Author Archives: Jackie Penny

About Jackie Penny

Imaging Rights Coordinator, American Antiquarian Society

Of Royal Interest

With all eyes in the media directed towards the new addition to the royal family, we’ve taken a look back to seek out evidence in the historical record of this subject’s proportional popularity. Unsurprisingly, American buzz on the most recent princes and princesses is anything but new. Indeed, everything about Queen Victoria’s life was reported in ...

National Nurses Week – a Trip in the Archive

March 2013 cover of AJN: The American Journal of Nursing

The March 2013 issue of AJN: The American Journal of Nursing featured on its cover a well-known AAS collection item – A Map of the Open country of a Woman’s Heart by “A Lady” published by Kellogg c. 1833–1842. Throughout the month of April, we received queries about this image from nurses around the country. We ...

Press Check

Did you receive your copy of the Almanac yet? If not, a PDF version is currently available on the AAS website. But that’s not what this post is about. This is not a post about digital surrogacy. It’s a post about good, old-fashioned printing presses (okay, okay, a 1995 press). While we undoubtedly advocate for the ...

Christmas and New Year Musical Souvenir, Richmond ca. 1863

musical souvenir cover detail

This piece of sheet music in the Society’s collection represents a handful of Confederate imprints published by George Dunn and Company (printer) and written or edited by F.W. (Fitz William) Rosier. Even before official secession, and certainly after, the Confederate States produced their own government documents and publications; there were also religious pieces and education ...

Christmas Cooking, North & South – 150 years ago

We are going to brave the waters of wartime Christmas. In the next few days, there will be three posts examining Confederate-printed items in the Society’s collection. This season of festivities is also one of commemoration and reflection as we are squarely in the War’s sesquicentennial. A glance over the pages of the nation’s most popular ...

Santa, photographed

Some children would do just about anything to catch a glimpse of the gift-giving St. Nick on Christmas Eve – others have parents who would set up a camera and create a stereographic photograph to capture the whole visit. This image, titled “Santa Claus loaded for business” illustrates just such a scene. A bearded and ...

In Pursuit of Grolier

The American Antiquarian Society is somewhat of a rare bird in the way we exhibit our holdings. On the one hand, the fact that we have virtually no display space means that materials are lent for other institutions to display; on the other hand, we’re just itching to show off our collections. So when the ...

The Card Catalog – In Memoriam

This is the type of post which started out as an “In Memoriam.” Something lighthearted which included lines about the deceased card catalog’s birth in the 1970s, it being a ‘descendent of generations of particleboard furniture’ and that it ‘leaves behind grieving relations such as the filing cabinet, map drawer, etc.’ But the more I ...

A View at the Bicentennial

Back in the 1950s, the AAS used to exhibit its items in places with traffic – (skeptical? Check out this 1952 photograph taken by Ted Woolner showing the front window of the Industrial City Bank and Banking Co. in Worcester with our Graphic Arts items) – but then the Internet was born and we learned ...

When Ansel Adams came to town

Without a doubt, many amazing people arrive daily on the doorstep of Antiquarian Hall. They bring research early in its infancy, artistic projects, personal histories, obligations of library pilgrimage – all in need of the AAS touch. In 1813, Isaiah Thomas made clear the intent for the doors and collection be open to all who ...

“Lincoln’s proclamation, or advice or message or whatever the thing is that he has [just] sent to Congress…”

On this day 150 years ago, Martha LeBaron Goddard (1829-1888) wrote the letter transcribed below to her friend Mary Ware Allen Johnson. Her letters, composed over the years of the Civil War (of which the AAS has about 30), describe one woman’s response and ways of intersecting with the world (and war) around her. This letter ...

Piling On! Football in the archive

The items featured in this post were originally intended to be on display in the Reading Room of Antiquarian Hall by way of noting the Super Bowl. But the Curator of Graphic Arts instead installed archival items relating to the upcoming Leap Year in February. This is probably more fitting as, statistically speaking, Leap Year ...

A Defense of Pottery

Of all the artifacts AAS has held on to over two centuries, the hardest one to explain is the collection of Staffordshire pottery. It's not because it is a stretch really, but more because of the never-ending layers to unpack when the question comes up. How is it that a library that is devoted unwaveringly ...

Shakespeare in the Parlor…and everywhere

As the Prints in the Parlor (PIP) Project begins its last leg of digitization and access to images generated, those of us involved with it find ourselves itching to pull together some of the results into conversation with one another. The reason for this is to show how these book illustrations, sometimes independent of the ...