Online Resources What is this? Our online resources are sets of digitized items which have been organized either around a common topic, such as the American Revolution, or to highlight a specific collection, such as the papers of Thomas Jefferson.
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Full title: The Tradition of Anglo-American Mourning Jewelry: 17th to 19th Centuries
Americans, like their English counterparts, wore rings, brooches, pendants, and other jewels in memory of family and friends. Over the centuries a striking range of design, styles and craftsmanship was employed, from the simple gold bands of the 17th century to the intricate and opulent earring and brooch sets of the late Victorian era. The way memorial jewelry was worn also shifted over the years and these changes tell the story of a culture’s changing sensibility around death and grief.
Full title: The Object of History: 18th-Century Treasures
This companion website is divided into three parts according to John Adams’s scheme: "Politicks and War," "Mathematicks and Philosophy," and "Painting, Poetry ... and Porcelaine." It consists of artifacts, manuscripts, medals, paintings, engravings, furniture, clothing, and early publications. These historical objects form a solid foundation on which the collections of the MHS have been built and inform us today about how our ancestors lived.
Full title: Images of the Antislavery Movement in Massachusetts
This website presents digital images of 840 visual materials from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society that illustrate the role of Massachusetts in the national debate over slavery. Included are photographs, paintings, sculptures, engravings, artifacts, banners, and broadsides that were central to the debate and the formation of the antislavery movement.
Full title: African Americans and the End of Slavery in Massachusetts
This website features 117 items from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, including historical manuscripts and early printed works that offer a window into the lives of African Americans in Massachusetts from the late 17th century through the abolition of slavery under the Massachusetts Constitution in the 1780s.
Full title: Object of the Month
A different web display each month showcasing an item from the collections of the MHS; sometimes the features relate to anniversaries, or convey the variety of historical sources within the collection, as well as help the public understand American history.
Full title: Boston Abolitionists, 1831-1865
The Massachusetts Historical Society holds many important manuscripts, photographs and artifacts that relate to the abolitionist movement in Boston. This website includes a range of materials from the first antislavery tract published in America, The Selling of Joseph by Samuel Sewall, (printed in New England in 1700) to a broadsheet with William Nell's tribute in December 1865 to last issue of The Liberator (the country's leading abolitionist newspaper).
Full title: Massachusetts Historical Society: The Case for Ending Slavery
This website features more than 50 primary sources from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Library of Congress that reveal how slavery, and debates about slavery, contributed to the formation of the United States. Using letters, diaries, broadsides, artifacts, songs, legal notebooks, and photographs representing a variety of viewpoints, this site highlights the complex nature of ideas about slavery and freedom that circulated in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Available are lesson plans, study questions, and resources for educators.
Full title: Celebrating Lincoln
In recognition and celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln in 2009 the Massachusetts Historical Society is hosting a public exhibition about Lincoln and Massachusetts, as well as online displays of manuscripts, artifacts, portraits, and sculpture drawn from the MHS collections.
Full title: The War of 1812: Items from the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society
The Massachusetts Historical Society has a rich collection of materials relating to the War of 1812, as it was the first major military conflict that the United States was involved in after the Society's founding in 1791. In recognition of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, the Society presents a selection of broadsides, letters, and artifacts.