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 ...

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 ...

Raise a Glass to Freedom, Independence, and Perpetual Itching

Pulling Down the Statue of George III

Odds are your Fourth of July celebrations will include something along the lines of mounds of food, parades, drinks, bonfires, and fireworks. Turns out, if you add in some minor property destruction and some long-winded toasts, you’ll be right on target with those colonists who celebrated the long-awaited news of Congress’s adoption of independence in ...

“Here a Lee, there a Lee, everywhere a Lee, a Lee”

Lee to Page, September 23, 1776

Kathy Major has been volunteering in the Manuscripts Department at AAS for several years and just recently found a small collection of uncataloged Richard Henry Lee letters, which she writes about below. Kathy worked at AAS from 1976 to 1984 and was Keeper of Manuscripts for a portion of that time. After leaving the Society ...

AAS Hands-On Workshop Initiates Region-Wide Public History Program

IMG_0694

This past March the Society held a Hands-On History Workshop on the Declaration of Independence.  It featured Danielle Allen of Harvard University and used AAS collection materials to explore how Americans first learned about and celebrated independence in 1776 and how the Declaration was represented and interpreted in the nineteenth century.

Our Hands-On History Workshop ...

#hamildays: A Hamilton-Inspired Journey Through the Stacks

monographs 336678 federalist bindings copy

The following is the story behind the newest feature on AAS's website, #hamildays: A Hamilton-Inspired Journey Through the Stacks.

As a monographs cataloger at the American Antiquarian Society, I work primarily with books and pamphlets, often ones printed in the United States during the nineteenth century. However, the twenty-five miles of shelves at AAS hold much more ...

John Hancock performs his patriotic duty by…acquiring paper?

The press Isaiah smuggled out of Boston, known as Old No. 1.

There’s no shortage of celebrations here in Massachusetts for today’s holiday, even if it is a holiday that almost nobody from any other state (with the exception of Maine and Wisconsin) has ever heard of. But for a native of Massachusetts who likes history, Patriots’ Day is about as good as it gets. After all, ...

Moving Pictures: Images Across Media in American Visual and Material Culture

Revere

When a singular image is reused in various publications or shows up in more than one medium, it’s indicative of the breadth of its impact. Take, for example, perhaps the most iconic image of the American Revolution, “The Boston Massacre” by Paul Revere, which was not only first copied by Revere from someone else’s design, ...

It’s Time for the Fall 2015 Public Programs

The Poets Vision-cropped

It's public program time again, beginning tomorrow! This season we have a wonderful variety of programs, including a book launch, a panel presentation of former Creative Artists and Writers Fellows to celebrate the program's 20th anniversary, and reflections on the Revolutionary War era.

As always, public programs are open to the public and free of charge. ...

1775 Breaking News: The First Published Map of the Revolutionary War

I. De Costa A Plan of the Town and Harbour of Boston, and the Country Adjacent with the Road from Boston to Concord Shewing the Place of the Late Engagement between the King’s Troops & the Provincials. London, 1775. Engraving, hand colored 15 x 19.5 inches, on sheet 19 x 23.5 inches. American Antiquarian Society.

Guest author Allison K. Lange is an assistant professor of history at the Wentworth Institute of Technology, was an AAS AHPCS Fellow in 2011-2012, and helped curate the Leventhal Map Center’s “We Are One” exhibition. Lange received her PhD in American history from Brandeis University. Currently she is completing a manuscript on the visual culture of ...

The Acquisitions Table: A Proclamation for the Encouragement of Piety and Virtue

Province of Massachusetts

Province of Massachusetts-Bay. By the Governor. A Proclamation for the Encouragement of Piety and Virtue… Boston: Margaret Draper, July 23, 1774.

This important broadside was printed in Boston by Margaret Draper, a loyalist printer who enjoyed the support of Province of Massachusetts Royal Governor Thomas Gage.  Gage had been appointed by King George in the spring ...

Meet AAS Fellow Cole Jones

cole.jones@gmail.com

Trenton Cole Jones received his PhD in History from Johns Hopkins University in 2014 and is presently a Hench Post-Dissertation Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society. Cole was just awarded an NEH fellowship at the New York Historical Society for next year and has also been hired as an assistant professor of early American history at Purdue University. While on fellowship at AAS, ...

Spring Public Programs are here!

2015 Spring Program cover_Page_1

We're finally starting to see some melting and hear some birds singing after this never-ending winter, which also means we're gearing up for the start of our Spring Public Program series! This series begins with newly published books about Lincoln, set to coincide with sesquitennial of the end of the Civil War and the 150th ...

An Old Vial of Tea with a Priceless Story: The Destruction of the Tea, December 16, 1773

tea vial

Sometimes the most unassuming objects can take on powerful meaning. A small, sealed glass bottle of tea, displayed at the American Antiquarian Society, is a case in point. Donated in 1840 by the Reverend Thaddeus M. Harris (1768-1842), a Unitarian clergyman in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and a member of AAS, the tea is one of the ...

AAS joins the Worcester Revolution of 1774

WorcRevLogo (2)

On September 6, 1774, 4,622 militiamen from 37 towns marched into Worcester, shiretown for  the county, closed the Royal courts, and forced each court official to resign. Forming two lines, they forced each court official, hat in hand, to disavow the recent Massachusetts Government Act, which revoked the Province’s charter and disenfranchised its citizens. With ...