Oil of toads and the perishable arts


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, ...

Christmas Comes of Age in Carolyn Wells’s Christmas Alphabet

Christmas Alphabet 1

Although Clement Clarke Moore is now recognized as the celebrated Christmas poet, early twentieth-century writer Carolyn Wells (1862-1942) expanded on Moore’s vision of Christmas as a season of wholesome family-centered celebration in her Christmas Alphabet. Issued by New York picture book publisher McLoughlin Brothers in 1900, the Christmas Alphabet weaves evocative verse and gorgeous full-color ...

To Give a Gift of Alcott


Like many born and bred New Englanders, I have developed a soft spot for Louisa May Alcott’s holiday pieces (1832-1888). Alcott’s literary career, which began with pseudonymously published magazine articles, was followed by beloved books; sprinkled throughout are works seasoned with festive subjects, settings, and themes. Her novels for children (which cue-in these topics) were ...

Yes, Virginia, That is a Christmas Card


In December it is traditional to send Christmas cards. We have discussed this practice on the AAS blog in the past and also have looked at the popularity of the New Year's card, something that has fallen out of fashion entirely in the United States. But one aspect of nineteenth-century holiday cards that we have ...

Annual Report 2014-15 is ready for viewing!


Our newly released annual report covering September 1, 2014, through August 31, 2015, is now ready for perusal! It's been an exciting year, with wonderful new acquisitions, the development of digital initiatives, the addition of two multi-day summer workshops, and more. You can read the full issue here, or click the image below.

The Acquisitions Table: T. P. and D. C. Collins Daguerreotypes


Portrait of T. P. and D. C. Collins. Daguerreotype, Philadelphia, 1846. With T. P. Collins. Unidentified Girl Holding a Book. Daguerreotype, Philadelphia, 1846. This daguerreotype of brothers Thomas P. and David C. Collins lounging on a sofa was generously donated to AAS this spring by scholar Rebecca Norris. The donation was accompanied by the opportunity to ...

Now In Print from the AAS Community


Every quarter at AAS we release a list of recent publications by those who have researched at the library as fellows, members, or readers. To see this list, as well as a list of works published from 2000-2014, please visit our recent scholarship page on the AAS website. If your book, article, or other achievement is not included, just let ...