Calendar of Events

Exhibition

Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country

Massachusetts Women in WWI. 12 June 2014 to 24 January 2015

Details

December

Early American History Seminar Occupying Boston: An Intimate History of the Boston Massacre 3 December 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Serena Zabin, Carleton College Comment: Lisa Wilson, Connecticut College Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568. Authors ...

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

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Brown Bag "To Spread Liberty to the North": The Invasion of Canada and the Coming of American Independence, 1774-1776 4 December 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Amy Noel, Boston University This project seeks to explain the enormous changes taking place in American society between 1774 and ...

This project seeks to explain the enormous changes taking place in American society between 1774 and 1776 by examining the failed invasion of Canada. The campaign played a crucial role in shaping colonial attitudes toward Catholicism and Britishness, the escalation of rebellion into an imperial civil war, and the looming issue of American independence.

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Public Program, Exhibition Elegant Interiors in Early 19th-Century Boston 4 December 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Richard and Jane Nylander This program is part of the Massachusetts Furniture Series Early 19th-century Boston witnessed new styles of architecture and furniture. Homes were embellished ...

Early 19th-century Boston witnessed new styles of architecture and furniture. Homes were embellished by a wealth of imported goods such as paintings and sculpture, porcelain, and luxurious fabrics. This lecture will provide a glimpse of the interiors of the homes of some of the city’s wealthiest citizens, among them Nathan Appleton, Charles Russell Codman, Benjamin Bussey, Barney Smith, and David Hinckley.

To Register: Tickets are $10 per person (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617-646-0560 or register online by clicking the ticket icon above.

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St. Nicholas Special Event, Member Event MHS Fellows & Members Holiday Party 5 December 2013.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Sold-out event. Please call 617-646-0552 to be added to the waiting list. MHS Fellows and Members are invited to celebrate the season with the Trustees and staff of the MHS ...

St. NicholasMHS Fellows and Members are invited to celebrate the season with the Trustees and staff of the MHS at a special year-end reception. The event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members.

Become a Member today.

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Public Program, Author Talk End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy 6 December 2013.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM James Swanson Fifty years ago, our country was jolted by tragedy: our 35th president was shot. In End of Days: ...

Fifty years ago, our country was jolted by tragedy: our 35th president was shot. In End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy, Edgar award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the highly acclaimed Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase For Lincoln's Killer and historian James. L. Swanson, offers a comprehensive understanding of this historic day, lending edge-of-your seat, storyteller's mastery to the subject. With fascinating, colorful detail culled from vast historic resources, Swanson sets the stage for his central drama: the unfolding of the private final hours of John F. Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald as their destinies converge in a rifle's crosshairs-one man bound for infamy, the other for myth. Told in characteristic riveting narrative style, End of Days tracks the seemingly inevitable, and equally improbable, collision course between two men that would change history, devastate a hopeful generation, and spur one of our country's greatest national mysteries.

To Register: This event is free and open to the public.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 7 December 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the ...

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

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 abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Environmental History Seminar Panel Discussion: Telling Environmental History 10 December 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Brian Donahue, Brandeis University, Karl Haglund, Department of Conservation and Recreation, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Megan Kate Nelson, Brown University, Aaron Sachs, Cornell University Moderator: Anthony N. Penna, Northeastern University Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568. There ...

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

There are no precirculated papers for this program.

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Brown Bag The Memory Frontier: Memorializing King Philip's War in the Native Northeast 11 December 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Christine DeLucia, Mount Holyoke College The late 17th-century conflict known as King Philip's War has haunted colonial New Englanders and ...

The late 17th-century conflict known as King Philip's War has haunted colonial New Englanders and diverse tribal communities.  Their remembrances of this violence have taken shape in highly local ways, through material objects, performances, and stories about landscapes.  This study highlights the importance of such overlooked sources for understanding the persistent, widespread effects of warfare and settler colonialism in the Northeast.

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Public Program Making History: The Salem Witch Trials in Documents & Artifacts 11 December 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Presentation & Exhibition Viewing Facilitator: James H. Johnson, Boston University Students of the Boston University course “Making History” discuss the MHS exhibition ...

Students of the Boston University course “Making History” discuss the MHS exhibition that they have researched and compiled. The semester-long project on Salem and the wider fear of witches in England and colonial America includes work on letters and diaries, sermons, early printed books, and objects from the period. James H. Johnson, who teaches the course, is Professor of History and a prize-winning author.

To Register: This event is free and open to the public. Please call 617-646-0560 or email education@masshist.org to register.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Women versus Connecticut: Insights from the Pre-Roe Abortion Battles 12 December 2013.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:00PM RSVP required Amy Kesselman, SUNY at New Paltz Comment: Linda Gordon, New York University Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568. Authors ...

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

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Public Program, Exhibition Patriotic Banding: Red, White, and Blue 13 December 2013.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Exhibition Spotlight Michael Wheeler In the federal period (1790-1820), wealthy Boston merchants expanded trade to the West Indies and ...

In the federal period (1790-1820), wealthy Boston merchants expanded trade to the West Indies and China. As part of this trade, they imported rare and expensive lumber into Boston. Mechanical inventions and the harnessing of waterpower made sawing this lumber into thin veneers possible. New specialists, known as inlay makers, were able to dye, stack, and cut those veneers into decorative geometric bandings which cabinetmakers used as inlays in neoclassical furniture.

