Monthly Archives: January 2010

The Sweet Smell of a Mystery Solved

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There is something fitting in one librarian coming to the aid of another. The mystery surrounding the New York Times 1964 claim that the Adams family celebrated July 4, 1776 with “Green turtle soup, New England poached salmon with egg sauce and apple pan dowdy,” found a resolution with the detective work of New York ...

Slate, before the hype

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With the pending release of Apple Computers’ tablet computer and the surrounding press and discussion, it seemed like a good time to review the precursor to it all, the humble school slate. The Antiquarian Society has several nineteenth-century slates in the games collection, including one with multiple pages, patented in 1867 and bound like a ...

The Acquisitions Table: Only Known Copies

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This week we feature two items acquired by AAS in recent months.  What they have in common is that our copies are the only ones known to exist.  Given the age of these items (they were printed in 1795 and 1815 respectively) and given the fact that generations of bibliographers have labored to identify and ...

Clean out your closets!

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Recently the Graphic Arts staff at the American Antiquarian Society posted its latest illustrated inventory, a complete listing of political and social engraved satires from the Charles Peirce collection (yes, that last name is spelled correctly! Peirce, not Pierce!).  You can have a look by following this link http://www.americanantiquarian.org/Inventories/Peirce/ Like many collections here at the Society, ...

The gentleman doth protest too much

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Background: The books in the AAS collection began appearing long before a comprehensive cataloging system. Building on the foundational donation of Isaiah Thomas' personal library, members sent books to the Society, and according to the letter transcribed below, at times also removed them. Item: A letter from AAS member and prominent Worcester lawyer William Lincoln to statesman ...

The Question: Something Smells Fishy

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If Abigail Adams were planning an Independence Day feast what would she make? According to a 1964 New York Times article: “green turtle soup, New England poached salmon with egg sauce and apple pan dowdy.” In fact, the article claims she served this fine menu to John Adams on the very first Independence Day. Is ...

The Acquisitions Table: Ira Hill’s Memorial

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Those of us who are located in the chilly Northeast are already beginning to dream of spring and gardens.  Curator of books David Whitesell describes Ira Hill's proposal for a very special garden for Washington D.C. Hill, Ira, ca. 1783-1838. Ira Hill’s memorial, and remarks to Congress. [N.p., 1824] Second recorded copy of this intriguing proposal for ...

Now Where Was I, Redux!

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Last Friday we posted an entry about bookmarks describing the variety of scraps and ephemeral objects used by eighteenth and nineteenth century readers to mark their places in their books. As that blog post was being edited, yet another bookmark was discovered, and a most curious one at that. A small letter was found tucked ...