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. ...

When Times are Tough, AAS Gets Going . . . on Transcription!

Staff at AAS have been sad and frustrated about Covid-19’s effects on our researchers, fellows, and fellow cultural institutions. Despite this hardship, we’ve been able to find some joy in our days and to feel connected to the collections we love by working on a staff-wide transcription of the first AAS donation book. For those of ...

Revering Revere: Designing the Catalog for Beyond Midnight

When AAS was tasked with creating the physical catalog for Radiant with Color & Art to coincide with the opening of the McLoughlin Brothers exhibition at the Grolier Club in 2017, the focus was (at least from the design perspective) on the eponymous color and art. We tried to frontload the design of that catalog ...

Something Old, Something New: Updates on the Program in the History of the Book

In his October 1983 report to the Council, former AAS President Marcus A. McCorison outlined the founding of the Program in the History of the Book (PHBAC), an ambitious initiative that set out to unite four areas of the Society's work: collections, scholarship, fellowships, and publications.  In the same 1983 report, John Hench, then assistant director ...

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 ...

Reporting on the Battle of Lexington, 1775: Fake News and the Massachusetts Spy

May 3rd is an important date for both the American Antiquarian Society and the community of Worcester. On that date in 1775, Isaiah created the first object printed in this community: his newspaper the Massachusetts Spy. In this issue, he described the Battles of Lexington and Concord. While Thomas was present at those battles, his ...

“Don’t Expose Me”: The Beecher-Tilton Scandal of New York

Maggie Panteli is pursuing a BA degree in History and is graduating May 2020 from Clark University. During the summer of 2019, she worked part-time as a Readers’ Services Page and as an assistant in the Graphic Arts Department cataloging stereographs. Her favorite cataloging job was working with the McLoughlin illustrations. Her time at AAS ...

It’s All in the Details: Broadsides in Theodore C. Wohlbrück’s Photography

Long-time readers of the AAS blog know we have posted frequently here about Worcester-area photographer, Theodore C. Wohlbrück (1879-1936). We’ve been writing about the Society’s holdings of this artist’s work since 2010. AAS has a large collection. of photographic prints and glass plate negatives taken by Wohlbrück between 1900 and ca. 1910, including regional landscapes, ...

Hidden Histories and the Digitization of New England’s Earliest Manuscript Church Records

Jeff Cooper serves as Director of New England's Hidden Histories. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut and taught in the Department of History at Oklahoma State University. He is the author of Tenacious of Their Liberties: The Congregationalists in Colonial America (Oxford, 1999) and has edited, with Kenneth P. Minkema, The Sermon ...

Mapping the World: Understanding Women’s Education through Geography

Emily Isakson is pursuing an MA in Decorative Arts, Material Culture, and Design History at Bard Graduate Center. She has been a Readers’ Services page for the past three summers. Emily has always been interested in what has shaped the society we know today. Her time at AAS has only furthered her curiosity about the world. This past spring, I ...

A New AAS Illustrated Inventory: The Wohlbrück Collection

The American Antiquarian Society houses more than a thousand photographs and glass-plate negatives produced by photographer Theodore Clemens Wohlbrück (1879–1936) between 1900 and 1910. Since 2010, we have periodically highlighted different aspects of the collection on this blog, including information about Wohlbrück’s views of towns in Worcester County, his photographs of urban architecture, and a ...

Uncovering the Hidden Women of the AAS Catalog: Adeline Shepard Badger

Over the past few years, the Cataloging Department has been actively working toward adding the subject heading “Women as authors” to all pre-1900 records in the AAS catalog with a woman author. This will enable researchers to easily identify and search for the women authors in our catalog. As cataloging assistant, I’ve been given the ...

Type, Sally, Type! Inventorying AAS Bookplates

In 2014, AAS receptionist Sally Talbot was looking for a project she could work on during slow periods on the front desk in the foyer of Antiquarian Hall. Creating a name list of the Society’s collection of loose American bookplates (not those tipped into books) was suggested by Curator of Books Elizabeth Pope. As the ...