The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This Week @ MHS

The MHS is closed on Monday, 17 February, in observance of President's Day. Normal hours resume on Tuesday, 18 February

On Wednesday, 19 February, come by at noon for a Brown Bag lunch talk.This week, independent scholar Mary Fuhrer discusses her research project "Consumed by Poverty: The Experience of Tuberculosis in the Boston Almshouse, 1800-1850." Tuberculosis caused up to a third of all deaths in antebellum New England. Attempting to make sense of this devastation, sufferers—and society—created "illness narratives" to interpret their experience and provide meaning, consolation, or blame. This study examines poor consumptives in the Boston Almshouse, seeking to "open out" their lives and better understand how they—and others—made sense of their affliction. This talk is free and open to the public.

Please be aware that on Thursday, 20 February, the library of the MHS will close at 3:00PM as we prepare for that evenings special event. Tell It With Pride Preview Reception is a special event specifically for MHS Fellows and Members. The preview is a sneak-peek at our upcoming exhibit Tell It With Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Shaw Memorial. This exhibit, organized by the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., brings together photographs of members of the regiment and of the men and women who recruited, nursed, taught, and guided them. Reception begins at 6:00PM. Registration is required at no cost for MHS Fellows and Members, click here to RSVP.  Please note that the 5:30PM pre-reception talk is sold out.

The Tell It With Pride exhibition opens to the public on Friday, 21 February. Throughout the run of the exhibition special programs are planned in cooperation with the Museum of African American History, the Boston African American National Historic Site, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment Company A, and the Friends of the Public Garden. Please check our events calendar for full listings. This exhibition is available Monday-Saturday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM and will remain open until 23 May 2014.

And on Saturday, 22 February, we resume our weekly tours of the MHS. The History and Collections of the MHS is a 90-minute tour of the Society's public rooms, led by a docent or MHS staff member and touching on the history of the Society, and the art and architecture of building at 1154 Boylston Street. The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour. For more information, please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or

Finally, please also be aware that the MHS will sponsor an author talk taking place on Sunday, 23 February, at the Lawrence Library in Pepperell, Mass., and presented in collaboration with Freedom's Way National Heritage Area. This talk is given by Gary Shattuck, a retired federal prosecutor who enjoys researching and writing about new-found discoveries lying deep within little-used legal documents. Crossed Swords: Job Shattuck's Blood at the Courthouse Door examines the many changes forced on Massachusetts society by the Revolution, including the relationships and expectations of those living in the countryside. Shocking new evidence found in court records allows us to reassess the role and reputation of Capt. Job Shattuck. Capt. Shattuck was an early leader of protestors who began taking over courthouses in the summer of 1786 when officials failed to address the petitions for relief from taxes and judgements rendered against farmers by debt-enforcing courts, and he paid dearly for his effort. This event is free and open to the public, though registration is required at no cost. To register, please call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560 or click here to register online. The talk begins at 2:00PM




permalink | Published: Sunday, 16 February, 2014, 12:00 PM