The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This Week @ MHS

Last Friday saw the curtain drop on our three exhibitions relating to slavery, abolitionism, and Emancipation. As the set-change takes place this week in preparation for our next exhibit there are plenty of other public programs happening this week to bring you to the Society.

First, on Monday, 3 June, the MHS will co-sponsor a conference in Worcester at the College of the Holy Cross. Through a series of sessions and roundtables, "Listen my children and you shall hear: balancing history and myth in Massachusetts public history" will examine and present organizations, programs, and projects that have successfully harnessed myths, expanded their narratives, and redefined their mission without losing their identity. There will also be practical sessions/workshops to explore "teaching the problem," and how to use this model for programming purposes in exciting ways that successfully challenge audiences. The conference for Massachusetts history organizations is presented by the MHS, Mass Humanities, University of Massachusetts Amherst Public History Program, and the University of Massachusetts Boston Public History and Archives Track. Ray Raphael, author of Consitutional Myths: what we get wrong and how to get it right (March 2013) will address "Why myths persists" in his keynote speech. The conference will take place from 9:00am until 4:00pm at the Hogan Campus Center, College of the Holy Cross. For more information, or to register for the conference, visit the Mass Humanities website:

The following day, Tuesday 4 June, pack a lunch and swing by the Society for "What 'the Federalist Papers' Are Not," a Brown Bag Lunch Author Talk. Beginning at 12:00pm, Ray Raphael will consider the questions: When and why did The Federalist become The Federalist Papers? What role did the essays play in the ratification debates? Can Publius be considered an authoritative source for interpreting specific sections of the Constitution – or for discovering its inner meaning? Ray Raphael’s latest book is Constitutional Myths: What We Get Wrong and How To Get It Right. His previous works include Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive, Founding Myths, A People’s History of the American Revolution, and The First American Revolution: Before Lexington and Concord. This event is free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 5 June, come on back for another talk in our Brown Bag series as Michael Hevel, University of Arkansas, presents "Betwixt Brewings: A History of College Students and Alcohol." Mr. Hevel's project traces the historical roots of contemporary concerns about college students' alcohol use, specifically focusing on students and alcohol between 1820 and 1860. Drinking behaviors, meanings that students made from alcohol, and their reactions to and involvement in the temperance movement are all gleaned from antebellum diaires kept by them. The discussion begins at 12:00pm and is free and open to the public.

Finally, on Saturday, 8 June, stop by for a building tour. The History and Collections of the MHS is a 90-minute docent-led tour that explores the public spaces of the Society's home at 1154 Boylston St. Visitors will learn about the history of the Society, the collections it holds, and see some of the art and architecture of the historic building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 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

permalink | Published: Monday, 3 June, 2013, 1:00 AM