The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This Week @ MHS

Reminder: The Society is CLOSED on Monday, 30 May, in observance of Memorial Day. As we slide into the summer months here at the MHS, our programming slows down just a little bit compared to the past few weeks. But don't let yourself think that there is nothing going on! [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 29 May, 2016, 12:00 AM

Pondering Paleography and Soliciting Transcriptions

Recently, I was in the stacks retrieving an item from the Charles Edward French autograph collection. The item I was looking for comes from the 17th century in Massachusetts, but when I opened the box that holds it, I was immediately stricken by the first folder, which [...] read more

comments: 20 | permalink | Published: Friday, 27 May, 2016, 12:00 AM

Beyond John and John Quincy: Thomas Boylston Adams’ Letters and Diary

Thomas Boylston Adams, John and Abigail Adams’ youngest son, spent the majority of his life in the shadows of his father and his eldest brother, John Quincy. In part because of this—and much like his other brother, Charles—writers often overlook Thomas [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 25 May, 2016, 2:08 PM

This Week @ MHS

It's tough to be believe that we are almost at the end of the month, but here we are hurtling toward Memorial Day. Before the summer unofficially begins, come by the MHS for some history! Once again, we have a week that is heavy with Brown Bag talks, along with a couple [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 22 May, 2016, 12:00 AM

Natural Beauty

Spring has officially, if tardily, sprung here in Boston and researchers and staff alike are again staring distractedly out of the reading room windows at the green grass, new leaves, and vibrant sunshine. To draw our wandering attention back inside, I decided to showcase [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Saturday, 21 May, 2016, 3:43 PM

Following Their Bliss: Two Very Different Trips to California

Serendipity is one of the great things about working in archives. Just a few months apart, the MHS acquired, purely by chance, two collections related to members of the Bliss family. Pelatiah Lawrence Bliss (Lawrence to his friends) and James Wheaton Bliss were very, very, [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 18 May, 2016, 2:40 PM

This Week @ MHS

It feels like spring finally arrived here in Boston. Why not get outside and take a walk to the MHS for some public programs? This week we are heavy on our lunchtime Brown Bag talks, but there are also a couple other public programs to balance things out. Here's what's coming: - [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 15 May, 2016, 12:00 AM

Margaret Russell’s Diary, May 1916

Today, we return to the line-a-day diary of Margaret Russell. You can read previous installments here: January. February. March. April. Margaret Russell’s diary entries for May 1916 presented a puzzle which was solved through the collective sleuthing of archivists [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Thursday, 12 May, 2016, 8:00 AM

Implementing Technology in Current Jefferson Exhibition was a TAG Team Effort

Last fall, as the Massachusetts Historical Society planned its current exhibition, The Private Jefferson, an interdepartmental team of staff members successfully pursued a wonderful opportunity to incorporate technology into the galleries.  Thanks to the efforts of [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 11 May, 2016, 8:00 AM

Part of the Process (ing)

In many archives, staff numbers are so low that all members must perform many different functions, from accepting new donations of material and housing the material for storage, to arranging and describing (processing) and providing reference assistance. Often, there is [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Friday, 6 May, 2016, 12:00 AM

“Big city life at its very best”: Urban Renewal, Vice, and Adult Entertainment in 1970s Boston

During the 1970s, Boston’s Combat Zone, a (now former) adult entertainment district located around lower Washington Street, was at the center of urban renewal plans. After looking through the finding aid for the Park Plaza Development Project records, I decided to [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Wednesday, 4 May, 2016, 12:00 AM

This Week @ MHS

May is arrived! With it comes a full month of programs taking place here at the Society for public consumption. Kicking off the month, we have - Tuesday, 3 May, 5:15PM : "'They bid me speak what I thought he would give': The Commodification of Captive People During King [...] read more

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 1 May, 2016, 12:00 AM