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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 3 March 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

 

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

More
Early American History Seminar, Environmental History Seminar Panel Discussion: Common Spaces: Environmental History and the Study of Early America 6 March 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Christopher Pastore, State University of New York at Albany; Nancy Shoemaker, University of Connecticut at Storrs; Conevery Valencius, Boston College Moderator: Matthew McKenzie, University of Connecticut at Avery Point This panel takes the opportunity to bring the fields of environmental and early American history ...

This panel takes the opportunity to bring the fields of environmental and early American history into closer conversation. Environmental historians are concerned with concepts such as ecological imperialism and non-anthropocentric empires, built and natural environments, controlling and organizing space, and the relationship between borders and frontiers. How does or might this influence scholarship on early America? How can work on early American history enrich environmental historians’ understanding of empire, metropoles and borderlands, movement and colonization?

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag A Massachusetts Family's Exile & Return, 1775-1790 7 March 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM G. Patrick O'Brien, University of South Carolina After being forced to flee Marblehead in May 1775, the Robie family joined fellow refugees in ...

After being forced to flee Marblehead in May 1775, the Robie family joined fellow refugees in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In exile, each family member developed a unique perspective on his or her new home and outlook for the future. Repatriation further complicated these understandings and divided the family between two nations. This project explores how a family in exile struggled to maintain kinship networks while its members adapted to a new social environment.

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Public Program, Author Talk Chicago Renaissance: Literature & Art in the Midwest Metropolis 7 March 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Liesl Olson, Newberry Library There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). The remarkable cultural history of the great Midwestern city of Chicago contains some exceptional ...

The remarkable cultural history of the great Midwestern city of Chicago contains some exceptional modernist credentials. From the 1893 World’s Fair through mid-century, Chicago writers revolutionized literary forms during the first half of the 20th century, a period of sweeping aesthetic transformations all over the world. Olson’s enthralling study bridges the gap between two distinct and equally vital Chicago-based artistic “renaissance” moments: the primarily white renaissance of the early teens and the creative ferment of the “Black Metropolis” of Bronzeville.

More
MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 10 March 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

 

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

More
Public Program, Conversation Grappling with Legacy 14 March 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Sylvia Brown in conversation with Edward Widmer There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). What fuels a family’s compulsion for philanthropy? Charitable giving is an intrinsic part of ...

What fuels a family’s compulsion for philanthropy? Charitable giving is an intrinsic part of our culture and its story can be told through a colorful, multifaceted family whose actions mirror America’s attitudes towards giving. Between 1638 and today, the Browns of Rhode Island have provided community leaders, endowed academic institutions, and transformed communities through art and architecture. However, they also have wrestled with society’s toughest issues slavery, immigration, child labor, inequality and with their own internal tensions. Sylvia Brown, of the family’s 11th generation, and Edward Widmer will explore this story.

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Teacher Workshop Monuments & Historical Memory 17 March 2018.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   Registration fee: $25 per person Who decides what should be remembered in public spaces? Is removing a monument the equivalent of ...

Who decides what should be remembered in public spaces? Is removing a monument the equivalent of erasing history, or should monuments change along with their communities? Join MHS in exploring how monuments and memorials can help students understand history, historical memory, and how national symbols play a critical role in articulating culture and identity.

This program is open to all K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 22.5 PDPs or one graduate credit (for an additional fee).

Image: Dedication of the Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, Boston, 31 May 1897, albumen print.

Highlights:

  • Explore WWII and Holocaust commemoration across the globe 
  • Learn about the history of Confederate monuments in America: When were they erected? Who built them? What do they signify? 
  • Discuss ways to engage students in conversation on current national debates over Confederate symbols in public spaces
  • Take a tour of Reconstruction-era Boston Monuments


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History of Women and Gender Seminar On Fantasy 20 March 2018.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM RSVP required Location: Fay House, Radcliffe Institute Rhae Lynn Barnes, Princeton University, and Emily Owens, Brown University Comment: Jasmine Johnson, Brown University This paper argues that fantasies of racial and gendered mastery—seen in law, racial ...

