The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

New to the Reference Collection

Below are titles newly received or purchased for the library’s collection of contemporary historical scholarship and reference works. All of these books will be available for use in our library once we reopen to the public on Monday, 4 January 2016. In the meantime, [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 23 December, 2015, 12:00 AM

This Week @ MHS

There are no events on the calendar for this shortened week here at the Society.  Please note that the library of the Massachusetts Historical Society is closed from December 24th through January 3rd and will re-open on Monday, January 4th. The MHS exhibition galleries [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 20 December, 2015, 12:00 AM

The Ekphrastic Fiske

On 30 January 2015, my colleague Dan Hinchen introduced our readers to Eben W. Fiske (1823-1900), a Civil War veteran and librarian as well as a talented amateur illustrator, in his post Ishpeming Illustrators. Dan discussed Fiske's artwork, which he broke out into two categories: [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Friday, 18 December, 2015, 12:00 AM

"The Sublimity of it, charms me!": John Adams and the Boston Tea Party

In the fall of 1773, three ships carrying a cargo of tea from the British East India Company were on their way into Boston Harbor. Subject to the Tea Act of 1773, allowing the tea to be unloaded in Boston would have meant the acceptance of the principle of Parliamentary [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 16 December, 2015, 8:51 AM

This Week @ MHS

As we approach the year's end there are three opportunities this week to get your fill of history before the holidays: - Monday, 14 December, 6:00PM : "She Can Bring Us Home: Dr. Dorothy Boulding Ferebee, Civil Rights Pioneer" Join us for this author talk with acting New [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 13 December, 2015, 12:00 AM

Cryptic Communique: Rebuses from Britain and the United States

[If you have trouble seeing the small details in some of these images, hold Ctrl and press + to zoom in on your browser.]   Whether as an educational tool, a creative form of political commentary, or a crafty way of targeting a chosen audience, rebuses [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Saturday, 12 December, 2015, 12:02 PM

Diaries at the MHS (and the Archivists Who Love Them)

As a manuscript processor here at the MHS, I’ve had the opportunity to see a wide range of personal and family papers, but I particularly like to work with diaries. Not usually intended for a stranger’s eyes, many of them are highly revealing and deeply moving. [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 9 December, 2015, 12:00 AM

Penmanship and Copy Books

In a collection rich in manuscript material like that at the MHS, it's easy to fixate on centuries-old handwriting, whether for admiration of delicate script or frustration at illegible penmanship. I’ve overheard a fair balance of researchers lamenting the eyestrain [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Monday, 7 December, 2015, 12:00 AM

This Week @ MHS

Got a history itch? Maybe this week's programs can help! - Tuesday, 8 December, 5:15PM : "Rerouting Risk: New Orleans and the Mississippi River" is an Environmental History seminar presented by Craig E. Colten of Louisiana State University. This project looks at the impacts [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 6 December, 2015, 12:00 AM

Dashing Through the Snow: A Tale of Boston’s Horse Railroads

Growing up in a small Midwestern town in rural Minnesota, I had what some might say was a quintessential upbringing -- complete with a horse farm! This, however, was a long time ago. Moving to the Twin Cities to attend college, and more recently Boston three months ago, [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Thursday, 3 December, 2015, 1:52 PM