Monthly Archives: September 2012

Ours…to fight for

It is probably not news to readers of this blog that The New York Times recently, and favorably, reviewed the American Antiquarian Society's Grolier Club exhibition "In Pursuit of a Vision." But readers familiar with the two societies neither will be surprised that the AAS has exhibited at the Grolier Club in the past (in ...

The Acquisitions Table: Byerly’s New American Spelling-Book

Byerly, Stephen.  Byerly’s New American Spelling-Book.  Philadelphia: M’Carty & Davis, 1830.  This lovely wood engraving of the exotic Caribbean parrot fish is taken from a speller written by Quaker school teacher Stephen Byerly (c. 1797-1850).  His spelling and reading lessons are punctuated with clear illustrations of animals both common and uncommon to his young readers ...

AAS Makes the News

Although we're often holding newsworthy events, conferences, and lectures, the bicentennial has brought even more media attention than usual to AAS and its offerings. Just yesterday, the Society was prominently featured in a front page story on the Constitution in Worcester's Telegram and Gazette.  You can read the article here: The source of it ...

Symposium: Poetry & Print in Early America

Today, poetry occupies one of the smallest possible corners of the publishing landscape. The market for books of poetry by contemporary poets is miniscule, and—apart from occasionally having one of the poems in, say, the New Yorker catch one’s eye—many readers can go months (if not years) without seeing a contemporary poem in print. This ...

The Acquisitions Table: Fitch’s Geography for Beginners

Fitch’s Geography for Beginners, ca. 1850-1858. This handwritten textbook of geography is something of a mystery.  Heavily illustrated with original drawings and images clipped from publications, the text is divided into lessons with topics such as “About Travelling,” “About the Surface of the Earth,” “About Animals,” and “About Trees and Plants.”  The title, Fitch’s Geography… suggests ...

Banner Days at AAS!

After Antiquarian Hall’s signature copper dome was renovated this summer, five bicentennial banners were installed on the Park Avenue and Salisbury Street facades. Custom-designed hardware will allow the banners to be changed in the future. Four of the banners are on the library stacks, brick walls without windows that provide an excellent backdrop. Each features a ...

Exhibition: “In Pursuit of a Vision: Two Centuries of Collecting at the American Antiquarian Society”

Special exhibition to mark the Society’s bicentennial, at the Grolier Club, New York, September 12 through November 17, 2012. As most readers of this blog already know, the American Antiquarian Society was founded two hundred years ago, in 1812 in Worcester, Massachusetts, by the patriot, printer and publisher Isaiah Thomas. In fact, Thomas’s personal ...

Setting our own history straight!

The new copper dome

It’s funny (and a bit embarrassing for an organization that’s all about historical accuracy) when facts get obscured by the mists of time (and foggy memory) and then re-emerge with such clarity that one is left with only “Duh!” to say. For some time now – through all the planning and the fundraising – we have ...