Tag Archives: AAS history

The Annual Report: Not All Business

AR 12-13 1

Another year done means another Annual Report. For most, the phrase “annual report” doesn’t exactly elicit imaginings of stimulating reading material. But here at AAS we like to think of the Annual Report as more than just a business reckoning. It’s also a reflection of a thriving community—a learned society, if you will—made up of ...

When lightning hits a printing warehouse…in 1799

On the evening of June 26, 1799, a major summer thunderstorm passed through Worcester.  One result was that a warehouse that Isaiah Thomas used to store printing materials was struck by lightning, causing damage.  Of course something like that was newsworthy and a detailed report appeared in the next issue of Thomas’s paper, the Massachusetts ...

Memorial Service for Mr. McCorison

A memorial service for Marcus A. McCorison will be held on Saturday, February 16 at 11 a.m. at United Congregational Church, 6 Institute Road, Worcester, Massachusetts with reception following at the American Antiquarian Society, 185 Salisbury Street, Worcester. For more information go to: http://www.americanantiquarian.org/mccorison.htm.

Remembering Marcus A. McCorison

As we began planning a lengthy piece on AAS president emeritus Marcus A. McCorison for the Almanac newsletter last week, we pulled photographs of him out of the archives for possible use as illustrations.  I was struck by this photograph: In it, Marcus is sitting in his office, which is now my office.  On the desk ...

Saying Goodbye to the President Emeritus

This past weekend we said goodbye to a dear friend and colleague. Marcus A. McCorison - librarian, director, president, and then president emeritus of the American Antiquarian Society - passed away on Sunday, February 3. He will be sorely missed. Although a more detailed homage to Mr. McCorison's contributions to the Society will be published ...

Celebrating the Retirements of AAS Staff Members

The 200th annual meeting provided the opportunity to celebrate many accomplishments and transitions, but among the most poignant were the retirements of three long-time colleagues:  Gigi Barnhill and Caroline Sloat (who retired this summer) and John Keenum (who will retire at the end of the year).  A blog post about Gigi’s retirement will appear in ...

Ours…to fight for

It is probably not news to readers of this blog that The New York Times recently, and favorably, reviewed the American Antiquarian Society's Grolier Club exhibition "In Pursuit of a Vision." But readers familiar with the two societies neither will be surprised that the AAS has exhibited at the Grolier Club in the past (in ...

Setting our own history straight!

The new copper dome

It’s funny (and a bit embarrassing for an organization that’s all about historical accuracy) when facts get obscured by the mists of time (and foggy memory) and then re-emerge with such clarity that one is left with only “Duh!” to say. For some time now – through all the planning and the fundraising – we have ...

When Ansel Adams came to town

Without a doubt, many amazing people arrive daily on the doorstep of Antiquarian Hall. They bring research early in its infancy, artistic projects, personal histories, obligations of library pilgrimage – all in need of the AAS touch. In 1813, Isaiah Thomas made clear the intent for the doors and collection be open to all who ...

Celebrating 100 Years, 100 Years Ago

As AAS gears up for the most momentous occasion of its bicentennial in 2012, I thought it would be fitting to take a look back in the AAS archives to see how we celebrated the first 100 years.  In 1912, the Society had just moved into its new (and now current) home at 185 Salisbury ...

Behind the Scenes at the American Antiquarian Society, or What I Learned from a Tour of the Library

Did you know that a patriot printer named Isaiah Thomas founded the American Antiquarian Society in 1812? Did you know that the terms uppercase, lowercase, and stereotype originated from terms used in relation to early printing presses? Did you know that early printers needed to read backwards and upside down? Do you know why the ...