Daily Picks: Week One

As our first Seminar residency gets underway here in Boston, welcome to the “daily picks” series! Each week, between June 3-19, we will be sharing a few daily snapshots of what our program participants are doing and finding here in the archives.

You can also follow along in real time at the #bss15 hashtag on Twitter.

June 3, 2015

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Following orientation on Monday, our teams got directly to work. Jared Berg (Wooster College) found a pamphlet arguing that “a man who likes to teach women is in real danger of infatuation.”

On Tuesday, across the river in Cambridge, the research team from Hope College got started at Houghton Library.  Later that evening, we hosted our first speaker, Laura Prieto (History, Simmons College), who shared her experiences working with visual sources in historical context.

June 4, 2015

It’s fun to see our program participants getting around Boston on public transit – they’ll be locals in no time!

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June 5, 2015

Only four days into the seminar, our participants have already reviewed an impressive range of archival material! At our Thursday evening gathering we got to hear from each of the researchers about what they have been working with and some of their preliminary observations.

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Katie Walker (College of Wooster) shared her experience working with the diaries of schoolteacher Elizabeth Dorr at the Massachusetts Historical Society.  Others spoke about deciphering 18th-century account books, making sense of undated photographs, pouring over 19th-century lithographic advertisements, considering the connections between utopianism and abolitionism, and documenting the relationship between national identity and food production.

The guest at our second evening seminar was history communicator Liz Covart, who shared her experience becoming a history pirate (seeking the treasure of historical stories) and the importance of communicating your discoveries with the wider world.

June 6, 2015

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On Friday morning, the group gathered at the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, for a tour of the Center for the History of Medicine with Jack Eckert (Public Services Librarian) and Dominic Hall (Curator, Warren Anatomical Museum). The Center is one of our five 2015 partner institutions, and we were excited to introduce the participants to their rich medical history collections.

Eckert introduced us to the research collections at the Center related to the assassination of President Garfield and the subsequent trial of Charles Guiteau. Hall took us up to the exhibition area for a small fraction of the Warren Anatomical Museum’s collection where we discussed using museum collections for historical research.

You can explore material from the Center online at OnView. The history of science and medicine is a growing field, and we look forward to continuing to partner with the Center for the History of Medicine on future Seminars.


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