May the Library Be With You

Dee Bowers

Child dressed as Luke Skywalker standing atop bookcase in the Othmer Library
[Child in Luke Skywalker Halloween costume], 1977; Long Island Historical Society photographs, V1974.031, V1974.31.127; Brooklyn Public Library, Center for Brooklyn History.

The year is 1977. You're obsessed with the best movie you've ever seen in your life, Star Wars. Of course you want to dress as the movie's hero, Luke Skywalker, for Halloween. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of Star Wars costumes everywhere, as retailers scrambled to catch up with the movie's unforeseen popularity. So you pull out your galoshes and utility belt to get that perfect Skywalker look.

At least, that's what I imagine happened for this small child posing in the Othmer Library for Halloween 1977. Yes, that's our Othmer Library--the staircase behind the south reference desk, to be precise. The painting in the background is a circa 1830 portrait of Lucretia Lefferts Vandervoort Morrell which is still in our collection. We welcome your Halloween costumes into the library tomorrow--just please don't climb onto the bookshelves!

Interested in seeing more photos from CBH’s collections? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images, or the digital collections portal at Brooklyn Public Library. We welcome appointments to research our entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections. Our reference staff is available to help with your research! You can reach us at


This blog post reflects the opinions of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of Brooklyn Public Library.


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