AAS joins the Worcester Revolution of 1774

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On September 6, 1774, 4,622 militiamen from 37 towns marched into Worcester, shiretown for  the county, closed the Royal courts, and forced each court official to resign. Forming two lines, they forced each court official, hat in hand, to disavow the recent Massachusetts Government Act, which revoked the Province’s charter and disenfranchised its citizens. With ...

Preservation Week Redux: Saving a Collection

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Those of you who follow the Society's blog are aware that the last week in April was Preservation Week, a period set aside by the American Libraries Association to focus on the care and conservation of collections material. We take preservation seriously at AAS. The word is part of our core mission, in fact. We have ...

Today’s the Day: Support AAS in Greater Worcester GIVES!

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Today is Worcester County’s first-ever online giving challenge, Greater Worcester GIVES, and the American Antiquarian Society is proud to be participating. Please show your support for AAS – and for the community we are part of – by donating to us in the challenge before midnight EST so that we can contribute a strong total ...

Benjamin T. Hill Goes to the Fair

I recently scanned a few boxes of glass negatives from the collection, all made by one Benjamin T. Hill, an amateur photographer and local historian elected to the Antiquarian Society in 1901 who also served as an auditor for the Society for twenty-three years. These negatives were all made at a fair in Worcester in ...

New Program for the Public a Hit

Take some history buffs, students, teachers, museum professionals, an enthusiastic and well-known scholar, and some wonderful materials from our collections and what do you get? A great inaugural Hands-on History Workshop! Last Saturday we presented “Worcester and the American Revolution,” led by Ray Raphael, to a diverse group of interested, informed, and eager participants. We thought ...

New Hands-On History Workshop: Worcester and the American Revolution

To study closely a nineteenth-century lithograph or actually touch the impressions of type in the sheets of an eighteenth-century newspaper can be a magical, even transformative, experience. For years I have seen K-12 educators become engrossed and inspired by such activities. However it was only after we conducted a one-day workshop for K-12 educators on ...

When is a Valentine a Newton?

Attribution is something libraries and museums struggle with every day.  Who is the sitter in this portrait?  Who is the author of this pamphlet?  Often the objects give us clues, but not always.  Sometimes they even lead us astray.  This is the story of a pair of daguerreotypes at the American Antiquarian Society and how ...

Worcester Through Wohlbrück, or, An introduction to photographic resources in GIGI

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If you navigate your way to the AAS online content webpage, you’ll find a link to the Society’s digital image archive, GIGI. In GIGI you’ll discover a searchable database of over 50,000 images from the society’s collection - from maps to manuscripts, war images to newspapers, cartoons, illustrations and more. My personal favorite is the ...

“Two at Two Hundred” celebrates Bicentennials of AAS and First Baptist Church

This just in for people looking for something to do in Worcester this Saturday…The Antiquarian Society is teaming up with the other venerable Worcester institution to be celebrating its bicentennial in 2012.  That’s right, on Saturday, October 20th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the First Baptist ...

AAS Makes the News

Although we're often holding newsworthy events, conferences, and lectures, the bicentennial has brought even more media attention than usual to AAS and its offerings. Just yesterday, the Society was prominently featured in a front page story on the Constitution in Worcester's Telegram and Gazette.  You can read the article here: The source of it ...

“Mother of the Valentine”: Esther Howland, Worcester, and the American Valentine Industry

Did you know that the American valentine industry started right here in Worcester in 1848?   That America’s first widely mass-produced valentines were designed by a woman named Esther Howland in her workshop on Summer Street?  That Victorians ate conversation hearts?  That Valentine’s Day greetings were part of a larger cultural debate in early America about ...