Guest speaker Michael Wheeler has recently discovered that red, white, and blue banding was made in Boston during the federal period of the new republic. In his presentation, he will take us through his discovery and research, followed by a gallery tour of the inlaid furniture in our exhibition and his example of modern patriotic banding.

To Register: This program is free and open to the public.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 14 December 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour ...

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

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 abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Library Closed Library closing at 4:45PM 17 December 2013.Tuesday, all day The MHS library will close at 4:45PM due to inclement weather.

The MHS library will close at 4:45PM due to inclement weather.

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Library Closed Library Closed 24 December 2013.Tuesday, all day The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  ...

The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

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Library Closed Library Closed 25 December 2013.Wednesday, all day The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  ...

The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

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Notice Exhibition Galleries Open 26 December 2013.Thursday, all day The MHS galleries, featuring our current exhibition The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston ...

The MHS galleries, featuring our current exhibition The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open to the public from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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Library Closed Library Closed 26 December 2013.Thursday, all day The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  ...

The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

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Notice Exhibition Galleries Open 27 December 2013.Friday, all day The MHS galleries, featuring our current exhibition The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston ...

The MHS galleries, featuring our current exhibition The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open to the public from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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Library Closed Library Closed 27 December 2013.Friday, all day The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  ...

The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

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Notice Exhibition Galleries Open 28 December 2013.Saturday, all day The MHS galleries, featuring our current exhibition The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston ...

The MHS galleries, featuring our current exhibition The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open to the public from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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Library Closed Library Closed 28 December 2013.Saturday, all day The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  ...

The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

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Library Closed Library Closed 29 December 2013.Sunday, all day The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  ...

The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

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Notice Exhibition Galleries Open 30 December 2013.Monday, all day The MHS galleries, featuring our current exhibition The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston ...

The MHS galleries, featuring our current exhibition The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open to the public from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

details
Library Closed Library Closed 30 December 2013.Monday, all day The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  ...

The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

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Library Closed Library Closed 31 December 2013.Tuesday, all day The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  ...

The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

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January
Library Closed Library Closed 1 January 2014.Wednesday, all day The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  ...

The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

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Building Closed MHS Closing 2 January 2014.Thursday, 12:00PM - 4:45PM The MHS will be closing at noon on Thursday due to inclement weather. The building will be closed ...

The MHS will be closing at noon on Thursday due to inclement weather. The building will be closed Friday, 3 January, 2014.

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Building Closed MHS Closed 3 January 2014.Friday, all day The MHS will be closed Friday due to inclement weather.

The MHS will be closed Friday due to inclement weather.

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Notice Building Open Saturday 4 January 2014.Saturday, all day Building is expected to reopen Saturday, but check here for any further updates.

Building is expected to reopen Saturday, but check here for any further updates.

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Brown Bag A Climatic Debate: Abolition and Climate in Eighteenth-Century Britain 8 January 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Katherine Johnston, Columbia University Toward the end of the eighteenth century, as British Parliamentary debates over abolition in the ...

Toward the end of the eighteenth century, as British Parliamentary debates over abolition in the West Indies grew increasingly serious, the Board of Trade interrogated people familiar with plantation life. What sorts of health risks did plantation work pose for enslaved laborers? Could Europeans labor in the West Indian climate? This project examines some of the testimony that absentee planters provided to Parliament and contrasts these arguments with evidence taken from these same planters' private letters. Public testimony did not always match up with personal opinions, and this project explores some of the differences between the two.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 11 January 2014.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour ...

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

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 abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Environmental History Seminar Out of the Blue: Nantucket and the Pacific World 14 January 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Edward D. Melillo, Amherst College Comment: Nancy Shoemaker, University of Connecticut Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568. Authors ...

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

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Brown Bag Americanizing America: Yankee Civilization and the U.S. State 15 January 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Dylan Yeats, New York University Please join Loring Fellow Dylan Yeats to discuss his dissertation and the research he is conducting ...

Please join Loring Fellow Dylan Yeats to discuss his dissertation and the research he is conducting at the Massachusetts Historical Society and Boston Athenaeum. Yeats is charting the evolution of what he terms the Yankee Network, comprising academic, educational, missionary, and social reform organizations, and the ways in which this network sought to harness those organs of the state that it could over the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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Special Event, Member Event An Evening Social 15 January 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Please RSVP   This event is open only to MHS Associate Members MHS Associate Members (age 40 and under) are invited to an evening social with the Young Friends of ...

MHS Associate Members (age 40 and under) are invited to an evening social with the Young Friends of Historic New England. Guests will gather at the MHS for a reception followed by a scavenger hunt based on "The Cabinetmaker and the Carver" exhibition.

For more information please call 617-646-0543 or e-mail awolfe@masshist.org.

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Biography Seminar When Subjects Talk Back: Oral History, Contemporary Biography, and the Runaway Interview 16 January 2014.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Joyce Antler, Brandeis University, Claire Potter, New School for Public Engagement, Ted Widmer, Brown University Moderator: Carol Bundy, author of The Nature of Sacrifice: A Biography of Charles Russell Lowell, Jr., 1835-64 This program will feature a conversation with Joyce Antler, Professor of American Studies at ...

