The cover of 1934:The Chatham Coloured All-Stars Barrier-Breaking next to a photo of author Heidi JacobsLibrarian Heidi L.M. Jacobs’ monograph 1934: The Chatham Coloured All-Stars’ Barrier-Breaking Year is generating international media interest.

Librarian’s book about the Chatham Coloured All-Stars touted as summer read

Among the Globe and Mail’s list of 33 Canadian books to read this summer is a book near and dear to the Leddy Library, 1934: The Chatham Coloured All-Stars’ Barrier-Breaking Year written by librarian Heidi L.M. Jacobs.

Dr. Jacobs, responsible for the English collections at the Leddy Library, shares the story of the Chatham Coloured All Stars, a Black baseball team who won the 1934 Ontario Intermediate Amateur Association Championship.

The monograph, which hit bookstore shelves on June 6, is making waves across local, provincial, national, and international media outlets and book lists. It was recently featured on a TVO special, How a Black Baseball Team from Chatham Broke Barriers, the CBC’s The Current, and on the front page of the Globe and Mail, along with a spot in its 33 books to read this summer.

While the book may be new, the research to write the story began in 2015 when the Jacobs along with fellow librarian Dave Johnston and University of Windsor history professor Miriam Wright were given scrapbooks of old photos, newspaper clippings from Pat Harding, daughter-in-law of Boomer Harding, to be digitized through the Leddy Library’s Centre for Digital Scholarship.

The research project, Breaking the Colour Barrier, which includes a website, teachers guide, and comic book has won several awards including the 2017 Lieutenant Governor’s Excellence in Conservation Award from the Ontario Heritage Trust and the Ontario Council of University Libraries Outstanding Contribution award.

1934: The Chatham Coloured All-Stars’ Barrier-Breaking is available at bookstores and libraries. Royalties from book sales will support the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society.

For more information, visit the Biblioasis website.

—Marcie Demmans