This paper argues that fantasies of racial and gendered mastery—seen in law, racial performance, and sexual violence—were important world-making tools in the nineteenth century. It looks at how white supremacist fantasies took shape in the courtroom and in blackface dramas, what their impact was, and how historians might begin to find and examine these fantasies in the archives.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Public Program, Author Talk People before Highways: Boston Activists, Urban Planners, & A New Movement for City Making 20 March 2018.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Karilyn Crockett There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). In 1948, inspired by changes to federal law, Massachusetts officials started to plan highways ...

In 1948, inspired by changes to federal law, Massachusetts officials started to plan highways circling and cutting through the heart of Boston. But when officials began to hold hearings in 1960 the people pushed back. The story of how an unlikely multiracial coalition of urban and suburban residents, planners, and activists emerged to stop a highway is one full of suspenseful twists and surprises. And yet the victory and its aftermath are undeniable: federally funded mass transit expansion, a linear central city park, and a highway-less urban corridor that serves as a daily reminder of the power of citizen-led city-making and has had lasting national implications.

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Biography Seminar “No Ideas But in Things”: Writing Lives from Objects 22 March 2018.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM RSVP required Deborah Lutz, University of Louisville; Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Amherst College; Susan Ware, Independent Scholar Moderator: Natalie Dykstra, Hope College Often a biographer confronts silences in the record of her subject, when part of the life story is ...

Often a biographer confronts silences in the record of her subject, when part of the life story is not documented with words. Mute sources—objects in the subject’s archive—can pose a challenge for interpretation, but also offer rich opportunities. How can biographers read objects as eloquent sources?

Panelists include Deborah Lutz, whose book The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects is a biography of the sisters centered on the humble objects they owned. Susan Ware, author of Game, Set, Match: Billie Jean King and the Revolution in Women's Sports, is using artifacts from the Schlesinger Library’s collections in her group biography of suffrage activists. Karen Sanchez-Eppler is writing In the Archives of Childhood: Playing with the Past, viewing children’s lives from material things. Natalie Dykstra, author of Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life, will moderate.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 24 March 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

 

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

More
Modern American Society and Culture Seminar La Villanía Arizoniana: Disenfranchisement, Citizenship, and Defining the Body Politic in the Early 20th-Century US-Mexico Borderlands 27 March 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required John Bezis-Selfa, Wheaton College Comment: Alex Keyssar, Harvard Kennedy School In 1909 and 1912, the Arizona legislature enacted requirements that all voters be literate in ...

In 1909 and 1912, the Arizona legislature enacted requirements that all voters be literate in English, sparking a storm of multilingual protests in the papers and the courts. How and why Anglo-Arizonans took the right to vote from thousands of Mexican-American men and how Spanish-speakers fought back shows how conflicting views of race and ethnicity have influenced citizenship in the U.S.’s southwestern borderlands.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag Learning the Values of a Dollar: Childhood & Cultures of Economy, 1825-1900 28 March 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jaclyn Schultz, University of California at Santa Cruz Nineteenth-century children rarely had access to money, even when they worked. Yet, several forms ...

Nineteenth-century children rarely had access to money, even when they worked. Yet, several forms of authority instructed children in specific expectations of spending, saving, and giving. This talk explores how and why children were taught to interact with and value financial resources as well as how these lessons were racialized.

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Public Program, Conversation Protest & Citizenship 29 March 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Stephen Kantrowitz, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Crystal Feimster, Yale University; John Stauffer, Harvard University; and Chad Williams, Brandeis University This program is funded in part by Mass Humanities. Throughout American history many groups have struggled to establish their rights as citizens. While ...

Throughout American history many groups have struggled to establish their rights as citizens. While the United States was a grand experiment in republican government, in the beginning only a small percentage was allowed to participate. Over time, citizenship has grown, but this has often not been a simple or a smooth process. Join MHS for a panel discussion that will explore this history of citizenship and protest. How have groups throughout American history used agitation to help change the dialog about their position as citizens? How can this history help inform our views and reactions to the changing political climate we see today?

This program is made possible by a grant from Mass Humanities

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 31 March 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

 

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

More
April
Early American History Seminar Terror Twice Told: Popular Conventions, Political Violence, and the Coming of the Constitutional Crisis, 1780-1787 3 April 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Brendan McConville, Boston University Comment: Richard D. Brown, University of Connecticut As the revolutionary war ended, members of committees, conventions and other extraordinary ...

