Officials from the Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL) announced the inaugural winner of the Local History Project contest. Brian Zagalsky, an eighth grader at Annapolis Middle School, received the honor for his project on the history of rockfish in our area. He received a $500 prize.
A joint project of the Anne Arundel County Public Library, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Anne Arundel Trust for Preservation and the Ann Arrundell County Historical Society (AACHS), the competition was created to encourage students to discover our county’s rich historical resources. The contest was part of the larger National History Day program.
Zagalsky focused his project around the preservation of the rockfish due to his interest in the Bay and his love of fishing. His display explored the reasons behind the moratorium on rockfish fishing in the 1980’s to the eventual bill passed protecting the Atlantic Striped Bass. He focused on individuals that “took a stand” against the decimation of the rockfish population and saved the species from probable extinction. He interviewed an expert and conducted research using two valuable library resources, the Joan Cass Beck and Gold Star special collections.
The Joan Cass Beck Collections, comprised of nearly 1,400 books, journals and audio/visual materials, are housed at the Anne Arundel Archaeology Lab at Historic London Town in Edgewater and at the Historical Preservation Research Library in the county’s Division of Planning and Zoning. These growing collections provide an unparalleled resource for those in our local community involved in historical research.
The Gold Star Collection includes more than 1,000 books, articles and other historical and genealogical materials that document the economic, social, political, cultural, religious and military history of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. This outstanding, non-circulating collection offers a wide array of primary and secondary sources for those involved in scholarly research or anyone interested in learning more about local history. The Gold Star Special Collection is located in the Maryland Room of the Annapolis Regional Library.
The $500 contest prize was made possible through the generosity of the Schatz family. This year’s award is in honor of Stephen M. Schatz, who passed away unexpectedly in 2009. Stephen’s father is Mark Schatz, the former chair of the Ann Arrundell County Historical Society and AACPL Trustee. Stephen is survived by his wife Evelyn Hoban and their teenage son Joseph.