Author Archives: Lauren Hewes

About Lauren Hewes

Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts, American Antiquarian Society

AAS Catalog Is an Award-Winner!

On May 17, 2018, during the annual meeting of the American Historical Print Collector’s Society (AHPCS) in California, the American Antiquarian Society received the Ewell L. Newman Book Award for our exhibition catalog Radiant with Color & Art: McLoughlin Brothers and the Business of Picture Books, 1858–1920. The Newman Book Award recognizes and encourages outstanding ...

“A Lot of Handsome Badges”: A New Illustrated Inventory

AAS collects American printed materials of all kinds, including multiple types of ephemera, from broadsides to tickets to ribbon badges. We have recently completed an illustrated inventory of the Society’s collection of more than 170 ribbon badges, ranging in date from 1824 to 1900. The inventory includes ribbons worn during political campaigns and civic events ...

New Illustrated Inventory: Photographs of North American Indians, 1850-1900

Today, the American Antiquarian Society is launching a new illustrated inventory featuring photographs of Native Americans from our graphic arts collection. This collection of 225 photographs spans from 1859 to 1910 and makes available photographs of members of thirty-nine tribes. The collection was compiled as a resource decades ago, long before the creation of the ...

A “Sour” Construction Surprise

Progress on the new addition to Antiquarian Hall has been moving steadily over the past few months. Collections have been moved for protection, windows abutting the new addition have been boarded for safety, and these days you may even see staff and readers with ear plugs in the reading room, still hard at work despite ...

Say Cheese! Photographs of Printers at Work, Redux

Back in 2014, I prepared a post for Past is Present that featured four photographs of newspaper print shops, two from the collection and two recently acquired. In the three years since that post, AAS has added several more occupational images featuring print shops of all shapes and sizes. These images add to our knowledge of the ...

Tenth Annual Adopt-a-Book – Now Launched!

Springtime means it is time for the AAS Adopt-a-Book fundraiser! A hearty thank you to all who have participated in this popular event in the past. We have raised over $125,000 for acquisitions over the last nine years. Today, Tuesday, April 4th, we launch our tenth annual online catalog of "orphans" to be adopted. This year, ...

Reading into Valentines

This semester, AAS is partnering with a class from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, as students there learn about the production and popularity of valentines in America. In an upper level colloquium, Professor Laura Kalba and her students are exploring the connections between nineteenth-century print ephemera and the ephemerality of images in the digital era. "Be ...

Show the Love: McLoughlin Christmas Books

One year from now AAS will be opening the exhibition Radiant with Color and Light: McLoughlin Brothers and the Business of Picture Books, 1858-1920 at the Grolier Club in New York. The show will feature nearly two hundred books, games, watercolors, toys, and ephemera, all produced by the McLoughlin Bros. firm and their contemporaries. The ...

Boo! Bookplates!

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Each year as Halloween comes around, the staff here at AAS tries to think of ways to feature the spooky, scary, and creepy material in the Society’s collection. We have shown off our postcard collection and some fright-inducing stereograph photos. We’ve hunted for ghost stories, featured gift book illustrations of the supernatural, and peered into ...

Perfect Shadows: An Illustrated Inventory of AAS Silhouettes

Stephen Salisbury II, ca. 1870

The American Antiquarian Society’s collection of just over two hundred American silhouettes has recently been cataloged and photographed and an inventory of these profile portraits is now available via a new digital resource. Silhouettes were popular in the United States starting at the end of the eighteenth century. Profile drawings, profile miniatures, and silhouettes all benefited ...

The Acquisitions Table: Daguerreotype Apparatus

Daguerreotype Apparatus broadside

Daguerreotype Apparatus. Boston: H.P. Lewis, 1840. The technical elements of daguerreotypy were presented by Louis Daguerre to the world in Paris in August of 1839. By September, a technical manual, in French, was for sale on the streets of Paris and London. At the end of September 1839, an Englishman named D. W. Seager was in New York demonstrating the process, and he ...

The Story of Emily & Benjamin

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Earlier this year the American Antiquarian Society acquired an important archive of manuscripts and drawings related to American missionary activity in Western Africa.  The collection tells the story of a couple, Emily Griswold (1838-1906) and her eventual husband, Benjamin Hartley (1838-1912). Emily was the daughter of the poet and publisher Rufus Wilmot Griswold, who edited anthologies, ...

Time Stands Still in Collection of Family Photographs

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Recently AAS was delighted to receive as a gift a large collection of nineteenth-century manuscripts from the Pike and Wright families of northeastern Connecticut. The collection came in two segments, both the gift of Susan Pike Corcoran in honor of her Pike and Wright ancestors. Caches of family records are rich resources for scholars working ...