by Daniel Hinchen, Reference Librarian
Did you ever wonder where the name for this blog came from? The Beehive does seem an odd name for a platform that is spreading news of an institution like the MHS. While the source of this name and associated imagery is well-known I invite you to take a look back at an older post called “Behind the Title: Why the Beehive?” to learn how we got here.
Now you know all about Virgil and his hexameters and how someone else stole credit for his work. But it is a single line, “Sic vos non vobis malleficatis apes” (Thus do ye, bees, for others make honey) that has stuck with us. Like bees making honey, the staff of the MHS collects, preserves, and makes accessible the materials of our history as a commonwealth and as a nation not for ourselves, but for all those who wish to learn from them. And now more than ever, in this strange time of social isolation, the staff of the MHS is working to find new ways to carry on that mission so that others may continue to take lessons from our shared history.
Even though our beehive (1154 Boylston Street) is currently closed, the Library Reader Services staff is available to help you with the research you want to conduct. Granted, being away from our home means we are limited in the amount of honey we can produce, but we are ready to help how we can. With that in mind, here is a quick list of ways you can connect with us to ask your questions, and some easy ways to find content on our website.
As always, our online catalog, ABIGAIL, is open for searching for materials that might help your research. While much of it will remain inaccessible without being in the building, there are plenty of ways to find digital editions of some of our resources on our website:
- Explore our online collection guides (look for the guides with “Digital Content” in blue next to the title)
- Browse the Collection Highlights for some of our greatest hits
- Use Online Resources to dig a little deeper into a variety of topics and themes
- Get into presidential history with our Adams Family Papers and Thomas Jefferson Papers presentations
All of this information and more is also available on two new web-pages we’ve created to illustrate how we are updating our Reference Services and Reproduction Services during this time when we do not have physical access to our collections.
So, if you have a burning question–or even a casual curiosity–relieve some of that isolation and reach out to our reference team by
- E-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Leaving us a voicemail at 617-646-0532
- Tweeting us @MHS1791_Ref