This program will feature a conversation with Joyce Antler, Professor of American Studies at Brandeis, who is currently writing a book on Jewish women active in the feminist movement; Claire Potter, Professor of History at the New School, who is writing on anti-pornography efforts in the 1980s; and Ted Widmer, senior advisor to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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Desk and bookcase Exhibitionends The Cabinetmaker & the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections 17 January 2014.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm This exhibition provides visitors with a rare opportunity to see nearly 50 examples of significant ...

Desk and bookcaseThis exhibition provides visitors with a rare opportunity to see nearly 50 examples of significant furniture borrowed from distinguished private collections in the greater Boston area. Ranging in date from the late-17th-century to about 1900, these privately held treasures, generously lent by their owners, provide a look at the trajectory of cabinetmaking in the Hub. They are supplemented with documents, portraits, and other material from the Society's collections that help place the furniture into historical context.

The exhibition is part of Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture a collaborative project of the Massachusetts Historical Society and ten other institutions that features exhibitions, lectures, demonstrations and publications to celebrate the Bay State's legacy of furniture-making. Visit fourcenturies.org.

Image: Desk and bookcase, carving attributed to John Welch, Boston, Mass., ca. 1750–1755, private collection. Photo by Laura Wulf.

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Building Closed Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 20 January 2014.Monday, all day The MHS is closed for Martin Juther King Jr. Day.

The MHS is closed for Martin Juther King Jr. Day.

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Public Program, Author Talk The Hub's Metropolis: Greater Boston's Development from Railroad Suburb to Smart Growth 22 January 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Pre-Talk Reception at 5:30pm James O'Connell, National Park Service The population of the Boston Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is ranked tenth largest in the ...

The population of the Boston Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is ranked tenth largest in the United States. The region’s sprawling scale, with 234 municipalities, can make it difficult to grasp its character. Urban historian James O’Connell will present an illustrated talk about how metropolitan Boston has been shaped by distinct eras of suburbanization, with each one producing a land use development pattern that is still apparent on the regional landscape. Drawing upon his recent book, The Hub’s Metropolis: Greater Boston’s Development from Railroad Suburbs to Smart Growth, O’Connell will explain how each period had specific characteristics related to modes of transportation, building types, commercial uses, and the treatment of open and public space. He will describe how Boston has been a national pace-setter for country estates, railroad suburbs, metropolitan parks, land use zoning, highway beltways, shopping centers, office parks, edge cities, and central city redevelopment. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of how the region’s development legacy is shaping current efforts to promote smart growth and sustainable development.

James O’Connell is a planner and historian for the Boston Regional Office of the National Park Service. He has a B.A. from Bates College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Urban History from the University of Chicago. He has written five books, including Becoming Cape Cod: Creating a Seaside Resort, and has contributed chapters to A Landscape History of New England, Remaking Boston: An Environmental History of the City and Its Surroundings, and The Encyclopedia of New England.

To Register: Reservations Requested. Click here to register online or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

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Immigration and Urban History Seminar Making a Workforce, Unmaking a Working Class: The Development of "Human Capital" in Houston, 1900-1980 28 January 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Bryant Etheridge, Harvard University Comment: John R. Harris, Boston University Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568. Authors ...

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

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February
Early American History Seminar Panel Discussion: Law and the American Revolution 4 February 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Mary Sarah Bilder, Boston College Law School, T.H. Breen, University of Vermont and Huntington Library, Bruce Mann, Harvard Law School, Kent Newmyer, University of Connecticut Moderator: Alan Rogers, Boston College Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568. There ...

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

There are no original essays to read for this program, but if you have not done so you might wish to read chapter 2 of Grant Gilmore's The Ages of American Law (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977) in preparation for this program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

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Building Closed Snow Closure 5 February 2014.Wednesday, all day The MHS is closed on Wednesday, February 5th, due to inclement weather. We anticipate reopening as ...

The MHS is closed on Wednesday, February 5th, due to inclement weather. We anticipate reopening as normal on Thursday, February 6th. Please check the website and/or call 617-646-0500 for further updates.

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Public Program Boston’s Mayor James Michael Curley: The Quintessential Politician & Public Works Patron 6 February 2014.Thursday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Lawrence Overlan James Michael Curley was perhaps the most prolific politician in Massachusetts history. In honor ...

James Michael Curley was perhaps the most prolific politician in Massachusetts history. In honor of the 100th anniversary of his first election as Mayor of Boston, this talk will highlight the building of public works in Boston during his time in office. Parks, police and fire stations, public schools, transit expansion, hospitals, beaches and public art erected during his tenure abound in Boston and provide comfort, beauty and long term significant economic benefits for visitors and Bostonians alike.

Lawrence Overlan has been researching, teaching, speaking and writing about James Michael Curley for over a decade.

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Environmental History Seminar "A tacit proclamation of achievement by the Race": Landscapes Built With African American Civilian Conservation Corps Labor in the Rural Midwest 11 February 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Brian McCammack, Williams College Comment: Neil Maher, NJIT—Rutgers University Newark Federated History Department Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568. Authors ...

