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This Week @ MHS

The first week of October is a busy one here at the Society. Here's what's coming up!

Starting things off on Monday evening, 5 October, is a public author talk. Beginning at 6:00PM, author Andrea Wulf will discuss her new book, The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World. Co-sponsored by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, this talk is open to the public with a $20 fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members); registration required. A pre-talk reception starts at 5:30PM. Click here to learn about Wulf's talk the following day at the Arboretum.

On Tuesday, 6 October, stop by the Society at 5:15PM for an Early American History seminar. This time, Jane Kamensky of Harvard University presents "Copley's Cato or, The Art of Slavery in the Age of British Liberty," taken from several chapters of her manuscript, Copley: A Life in Color. David L. Waldstreicher of the Graduate Center at CUNY provides comment. Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP requiredSubscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.

Looking for a lunch date on Wednesday, 7 October? Why not pack a lunch and come by the Society at noon for a Brown Bag talk. Cynthia Bouton of Texas A&M University discusses her book project with this talk titled "Subsistence, Society, Commerce, and Culture in the Atlantic World in the Age of Revolution." This talk is free and open to the public. 

Then, on Thursday, 7 October, we have seminar number two for the week, this time from the History of Women and Gender series. "Capitalism, Carceral Culture, and the Domestication of Working Women in the Early American City" is presented by Jen Manion of Connecticut College, with Cornelia Dayton of UConn providing comment. The talk will begin at 5:30PM and is taking place at the Schlesinger Library. Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP requiredSubscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.

And on Friday, 8 October, there is a gallery talk focused on our main exhibition, Terra Firma: The Beginnings of the MHS Map Collection. Stop by at 2:00PM on Friday for "Terra Firma: Too Big to Show." In this talk the MHS' Senior Cataloger, Mary Yacovone, will provide an up-close look at atlases that didn't make it into the exhibition. This talk is free and open to the public. 

Finally, on Saturday, 9 October, come in at 10:00AM for "The History and Collections of the MHS," a 90-minute docent-led talk that explores the public spaces in the building at 1154 Boylston Street and passes on information about the history, holdings, art, and architecture at the MHS. This tour is free and open to the public. Reservations are not necessary for individuals and small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact Art Curator Anne Bentley in advance at 617-646-0508 or

Remember to keep your eye on our online calendar for updates on programs, and to read about our current exhibitions!

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 4 October, 2015, 12:00 AM

This Week @ MHS

As October begins so too does our heavy programming season. Strap in and see what's on tap this week at the Society!

On Tuesday, 29 September, join us for our first Immigration and Urban History seminar of the season. Beginning at 5:15PM, Susan Eckstein of Boston University presents "Cuban Immigration and Exceptionalism: The Long Cold War." In this project, Eckstein focuses on the complex roots of expanded benefits extended to Cuban refugee and immigrants over those from other Communist regimes, and the likely reform in Cuban immigraiton policy. Christine Thurlow Brenner of Univeristy of Massachusetts - Boston provides comment. Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers. Note that this session only will begin with a light supper at 5:15PM, and the program will follow at 6:00PM. 

Then, on Wednesday, 30 September, stop by at noon for a Brown Bag lunch talk with Gregg Lint, Series Editor for the Papers of John Adams: "Forty Years of Living with John Adams." This talk is about the life and times of a young editor who grew old reading the mail of a man who always had something to say on almost every conceivable subject, and kept everything. This talk is free and open to the public. 

Also on Wednesday is a special film screening at the Society. Co-sponsored by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, "Wilderness in America: A History of America & the Land From Conquest to Conservation," looks at the legacy of conservation in America, unmatched anywhere else in the world. The film tells the story of four centuires of American history and the changing view of the land by leaders, writers, artists, photographers, teachers, and organizations, and the resulting environmental legislation of the last half-century. Registration is required at no cost. A reception begins at 5:30PM and the screening begins at 6:00PM.

On Thursday, 1 October, there is a special MHS Fellows and Members event for the unveiling of the Society's next exhibition. "Terra Firma: The Beginnings of the MHS Map Collection Preview Reception" is a chance for our Members and Fellows to get a first peek at the upcoming public exhibition, Terra Firma. Stephen T. Riley Librarian Peter Drummey will provide remarks at 6:00PM while the reception and preview will begin at 6:30PM. 

