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MHS (front view)

I’ve done a handful of posts for the Beehive recently about activities going on at the MHS and I thought I’d share them here for interested readers.

In February, we welcomed our third new library assistant of the year, Dan Hinchen, a former MHS intern. Thanks to the speed with which our new folks are learning, the library staff will be a well-oiled machine by the time our busy summer season rolls around.

I was lucky enough to recieve an advance review copy of Neil Miller’s book Banned in Boston, which tells the story of the New England Watch & Ward Society — a privately-funded organization that, throughout the early 20th century, had tacit permission from local, state, and federal officials to police “obscenity” throughout the Northeast.  Some of Miller’s primary sources are held here at the Society and I wrote a post about one of those collections, the Godfrey Lowell Cabot papers. I’m also planning a future Object of the Month display around one of the items in this collection I didn’t talk about: the deposition of a woman named Nellie Keefe who describes being sexually assaulted by a doctor whom she had sought out to treat her “nerves.”

I attended two brown bag lunch talks during the first week of March. The first was a presentation by staff from the Adams papers about the Adams family’s response to the French Revolution. The second was delivered by short-term fellow Mary Kelley, from the University of Michigan, who discussed her current research into how reading and writing practices operated to mediate kinship and friendship ties in the Early Republic. Post link to come in the next “from the archives” installment (since I was dilatory in writing it up).

As Mary Kelley was leaving us, another short-term fellow, Brian Gratton, arrived from Arizona State University to begin his work on Senator Henry Cabot Lodge and immigration restriction during the early twentieth century. Watch for a write-up of his brown bag discussion in the next round-up.

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