Abby Goes Digital

AKF1AAS is excited to announce the launch of an important new digital resource.  In partnership with the Worcester Historical Museum, AAS has digitized both the Worcester Historical Museum’s and our own collection of Abby Kelley Foster Papers.  Foster was a noted mid-nineteenth-century reformer, involved in both the anti-slavery and women’s rights movements.  Both AAS and the Worcester Historical Museum hold substantial collections of Foster’s correspondence and papers, and although located less than two miles apart, the collections have been separated from each other and not readily available to the wider world.  Now, over 2500 images of Foster’s letters are freely accessible and available to researchers everywhere through a new digital archive.

There are a number of upcoming special events and workshops in Worcester to celebrate and showcase the new digital archive.

“Abby Kelley Foster: The Unsung Hero of Abolition,” Thursday, March 27, 2014, 7:00pm, Worcester Historical Museum, 30 Elm Street

Dr. William Casey King will lead a lecture and discussion about Foster, Worcester, and the larger social narrative of the nineteenth-century social reform movements of abolition and women’s rights.  Dr. King is a scholar, author, and distinguished lecturer, and past Executive Director of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African American Research.

AKF“Accessing Abby,” Friday, March 28, 2014, 5:00pm, Boyden Salon, Mechanics Hall, 321 Main Street

The online collection will be launched, with comments from the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester Historical Museum, Dot Willsey, president of the National Abolition Hall of Fame in Peterboro, NY, and artist Charlotte Wharton, who painted Abby Kelley Foster’s portrait in Mechanics Hall.

“Suffragists, Teetotalers, and Abolitionists: Social Reform in the Nineteenth Century,” Saturday, March 29, 2014, 3:00pm, American Antiquarian Society, 185 Salisbury Street

This Hands-on History Workshop is for K-12 teachers, museum professionals, and the interested general public.  Featured lecturer Thomas Augst will lead a lecture and discussion, and participants will engage in hands-on sessions with collection material. These sessions will explore how reform movements used print culture to spread their messages, focusing on the careers of two individuals: temperance lecturer John Gough and Abby Kelley Foster. This workshop will also include an introduction to the new Abby Kelley Foster digital collection.  Visit our website for more information and to register.

Please click here for more details about each event, and join us as we share this wonderful new resource with the world.

Published by

Tracey Kry

Assistant Curator of Manuscripts and Assistant Reference Librarian, American Antiquarian Society

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