Past is Present and Other Blogs

Here is a roundup of a few blogs that have recently mentioned Past is Present.

One of our recent posts — “City Living” was referenced a couple of times. Two Nerdy History Girls had a post “Big Bad City Tempts Young Men, 1849” in which Susan provides a wonderful set-up to introduce our earlier post:

“Just as the country has traditionally represented a pure and wholesome life, cities everywhere are most often depicted harboring sin and wickedness on every street corner. As the focus of the 19th c. American economy shifted away from farms to factories, young men became increasingly eager to leave rural homes for the proverbial bright lights of the big city. Cautionary tracts were quick to appear, doubtless far more popular with worried parents than ambitious youth.”

Make sure to go to her post on Two Nerdy History Girls to see the illustration showing just how tempting cities could be!

The same Past is Present post on “City Living” was also described as “Best Post about Life in the City (this year)” by Nicole on her Worcester blog, an accolade we greatly appreciate.

And just this weekend, the blog Jane Austen in Vermont had a lovely post “Museum Musings – The American Antiquarian Society” which aptly describes the serendipity of online historical research.  After kindly complementing AAS’s online exhibits (you can find them all here), Deb goes on to reveal her favorite find:

“But here is my favorite find: note very closely this image of the title page of The Ladies Library and the owner’s signature Jane Mecom

“An interesting aside: Jane Mecom was Benjamin Franklin’s sister – the unsung sister of a very famous brother [think Alice James, Dorothy Wordsworth, etc…] – you can read about her in this very recent article (April 24, 2011) in the NYTimes by Jill Lepore

“Serendipitous, don’t you think that I read this article a few weeks ago and then find this title page image on the AAS site with her name in the book!”

As Deb aptly points out, you never know what you’re going to find while poking around online. It could be interesting material from the present or from the past. So here are our recommendations for three enjoyable blogs with which to start your online fun today: Two Nerdy History Girls, Worcester, and Jane Austen in Vermont. Hope you enjoy them as much as we have!

Published by

Elizabeth Watts Pope

Curator of Books, American Antiquarian Society

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