As the revolutionary war ended, members of committees, conventions and other extraordinary revolutionary institutions continued to operate as independent political actors. Between 1781 and at least 1786, committeemen and conventioneers launched forceful, violent efforts to reengineer American society. Committee-directed mobs expelled “tories” from many communities, and committeemen and conventioneers used both local laws and contract theory to legitimate these expulsions. This paper argues that the wave of political violence after the American victory at Yorktown in 1781 ultimately reflected conflicts within the American political community over who could be an American, what institutions constituted “the people” in a republic, and the character and limits of the “the people’s” power to form self-governing institutions. These disputes played an important role in creating the 1787 constitutional crisis.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag Native Americans in the Antislavery Movement 4 April 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Natalie Joy, Northern Illinois University This presentation explores Native American participation in the American antislavery movement from ...

This presentation explores Native American participation in the American antislavery movement from the 1830s to the 1860s. In addition to attending meetings, Indians signed petitions, donated money, organized fundraising fairs, held positions in antislavery societies, and assisted fugitive slaves. Most significantly, they influenced abolitionist thought on a number of issues.

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Public Program This Land is Your Land Series: Private Land 4 April 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 This program is supported by the Barr Foundation There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Some of the early efforts to preserve open space for the physical and spiritual benefits offered by ...

Some of the early efforts to preserve open space for the physical and spiritual benefits offered by access to nature came from private organizations. Mount Auburn Cemetery was the first large-scale designed landscape open to the public in North America and as such began the rural cemetery movement that later led to public parks. In 1853 the Laurel Hill Association was founded in Stockbridge, inspiring a national Village Improvement Society movement. Later generations have benefited from the first private, statewide conservation and preservation organization, The Trustees of Reservations. Historic New England has saved traditional farms and Mass Audubon and other private organizations preserve and manage open space across the state. How common is this preservation by private organizations? How sustainable is this concept for future generations?

MHS is proud to partner with the Trustees of Reservations, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mount Auburn Cemetery, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center to plan this programming.

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Yankees in the West Exhibitionends Yankees in the West 6 April 2018.Friday, 10:00AM - 12:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM For generations Americans have been fascinated with the American west. Depictions of the western ...

For generations Americans have been fascinated with the American west. Depictions of the western landscape flooded New England in the mid19th century, spurring a stream of western tourism. Yankees in the West draws from the Society's collections of letters, diaries, photographs, drawings, and artifacts to explore the ways New Englanders experienced the trans-Mississippi west in the late19th and early 20th centuries.

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Environmental History Seminar The Ice Trade: Frederic Tudor’s “Slippery Speculation” 10 April 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Andrew Robichaud, Boston University Comment: David Spanagel, Worcester Polytechnic Institute This paper reexamines the emergence and development of the ice trade in Boston and North America, ...

This paper reexamines the emergence and development of the ice trade in Boston and North America, described in 1806 by the Boston Gazette as a “slippery speculation.” What can the ice trade tell us about environmental, economic, political, and spatial change in nineteenth-century Boston and North America?

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag #sayhername: Recovering the Itinerant Ministry of Zilpha Elaw, 1820-1873 11 April 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Kimberly Blockett, Pennsylvania State University at Brandywine During the Second Great Awakening, almost all denominations discouraged female preachers. Of course, ...

During the Second Great Awakening, almost all denominations discouraged female preachers. Of course, some women did it anyway. Elaw ignored her husband and clergy, faced significant danger, and preached from Maine to Virginia. Then famous, now Elaw and her published Memoirs are mostly unknown. Blockett will discuss the silences of race and gender in the archive.

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Building Closed Patriot's Day 16 April 2018.Monday, all day The MHS is CLOSED in observance of Patriot's Day. 

The MHS is CLOSED in observance of Patriot's Day. 

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Women, Gender, and Sexuality in the High School U.S. History Curriculum: A Conversation 17 April 2018.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM RSVP required Location: Fay House, Radcliffe Institute Wendy Bergeron, Winnacunnet High School; Marlin Kann, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School; Miriam Morgenstern, History UnErased; Susan Zeiger, Primary Source Moderator: Victoria Cain, Northeastern University All high school students in the United States study American history, and many of them seek mastery ...

