In-person & Hands-on Early Worcester History, Featuring the Brown Family

Who and what springs to mind when you reflect on early Worcester history? Isaiah Thomas & his printing press? Major Taylor & his bicycle? Esther Howland & her Valentines? These classic Worcester historical figures will all be represented at AAS’s upcoming Chat with a Curator open house this Wednesday, but we hope many of the materials ...

A Snapshot of the Past: Celebrating Worcester’s 300th Anniversary

          In 1900, Theodore Clemens Wohlbrück, a professional photographer from New Jersey, moved to Worcester and opened a small but successful photo studio on Main Street. Known for his city views and postcards, Wohlbrück left Worcester in 1910, but his photographs of the city remained. The collection, now housed at the American Antiquarian Society, contains over ...

Major Taylor letters featured in new video

In 2020, letters from a young Marshall “Major” Taylor were donated to the American Antiquarian Society by Constance L. Whitehead Hanks. Taylor, a Worcester resident, was the first African American to win the title of cycling world champion, in 1899, and the second Black athlete to win a world championship in any sport. He is ...

Worcester Review Showcases Work of Creative Fellows

In its most recent issue, The Worcester Review featured original poetry and artwork by AAS creative artist fellows. Edited by Kevin Wisniewski, Director of Book History and Digital Initiatives, the feature is the first of a two-part series to be included in the print literary/art journal. Founded in 1972, The Worcester Review is published annually by ...

Reclaiming Heritage: Digitizing Nipmuc Histories from Colonial Documents

Today the American Antiquarian Society releases the new online exhibition Reclaiming Heritage: Digitizing Nipmuc Histories from Colonial Documents. This online resource presents fully-digitized versions of seven pre-1820 Indigenous-language imprints as well as digitized materials from four manuscript collections.  The printed books featured in the exhibition add to an existing archive of early American imprints used today ...

Martha Ann Brown – Community Leader, Knowledge Keeper

In a letter dated July 11, 1889, Frederick Douglass laments the death of a friend. Composed on an early typewriter, the letter is addressed to William Brown, one of Worcester’s wealthiest Black residents and owner of an upholstery business in the city. Douglass writes, “I had few friends of the early times whom I remember ...

Who Was John Moore Jr.?

For Black History Month, the American Antiquarian Society is featuring historic objects from the collection that are associated with or depict Black Worcester residents. The Society’s portrait of John Moore Jr. was painted in Boston in 1826 when the sitter was in his twenties. He was the only son of John Moore Sr. (1751-1836), a ...

It’s All in the Details: Broadsides in Theodore C. Wohlbrück’s Photography

Long-time readers of the AAS blog know we have posted frequently here about Worcester-area photographer, Theodore C. Wohlbrück (1879-1936). We’ve been writing about the Society’s holdings of this artist’s work since 2010. AAS has a large collection. of photographic prints and glass plate negatives taken by Wohlbrück between 1900 and ca. 1910, including regional landscapes, ...

Mapping the World: Understanding Women’s Education through Geography

Emily Isakson is pursuing an MA in Decorative Arts, Material Culture, and Design History at Bard Graduate Center. She has been a Readers’ Services page for the past three summers. Emily has always been interested in what has shaped the society we know today. Her time at AAS has only furthered her curiosity about the world. This past spring, I ...

A New AAS Illustrated Inventory: The Wohlbrück Collection

The American Antiquarian Society houses more than a thousand photographs and glass-plate negatives produced by photographer Theodore Clemens Wohlbrück (1879–1936) between 1900 and 1910. Since 2010, we have periodically highlighted different aspects of the collection on this blog, including information about Wohlbrück’s views of towns in Worcester County, his photographs of urban architecture, and a ...

Worcester’s “Garden City”

My favorite part of cataloging is figuring out a mystery. When little information is given with an object and I am able to solve that mystery, I’m a happy camper. So when a set of three photographs came across my desk, one of them a very sweet image of children holding rabbits and chickens, I ...

Isaiah’s Back In the Worcester Public Schools

Do you know what year it is? Well, Isaiah Thomas thinks it is 1812. That is, the reincarnated Isaiah who is currently going into fifth-grade classrooms and sharing some of his favorite books and broadsides with students. This Isaiah also brainstorms with these students what he should do with these materials. He is particularly concerned ...

New Illustrated Inventory: B. T. Hill’s Photographs of the New England Fair

Hill - Performers

As we draw towards the end of summer, we can now look forward to fair season! Town, county, and state fairs are happening around the country and are filled with plenty of food and entertainment. Luckily, our newest illustrated inventory looks at the New England Fair here in Worcester during the early 1920s through the ...

C-SPAN’s profile of Worcester is now available online!

The C-SPAN crew filming AAS President Ellen Dunlap.

Periodically, C-SPAN2 Book TV and C-SPAN3 American History TV profile regional American cities through a series they call C-SPAN Cities Tour. Working with their local cable partners, special C-SPAN production crews explore the literary life and history of these cities by interviewing local historians, librarians, authors, and civic leaders. Last Autumn C-SPAN visited Worcester and ...

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. ...