications in the world. With annual economic impact of over $65 million, Arizona Highways reaches all 50 states and over 100 countries around the world, but the journey has been anything but uneventful. Learn how this remarkable magazine has beaten the odds and is thriving in a competitive environment that has seen respected national magazines fall by the wayside.
In-person and virtual. Register to attend virtually here. No registration is required to attend in person.


January 18, 2022
Desert Rats, River Runners, and Canyon Crawlers: Four Arizona Explorers
Presented by Gregory McNamee

Francisco Garcés, a Franciscan friar, arrived in what is now Arizona in 1768. Assigned to the church at San Xavier del Bac south of present-day Tucson, he traveled widely throughout Arizona and California, charting overland routes that later travelers would follow. Near where Garcés would meet his death in 1781, an American soldier named Joseph Christmas Ives embarked on an arduous expedition up the Colorado River, one of the first Americans to see what he called the Big Canyon. A dozen years later, the river-running explorer John Wesley Powell would name it the Grand Canyon, and a hundred years after that a writer named Edward Abbey would explore the canyon country. Gregory McNamee will look back on the accomplishments of these four explorers, each of whom shaped our understanding of this wild, sometimes challenging place called Arizona.
In-person and virtual. Register to attend virtually here. No registration is required to attend in person.


January 25, 2022
Western Pulp Fiction
Presented by Steve Renzi
Pulp fiction magazines sold for a dime and in the 1920s to 1950s, they filled American newsstands. Western magazines were the most popular. Western pulp fiction, along with movies, helped to create the myths of the American West. Writers like Elmore Leonard, Jack London and Louise L’Amour wrote for pulp magazines, and several classic Western films like The Searchers, Red River, and 3:10 to Yuma first appeared as pulp stories. The cover art was American illustration at its best – bright, bold and energized – made to attract magazine readers like bees to a field of wildflowers. Pulp fiction magazines disappeared from newsstands in the 1950s. Hardly anyone lamented their loss or noticed when they were gone.
In-person and virtual. Register to attend virtually here. No registration is required to attend in person.


February 1, 2022
Landscapes of Extraction: The Art of Mining in the American West
Presented by Betsy Fahlman
Mining is the transformative industry of the American West – one that competes in scale and in color with the scenic landscape on its own terms, with the industrial sublime dynamically coexisting with the natural one. These landscapes are located at the bedrock of economic development – the risky speculation from which huge fortunes could be made and lost – and reframing our understanding of an equally mythic chronicle of the American West. Mining was one of the five Cs of the Arizona’s economy, and remains central to its cultural and economic identity. This lecture presents the rich historical heritage of a significant body of regional art – particularly painting and prints – that was inspired by an important industry considered over a vast region.
In-person and virtual. Register to attend virtually here. No registration is required to attend in person.

February 8, 2022
Star Wounds: Meteorites from Ancient Native American Sites
Presented by Ken Zoll

The occurrence of meteorites on archaeological sites in North America has been known since the early 19th century. From the Hopewell culture in the eastern United States to the Indians in the American Southwest and northern Mexico, meteorites have been found on these ancient sites. Much like meteorite hunters of today, ancient Native American cultures actively engaged in meteorite collecting. Several meteorite fragments from Meteor Crater near Flagstaff have been discovered at ancient dwellings in Central Arizona. This talk will describe these meteorite locations, how they were associated with Meteor Crater and how one of the meteorites, using radiocarbon dating, established its location within a ruin and confirmed the date of the ruin’s destruction.
In-person and virtual. Register to attend virtually here. No registration is required to attend in person.


February 15, 2022
Saviors and Saints on the Arizona Frontier
Presented by Jan Cleere

Health care in early Arizona was hardly reliable and frequently nonexistent. Often, settlers were on their own when tragedy struck, with women taking on the responsibility for the well-being of their families. And if women were considered incapable of earning the title “Doctor,” they could certainly save souls. Meet a handful of women who influenced the history of the territory through their medical expertise and their spiritual leadership. Theresa Ferrin’s comprehensive understanding of healing herbs earned her the title “Angel of Tucson.” Florence Yount is recognized as Prescott’s first woman physician while Teresita Urrea was sometimes lionized for her hands-on healing powers. Saint Katharine Drexel invested much of her vast fortune in educating Navajo children. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet trudged across the blazing desert enduring untold hardships before arriving safely in the territory to administer to the health and well-being of the children of the desert.
In-person and virtual. Register to attend virtually here. No registration is required to attend in person.

February 22, 2022
Miners, Cowboys and Washerwomen: The Worksongs of Arizona
Presented by Jay Craváth

In a narrative and musical portrait of working-class music, Dr. Craváth explores its roots and rhythms in our state. From Hopi basket songs, the Yavapai acorn gathering songs, to the cotton fields of Chandler and the crooked streets of Jerome, songs were companions to the immigrants who explored and built our state. Through performance and discussion, these tales, which reveal so much of the nature and character of a people, are explored.
In-person and virtual. Register to attend virtually here. No registration is required to attend in person.