All high school students in the United States study American history, and many of them seek mastery in the subject, which is the second most popular at the Advanced Placement level. Yet relatively few female actors appear in high school textbooks, and graduates arrive on college campuses with widely varying levels of exposure to the history of women, gender, and sexuality in America, especially prior to the 1990s. This panel discussion, featuring university faculty, secondary educators, and activist curriculum specialists, aims to seed an ongoing discussion between high school and post-secondary instructors of American history about gendering the U.S. History curriculum. What topics in women’s and gender history and in the history of sexuality get covered when, where, and how? How can college- and university-based scholars do more to connect their work with high school classrooms? How are secondary educators—and their students—advancing and reshaping the field?

This program is open to all K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 10 PDPs with the completion of a lesson plan.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Public Program, Author Talk Lexington & Concord: The Battle Heard Round the World 19 April 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. George C. Daughan There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). The mounting political tensions that ignited the battles of Lexington and Concord are critical to ...

The mounting political tensions that ignited the battles of Lexington and Concord are critical to the narrative of the American Revolution. However, the economic forces that propelled these iconic battles are another vital part of this history. When Benjamin Franklin wrote home describing the living conditions in Britain and Ireland, his country men were appalled. Could the Crown’s motive be to reduce the prosperous American colonies to such serfdom? This threat inspired the vast turnout of Patriot militiamen that so shocked the British and led the colonists to victory in the first armed conflictsof the War of Independence.

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Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Creepy Crawling in Los Angeles: The Manson Family and Cultural Mixing as Apocalypse 24 April 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Jeffrey Melnick, UMass-Boston Comment: Gretchen Heefner, Northeastern University Charles Manson made national news in 1969 when several “Family” members were arrested ...

Charles Manson made national news in 1969 when several “Family” members were arrested for murder, but by then he was well-established in Los Angeles. This paper explores the cultural fluidity that allowed Los Angeles’s hip aristocracy to mingle with marginal figures like Manson, but also the backlash which turned the Manson Family into a warning for the dangers of migration and the promiscuous cultural mixing that could follow.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Public Program, Conversation This Land is Your Land Series: Public Land 25 April 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. This program is supported by the Barr Foundation There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Massachusetts has undertaken large scale preservation of open space by government entities. The ...

Massachusetts has undertaken large scale preservation of open space by government entities. The Boston Public Garden, the Emerald Necklace, the first American public beach in Revere, the banks of the Charles River, and a network of state forests were all significant contributions to keeping open land available to the public. Were these projects pioneering? Have they shaped national discussions? Are similar projects possible today or will projects like the Community Preservation Act offer equivalent impacts?

MHS is proud to partner with the Trustees of Reservations, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mount Auburn Cemetery, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center to plan this programming.

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May
Early American History Seminar The Time of Anarchy: the Susquehannock Scattering and the Crisis of English Colonialism, 1675-1685 1 May 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Matthew Kruer, University of Chicago Comment: Linford Fisher, Brown University Part of a larger book project, this paper argues that the seemingly distinct conflicts across the ...

Part of a larger book project, this paper argues that the seemingly distinct conflicts across the English colonies in the 1670s were actually connected by the political initiatives of the scattered Susquehannock Indians. The dispersion of the Susquehannocks caused instability in surrounding Native American and colonial societies, drawing them into a spiral of violence interrupted only by Susquehannock success, which brought stability to the northeast and shattered the southeast.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Public Program, Conversation This Land is Your Land Series: The Future of Our Land 2 May 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 This program is supported by the Barr Foundation $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). The Boston metropolitan area is in the enviable spot of having more people who want to live and work ...

The Boston metropolitan area is in the enviable spot of having more people who want to live and work here than there is space for. Real estate regularly sells for prices that would have seemed inconceivable twenty five years ago. This situation puts more funds in municipal coffers, but what will this increased demand and density do to plans to preserve open space? How will climate change impact our priorities for preserving open space and how might it limit our options?

 MHS is proud to partner with the Trustees of Reservations, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mount Auburn Cemetery, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center to plan this programming.

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Library Closed Library Closed 5 May 2018.Saturday, all day The library is CLOSED to make way for a teacher workshop. Normal hours resume on Monday, 7 May. ...

The library is CLOSED to make way for a teacher workshop. Normal hours resume on Monday, 7 May. Exhibition galleries remain open, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

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Exhibitionbegins Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825 11 May 2018.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Virtually forgotten for 200 years, the brilliance of Isaac Vose and his furniture are revealed in a ...