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

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Public Program Created Equal: The Loving Story 12 February 2014.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   Film Screening & Discussion Facilitated by Joanne Pope Melish, University of Kentucky Mildred and Richard Loving knew it was technically illegal for them to live as a married couple in ...

Mildred and Richard Loving knew it was technically illegal for them to live as a married couple in Virginia because she was of African American and Native American descent and he was white. The Loving Story, nominated for an Emmy in 2013, brings to life the Lovings’ marriage and the legal battle that followed. The film will be shown in its entirety.

Joanne Pope Melish is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Kentucky and a visiting scholar in American Studies at Brown University. She is the author of Disowning Slavery: Gradual Emancipation and “Race” in New England, 1780-1860.

To Reserve: Click here to register online or call  the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle is made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

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Building Closed President's Day 17 February 2014.Monday, all day The MHS is closed for President's Day.

The MHS is closed for President's Day.

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Brown Bag Consumed by Poverty: The Experience of Tuberculosis in the Boston Almshouse, 1800-1850 19 February 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Mary Fuhrer, Independent Scholar Tuberculosis caused up to a third of all deaths in antebellum New England. Attempting to make sense ...

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.

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Library Closed Library Closing @ 3:00pm 20 February 2014.Thursday, all day The MHS library will be closing at 3pm on Thursday, February 20th, to prepare for the evening ...

The MHS library will be closing at 3pm on Thursday, February 20th, to prepare for the evening preview reception of Tell It With Pride.

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Member Event, Special Event, Public Program Tell It with Pride Preview Reception 20 February 2014.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Please RSVP   This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members. MHS Fellows and Members are invited to a special preview and reception for Tell ...

Shaw MemorialMHS Fellows and Members are invited to a special preview and reception for Tell It With Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Shaw Memorial. Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the exhibition brings together photographs of members of the regiment and of the men and women who recruited, nursed, taught, and guided them.

Please note: the 5:30 PM pre-reception talk is sold out.

Become a Member today!

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Exhibitionbegins Tell It with Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Shaw Memorial 21 February 2014.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington In commemoration of the Civil War battle of Fort Wagner led by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the men ...


In commemoration of the Civil War battle of Fort Wagner led by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the men of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment and in cooperation with the Massachusetts Historical Society, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. has organized the exhibition Tell It with Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Shaw Memorial.

The exhibition celebrates Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ magisterial Shaw Memorial (1883–1900). When Saint-Gaudens created the monument, he based his likeness of Shaw on photographs of the colonel, but for his depiction of the other soldiers, he hired African American men to pose in his studio. This exhibition seeks to make real the soldiers of the 54th represented anonymously in the memorial. It brings together vintage photographic portraits of members of the regiment and of the men and women who recruited, nursed, taught, and guided them.

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.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 22 February 2014.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour ...

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

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 abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Public Program, Author Talk Crossed Swords: Job Shattuck's Blood at the Courthouse Door 23 February 2014.Sunday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Please RSVP   Location: Lawrence Library in Pepperell, Mass. Gary Shattuck The Revolution forced many changes on Massachusetts society including the relationships and ...

The Revolution forced many changes on Massachusetts society including the relationships and expectations of those living in the countryside. Courthouse takeovers began in the summer of 1786 when officials failed to address petitions for relief from taxes and judgments rendered against farmers by debt-enforcing courts. Capt. Job Shattuck was one of the early leaders who sided with the protestors, and he paid dearly for the effort. Shocking new evidence found in court records allows us to reassess his role and reputation.

Gary Shattuck is a retired federal prosecutor who enjoys researching and writing about newfound discoveries lying deep within little-used legal documents.

This talk is presented in collaboration with Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area and will take place at the Lawrence Library in Pepperell, Mass.

To Reserve: Click here to register online or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560. 

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Brown Bag "A Wigwam with Two Fires": Place and Historical Narrative in Indian-Settler Relations in the Kennebec River Valley 24 February 2014.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Ashley Smith, Cornell University This research project asks, in what ways can place-based ethnography contribute to our understanding ...

This research project asks, in what ways can place-based ethnography contribute to our understanding of complex historical and social relations in settler-colonial society? It begins with Norridgewock village in the Kennebec River Valley of Maine as a focal point, understanding this village to be simultaneously a physical place, a collection of stories, and a set of relationships. It then follows the networks of social relationships, memory narratives, and historical knowledges outward in order to reveal the roles that place, history, and memory play in the negotiation of relationships in settler-colonial spaces.

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Immigration and Urban History Seminar Curating the City: The Framing of Los Angeles 25 February 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Catherine Gudis, University of California—Riverside Comment: Carlo Rotella, Boston College Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568. Authors ...

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

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Public Program Handel and Haydn Society: Bringing Music to Life for 200 Years 26 February 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Pre-Performance reception at 5:30pm Handel and Haydn Society Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus Members of the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus, along with Christopher Hogwood Historically ...

Members of the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus, along with Christopher Hogwood Historically Informed Performance Fellow Teresa M. Neff, share the 200-year history of the Handel and Haydn Society through music and stories, The program includes an eclectic range of works from the 18th century: hymns by William Billings, chamber music by Mozart and Beethoven, and excerpts from Haydn's The Creation and Handel's Messiah.

