New Illustrated Inventory: Bien’s Edition of “Birds of America”

In 1858, John Woodhouse Audubon, son of John James Audubon, set out to recreate the success of his father’s work Birds of America, published in 1838 with four hundred large, hand-colored engravings. John Woodhouse partnered with lithographer Julius Bien and the publishing firm of Roe, Lockwood & Company to create a less-expensive set than the ...

Database Reveals a Soldier’s Unexpected Past

Online searching has undoubtedly revolutionized information gathering.  Census rolls, vital records, family trees, and genealogies are among the familiar, much-used digital resources at our fingertips free of charge in the Society’s reading room.  A lesser utilized treasure trove of information is held in the Society’s collection of printed college and school catalogs. These “catalogs” were ...

Isaiah Is Going Digital: The Prototype

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A few weeks ago, a post shared the final cut of a short film depicting a young Isaiah Thomas learning about the legal indenture that bound him to his apprenticeship. As explained in the post, that film is part of a larger project that aims to create an interactive educational website inspired by AAS’s one-man ...

Revisiting Rebellion: Nat Turner in the American Imagination

Revisiting Rebellion: Nat Turner in the American Imagination

AAS recently collaborated with the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery to create our latest exhibition, Revisiting Rebellion: Nat Turner in the American Imagination. A man who has been immortalized as a hero and condemned as a charlatan, mourned as a victim and reviled as a traitor, Nat Turner lives in myriad formats and genres ...

Isaiah Thomas Is Going Digital

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On a beautiful sunny day in June, AAS Director of Outreach Jim Moran and I headed out to Historic Deerfield in western Massachusetts to meet up with a film crew from Northern Light Productions. Surrounded by the dark wood and heavy equipment of the Wilson Printing Office, it wasn’t difficult to set the stage for ...

New Online Exhibition: The News Media and the Making of America, 1730-1865

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During the summer of 2015, AAS hosted a two-week National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for School Teachers, during which twenty-five K-12 teachers from all over the country convened for an intensive institute that featured lectures and discussions with scholars, field trips, and many hands-on workshops with original material from the Society’s collections. That ...

From the Mixed Up Files of Avis Clarke

Antiquarian Hall - side view

Dylan McDonough, an AAS summer staffer working on the Printers’ File, attends Harvard College, where he is a rising junior with a concentration in history. A native of Worcester, he graduated from Bancroft School in 2014 and has returned to the area each of the last two summers. Here, he shares a glimpse of his ...

Now available online: Photographs of Tuskegee Institute

Booker T Washington and family

For some collections within the Graphic Arts Department, we do not catalog each item in the collection individually. Sometimes, it makes more sense to create one all-encompassing record that describes the collection as one entity to avoid redundancy in the catalog. These collections are still easily found in the online catalog, and they will usually ...

Transforming the Printers’ File into a Linked Open Data Resource

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Emily Wells, who is working on the Printers' File project at AAS this summer, received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College in 2015. In the fall she will enter the History Ph.D. program at the College of William and Mary and begin work as an editorial apprentice at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History ...

Omeka Tutorials

Ever since Omeka Mania first took hold here at AAS, we have delighted in learning about this exhibition publishing platform and helping each other make the most of it. A group of us meet about twice a month to share our progress and help each other out.  From these collaborations, AAS has published six online exhibitions in ...

The Verses go Live! Music added to the Isaiah Thomas Broadside Ballads Project

You can listen to the melody and the lyrics of "The Rose Tree"

Just over a year ago, we launched Isaiah Thomas Broadside Ballads: Verses in Vogue with the Vulgar. With over 800 images and 300 mini-essays, this site offers a unique and comprehensive view of the broadsides that Isaiah Thomas (1749-1831) collected in early nineteenth-century Boston. Each broadside includes a brief explanation of its content by Kate Van Winkle ...

New Online Exhibition: From English to Algonquian: Early New England Translations

English to Angonquin screenshot

In addition to paging and returning collections materials, managing the desk schedule and the reference and reception staff, answering reference questions and compiling daily circulation statistics, my typical day as head of readers’ services usually involves meeting one or more researchers who are excited to arrive at Antiquarian Hall for the very first time. After ...

Transcribing the War of 1812: AAS Collections in the Classroom

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Associate Professor of History at Assumption College Carl Robert Keyes and our digital humanities curator, Molly O’Hagan Hardy, recently collaborated to combine early American history and digital humanities in the classroom. About a year ago, AAS launched the Isaiah Thomas Broadside Ballads Project: Verses in Vogue with the Vulgar. Featuring 338 broadsides, 800 images, and many contextualizing essays, ...

New Web Resource: The Journals of Edmund Q. Sewall Jr., 1837-1840

Edmund Quincy Sewall Jr

Thoreau scholars have long been aware of the journal kept in Concord, Massachusetts, during a period of seven weeks in 1840 when twelve-year-old Edmund Quincy Sewall Jr. was attending John and Henry David Thoreau’s Concord Academy and boarding in the Thoreau household. One reason Edmund’s journal is of interest is that it contains one of ...