Virtually forgotten for 200 years, the brilliance of Isaac Vose and his furniture are revealed in a new exhibition and accompanying catalog.Beginning with a modest pair of collection boxes he made for his localBoston church in 1788, Vose went on to build a substantial businessempire and to make furniture for the most prominent Boston families. The exhibition and catalog restore Vose from relative obscurity to his rightful position as one of Boston’s most important craftsmen. Opening at the MHS on May 11, the exhibition will be on view through September 14.

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Galleries Open, Library Closed Memorial Day 26 May 2018.Saturday, all day The MHS library is CLOSED. The exhibition galleries remain open, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

The MHS library is CLOSED. The exhibition galleries remain open, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

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Building Closed Memorial Day 28 May 2018.Monday, all day The MHS library and exhibition galleries are CLOSED for Memorial Day.

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are CLOSED for Memorial Day.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 3 March 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

 

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

close
Early American History Seminar, Environmental History Seminar Panel Discussion: Common Spaces: Environmental History and the Study of Early America Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
6 March 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Christopher Pastore, State University of New York at Albany; Nancy Shoemaker, University of Connecticut at Storrs; Conevery Valencius, Boston College Moderator: Matthew McKenzie, University of Connecticut at Avery Point

This panel takes the opportunity to bring the fields of environmental and early American history into closer conversation. Environmental historians are concerned with concepts such as ecological imperialism and non-anthropocentric empires, built and natural environments, controlling and organizing space, and the relationship between borders and frontiers. How does or might this influence scholarship on early America? How can work on early American history enrich environmental historians’ understanding of empire, metropoles and borderlands, movement and colonization?

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

close
Brown Bag A Massachusetts Family's Exile & Return, 1775-1790 this event is free 7 March 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM G. Patrick O'Brien, University of South Carolina

After being forced to flee Marblehead in May 1775, the Robie family joined fellow refugees in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In exile, each family member developed a unique perspective on his or her new home and outlook for the future. Repatriation further complicated these understandings and divided the family between two nations. This project explores how a family in exile struggled to maintain kinship networks while its members adapted to a new social environment.

close
Public Program, Author Talk Chicago Renaissance: Literature & Art in the Midwest Metropolis registration required 7 March 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Liesl Olson, Newberry Library There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

The remarkable cultural history of the great Midwestern city of Chicago contains some exceptional modernist credentials. From the 1893 World’s Fair through mid-century, Chicago writers revolutionized literary forms during the first half of the 20th century, a period of sweeping aesthetic transformations all over the world. Olson’s enthralling study bridges the gap between two distinct and equally vital Chicago-based artistic “renaissance” moments: the primarily white renaissance of the early teens and the creative ferment of the “Black Metropolis” of Bronzeville.

close
MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 10 March 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

 

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

close
Public Program, Conversation Grappling with Legacy registration required 14 March 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Sylvia Brown in conversation with Edward Widmer There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

What fuels a family’s compulsion for philanthropy? Charitable giving is an intrinsic part of our culture and its story can be told through a colorful, multifaceted family whose actions mirror America’s attitudes towards giving. Between 1638 and today, the Browns of Rhode Island have provided community leaders, endowed academic institutions, and transformed communities through art and architecture. However, they also have wrestled with society’s toughest issues slavery, immigration, child labor, inequality and with their own internal tensions. Sylvia Brown, of the family’s 11th generation, and Edward Widmer will explore this story.

close
Teacher Workshop Monuments & Historical Memory Please RSVP   registration required 17 March 2018.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Registration fee: $25 per person

Who decides what should be remembered in public spaces? Is removing a monument the equivalent of erasing history, or should monuments change along with their communities? Join MHS in exploring how monuments and memorials can help students understand history, historical memory, and how national symbols play a critical role in articulating culture and identity.

This program is open to all K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 22.5 PDPs or one graduate credit (for an additional fee).

Image: Dedication of the Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, Boston, 31 May 1897, albumen print.