Since 1815, the Handel and Haydn Society has shared the inspirational and transformational power of Baroque and Classical music with people throughout Boston and the country. Join H +H for an instrumental and vocal chamber performance that will share the history of the institution, considered America’s oldest continuously performing arts organization.

To Reserve: There is a $30 fee ($20 fee for Fellows and Members). Click here to register online or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

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Public Program, Author Talk George Washington: Gentleman Warrior 27 February 2014.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Location: Boston Public Library, Copley Square Steven Brumwell Stephen Brumwell’s new book focuses on George Washington, the feisty young frontier officer ...

Stephen Brumwell’s new book focuses on George Washington, the feisty young frontier officer and the tough forty-something commander of the revolutionaries’ Continental Army. It examines his long and chequered military career, tracing his evolution as a soldier, and his changing attitude to the waging of war.

Dr. Stephen Brumwell is an award-winning independent historian and journalist. He attended the University of Leeds, gaining a PhD in history and British Academy funding to research eighteenth-century North America. Brumwell's widely acclaimed books include Redcoats: The British Soldier and War in the Americas, 1755–1763; White Devil: A True Story of War, Savagery and Vengeance in Colonial America; and Paths of Glory: The Life and Death of General James Wolfe.

This event is co-sponsored by the MHS and the Boston Public Library.

To Reserve: This event is free and open to the public.

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Early American History Seminar Occupying Boston: An Intimate History of the Boston Massacre 3 December 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Serena Zabin, Carleton College Comment: Lisa Wilson, Connecticut College

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

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Brown Bag "To Spread Liberty to the North": The Invasion of Canada and the Coming of American Independence, 1774-1776 4 December 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Amy Noel, Boston University

This project seeks to explain the enormous changes taking place in American society between 1774 and 1776 by examining the failed invasion of Canada. The campaign played a crucial role in shaping colonial attitudes toward Catholicism and Britishness, the escalation of rebellion into an imperial civil war, and the looming issue of American independence.

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Public Program, Exhibition Elegant Interiors in Early 19th-Century Boston 4 December 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Richard and Jane Nylander This program is part of the Massachusetts Furniture Series

Early 19th-century Boston witnessed new styles of architecture and furniture. Homes were embellished by a wealth of imported goods such as paintings and sculpture, porcelain, and luxurious fabrics. This lecture will provide a glimpse of the interiors of the homes of some of the city’s wealthiest citizens, among them Nathan Appleton, Charles Russell Codman, Benjamin Bussey, Barney Smith, and David Hinckley.

To Register: Tickets are $10 per person (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617-646-0560 or register online by clicking the ticket icon above.

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Special Event, Member Event MHS Fellows & Members Holiday Party 5 December 2013.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM registration closed Sold-out event. Please call 617-646-0552 to be added to the waiting list. St. Nicholas

St. NicholasMHS Fellows and Members are invited to celebrate the season with the Trustees and staff of the MHS at a special year-end reception. The event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members.

Become a Member today.

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Public Program, Author Talk End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy 6 December 2013.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM this event is free James Swanson

Fifty years ago, our country was jolted by tragedy: our 35th president was shot. In End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy, Edgar award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the highly acclaimed Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase For Lincoln's Killer and historian James. L. Swanson, offers a comprehensive understanding of this historic day, lending edge-of-your seat, storyteller's mastery to the subject. With fascinating, colorful detail culled from vast historic resources, Swanson sets the stage for his central drama: the unfolding of the private final hours of John F. Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald as their destinies converge in a rifle's crosshairs-one man bound for infamy, the other for myth. Told in characteristic riveting narrative style, End of Days tracks the seemingly inevitable, and equally improbable, collision course between two men that would change history, devastate a hopeful generation, and spur one of our country's greatest national mysteries.

To Register: This event is free and open to the public.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 7 December 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

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 abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Environmental History Seminar Panel Discussion: Telling Environmental History 10 December 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Brian Donahue, Brandeis University, Karl Haglund, Department of Conservation and Recreation, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Megan Kate Nelson, Brown University, Aaron Sachs, Cornell University Moderator: Anthony N. Penna, Northeastern University

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

There are no precirculated papers for this program.

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Brown Bag The Memory Frontier: Memorializing King Philip's War in the Native Northeast 11 December 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Christine DeLucia, Mount Holyoke College

The late 17th-century conflict known as King Philip's War has haunted colonial New Englanders and diverse tribal communities.  Their remembrances of this violence have taken shape in highly local ways, through material objects, performances, and stories about landscapes.  This study highlights the importance of such overlooked sources for understanding the persistent, widespread effects of warfare and settler colonialism in the Northeast.

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Public Program Making History: The Salem Witch Trials in Documents & Artifacts 11 December 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM registration required at no cost Presentation & Exhibition Viewing Facilitator: James H. Johnson, Boston University

Students of the Boston University course “Making History” discuss the MHS exhibition that they have researched and compiled. The semester-long project on Salem and the wider fear of witches in England and colonial America includes work on letters and diaries, sermons, early printed books, and objects from the period. James H. Johnson, who teaches the course, is Professor of History and a prize-winning author.

