Conservation of a Fragmentary Early Menagerie Poster

In advance of my summer work placement at the American Antiquarian Society, I discussed a slate of proposed activities with Chief Conservator Babette Gehnrich while in New York City. On their list was a housing project for manuscripts, standardized treatments of broadsides, and an introduction to digitization workflows for the Society’s collections. “Also,” she mentioned ...

Navigating the Book Trades Manuscripts with the First AAS Seiler Intern

This summer, even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I was given the immense privilege to be the first Seiler Curatorial Intern at the American Antiquarian Society. Even through uncertain times, the Society and my supervisor Ashley Cataldo, Curator of Manuscripts, advocated for my internship and was able to offer me a blended virtual and in-person experience. As ...

Artists in the AAS Archive: September 2020

This week we continue our Artists in the AAS Archive series.  This installment offers a spotlight on four more past fellows: book artist Maureen Cummins; performer-scholar Anne Harley; playwright and screenwriter Jeffrey Hatcher; and playwright and performer Laurie McCants. This series celebrates the 25th anniversary of Artist fellowships at the American Antiquarian Society.  More information about ...

Celebrating National Dog Day at AAS!

It should come as no surprise that the staff here at the American Antiquarian Society is passionate about books and prints related to American history.  But we’re also deeply committed to our pets. From time to time, we’ll even share photos of our favorite furry or feathered friends on the AAS Instagram page. Today is National ...

PHBAC Virtual Book Talks Fall 2020 Schedule

In May 2020, the Program in the History of the Book in American Culture (PHBAC) launched its Virtual Book Talks series. This new academic program showcases authors of recently published scholarly monographs, digital-equivalents, and creative works broadly related to book history and print culture. Each installment includes a presentation from the author and a Q&A ...

The Summer of Smearcase

As we wind down a summer with limited travel and with conferences postponed or transitioned online, I can’t help but reminisce about a summer in the far distant past (last year) when two bright young AAS staff members, who really enjoy food (and sweet treats), descended upon the city of Baltimore in search of local ...

Artists in the AAS Archive: August 2020

This week we continue our Artists in the AAS Archive series.  This installment offers a spotlight on four past fellows: poet James Arthur; poet and nonfiction author Christopher Cokinos; Cartoonist R. Sikoryak; and artist Stephanie Wolff. This series is part of our celebration of the 25th anniversary of Artist fellowships at the American Antiquarian Society.  More ...

“We are American citizens”: Remembering the Anniversary of the Fourteenth Amendment

The Colored Conventions was a series of national, regional, and state meetings held irregularly during the decades preceding and following the American Civil War.  At the 1853 convention held in Rochester, New York, delegates insisted citizenship was their birthright: "By birth, we are American citizens; by the meaning of the United States Constitution, we are American ...

The Manuscript Poems of Phillis Wheatley at AAS

The curators at AAS connect audiences with objects, such as the manuscript poems of Phillis Wheatley. As some visitors to AAS know, the Society holds two original manuscript poems of Wheatley’s, “To the University of Cambridge” and “On the Death of the Revd. Dr. Sewall.” These items may be found in the AAS catalog here. ...

Artists in the AAS Archive: New Series on the AAS Artist Fellowships

In April, we published an article in honor of National Poetry Month, entitled "Poets in the AAS Archive." In this same thread, we are pleased to share our plans now to create a new series on Past is Present dedicated to our artist fellows.

This new series will spotlight the work of current and past fellows ...

Centennial America: Celebrating the Fourth with the Great Buildings of the 1876 Centennial Exhibition

It will probably come as no surprise that the Fourth of July is one of our favorite holidays here at AAS! In recent years, AAS staff has written about a number of topics on the holiday. We've written about how AAS founder Isaiah Thomas celebrated in 1814 in the midst of the War of 1812; ...

Above Us Only Sky: A Close Look at Light and Space in the AAS Conservation Lab

Much of my bookbinding life has been spent in cramped, overheated, and windowless rooms hidden away in a basement. It generally comes with the territory. The old AAS conservation lab was certainly an improvement to such experiences, and I'll always hold fond memories of my time there.  After all, it was home.  While so much ...

A Trip Around the World with Nellie Bly

Working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed me the opportunity to explore the AAS catalog in fun new ways. Inspired by my family’s board games, which have been stacked in the living room since our transition to remote work, one recent search led to our games collection. While many of the games piqued ...

The Caribbeana Project

Luke Henter is a senior in the History Department at Princeton University. He studies 19th and 20th century international history, with certificates in the History and Practice of Diplomacy and Creative Writing. He has also worked at the Princeton Historical Review and is a member of the Community Service Interclub Council at Princeton. ...