Highlights:

  • Explore WWII and Holocaust commemoration across the globe 
  • Learn about the history of Confederate monuments in America: When were they erected? Who built them? What do they signify? 
  • Discuss ways to engage students in conversation on current national debates over Confederate symbols in public spaces
  • Take a tour of Reconstruction-era Boston Monuments


close
History of Women and Gender Seminar On Fantasy Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
20 March 2018.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Location: Fay House, Radcliffe Institute Rhae Lynn Barnes, Princeton University, and Emily Owens, Brown University Comment: Jasmine Johnson, Brown University

This paper argues that fantasies of racial and gendered mastery—seen in law, racial performance, and sexual violence—were important world-making tools in the nineteenth century. It looks at how white supremacist fantasies took shape in the courtroom and in blackface dramas, what their impact was, and how historians might begin to find and examine these fantasies in the archives.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

close
Public Program, Author Talk People before Highways: Boston Activists, Urban Planners, & A New Movement for City Making registration required 20 March 2018.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Karilyn Crockett There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

In 1948, inspired by changes to federal law, Massachusetts officials started to plan highways circling and cutting through the heart of Boston. But when officials began to hold hearings in 1960 the people pushed back. The story of how an unlikely multiracial coalition of urban and suburban residents, planners, and activists emerged to stop a highway is one full of suspenseful twists and surprises. And yet the victory and its aftermath are undeniable: federally funded mass transit expansion, a linear central city park, and a highway-less urban corridor that serves as a daily reminder of the power of citizen-led city-making and has had lasting national implications.

close
Biography Seminar “No Ideas But in Things”: Writing Lives from Objects Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
22 March 2018.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Deborah Lutz, University of Louisville; Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Amherst College; Susan Ware, Independent Scholar Moderator: Natalie Dykstra, Hope College

Often a biographer confronts silences in the record of her subject, when part of the life story is not documented with words. Mute sources—objects in the subject’s archive—can pose a challenge for interpretation, but also offer rich opportunities. How can biographers read objects as eloquent sources?

Panelists include Deborah Lutz, whose book The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects is a biography of the sisters centered on the humble objects they owned. Susan Ware, author of Game, Set, Match: Billie Jean King and the Revolution in Women's Sports, is using artifacts from the Schlesinger Library’s collections in her group biography of suffrage activists. Karen Sanchez-Eppler is writing In the Archives of Childhood: Playing with the Past, viewing children’s lives from material things. Natalie Dykstra, author of Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life, will moderate.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 24 March 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

 

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

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Modern American Society and Culture Seminar La Villanía Arizoniana: Disenfranchisement, Citizenship, and Defining the Body Politic in the Early 20th-Century US-Mexico Borderlands Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
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27 March 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM John Bezis-Selfa, Wheaton College Comment: Alex Keyssar, Harvard Kennedy School

In 1909 and 1912, the Arizona legislature enacted requirements that all voters be literate in English, sparking a storm of multilingual protests in the papers and the courts. How and why Anglo-Arizonans took the right to vote from thousands of Mexican-American men and how Spanish-speakers fought back shows how conflicting views of race and ethnicity have influenced citizenship in the U.S.’s southwestern borderlands.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag Learning the Values of a Dollar: Childhood & Cultures of Economy, 1825-1900 this event is free 28 March 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jaclyn Schultz, University of California at Santa Cruz

Nineteenth-century children rarely had access to money, even when they worked. Yet, several forms of authority instructed children in specific expectations of spending, saving, and giving. This talk explores how and why children were taught to interact with and value financial resources as well as how these lessons were racialized.

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Public Program, Conversation Protest & Citizenship registration required at no cost 29 March 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Stephen Kantrowitz, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Crystal Feimster, Yale University; John Stauffer, Harvard University; and Chad Williams, Brandeis University This program is funded in part by Mass Humanities.

Throughout American history many groups have struggled to establish their rights as citizens. While the United States was a grand experiment in republican government, in the beginning only a small percentage was allowed to participate. Over time, citizenship has grown, but this has often not been a simple or a smooth process. Join MHS for a panel discussion that will explore this history of citizenship and protest. How have groups throughout American history used agitation to help change the dialog about their position as citizens? How can this history help inform our views and reactions to the changing political climate we see today?