To Register: This event is free and open to the public. Please call 617-646-0560 or email education@masshist.org to register.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Women versus Connecticut: Insights from the Pre-Roe Abortion Battles 12 December 2013.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:00PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Amy Kesselman, SUNY at New Paltz Comment: Linda Gordon, New York University

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

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Public Program, Exhibition Patriotic Banding: Red, White, and Blue 13 December 2013.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM this event is free Exhibition Spotlight Michael Wheeler

In the federal period (1790-1820), wealthy Boston merchants expanded trade to the West Indies and China. As part of this trade, they imported rare and expensive lumber into Boston. Mechanical inventions and the harnessing of waterpower made sawing this lumber into thin veneers possible. New specialists, known as inlay makers, were able to dye, stack, and cut those veneers into decorative geometric bandings which cabinetmakers used as inlays in neoclassical furniture.

Guest speaker Michael Wheeler has recently discovered that red, white, and blue banding was made in Boston during the federal period of the new republic. In his presentation, he will take us through his discovery and research, followed by a gallery tour of the inlaid furniture in our exhibition and his example of modern patriotic banding.

To Register: This program is free and open to the public.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 14 December 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

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 abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Library Closed Library closing at 4:45PM 17 December 2013.Tuesday, all day

The MHS library will close at 4:45PM due to inclement weather.

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Library Closed Library Closed 24 December 2013.Tuesday, all day

The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

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Library Closed Library Closed 25 December 2013.Wednesday, all day

The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

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Notice Exhibition Galleries Open 26 December 2013.Thursday, all day

The MHS galleries, featuring our current exhibition The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open to the public from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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Library Closed Library Closed 26 December 2013.Thursday, all day

The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

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Notice Exhibition Galleries Open 27 December 2013.Friday, all day

The MHS galleries, featuring our current exhibition The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open to the public from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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Library Closed Library Closed 27 December 2013.Friday, all day

The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

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Notice Exhibition Galleries Open 28 December 2013.Saturday, all day

The MHS galleries, featuring our current exhibition The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open to the public from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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Library Closed Library Closed 28 December 2013.Saturday, all day

The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

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Library Closed Library Closed 29 December 2013.Sunday, all day

The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

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Notice Exhibition Galleries Open 30 December 2013.Monday, all day

The MHS galleries, featuring our current exhibition The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open to the public from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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Library Closed Library Closed 30 December 2013.Monday, all day

The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

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Library Closed Library Closed 31 December 2013.Tuesday, all day

The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

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Library Closed Library Closed 1 January 2014.Wednesday, all day

The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

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Building Closed MHS Closing 2 January 2014.Thursday, 12:00PM - 4:45PM

The MHS will be closing at noon on Thursday due to inclement weather. The building will be closed Friday, 3 January, 2014.

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Building Closed MHS Closed 3 January 2014.Friday, all day

The MHS will be closed Friday due to inclement weather.

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Notice Building Open Saturday 4 January 2014.Saturday, all day

Building is expected to reopen Saturday, but check here for any further updates.

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Brown Bag A Climatic Debate: Abolition and Climate in Eighteenth-Century Britain 8 January 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Katherine Johnston, Columbia University

Toward the end of the eighteenth century, as British Parliamentary debates over abolition in the West Indies grew increasingly serious, the Board of Trade interrogated people familiar with plantation life. What sorts of health risks did plantation work pose for enslaved laborers? Could Europeans labor in the West Indian climate? This project examines some of the testimony that absentee planters provided to Parliament and contrasts these arguments with evidence taken from these same planters' private letters. Public testimony did not always match up with personal opinions, and this project explores some of the differences between the two.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 11 January 2014.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

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 abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Environmental History Seminar Out of the Blue: Nantucket and the Pacific World 14 January 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Edward D. Melillo, Amherst College Comment: Nancy Shoemaker, University of Connecticut

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

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Brown Bag Americanizing America: Yankee Civilization and the U.S. State 15 January 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Dylan Yeats, New York University

Please join Loring Fellow Dylan Yeats to discuss his dissertation and the research he is conducting at the Massachusetts Historical Society and Boston Athenaeum. Yeats is charting the evolution of what he terms the Yankee Network, comprising academic, educational, missionary, and social reform organizations, and the ways in which this network sought to harness those organs of the state that it could over the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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Special Event, Member Event An Evening Social 15 January 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost This event is open only to MHS Associate Members

MHS Associate Members (age 40 and under) are invited to an evening social with the Young Friends of Historic New England. Guests will gather at the MHS for a reception followed by a scavenger hunt based on "The Cabinetmaker and the Carver" exhibition.

For more information please call 617-646-0543 or e-mail awolfe@masshist.org.

