Object of the Month


September 2021

The Opera Ejection Case: Sarah Parker Remond Protests Segregated Seating at Boston’s Howard Athenaeum


July 2021

Louisa Catherine Adams Reviews John Quincy Adams's Fourth of July Speech


June 2021

Celebrating the Bunker Hill Centennial (and a New Piggery!) at Ridge Hill Farms, 20 June 1875

White metal, grosgrain ribbon, 1875

May 2021

"Jolly Fellowship": Bicycles and Bicycling Clubs in Turn of the Century Massachusetts

photograph by E. I. Whitney, 1904

April 2021

Following the Footsteps of Miles Moore, Drummer Boy of the 54th Regiment, Company H

Silver cross, embossed and engraved, late 19th century

February 2021

Defeating the “Speckled Monster”: The Fight against Smallpox from Inoculation to Vaccination

Broadside by Sylvanus Fansher

December 2020

Christmas 1862, Santa Visits the Troops

Engraving of political cartoon drawn by Thomas Nast

November 2020

The Plumed Knight Becomes the Plumed Crow: Did Thomas Nast “Unmake” a President in 1884?

Pen and ink drawing by Thomas Nast, 1884

October 2020

“A barren island with hardly a house upon it”: Nineteenth Century Hong Kong

Oil on canvas mounted on aluminum attributed to Lam Qua, [1830s-early 1840s]

September 2020

The Next Four Years

Manuscript, 1972

August 2020

"Have you seen the Nightingale?": The Triumphant American Tour of Jenny Lind

Oil on metal, circa 1850

July 2020

“Does it not seem necessary on our part, there should be a declaration of independence on Great Britain?”

Manuscript, 23 March 1776

June 2020

Survivors of the Battle of Bunker Hill: Relief Ellery’s Teaspoons

Silver by John Allen, [17--]

May 2020

"Perished in the service of his country": Lieutenant Frederic Baury, United States Navy

Linen, bone buttons, [1809-1812]

April 2020

“Summer flowers … sprung from the earth in such haste and abundance as to tell of infinite treasures beneath”: the Brook Farm watercolors of Marianne Dwight

Watercolor on paper, November 1845

February 2020

“Malicious accusations, often intirely false and always overcharged”: an Unpopular Account of the Boston Massacre

Pamphlet, 1770

December 2019

“I never, never wish to be away from that Christmas party”: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Bowditch Family Christmas Revels

Manuscript and ribbons, 1886

October 2019

Opalescent: The Story of Opal Whiteley

Photograph, circa 1919

September 2019

"Happy childhood's golden hours": Marian Hooper's 1850 Sampler

Cotton on linen, 1850

August 2019

"A big baby always having to be fed and never growing up": Lucy Stone and the Woman's Journal

Engraving, 1916

June 2019

"A Blushing Debutante": Nathan Appleton's Gender Crossing

Photograph, 1862

May 2019

“Women Who Need to Earn Their Own Living”: A Female Journalist Considers the New Woman at Work

Typescript, circa 1910s

April 2019

From Loyalist son to American consul: Benjamin Joy of Boston

Furniture, 18th century

March 2019

John Leverett's Buff Coat

Coat, circa 1640

February 2019

"Flower paintings … so natural the bees might light on them": a unique volume of Emily Dickinson's Poems illustrated by Ellen Robbins

Book, 1891

January 2019

"All the time we have been here, I have been unable to get any clear statement of our ends in this conference": Charles Moorfield Storey at the Paris Peace Conference

Manuscript, 14 December 1918

October 2018

Hamilton, Memory, and Irony: Aaron Burr and Wendell Phillips Encounter Alexander Hamilton

Sculpture, 1794

October 2018

"I have heard Some of the Democratic rejoicing": Abigail Adams's Last Letter to John

Manuscript, 21 February 1801

September 2018

The Hurricane of '38

Photograph, September 1938

August 2018

Protecting American Interests: the Steamer Queen on the Pearl River, 1855

Watercolor on paper, [1855]

July 2018

Lantern Slide Depicting Adams Square, Boston

Lantern slide, 1900

June 2018

Baseball's Barnstorming Bloomer Girls: Women and the National Pastime

Photograph, circa 1890s-1910s

May 2018

The Guest of the Nation Returns to Boston: A Keepsake from the Marquis de Lafayette's Farewell Visits in 1824 and 1825


April 2018

Thaddeus Hyatt: Forgotten Abolitionist and Prisoner of Conscience

Photograph, 1860

March 2018

“Very like old fashioned March”: the Great Blizzard of 1888

Photograph, March 1888

February 2018

"They belonging to themselves": Minda Campbell Redeems Her Family from Slavery

Manuscript, 28 August 1860

December 2017

News of the Halifax Explosion Reaches Boston

Manuscript, 6-7 December 1917

November 2017

A New England Thanksgiving in the California Gold Country, 1850

Manuscript, 1948

October 2017

"I don't think you could beat our mode of travel for seeing a great deal of country": Auto-Camping in the West

Manuscript, 4 July 1919

September 2017

"There is no public or private man in Massachusetts for whom I should sooner vote than for you."

Manuscript, 2 November 1886

August 2017

The Fairy Sisters: Smallest Persons in the World

Poster, circa 1873

July 2017

Cy Young and other baseball players at the Huntington Avenue Grounds

Glass plate negative, circa 1908-1911

June 2017

Under Seven Flags: A Drawing of the Confederate Ironclad Ram Stonewall

Manuscript, 1863-1864

May 2017

When the Circus came to Boston in 1889: in Honor of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's Final Tour

Painting, 1889

April 2017

President of the Massachusetts Historical Society in a Fistfight: War Declared

Manuscript, 4 April 1917

March 2017

"Shall we submit to have our citizens shot down by a set of vagabond Irishmen!": Changing Perceptions of the Irish in Massachusetts

Broadside, 1854

February 2017

"A living and very robust reminder of the nearness of the great year of 1848": Mr. Thuolt and his Boston Riding School

Carte de visite, [1862]