The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This Week @ MHS

We're back to business here at the MHS, heading into year 226! Our programs begin in earnest this week with a seminar, a brown bag, and a tour. Here's the rundown:

- Tuesday, 10 January, 5:15PM : The first seminar of the year is part of the Environmental History series and is called "Sex in the Reeds: Disciplining Nature and Cultivating Virtue in the Back Bay Fens." Zachary Nowak of Harvard University presents this essay on "invasive exotic species" as one reason for the removal of reeds planted along the Muddy River, and that label as a social construct, not a biological fact. Improving the Fens through planting and weeding has for more than a century really been a project to improve people. Independent Scholar Phyllis Andersen provides comment. Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP requiredSubscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.

- Wednesday, 11 January, 12:00PM : Stop by at lunch time for a Brown Bag talk with John Garcia of Boston University. "The Early American Bookseller: A Network History" explains how financial records, correspondence, and writing by booksellers can help to reconstruct print networks and geographies of books and reading. Garcia argues that the many instances of economic failure in American bookselling reveal various attempts to connect authors, readers, and publics in the face of geographic and infrastructural obstacles. This talk is free and open to the public. 

- Saturday, 14 January, 10:00AM : The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.


Please note that the Society is CLOSED on Monday, 16 January, in observance of Martin Luther King Day. Normal hours resume on Tuesday, 17 January. 

permalink | Published: Saturday, 7 January, 2017, 1:00 PM