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Biography Seminar When Subjects Talk Back: Oral History, Contemporary Biography, and the Runaway Interview 16 January 2014.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Joyce Antler, Brandeis University, Claire Potter, New School for Public Engagement, Ted Widmer, Brown University Moderator: Carol Bundy, author of The Nature of Sacrifice: A Biography of Charles Russell Lowell, Jr., 1835-64

This program will feature a conversation with Joyce Antler, Professor of American Studies at Brandeis, who is currently writing a book on Jewish women active in the feminist movement; Claire Potter, Professor of History at the New School, who is writing on anti-pornography efforts in the 1980s; and Ted Widmer, senior advisor to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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Exhibition The Cabinetmaker & the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections 17 January 2014.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm Desk and bookcase

Desk and bookcaseThis exhibition provides visitors with a rare opportunity to see nearly 50 examples of significant furniture borrowed from distinguished private collections in the greater Boston area. Ranging in date from the late-17th-century to about 1900, these privately held treasures, generously lent by their owners, provide a look at the trajectory of cabinetmaking in the Hub. They are supplemented with documents, portraits, and other material from the Society's collections that help place the furniture into historical context.

The exhibition is part of Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture a collaborative project of the Massachusetts Historical Society and ten other institutions that features exhibitions, lectures, demonstrations and publications to celebrate the Bay State's legacy of furniture-making. Visit fourcenturies.org.

Image: Desk and bookcase, carving attributed to John Welch, Boston, Mass., ca. 1750–1755, private collection. Photo by Laura Wulf.

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Building Closed Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 20 January 2014.Monday, all day

The MHS is closed for Martin Juther King Jr. Day.

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Public Program, Author Talk The Hub's Metropolis: Greater Boston's Development from Railroad Suburb to Smart Growth 22 January 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost Pre-Talk Reception at 5:30pm James O'Connell, National Park Service

The population of the Boston Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is ranked tenth largest in the United States. The region’s sprawling scale, with 234 municipalities, can make it difficult to grasp its character. Urban historian James O’Connell will present an illustrated talk about how metropolitan Boston has been shaped by distinct eras of suburbanization, with each one producing a land use development pattern that is still apparent on the regional landscape. Drawing upon his recent book, The Hub’s Metropolis: Greater Boston’s Development from Railroad Suburbs to Smart Growth, O’Connell will explain how each period had specific characteristics related to modes of transportation, building types, commercial uses, and the treatment of open and public space. He will describe how Boston has been a national pace-setter for country estates, railroad suburbs, metropolitan parks, land use zoning, highway beltways, shopping centers, office parks, edge cities, and central city redevelopment. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of how the region’s development legacy is shaping current efforts to promote smart growth and sustainable development.

James O’Connell is a planner and historian for the Boston Regional Office of the National Park Service. He has a B.A. from Bates College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Urban History from the University of Chicago. He has written five books, including Becoming Cape Cod: Creating a Seaside Resort, and has contributed chapters to A Landscape History of New England, Remaking Boston: An Environmental History of the City and Its Surroundings, and The Encyclopedia of New England.

To Register: Reservations Requested. Click here to register online or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

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Immigration and Urban History Seminar Making a Workforce, Unmaking a Working Class: The Development of "Human Capital" in Houston, 1900-1980 28 January 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Bryant Etheridge, Harvard University Comment: John R. Harris, Boston University

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

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Early American History Seminar Panel Discussion: Law and the American Revolution 4 February 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Mary Sarah Bilder, Boston College Law School, T.H. Breen, University of Vermont and Huntington Library, Bruce Mann, Harvard Law School, Kent Newmyer, University of Connecticut Moderator: Alan Rogers, Boston College

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

There are no original essays to read for this program, but if you have not done so you might wish to read chapter 2 of Grant Gilmore's The Ages of American Law (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977) in preparation for this program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

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Building Closed Snow Closure 5 February 2014.Wednesday, all day

The MHS is closed on Wednesday, February 5th, due to inclement weather. We anticipate reopening as normal on Thursday, February 6th. Please check the website and/or call 617-646-0500 for further updates.

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Public Program Boston’s Mayor James Michael Curley: The Quintessential Politician & Public Works Patron 6 February 2014.Thursday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Lawrence Overlan

James Michael Curley was perhaps the most prolific politician in Massachusetts history. In honor of the 100th anniversary of his first election as Mayor of Boston, this talk will highlight the building of public works in Boston during his time in office. Parks, police and fire stations, public schools, transit expansion, hospitals, beaches and public art erected during his tenure abound in Boston and provide comfort, beauty and long term significant economic benefits for visitors and Bostonians alike.

Lawrence Overlan has been researching, teaching, speaking and writing about James Michael Curley for over a decade.

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Environmental History Seminar "A tacit proclamation of achievement by the Race": Landscapes Built With African American Civilian Conservation Corps Labor in the Rural Midwest 11 February 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Brian McCammack, Williams College Comment: Neil Maher, NJIT—Rutgers University Newark Federated History Department

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

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Public Program Created Equal: The Loving Story 12 February 2014.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost Film Screening & Discussion Facilitated by Joanne Pope Melish, University of Kentucky

Mildred and Richard Loving knew it was technically illegal for them to live as a married couple in Virginia because she was of African American and Native American descent and he was white. The Loving Story, nominated for an Emmy in 2013, brings to life the Lovings’ marriage and the legal battle that followed. The film will be shown in its entirety.

Joanne Pope Melish is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Kentucky and a visiting scholar in American Studies at Brown University. She is the author of Disowning Slavery: Gradual Emancipation and “Race” in New England, 1780-1860.

To Reserve: Click here to register online or call  the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle is made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

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Building Closed President's Day 17 February 2014.Monday, all day

The MHS is closed for President's Day.