This program is made possible by a grant from Mass Humanities

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 31 March 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

 

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

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Early American History Seminar Terror Twice Told: Popular Conventions, Political Violence, and the Coming of the Constitutional Crisis, 1780-1787 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
3 April 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Brendan McConville, Boston University Comment: Richard D. Brown, University of Connecticut

As the revolutionary war ended, members of committees, conventions and other extraordinary revolutionary institutions continued to operate as independent political actors. Between 1781 and at least 1786, committeemen and conventioneers launched forceful, violent efforts to reengineer American society. Committee-directed mobs expelled “tories” from many communities, and committeemen and conventioneers used both local laws and contract theory to legitimate these expulsions. This paper argues that the wave of political violence after the American victory at Yorktown in 1781 ultimately reflected conflicts within the American political community over who could be an American, what institutions constituted “the people” in a republic, and the character and limits of the “the people’s” power to form self-governing institutions. These disputes played an important role in creating the 1787 constitutional crisis.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag Native Americans in the Antislavery Movement this event is free 4 April 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Natalie Joy, Northern Illinois University

This presentation explores Native American participation in the American antislavery movement from the 1830s to the 1860s. In addition to attending meetings, Indians signed petitions, donated money, organized fundraising fairs, held positions in antislavery societies, and assisted fugitive slaves. Most significantly, they influenced abolitionist thought on a number of issues.

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Public Program This Land is Your Land Series: Private Land registration required 4 April 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 This program is supported by the Barr Foundation There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Some of the early efforts to preserve open space for the physical and spiritual benefits offered by access to nature came from private organizations. Mount Auburn Cemetery was the first large-scale designed landscape open to the public in North America and as such began the rural cemetery movement that later led to public parks. In 1853 the Laurel Hill Association was founded in Stockbridge, inspiring a national Village Improvement Society movement. Later generations have benefited from the first private, statewide conservation and preservation organization, The Trustees of Reservations. Historic New England has saved traditional farms and Mass Audubon and other private organizations preserve and manage open space across the state. How common is this preservation by private organizations? How sustainable is this concept for future generations?

MHS is proud to partner with the Trustees of Reservations, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mount Auburn Cemetery, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center to plan this programming.

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Exhibition Yankees in the West this event is free 6 April 2018.Friday, 10:00AM - 12:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Yankees in the West

For generations Americans have been fascinated with the American west. Depictions of the western landscape flooded New England in the mid19th century, spurring a stream of western tourism. Yankees in the West draws from the Society's collections of letters, diaries, photographs, drawings, and artifacts to explore the ways New Englanders experienced the trans-Mississippi west in the late19th and early 20th centuries.

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Environmental History Seminar The Ice Trade: Frederic Tudor’s “Slippery Speculation” Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
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10 April 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Andrew Robichaud, Boston University Comment: David Spanagel, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

This paper reexamines the emergence and development of the ice trade in Boston and North America, described in 1806 by the Boston Gazette as a “slippery speculation.” What can the ice trade tell us about environmental, economic, political, and spatial change in nineteenth-century Boston and North America?

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag #sayhername: Recovering the Itinerant Ministry of Zilpha Elaw, 1820-1873 this event is free 11 April 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Kimberly Blockett, Pennsylvania State University at Brandywine

During the Second Great Awakening, almost all denominations discouraged female preachers. Of course, some women did it anyway. Elaw ignored her husband and clergy, faced significant danger, and preached from Maine to Virginia. Then famous, now Elaw and her published Memoirs are mostly unknown. Blockett will discuss the silences of race and gender in the archive.

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Building Closed Patriot's Day 16 April 2018.Monday, all day

The MHS is CLOSED in observance of Patriot's Day. 

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History of Women and Gender Seminar Women, Gender, and Sexuality in the High School U.S. History Curriculum: A Conversation Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
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17 April 2018.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Location: Fay House, Radcliffe Institute Wendy Bergeron, Winnacunnet High School; Marlin Kann, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School; Miriam Morgenstern, History UnErased; Susan Zeiger, Primary Source Moderator: Victoria Cain, Northeastern University

All high school students in the United States study American history, and many of them seek mastery in the subject, which is the second most popular at the Advanced Placement level. Yet relatively few female actors appear in high school textbooks, and graduates arrive on college campuses with widely varying levels of exposure to the history of women, gender, and sexuality in America, especially prior to the 1990s. This panel discussion, featuring university faculty, secondary educators, and activist curriculum specialists, aims to seed an ongoing discussion between high school and post-secondary instructors of American history about gendering the U.S. History curriculum. What topics in women’s and gender history and in the history of sexuality get covered when, where, and how? How can college- and university-based scholars do more to connect their work with high school classrooms? How are secondary educators—and their students—advancing and reshaping the field?

