In Search of Slavery’s English Roots

Among the library’s less heralded holdings are scores of volumes of community and parish records–including the revealing London list of burials mentioned above–major and minor manuscript collections (on paper or microfilm), and a substantial number of prints, paintings, maps, and other visual records, especially from the Renaissance but also before and after that era.

Incest in the Archives

Massachusetts, after all, had not executed anyone for rape in twenty-seven years . . . Yet now . . . the community took a daughter’s accusation against her father so seriously that it sent a man to the gallows. What circumstances, we wondered, led to this extraordinary outcome?

The Undigested History of the Nantucket Atheneum

“Do [these pamphlets] represent what the Atheneum’s generous donors perceived as important materials of the day, things that any major cultural repository should hold?”

A House in Vermont, a Caribbean Beach

I sensed the spark of time travel, but even the most vaporous spirits seemed unable to slip between the apertures of the past and this particular May evening.

On the Road Again

“As I stood alone in the middle of Thomas, I conjured up the crowds that milled there in the weeks after the murder, hoping for a sight of the much-rumored Helen Jewett’s ghost. I didn’t see her ghost, but I could–almost–sense the crowd.”

Samuel Dodd

This stamp pattern book opens up a rare glimpse into a small nineteenth-century American business, revealing just how many designs one man produced in his lifetime.

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