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Brown Bag Consumed by Poverty: The Experience of Tuberculosis in the Boston Almshouse, 1800-1850 19 February 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Mary Fuhrer, Independent Scholar

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.

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Library Closed Library Closing @ 3:00pm 20 February 2014.Thursday, all day

The MHS library will be closing at 3pm on Thursday, February 20th, to prepare for the evening preview reception of Tell It With Pride.

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Member Event, Special Event, Public Program Tell It with Pride Preview Reception 20 February 2014.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members.

Shaw MemorialMHS Fellows and Members are invited to a special preview and reception for Tell It With Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Shaw Memorial. Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the exhibition brings together photographs of members of the regiment and of the men and women who recruited, nursed, taught, and guided them.

Please note: the 5:30 PM pre-reception talk is sold out.

Become a Member today!

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Exhibition Tell It with Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Shaw Memorial 21 February 2014 to 23 May 2014 this event is free Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington


In commemoration of the Civil War battle of Fort Wagner led by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the men of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment and in cooperation with the Massachusetts Historical Society, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. has organized the exhibition Tell It with Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Shaw Memorial.

The exhibition celebrates Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ magisterial Shaw Memorial (1883–1900). When Saint-Gaudens created the monument, he based his likeness of Shaw on photographs of the colonel, but for his depiction of the other soldiers, he hired African American men to pose in his studio. This exhibition seeks to make real the soldiers of the 54th represented anonymously in the memorial. It brings together vintage photographic portraits of members of the regiment and of the men and women who recruited, nursed, taught, and guided them.

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.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 22 February 2014.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM this event is free

Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

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 abentley@masshist.org.

Free and open to the public.

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Public Program, Author Talk Crossed Swords: Job Shattuck's Blood at the Courthouse Door 23 February 2014.Sunday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Please RSVP   registration required at no cost Location: Lawrence Library in Pepperell, Mass. Gary Shattuck

The Revolution forced many changes on Massachusetts society including the relationships and expectations of those living in the countryside. Courthouse takeovers began in the summer of 1786 when officials failed to address petitions for relief from taxes and judgments rendered against farmers by debt-enforcing courts. Capt. Job Shattuck was one of the early leaders who sided with the protestors, and he paid dearly for the effort. Shocking new evidence found in court records allows us to reassess his role and reputation.

Gary Shattuck is a retired federal prosecutor who enjoys researching and writing about newfound discoveries lying deep within little-used legal documents.

This talk is presented in collaboration with Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area and will take place at the Lawrence Library in Pepperell, Mass.

To Reserve: Click here to register online or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560. 

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Brown Bag "A Wigwam with Two Fires": Place and Historical Narrative in Indian-Settler Relations in the Kennebec River Valley 24 February 2014.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Ashley Smith, Cornell University

This research project asks, in what ways can place-based ethnography contribute to our understanding of complex historical and social relations in settler-colonial society? It begins with Norridgewock village in the Kennebec River Valley of Maine as a focal point, understanding this village to be simultaneously a physical place, a collection of stories, and a set of relationships. It then follows the networks of social relationships, memory narratives, and historical knowledges outward in order to reveal the roles that place, history, and memory play in the negotiation of relationships in settler-colonial spaces.

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Immigration and Urban History Seminar Curating the City: The Framing of Los Angeles 25 February 2014.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Catherine Gudis, University of California—Riverside Comment: Carlo Rotella, Boston College

Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

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Public Program Handel and Haydn Society: Bringing Music to Life for 200 Years 26 February 2014.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM registration required Pre-Performance reception at 5:30pm Handel and Haydn Society Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus

Members of the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus, along with Christopher Hogwood Historically Informed Performance Fellow Teresa M. Neff, share the 200-year history of the Handel and Haydn Society through music and stories, The program includes an eclectic range of works from the 18th century: hymns by William Billings, chamber music by Mozart and Beethoven, and excerpts from Haydn's The Creation and Handel's Messiah.

Since 1815, the Handel and Haydn Society has shared the inspirational and transformational power of Baroque and Classical music with people throughout Boston and the country. Join H +H for an instrumental and vocal chamber performance that will share the history of the institution, considered America’s oldest continuously performing arts organization.

To Reserve: There is a $30 fee ($20 fee for Fellows and Members). Click here to register online or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

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Public Program, Author Talk George Washington: Gentleman Warrior 27 February 2014.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM this event is free Location: Boston Public Library, Copley Square Steven Brumwell

Stephen Brumwell’s new book focuses on George Washington, the feisty young frontier officer and the tough forty-something commander of the revolutionaries’ Continental Army. It examines his long and chequered military career, tracing his evolution as a soldier, and his changing attitude to the waging of war.

Dr. Stephen Brumwell is an award-winning independent historian and journalist. He attended the University of Leeds, gaining a PhD in history and British Academy funding to research eighteenth-century North America. Brumwell's widely acclaimed books include Redcoats: The British Soldier and War in the Americas, 1755–1763; White Devil: A True Story of War, Savagery and Vengeance in Colonial America; and Paths of Glory: The Life and Death of General James Wolfe.

This event is co-sponsored by the MHS and the Boston Public Library.

To Reserve: This event is free and open to the public.

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