Tag Archives: manuscripts

A Unicorn in the Archives

There are some archival gems you can't pass up. During my fellowship residency at the American Antiquarian Society in May 2021, AAS staff were helping me comb through the Jacob Porter Papers, when we all noticed it in the catalog record: “An Attempt to Prove the Existence of the Unicorn.”[1] “I want to believe,” someone ...

Continuing the Conversation: Amy Hildreth Chen Answers Your Questions on the Literary Archives Market

On August 28, 2020, author Amy Hildreth Chen was a featured guest at the Virtual Book Talk series sponsored by the Program in the History of the Book in American Culture (PHBAC).  Amy spoke about her recent publication, Placing Papers: The American Literary Archives Market, published in June 2020 by the University of Massachusetts Press.  ...

The Manuscript Poems of Phillis Wheatley at AAS

The curators at AAS connect audiences with objects, such as the manuscript poems of Phillis Wheatley. As some visitors to AAS know, the Society holds two original manuscript poems of Wheatley’s, “To the University of Cambridge” and “On the Death of the Revd. Dr. Sewall.” These items may be found in the AAS catalog here. ...

Hidden Histories and the Digitization of New England’s Earliest Manuscript Church Records

Jeff Cooper serves as Director of New England's Hidden Histories. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut and taught in the Department of History at Oklahoma State University. He is the author of Tenacious of Their Liberties: The Congregationalists in Colonial America (Oxford, 1999) and has edited, with Kenneth P. Minkema, The Sermon ...

An Interview with the Librarian

At the end of August 2018, long-time Marcus A. McCorison Librarian and Curator of Manuscripts Thomas G. Knoles will be retiring from AAS. After almost twenty-nine years at the Society, we wanted to be sure to tap Tom’s long institutional knowledge and his experiences in the library world. There was none better to do this ...

Isaiah Thomas’s Library Catalog Is Now Digital

Jeremy Dibbell is the director of communications and outreach at Rare Book School and the volunteer head of the Legacy Libraries and Libraries of Early America projects for LibraryThing. He is always happy to receive information on American book lists/inventories/catalogs of any size, particularly for the colonial period.

In July 1812, Isaiah Thomas presented a large ...

An American at an 1820 German Christmas

The trappings of an American Christmas have become as familiar as one’s own family—lights and trees, Santa Claus and reindeer, food and good cheer. That hasn’t always been the case, of course. The Puritans, for one, simply banned Christmas in the New World. Stemming from pagan celebrations of the harvest and the winter solstice, the ...

Identifying the Unidentified

Kathleen Major has been volunteering in the Manuscripts Department at AAS for several years. She worked at AAS from 1976 to 1984 and was Keeper of Manuscripts for a portion of that time. After leaving the Society to care for her children, Kathy worked at the Gale Free Library in Holden, most recently as head of ...