Monthly Archives: March 2010

AAS Helped Compile an Early African American Bibliography

murray1

Toward the end of his now-famous 1897 Atlantic Monthly essay, "Strivings of the Negro People," W.E.B. DuBois states that the post-Civil War years brought for African Americans “the ideal of book-learning, the curiosity, born of compulsory ignorance.” Historians may note DuBois’ ultimate discontent with this ideal -- the longing to achieve freedom through ‘book-learning” ...

Adopt-a-Book Tonight at 6pm!

adopt

Just a reminder that the best way to escape the dreary weather (besides a tropical vacation) is a relaxing evening with a glass of wine, delicious food, and some good books. If you agree, please join us tonight at the American Antiquarian Society for our annual Adopt-a-Book event beginning at 6pm. ...

“Promiscuous Leaves” from A Convict’s Diary

Cover

AAS holds in its manuscripts collections an excerpted diary of a convict from the 19th century.  It is a small unassuming volume of just under fifty pages on plain brown paper, and doesn’t visually grab your attention. It was the title on the front page that piqued my curiosity: Promiscuous Leaves from My Diary. A glance ...

The Acquisitions Table: Beware of a Swindler!!

11s

Beware of a swindler!! New York: J.W. Bell, 1835. This spectacular broadside documents the accusations of printer Jared W. Bell (1798?-1870) against a former journeyman, James B. Whitney. Bell accuses Whitney, who became a lieutenant commandant in the New York artillery, of embezzling money from Bell’s printing business. Bell was notoriously difficult. In 1821 he ...

Antiquarian Oscars

“Yes, I broke my slate, and I’ll break the next one too–I want an iPhone like all the other kids have!”

All the votes have been counted and the winner is.... Penny! Penny's caption won our hearts and received the most thumbs up in Past is Present's first humorous what-caption-would-you-write contest. Her submission had the added bonus of connecting to the original post on Slate, before the hype by AAS's curator of Graphic Arts, Lauren Hewes.  ...

Are you Rip-Van-Winkleish?

antiquarian

How about hoary, pigtaily, brontosaurian, rusty-dusty, mossy-backed, or square-toed? If so, then you belong with us! Each of these terms were once synonyms for Antiquarian, according to AAS's recently acquired copy of the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary. A recent New York Times article described the historical thesaurus: "Archaism, it ...

What caption would you write?

slate_naughty_boy

This is for all the historical comedians out there ... Seeing the illustration above, titled "The Naughty Boy," in Lauren's post Slate, Before the Hype started me wondering what led up to this scene. There has to be a good story here. The sulky pout. The curls and the dress (which to modern ...

Music Makes its Mark, and a Market

100thTune

Music religious thoughts inspires, And kindles in us pure desires; Gives pleasure to a well-tun’d mind, The most exalted and refin’d Music the coldest heart can warm, The hardest melt, the fiercest charm; Disarm the savage of his rage, Dispel our cares, and pains assuage: With joy it can our souls inspire, And tune our tempers to the lyre; Our passions like the notes agree, And ...

Chopin in America

chopmusic

March 1, 2010 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the pianist composer Frédéric François Chopin (1810-1849).  Chopin was born near Warsaw and lived much of his short life in France so you may be asking yourself why on earth there is a post about him on the blog of the American Antiquarian Society. ...