Here are the latest Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes:

MLK breakfast

St. Cecilia Parish Church, 18 Belvedere St., will host the 48th MLK Memorial breakfast at 8 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 15.

Donations would be gratefully accepted.

For more information, call 617-536-4548 or visit

Quabbin Reservoir

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will present “The Fight before the Flood: Rural Protest and the Debate over Boston’s Quabbin Reservoir, 1919-1927” from 5:15 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 16.

Jeffrey Egan of the University of Connecticut will look at the contentious six-year debate when state engineers proposed solving Boston’s water supply crisis by damming the Swift River, flooding a western Massachusetts valley and evicting 2,500 people.

Karl Haglund of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation will comment.

Admission is free, but reservations are required, by calling 617-646-0579 or online at

Mansion tour

A public one-hour tour of the Ayer Mansion, 395 Commonwealth Ave., which showcases the striking interior and exterior embellishments designed and created by Louis Comfort Tiffany, will be offered at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 17.

Reservations are required and a $10 donation is requested to help with the ongoing restoration costs.

To make a reservation, send an email to or call 617-536-2586.

Origin of nuclear medicine

The New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99-101 Newbury St., will present “Dr. Saul Hertz and the Origin of Nuclear Medicine: Genealogy, Challenges, Legacy” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 17.

In the 1930s and ’40s, Dr. Saul Hertz revolutionized medicine with his breakthrough research establishing the use of radioactive iodine (RAI) as the cornerstone of nuclear medicine.

Today, RAI is the gold standard of targeted cancer therapy. Barbara Hertz will give an illustrated talk on Dr. Hertz’s family’s origins in Poland, the social biases that impeded his due recognition and how his medical legacy continues to this day.

A special exhibit featuring research journals, photographs and correspondence as well as family heirlooms will be on display following the lecture and available for viewing through the end of March.

Visit or call 617-536-5740 for more information and to register for this free program.

Author talk

Author Mike Lewis will be the guest speaker from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 17 at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St.

Lewis is the author of “When to Jump: If the Job You Have isn’t the Life You Want,” the stories of 40 people who left jobs that were not working for them and went into something they loved, such as a banker who became a brewer, a journalist who became a paramedic and a garbage collector who wanted to design furniture. He relates their heartening stories and outlines four steps readers can use to help them pursue their dream jobs.

Admission is free. Call 617-536-5400 for further details.

Ending campus assault

The Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., will welcome Annie E. Clark and Andrea Pino, co-founders of End Rape on Campus, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18.

Pino and Clark will talk abut the organization End Rape on Campus that works to end campus sexual violence through direct support for survivors and their communities; prevention through education; and policy reform at the campus, local, state and federal levels.

They are the authors of “We Believe You: Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault Speak Out.”

For more details on this free program, visit or call 617-536-5400.

Genealogy skills

The New England Historical Genealogical Society, 99-101 Newbury St., will offer “Building Your Genealogical Skills” from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20, 27 and Feb. 3.

This three-week course is for those new to genealogy or those who want to refresh their skills, learn best practices and get the most out of family history research.

Topics will include: how to record findings, strategies for analyzing records, online research and more. Each class includes skill-building exercises to help students apply their new knowledge. The course is $75.

Visit or call 617-536-5740 for more information and to register.

Boston Philharmonic

Members of the Boston Philharmonic will present “Interpretations of Music: Lessons for Life” from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 20 at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St.

In this master class, Maestro Zander will guide accomplished young musicians to more inspiring and alive interpretations, engaging the audience at the same time. Admission is free.

Call 617-536-5400 for more information.

Women inventors

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will present “ The Woman Inventor as a Political Tool of Female Suffragists” from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Kara Swanson of Northeastern University School of Law will discuss how 19th century American women mobilized patents granted to women as justification for civil rights claims. It identifies the creation of the “woman inventor” as a cultural trope and political weapon of resistance.

Rebecca Herzig of Bates College will make the comment.

The seminar is free, but reservations are required.

Call 617-646-0578 or visit for further information and to register.

Bach cantatas

Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., is presenting its 42nd season of the J. S. Bach Cantatas at 10 a.m. on Sundays now through May 20.

The orchestra and chorus of Emmanuel Music will present weekly performances of the cantatas and motets of J.S. Bach and others, conducted by Ryan Turner.

For more information, call 617-536-3356 or visit

Collections tour

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will host tours of the collections of the society at 10 a.m. on Saturdays.

Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the 90-minute tour focuses on the history and collections of the MHS.

The tour is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required for individuals or small groups. Parties of eight or more should contact the MHS.

Further information can be found at or by calling 617-646-0560.

Library tours

Boston Public Library volunteers will give art and architecture tours of the McKim Building, a National Historic Landmark, in its main building, constructed in 1895, throughout the week.

Highlights include the murals of John Singer Sargent, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Edwin Austin Abbey and the work of architect Charles Follen McKim.

Self-guided tours are available as well, and literature describing the architectural highlights is available on the web at

For tours by appointment, call 617-536-5400.