Tag Archives: African Americans

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 ...

Who Was John Moore Jr.?

For Black History Month, the American Antiquarian Society is featuring historic objects from the collection that are associated with or depict Black Worcester residents. The Society’s portrait of John Moore Jr. was painted in Boston in 1826 when the sitter was in his twenties. He was the only son of John Moore Sr. (1751-1836), a ...

“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 Practice of Everyday Cataloging: ‘Blacks as authors’ and the Early American Bibliographic Record

Recent conversations addressing the lacuna of representation of people of color in the bibliographic record have ignited a flurry of activity in our cataloging department that we hope users of our catalog will find helpful. As is often the case when we reflect on our cataloging processes and procedures, this activity has a long history ...

Past is Present podcast with Ezra Greenspan

Past is Present
Past is Present
Past is Present podcast with Ezra Greenspan

In this episode, Ezra Greenspan discusses the research and writing of his latest book on Frederick Douglass’s family; his work as editor of Book History, the annual journal from SHARP (Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing); and his lifelong relationship with the printed word. Ezra is the Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Chair in Humanities at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a member of the American Antiquarian Society, and an AAS-National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow for the 2016-17 academic year.

Finding John Levy


A couple of weeks ago, Claire Jones, an intern from Princeton University, posted about her project centered on Judaica at AAS. This is the next installment in her findings. From its cover, the book looked totally ordinary. I had picked the title—The Life and Adventures of John Levy—from my list of memoirs for a few reasons. First, if the ...

Meet AAS Fellow Linford Fisher

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Linford Fisher is associate professor of history at Brown University, where he studies and teaches the religious history of colonial America and the history of Indian and African slavery and servitude. His first book, The Indian Great Awakening: Religion and the Shaping of Native Cultures in Early America, was published by Oxford University Press in ...

Metadata Matters: “African American” in the News and in the North American Imprints Program

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This post was co-written by AAS Digital Humanities Curator/ACLS Fellow Molly O'Hagan Hardy and AAS Head of Cataloging Alan Degutis. The New York Times recently reported the “discover[y]” of the earliest known use of the term “African American” from almost fifty years earlier than previously thought. The Oxford English Dictionary attributed it to The Liberator in ...

Gen. Benjamin Butler and Shoo Fly Chewing Gum


This past winter, while hunting in the stacks for a trade card for a reader, I spotted this intriguing advertisement for chewing gum.  As editor of the Society’s Instagram account, I had been participating in an event called #bugginout, which featured posts by libraries around the world focused on illustrations of anthropomorphic insects.  These posts ...

The Acquisitions Table: Belle of Baltimore


Belle of Baltimore. T.W. Strong, [between 1843 and 1866] A minstrel songster known in only two other copies (and those are either a variant or defective copy). This copy of Belle of Baltimore is remarkable for its intact publisher’s green wrappers and illustrations. The seven woodcuts, all but one depicting African Americans, are located on the ...