The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This Week @ MHS

As we enter a new month this week there are several public programs on offer for you to sate your appetite for history. Here's what's on tap: - Tuesday, 1 March, 5:15PM : First up this week is an Early American History seminar featuring Abigail Chandler of the University [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 28 February, 2016, 12:00 AM

Archivist as Detective

When cataloging manuscript collections here at the MHS, I sometimes get the opportunity to play detective. The library recently acquired an anonymous 19th-century diary, and I was tasked with (hopefully) identifying its author. Since the diary came to us as an individual [...] read more

comments: 6 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 24 February, 2016, 10:56 AM

This Week @ MHS

Here is the round-up of events in the week to come: - Tuesday, 23 February, 5:15PM : This week's Immigration and Urban History seminar features Niki C. Lefebvre of Boston Univeristy presenting "'The Other Essential Job of War': Jewish American Merchants and the European [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 21 February, 2016, 12:00 AM

Margaret Russell’s Diary, February 1916

Today, we return to the line-a-day diary of Margaret Russell. If you missed the January installment of Margaret’s diary, you can find it here, along with a brief introduction to this monthly series. During the month of February 1916, Margaret traveled south from wintery [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 17 February, 2016, 10:36 AM

This Week @ MHS

Please note that the MHS is closed on Monday, 15 February, in observance of President's Day. Normal hours resume on Tuesday, 16 February. Here's what we have on tap in this shortened week: - Tuesday, 16 February, 6:00PM : "Politics of Modernism" is the third of four programs [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 14 February, 2016, 12:00 AM

Math and Medicine: The Notebooks of Andrew Croswell

In the news recently there is a lot of coverage of the Zika virus and the late rise in outbreaks related to it. With that in mind I wanted to check our collections to see what the MHS holds relating to viruses. When I searched our online catalog, ABIGAIL, using Virus as [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Friday, 12 February, 2016, 12:00 AM

Immigrants Needing Protection from Themselves? The Padrone System in Boston’s North End

In the late nineteenth century the Reverend Gaetano Conte created a scrapbook about the founding of the Society for Protection of Italian Immigrants in Boston, Massachusetts. The scrapbook, titled Societies for the protection of Italian immigrants: documents and illustrations, [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 10 February, 2016, 11:52 AM

This Week @ MHS

On the calendar this week we have a pair of seminars, a pair of public programs, and a free tour. Here's how it all shakes out: - Tuesday, 9 February, 5:15PM : Join us for an Environmental History seminar discussion with presenter Laura J. Martin of Harvard University, [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 7 February, 2016, 12:00 AM

Curiosities and Monstrosities

As I sat trying to think of ideas for this post, I opened our online catalog, ABIGAIL, to brainstorm and see if I could think of any odd subject headings I wanted to explore. There, in that sentence, lay the answer. I typed in "oddities" to see what we might have in [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Friday, 5 February, 2016, 12:00 AM

The Wanderer: The Last American Slave Ship

The Fay-Mixter family papers here at the MHS includes a folder of material related to the fascinating story of the Wanderer, a luxury yacht refitted as a slave ship in 1858 to engage in the illegal trans-Atlantic slave trade. The importation of slaves to America was prohibited [...] read more

comments: 1 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 3 February, 2016, 12:00 AM