Tag Archives: manuscripts

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, ...

A broadside of note

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AAS member Jane K. Dewey has volunteered in the manuscripts department for almost 30 years and processed forty large collections. Jane most recently organized, housed, and wrote about some of the manuscripts from the Pike-Wright Family papers, a recent donation from Susan Pike Corcoran. Even though the donation includes a substantial collection of ambrotypes, daguerreotypes, and photographs and a ...

The Acquisitions Table: Meeting President Lincoln

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Brooks, Noah. Abraham Lincoln: The Nation’s Leader in the Great Struggle through Which Was Maintained the Existence of the United States. Washington, D.C.: National Tribune, [1909, copyright 1888]. This is marginalia at its finest. Found in a remarkable collection of twenty-seven books published between 1859 and 1916, the marginalia displayed here recalls the moment when an ...

An Antebellum Physician’s Kit

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The Pike and Wright Collection, donated by Susan Pike Corcoran, has brought to AAS more than the typical materials of photographs, diaries, books, and letters. Along with the genealogical material, a collection of medical instruments used by Dr. Nathan Staples Pike (1819-1857) is now housed within the Graphic Arts Department. You might remember seeing Dr. ...

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 ...

The Thoreau Household in 1840

Daguerreotype of Sewall, 1847

We recently announced a new web resource consisting of four journals kept by Edmund Quincy Sewall Jr. between 1837 and 1840, when Sewall was between nine and twelve years old. Of particular interest is a journal kept in March and April 1840, when the boy was a student at John and Henry David Thoreau’s Concord Academy ...

A New “Portrait” of Henry David Thoreau?

Carte-de-visite of Samuel Rouse

Last week we announced a new AAS web resource consisting of four journals kept by Edmund Quincy Sewall Jr. between 1837 and 1840, plus an introductory essay.  The journals include a description of Edmund’s life in Concord, Massachusetts, in the spring of 1840 while he was attending John and Henry David Thoreau’s Concord Academy and ...

Oil of toads and the perishable arts

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As visions of baked goods dance through the pages of holiday Instagram, we bloggers at Past is Present have decided to take a look at some of our historical manuscript cookbooks to see what early American bakers were cooking up instead. Like our fellow bloggers at Cooking in the Archives and the experts at Colonial Williamsburg, ...

Moses Paul to Samson Occom: Rediscovering a Treasure

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Libraries like the American Antiquarian Society exist not just to preserve material, but also to help people find it. Detailed descriptions of items in our catalog records and thoughtfully designed systems of organization ensure that items in our collection can be located. But AAS also relies to a great extent on institutional memory—the knowledge of ...