And on Friday, 2 October, the Society opens two new exhibits to the public. First is the aforementioned "Terra Firma: The Beginnings of the MHS Map Collection." This exhibit celebrates the beginning of one of the most diverse and interesting collections here at the MHS as we approach our 225th year. Also opening on Friday is "'Always Your Friend': Letters from Theodore Roosevelt to Henry Cabot Lodge, 1884-1918." This exhibit highlights selections from a remarkable collection of letters from the extensive correspondence between these two friends and their spouses. Both of these exhibitions are open to the public, free of charge, until 9 January 2016. Galleries are open Monday-Saturday, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

Rounding out the week, on Saturday, 3 October, the Society is hosting a teacher workshop and a free tour. "Painless: A Survival Guide to the (Dreaded) History Project" uses the broad themes of "Exploration, Encounters, and Exchange in History" as a springboard to dive into the research process and discover how to use primary sources to uncover the nineteenth-century global adventures of Massachusetts men and women. The program is open to students, teachers, librarians, and archivists, and begins at 9:00AM. There is a fee of $10 (free for students and teachers accompanied by students) and registration is required; please RSVP. To register, or for more information, contact the education department at or 617-646-0557.

Finally, at 10:00AM on Saturday, 3 October, is the return of our free tour. The History and Collections of the MHS is 90-minute, docent-led walk through the public spaces at the Society, touching on the art, architecture, history, and collections of the Society. The tour is open to the public with no need for reservations for small groups or individuals. Parties of 8 or more should contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley in advance at 617-646-0508 or

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 27 September, 2015, 12:00 AM

This Week @ MHS

As we hurtle toward October and a full month of programming, we start to increase the offerings a bit this week. 

First up, stop by on Wednesday, 23 September, for a Brown Bag Lunch talk with Ben Vine of the University of Sydney. Join us at noon for "Class and War in Revolutionary Boston, 1776-80," a talk that considers the state of class relations in Boston while the town was dealing with the trials of the Revolutionary War and explores how reconceptualizing class can illuminate greater complexities in the relations among Boston's classes during the period. This talk is free and open to the public. 

Also on Wednesday is a public author talk. Please consider joining us for "Slavish Shore: The Odyssey of Richard Henry Dana, Jr." In 1834, Dana left Harvard on a maritime journey to California as a common seaman and witnessed brutal floggings and other injustices on board. His account of the journey, "Two Years Before the Mast," became an American classic. In "Slavish Shore," author Jeffrey Amestoy, Harvard Kennedy School, tells the story of Dana's unflagging determination to keep his vow to combat injustice in the face of nineteenth-century America's most exclusive establishment: the Boston society in which he was born and bred. This talk is open to the public with a $20 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members). Registration is required, so please RSVP. There is a pre-talk reception beginning at 5:30PM with the talk beginning at 6:00PM.

And on Thursday, 23 September, all graduate students in American History and related subjects are invited to attend the MHS' Graduate Student Reception. Attendees can enjoy refreshments, tour the various departments of the MHS, and learn about the range of resoruces available to support their work, including MHS fellowship programs. Refreshments and networking begin at 6:00PM and run throughout the evening. The program begins at 6:30PM. No charge to attend but RSVP is required by September 23. Email or phone 617-646-0568 with your name and affiliation. Indicate whether you are a graduate student or faculty member.





comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Tuesday, 22 September, 2015, 8:18 AM

This Week @ MHS

It is a quiet week here at the Society as far as programs go, with only two items on the calendar. 

First up, on Thursday, 17 September, is a talk given by author and historian Joseph Ellis of Williams College. In this Pauline Maier Memorial Lecture, Ellis discusses his book The Quartet. The talk is open to the public with a fee of $20 (no charge for Fellows and Members). There is a pre-talk reception at 5:30PM and the talk begins at 6:00PM. NOTE: This program will take place at MIT's Wong Auditorium at the intersection of Amherst and Wadsworth Streets in Cambridge (map). This is a four minute walk from the Kendall Square MBTA station or there is street parking along Memorial Drive and a parking garage at the Marriot Hotel in Kendall Square. 

And on Saturday, 19 September, is the next installment of "Begin at the Beginning: Boston's Founding Documents," a program sponsored by the Partnership of Historic Bostons discussion group. This time around, the group discusses "What's in a Name: From Boston, Lincolnshire to Boston, Massachusetts." The illustrated presentation and discussion of readings is led by independent scholar and author Neil Wright of Lincolnshire, England, a member of hte Partnership of Historic Bostons. The talk begins on 1:00PM here at the MHS. Registration is required at no cost, so please RSVP.


comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 13 September, 2015, 12:00 AM

This Week @ MHS

Please note that the Society is Closed on Monday, 7 September, in observance of Labor Day. The Library remains Closed through Friday, 11 September, with normal hours resuming on Saturday, 12 September.

On Wednesday, 9 September, join us at noon for a Brown Bag lunch talk with Jared Hardesty of Western Washington University. Hardesty's talk is titled "Constructing Empire: Fortifications, Politics, and Labor in an Age of Imperial Reform, 1689-1715." The talk is free and open to the public so pack a lunch and stop by for some midday history!

There is no building tour on Saturday, 12 September.

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Saturday, 5 September, 2015, 12:00 AM

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