In-person & Hands-on Early Worcester History, Featuring the Brown Family

Who and what springs to mind when you reflect on early Worcester history? Isaiah Thomas & his printing press? Major Taylor & his bicycle? Esther Howland & her Valentines? These classic Worcester historical figures will all be represented at AAS’s upcoming Chat with a Curator open house this Wednesday, but we hope many of the materials ...

The Acquisitions Table: Clark, B. (Benjamin), Sen. The Past, Present and Future in Prose and Poetry

Clark, B. (Benjamin), Sen. The Past, Present and Future in Prose and Poetry. Toronto: Adam, Stevenson, & Co., 1867. BIB #565812 Benjamin Clark was born to emancipated African American parents in Maryland in 1801, and he died in Detroit in 1864. He married, had ten children, and lived with his family in Pennsylvania. He also established ...

The Acquisitions Table: Birthday and Autograph Album, 1874.

Birthday and Autograph Album. Bethlehem [Pa.]: Henry T. Clauder, 1874. Partially printed books that were meant to be filled in by their owners have been of particular interest to AAS’s curators over many years. AAS’s online catalog already has more than 200 records with the genre term: Partly printed, partly blank books. One example is a recently ...

Black Self-Publishing: A New AAS Research Project & Resource

Black Self-Publishing is a new collaborative research project from the American Antiquarian Society. The core of this site consists of a list I developed of books self-published by black authors within the scope of the American Antiquarian Society’s collecting period (origins to 1876). Studying self-publishing, occasions when an author pays for the printing of his ...

Unique Jacksoniana: Poetry from a Short Man Who Fell Off a Tall Roof

[3d-flip-book mode="thumbnail-lightbox" urlparam="fb3d-page" id="18228" title="false" lightbox="dark"]Earlier blog posts have promoted a soon-to-debut online resource that will feature highlights from the William C. Cook Jacksonian Era Collection. Here’s another of those one-of-a-kind items. Today we feature an unrecorded elegy written after the death of Jackson by a poet previously unknown to the literary world (perhaps for good ...

Unique Jacksoniana: An Extra-Illustrated Life

An earlier blog post mentioned that work was underway on an online resource about the Jacksonian Era at AAS featuring highlights from the William C. Cook Jacksonian Era collection. To whet your appetite in the weeks leading up to its debut we will be telling you about a few one-of-a-kind items from that collection. Today ...

Presidential Politics in the Archives: Andrew Jackson

Donald Trump. Just saying his name evokes passionate responses as almost everyone has an opinion on the man. In the early nineteenth century, the name that inspired similar strong emotions from both supporters and detractors was Andrew Jackson. Some have drawn comparisons between the movement that brought Donald Trump into power and Andrew Jackson’s mass ...

Hanukkah and American Judaism, 1841-1876

‘Tis the season for holiday traditions and rituals – and for social media posts like this one that try to give some historical perspective to why we celebrate the way we do. So many holidays cluster around the winter solstice, such as Christmas and Hanukkah and New Year’s Eve (or Saturnalia or your basic pagan ...

The Acquisitions Table: The Spectroscope and Its Applications

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Lockyer, J. Norman. The Spectroscope and Its Applications. London and New York: Macmillan and Co., 1873. This manual on the spectroscope is part of Macmillan’s Nature Series and is bound in publisher's brick red cloth with gilt and black stamped front cover. Pasted onto the title page is a colorful watercolor spectrum with the initials "J.B.L." ...

The Acquisitions Table: Meeting President Lincoln

Lyman Lincoln book

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 ...

The Acquisitions Table: The Game Fowl; for the Pit, or the Spit

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Burnham, Geo. P. The Game Fowl; for the Pit, or the Spit. Melrose, Mass.: [s.n.], 1877. The frontispiece portrait of the “Earl of Derby” game cock provides a striking starting point to this thorough, and early, survey of American game fowl and their culinary and pugilistic applications. The poultry advice book was copyrighted by George P. ...

The Acquisitions Table: The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit

Martin Chuzzlewit

Dickens, Charles. The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit. New York: Harper & Brothers, [1844]. The first authorized American edition of Martin Chuzzlewit was issued by Harper & Brothers in seven serial parts, all of which are present here in their wrappers. As such they are exceptionally rare; as the story goes they were hawked ...

The Acquisitions Table: My Lady’s Casket of Jewels and Flower for Her Adorning

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My Lady's Casket of Jewels and Flowers for Her Adorning. Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1885. This book was made for gift-giving, and we at AAS were thrilled to have received such a stunning color plate book as a gift ourselves – along with many similarly gorgeous volumes – from Joanne Gill. An excellent example of the ...

The Acquisitions Table: Circular to All Who Play at Billiards

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L. Decker’s Circular to All Who Play at Billiards, with Incidental Advice to Purchasers of Billiard Tables… Embellished with Beautifully Engraved Diagrams. New York: L. Decker, 1859. An early unrecorded billiards catalog published by Levi Decker was just one gem in a stack of 45 pamphlets given by AAS member Kenneth Carpenter and his wife Mary. ...

The Acquisitions Table: Norma, A Serio-Comic Burlesque

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Crouch, F[rederick] Nicholls. Norma. A Serio-Comic Burlesque, Written Expressly for Sanford’s Opera House. [Philadelphia?, 1856]. The 10 opera or song libretti in Italian and English bound together in this sammelband were all lacking or defective in AAS collections. Most are for serious Italian operas, but also included is a previously unlocated burlesque of Vincenzo Bellini’s opera ...