Object of the Month


February 2012

A photographic portrait of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., by Marian "Clover" Hooper Adams

January 2012

Souvenir of a "Splendid Exhibition": Cupid as Drawn by Maelzel's Automaton, the Juvenile Artist

Drawing by automaton machine, 1835

December 2011

Phillis Wheatley's Earliest Poem

Diary page, 1773

November 2011

Recently Discovered: A Letter from W. E. B. Du Bois

Letter, 1895

October 2011

Ball's Bluff--The Civil War Comes Home to Massachusetts

Letter, 1861

September 2011

"There is nothing like having a good repository": Jeremy Belknap Describes the Mission of the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1795

Letter, 1795

August 2011

"We are going out to make calls": Life of a Victorian Girl

Crayon and pencil drawing, circa 1876-1800

July 2011

Ring Those Bells: Paul Revere, Bell Maker

Advertising card, circa 1800

June 2011

Crossed Swords: Prescott and Linzee Swords from the Battle of Bunker Hill

Plaque with two swords, circa 1730s-1750s and circa 1780s

May 2011

A Record of Thomas Jefferson's Garden

Manuscript, 1771 (featured page), 1770-1824 (whole volume)

April 2011

The Battle Lines are Drawn: the Attack on Fort Sumter

Broadside, 1861

March 2011

Seth Eastman on Dighton Rock

Photograph, 1857

February 2011

"Propaganda destructive to the home and church": The Massachusetts Public Interests League and the Battle against "Radicalism"

Letter, 1923

January 2011

Celebrating Charles Sumner: Abolitionist, Orator, Reformer, and Statesman

Portrait, 1887

December 2010

Christmas Revels: A Bowditch Family Christmas Play

Playbill, 1883

November 2010

"The Usual Consequence of Martial Law": William Cheever's Diary during the Siege of Boston

Manuscript diary, May 1775 - March 1776

October 2010

Historical Editing in Wartime: The Extraordinary Military Career of Samuel Miller Quincy

Watercolor drawing, circa 1865

September 2010

"Only the Beginning of Difficulties": The Trial and Rendition of Anthony Burns

Letter, 1854

August 2010

Spoils of War: John Vryling's Silver Punch Strainer

Punch Strainer, circa 1741

July 2010

"A rash and dreadful act for a woman": The 1915 Woman Suffrage Parade in Boston

Broadside, 1862

June 2010

Extraordinary Living Wonders: The Aztec Children in Boston

Broadside, 1862

May 2010

"We are within measurable distance of a terrible military disaster...."

Letter, 1898

April 2010

A Draft Copy of "Notes on the State of Connecticut"

Letter, 1782

March 2010

"All this may be very 'unlovely,' but it is I": A Margaret Fuller Letter as Edited by Her Friends

Letter, 1836

February 2010

"I wish the British would stop this 'We who are about to die, salute thee' attitude": Letter from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Roger Merriman

Letter, 1939

January 2010

The Birth Announcement of the Massachusetts Historical Society: The 1791 Circular Letter, of Historical Society

Printed pamphlet, 1791

December 2009

Abigail Adams' Pocket

Dimity fabric, late 18th century

November 2009

High Adventure: James Norman Hall's Final Combat during the First World War

Photograph, 1918

October 2009

A Daughter of the Revolution: Rachel Walker Revere Writes to Her Husband, Paul Revere, in the Aftermath of His Famous Ride

Letter, 1775

September 2009

A Commission in John Brown's Provisional Army

Printed form completed in manuscript, 1859

August 2009

The Party before the Boston Tea Party

Porcelain bowl, circa 1760-1773

July 2009

Celebrating the Fourth in a Time of National Distress

Broadside, 1881

June 2009

"Mr. Wythes books &c are packed up ..."

Manuscript letter, 1806

May 2009

"This I cannot but regard as perhaps most the important corps to be organized during the whole war..."

Manuscript letter, 1863

April 2009

Prospect Hill. Bunker's Hill. Pyschological Warfare During the Siege of Boston

Handbill, 1775

March 2009

Frederick Douglass corrects an "injustice" done to Robert C. Winthrop

Manuscript letter, 1882

February 2009

"He is very homely, but I looked on him with great interest and should like to see more of him." Abraham Lincoln visits the camp of the 1st Massachusetts Infantry Regiment.

Manuscript letter, 1863

January 2009

The Boston Roots of Edgar Allan Poe

Newspaper advertisement, 1808

December 2008

Rufus Putnam's Manuscript Map of Worcester County

Manuscript map, 1785

November 2008

"That Most Fragrant Plant, the Mind": A Young Margaret Fuller Writes to Mary Peabody

Manuscript letter from the Nitzsche Unitariana collection

October 2008

"Bedazzling the Eyes...Like an Angel of the Sun:" Shem Drowne's Indian Archer Weathervane

Weathervane, 1716

September 2008

The Birth of the Gerrymander

Broadside, [1812]

August 2008

Sons and Daughters of Liberty Unite to Boycott William Jackson

Broadside, [between 1768-1770]

July 2008

The Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Boston, 18 July 1776

Letter from Henry Alline to his brother and sister, 1776

June 2008

"Cash Given for Handsome and Healthy Live Teeth"

Broadside about one of the first American dentists, 1796

May 2008

Governors William Bradford and John Winthrop discuss Anne Hutchinson, the "American Jezebel," and the Quaker martyr, Mary Dyer

Manuscript letter and memorandum of reply, 1638

April 2008

Thwarting the Slave-Hunters: Henry Ingersoll Bowditch and the Boston Anti-Man-Hunting League

Manuscript diagram, circa 1854-1859

March 2008

John Adams and his "Dearest Friend": A Life in Letters

Portrait, circa 1766