Here are the latest Beacon Hill - West End neighborhood notes:

Library and archives

The Otis House, 141 Cambridge St., will open its library and archives to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 6.

Researchers can discover the extraordinary collection of New England photographs, manuscripts, ephemera and other documents.

Admission is free for Historic New England members and $5 for non-members.

Further information is available by calling 617-994-5920 or online at

Jewish Beacon Hill

Boston by Foot and the Vilna Shul will offer a walking tour of Jewish Beacon Hill at 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 7.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, the North Slope of Beacon Hill was a neighborhood that was home to a large population of Jewish and Italian new immigrants. This tour focuses on the Jews of the North Slope, who lived an active Jewish life with three synagogues within a few blocks of each other, carrying customs of their old world with them even as they made changes to the new world around them.

The meeting place will be provided after registration. Tours are typically 90 minutes. Participants should wear comfortable shoes and bring bottled water. Tours are rain or shine.

Tickets are $18 per person.

For more information, call 617-523-2324 or visit

Music for kids

Little Groove will present a fun, free musical morning for children at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, April 8 at the West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St.

Toddlers and preschoolers can sing, move, play instruments and more with staff from Little Groove. Caregivers must accompany children.

Call 617-523-3957 for further information.

Guitar recital

King’s Chapel, corner of School and Tremont streets, will present guitarist Peter Griggs in concert at 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9.

Griggs will perform “Café Barcelona,” a selection of flamenco music, songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim and more.

A donation of $3 is requested; all contributions are given directly to the musicians.

Visit or call 617-227-2155 for more information.

Gallery talk and tour

The Boston Athenaeum, 10½ Beacon St., will host an up close tour at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 10.

Docent Clive Martin will lead a gallery talk in “Athena at the Athenaeum,” a look at the Goddess of Wisdom’s presence in the library and her place in the ancient world, focusing on the towering sculptures of Athena and Sophocles and the monumental head of Zeus that grace the Athenaeum’s first floor.

Reservations are recommended, as space is limited, by calling 617-227-0270 or at

Music documentaries

The West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St., will screen a series of music documentaries from 3 to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays during April.

The documentaries will include “Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser” on April 10; “Mavis!” on April 17; and “What Happened, Miss Simone?” on April 24.

For more information, call 617-523-3957.

Frontier preaching

David M. Powers will present “Good and Comfortable Words: The Coded Sermon Notes of John Pynchon and the Frontier Preaching Ministry of George Moxon” at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 11 at the Congregational Library and Archives, 14 Beacon St.

While doing research for his biography of William Pynchon, the founder of Springfield, Powers was able to decode two sets of notes taken in 1640. John Pynchon, William’s son, invented his own system of “shortwriting” to record on the spot what he heard of the sermons by the community’s first minister, the Rev. George Moxon.

Transcriptions of those notes, plus a later notebook by John, make up the core of Power’s new book, “Good and Comfortable Words: The Coded Sermon Notes of John Pynchon and the Frontier Preaching Ministry of George Moxon.”

Registration is required for this free program, online at or by calling617-523-0470.

Houseplant workshop

The Friends of the West End Library will offer a free houseplant workshop from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 11 at the library, 151 Cambridge St.

This program will outline the psychological and physical benefits of houseplants. An educator from Niche Urban Gardening will educate the audience and share tips on how to use plants to safely enhance their home décor. Niche will also have a raffle of plants.

Call 617-523-3957for more details and to register.

American WWII spy

The Boston Athenaeum, 10½ Beacon St., will present “A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win WWII” from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 11.

Author Sonia Purnell will look at the life of Virginia Hall, a young socialite from Baltimore, who, after being rejected from the Foreign Service because of her gender and prosthetic leg, talked her way into the SOE, the WWII British spy organization. She was one of the greatest spies in American and English history, yet her full story remains untold. Purnell’s new biography, “A Woman of No Importance: The Spy Who Helped Win WWII” reveals the captivating story of a formidable, yet overlooked, heroine whose fierce persistence helped win the war.

Tickets are $20 for members and $30 for non-members.

Visit or call 617-227-0270 to purchase tickets and for further information.

West End photographs

The West End Museum, 150 Staniford St., is displaying a new exhibition “Under the Wrecking Ball: A West End Landlord.”

The exhibit features photographs from a collection donated by Ira Tarlin that depicts the West End at the time of demolition. Eli Tarlin, Ira’s father, was an original resident who came to own numerous properties in the neighborhood. The demise of the community, says the family, was also Eli’s demise.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more details, call 617-416-0781 or go online to

Coloring for adults

“Color Your World,” coloring for adults, will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. on Fridays at the West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St.

Studies have shown the relaxing benefits of coloring for adults as well as children. Patrons are invited to drop in and enjoy a relaxing afternoon coloring. Coloring pages, pencils, crayons and markers will be provided.

For further details, call 617-523-3957.