Graphics

The Society's collection of graphic material includes approximately 4,000 portrait prints and drawings, most of which are of 19th-century American and British notables, and roughly 220 silhouettes. There are approximately 2,000 prints, engravings, lithographs, drawings, and posters of historical events from the European discovery of America to the present, including a large collection of World War I recruiting and war loan posters. Other separate collections include bookplates, trade bills, and Civil War patriotic covers.

Notable pieces include Paul Revere’s engraving of the Boston Massacre; the earliest known American woodcut, a 1670 portrait of Richard Mather; and mezzotints of Native American leaders. There are two important prints by Peter Pelham, Cotton Mather and Plan of the City and Fortress of Louisbourg after Richard Gridley.

How to Find Graphics

Information about items in the graphics collection is largely limited to in-house databases and card catalogs, although records for World War I posters, silhouettes, and other selected graphics are available in ABIGAIL.  Contact the Reader Services staff for more information.

Upcoming Events

Author Talk

Under the Starry Flag: How a Band of Irish Americans Joined the Fenian Revolt and Sparked a Crisis ...

24Sep 6:00PM 2018
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30.

In 1867 forty Irish-American freedom fighters, outfitted with guns and ammunition, sailed to Ireland to join the effort to end British rule. Yet they never got a chance ...

Modern American Society and Culture Seminar

Radical Nonviolence and Interracial Utopias in the Early Civil Rights Movement

25Sep 5:15PM 2018

This paper examines how radical pacifists refined nonviolent direct action to challenge racial segregation and inequality in the United States. These activists adopted ...

Author Talk

Race Over Party: Black Politics and Partisanship in Late Nineteenth-Century Boston

27Sep 6:00PM 2018
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30.

In late 19th-century Boston, battles over black party loyalty were fights over the place of African Americans in the post–Civil War nation. Party politics became ...

From our Blog

Of Adamses & Ancestry

John A. Grace, Memoranda Respecting the Families of Quincy and Adams, 1841 For historian Henry Adams, the morning mail meant a fresh round of research questions. “Here comes your troublesome ...

Rachel Wall's Confession, the words of a Pirate?

For Talk Like a Pirate Day we bring you the words of a Pirate! The MHS holds an interesting broadside featuring Massachusetts' only female Pirate: Life, last words and dying confession, of ...

Read more from our blog

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