The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

Are these self-portraits at all like “selfies”?

In November, the Oxford Dictionary announced that "selfie" was the word of the year for 2013. The definition of selfie (from is: a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Friday, 27 December, 2013, 8:00 AM

A New England Christmas (And A Mystery)

On friday evening came the chunky, fat, merry, rosy cheeked dutchman Santa Claus, who makes an annual visit to good children, who have loving parents, on Christmas eve, bringing with him his pack of all sorts of nick-nacks to put into the Christmas stocking. How he makes [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 25 December, 2013, 8:00 AM

Corticelli Sewing Silk Thread, 1876

In a prior post about American Sericulture, Dr. James Mease of Philadelphia wrote to Colonel Timothy Pickering about his sericultural pursuits in 1826. Small American sericulture experiments such as Dr. Mease’s endeavor gave way to industrial enterprise by the 1840s. [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 18 December, 2013, 1:03 PM

This Week @ MHS

There are no events scheduled here at the Society this week. Please note that the Library of the MHS is closed beginning Tuesday, 24 December, and will reopen on Thursday, 2 January. The galleries are open to the public Thursday, 26 December - Saturday, 28 December, and [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Tuesday, 17 December, 2013, 10:18 AM

Wouldn't it be fun...

Wouldn’t it be fun if the Boston Red Sox World Series Trophies from 2004, 2007, and 2013 got to meet the 1912 Boston Red Sox medal from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society?   Staff members love picturing this scenario!   And, [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Thursday, 12 December, 2013, 9:51 AM

“Long Sleeps Last Night for Both Sophias”: A New Mother’s Diary from 1910

As one of our staff prepared to depart on maternity leave this fall, I took the opportunity to delve into the print and manuscript materials in our collection related to pregnancy and childbirth, parenting and childhood. The MHS has a wide variety of print, manuscript, art [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 11 December, 2013, 1:00 AM

This Week @ MHS

As we edge closer to the New Year, the MHS offers a slew of public programming this week. First up, on Tuesday, 10 December, is a panel discussion. "Telling Environmental History," will explore different ways of presenting environmental history, including the use of GIS, [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 8 December, 2013, 12:00 PM

Are those sketches of penguins?

Penguins unexpectedly cover the first page of a 1939 sketchbook in the Henry Daland Chandler papers. The rest of the sketches within the book are detailed and shaded images of Bermudian buildings created with the critical eye of the professional architect, Henry Daland Chandler. [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Friday, 6 December, 2013, 12:00 AM

Stephen Greenleaf Bulfinch, Post 28

The following excerpt is from the diary of Stephen Greenleaf Bulfinch. Monday Dec. 7th, 1863 Mr. Loring declines my book, considering it too much founded on the subject of slavery to suit the present taste. Don’t know; but have this morning secured [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 4 December, 2013, 12:00 AM

This Week @ MHS

We return from our Thanksgiving break well-rested, well-fed, and grateful for the respite it provided. We have two hectic weeks ahead here at the Society before we slow down once again for the next holiday break. This week we have a plethora of programs on tap for public [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Tuesday, 3 December, 2013, 10:36 AM