Summer 2021 Schedule Virtual Book Talks

This month, the Program in the History of the Book in American Culture (PHBAC) celebrated its one year anniversary of 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 ...

How Six-Year-Old Stephen Salisbury III Rescued One of the Rarest and Most Important Christmas Documents in American History

Most members of the American Antiquarian Society are aware of the enormous contributions made by the Salisbury family of Worcester County, Massachusetts. Stephen Salisbury II served as president of the Society from 1854 until his death in 1884, and his son, Stephen Salisbury III, served as president from 1887 until his death in 1905. (A ...

The Acquisitions Table: Birthday and Autograph Album, 1874.

Birthday and Autograph Album. Bethlehem [Pa.]: Henry T. Clauder, 1874. Partially printed books that were meant to be filled in by their owners have been of particular interest to AAS’s curators over many years. AAS’s online catalog already has more than 200 records with the genre term: Partly printed, partly blank books. One example is a recently ...

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 ...

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 ...

 A bibliographic coincidence, or Does anyone know what these are?

PART I, by Doris O’Keefe, AAS Senior Cataloger

Several weeks ago Brenna Bychowski, one of the Society’s former catalogers who is now at the Beinecke Library at Yale, posted a short video on Facebook and described a book she had recently cataloged:
Two volumes of a James Fenimore Cooper novel (The spy: a tale of the neutral ...

Unique Jacksoniana: An Extra-Illustrated Life

An earlier blog post mentioned that work was underway on an online resource about the Jacksonian Era at AAS featuring highlights from the William C. Cook Jacksonian Era collection. To whet your appetite in the weeks leading up to its debut we will be telling you about a few one-of-a-kind items from that collection. Today ...

Finding John Levy

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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 ...

Judaica at AAS: A Summer Intern’s Experience

Claire Jones, summer intern from Princeton, paging a book in the American Antiquarian Society stacks.

Stay tuned throughout the summer for updates on Judaica at AAS from Claire Jones, an intern from Princeton University. Thanks to AAS chairman Sid Lapidus and the Princeton Internships in Civic Service program, Claire is working with Elizabeth Pope, curator of books, to identify, improve, and promote AAS’s Judaica collection.

Last month, I arrived at AAS ...

#hamildays: A Hamilton-Inspired Journey Through the Stacks

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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 ...

The Story of Emily & Benjamin

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Earlier this year the American Antiquarian Society acquired an important archive of manuscripts and drawings related to American missionary activity in Western Africa.  The collection tells the story of a couple, Emily Griswold (1838-1906) and her eventual husband, Benjamin Hartley (1838-1912). Emily was the daughter of the poet and publisher Rufus Wilmot Griswold, who edited anthologies, ...

From Conservation: Treatment of the Protestant Tutor

Cover of the item before treatment.

Recently, I had the opportunity to treat a very special item from our Reserve collection as part of our Save America’s Treasures grant.   The Protestant Tutor for Children is attributed to Benjamin Harris and was printed by Samuel Green in Boston, 1685. Thought to be a precursor text to the New England Primer, it is ...

Adopt-a-Book 2014

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This year the American Antiquarian Society will be holding its 7th annual Adopt-a-Book event on Tuesday, May 6th, from 6:00 to 8:00pm.  This event has been an entertaining and successful fundraiser for the library’s continued acquisitions of historic material. The money raised helps curators buy more books, pamphlets, prints, newspapers, and manuscripts.  On May 6th, participants ...

Global Encounters in Worcester

The AAS staff and the Holy Cross students, faculty, and staff involved in the exhibition.

We know how to keep busy in the dead of winter here at the American Antiquarian Society.  In late 2012 Patricia Johnston, the Professor Rev. J. Gerard Mears, S.J. chair in fine arts at the College of the Holy Cross, approached AAS with the idea of having one of her Holy Cross classes research and ...