Happy St. Patrick’s Day! The Mathew Carey Account Volumes: A Digitization Case Study

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Under cover of night on the Dublin docks in 1784, Mathew Carey, disguised as a woman, set sail for Philadelphia. Having spent the previous week hiding out in his friends’ bookshops along Grafton Street, Carey decided that this was the only sure way to escape the British officials who were in hot pursuit of him ...

Twelve Years a Slave, The Book: Truth Stranger than Fiction

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I can speak of Slavery only so far as it came under my own observation – only so far as I have known and experienced it in my own person. (p. 17-8) So Solomon Northup begins his harrowing account of slavery from the inside. In Twelve Years a Slave, Northup, a free black man from upstate ...

Recommended Reading: Burnett’s A Little Princess

The first page in the serialized “Sara Crewe: or What Happened at Miss Minchin’s,” which started in the Volume XV, Number II (December 1887) issue of St. Nicholas: An Illustrated Magazine.

Editor's note: In the most recent issue of the Almanac, we asked members of the AAS community to give us their choice of recommended reading for "fiction published before 1900," a series we are continuing here on Past is Present. Last week we heard from AAS member Philip Gura. This week, Jackie Penny, AAS's image ...

Our Need, Now an Employment Opportunity

On March 30-31, 2012, as part of our bicentennial programming, AAS hosted a symposium titled “Research Libraries in the Digital Age: Needs and Opportunities.” This symposium was intended to provide the AAS Council and staff with a set of perspectives that would help inform its vision of how AAS can best position itself to remain ...

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 ...

Bibliothanatography

About two years ago, I found myself looking at an 1892 Bibliobroadsheet. It advertised the Bronson, Michigan, store of J. Francis Ruggles, the most unusual bibliopole ever working in Bronson, for sure. Michael Winship, professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin and an editor of the recently published five-volume series A History ...

Audubon at the American Antiquarian Society

The record-breaking price for a double elephant folio edition of John James Audubon's Birds of America in London on December 9, 2010, prompts the question: Does the Society own a copy. The short answer is no — not the double elephant folio edition — but the story is more interesting than that. Indeed, AAS ...

Join Us Tomorrow Night for “Random Notes from a Book History Bureaucrat”

This Tuesday, November 16, at 7:30 p.m., John B. Hench will be presenting the twenty-seventh Annual James Russell Wiggins Lecture in the Program in the History of the Book in American Culture at the American Antiquarian Society. John B. Hench is the retired vice president for collections and programs at AAS. His talk, "Random Notes from ...

AAS Summer Seminar in the History of the Book

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What do we think about when we think about the history of the book in the U.S. South (for those of us prone to think about such things, that is)? It is received wisdom that the South was much less industrialized than the North in the first half of the nineteenth century. And, if print ...