This program is open to all K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 10 PDPs with the completion of a lesson plan.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Public Program, Author Talk Lexington & Concord: The Battle Heard Round the World registration required 19 April 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. George C. Daughan There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

The mounting political tensions that ignited the battles of Lexington and Concord are critical to the narrative of the American Revolution. However, the economic forces that propelled these iconic battles are another vital part of this history. When Benjamin Franklin wrote home describing the living conditions in Britain and Ireland, his country men were appalled. Could the Crown’s motive be to reduce the prosperous American colonies to such serfdom? This threat inspired the vast turnout of Patriot militiamen that so shocked the British and led the colonists to victory in the first armed conflictsof the War of Independence.

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Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Creepy Crawling in Los Angeles: The Manson Family and Cultural Mixing as Apocalypse Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
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24 April 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Jeffrey Melnick, UMass-Boston Comment: Gretchen Heefner, Northeastern University

Charles Manson made national news in 1969 when several “Family” members were arrested for murder, but by then he was well-established in Los Angeles. This paper explores the cultural fluidity that allowed Los Angeles’s hip aristocracy to mingle with marginal figures like Manson, but also the backlash which turned the Manson Family into a warning for the dangers of migration and the promiscuous cultural mixing that could follow.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Public Program, Conversation This Land is Your Land Series: Public Land registration required 25 April 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. This program is supported by the Barr Foundation There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Massachusetts has undertaken large scale preservation of open space by government entities. The Boston Public Garden, the Emerald Necklace, the first American public beach in Revere, the banks of the Charles River, and a network of state forests were all significant contributions to keeping open land available to the public. Were these projects pioneering? Have they shaped national discussions? Are similar projects possible today or will projects like the Community Preservation Act offer equivalent impacts?

MHS is proud to partner with the Trustees of Reservations, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mount Auburn Cemetery, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center to plan this programming.

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Early American History Seminar The Time of Anarchy: the Susquehannock Scattering and the Crisis of English Colonialism, 1675-1685 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
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1 May 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Matthew Kruer, University of Chicago Comment: Linford Fisher, Brown University

Part of a larger book project, this paper argues that the seemingly distinct conflicts across the English colonies in the 1670s were actually connected by the political initiatives of the scattered Susquehannock Indians. The dispersion of the Susquehannocks caused instability in surrounding Native American and colonial societies, drawing them into a spiral of violence interrupted only by Susquehannock success, which brought stability to the northeast and shattered the southeast.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Public Program, Conversation This Land is Your Land Series: The Future of Our Land registration required 2 May 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 This program is supported by the Barr Foundation $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

The Boston metropolitan area is in the enviable spot of having more people who want to live and work here than there is space for. Real estate regularly sells for prices that would have seemed inconceivable twenty five years ago. This situation puts more funds in municipal coffers, but what will this increased demand and density do to plans to preserve open space? How will climate change impact our priorities for preserving open space and how might it limit our options?

 MHS is proud to partner with the Trustees of Reservations, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mount Auburn Cemetery, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center to plan this programming.

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Library Closed Library Closed 5 May 2018.Saturday, all day

The library is CLOSED to make way for a teacher workshop. Normal hours resume on Monday, 7 May. Exhibition galleries remain open, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

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Exhibition Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825 this event is free 11 May 2018 to 14 September 2018 Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM

Virtually forgotten for 200 years, the brilliance of Isaac Vose and his furniture are revealed in a new exhibition and accompanying catalog.Beginning with a modest pair of collection boxes he made for his localBoston church in 1788, Vose went on to build a substantial businessempire and to make furniture for the most prominent Boston families. The exhibition and catalog restore Vose from relative obscurity to his rightful position as one of Boston’s most important craftsmen. Opening at the MHS on May 11, the exhibition will be on view through September 14.

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Galleries Open, Library Closed Memorial Day 26 May 2018.Saturday, all day

The MHS library is CLOSED. The exhibition galleries remain open, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

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Building Closed Memorial Day 28 May 2018.Monday, all day

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are CLOSED for Memorial Day.

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