Featured Image: Apollo VIII Christmas menu

Title: Apollo VIII Christmas menu Date: March 7, 1969 Location: Natick, Massachusetts Creator: U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center Source: U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center Collection: Natick Soldier Systems Center Photographic Collection Description: The US Army base in Natick, Massachusetts is responsible for developing nonlethal technology for the military.  This includes shelf-stable food, fire-retardant…
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Featured Image: Here lies buried the body of Mr Ebenezer Dyer

Title: Here lies buried the body of Mr Ebenezer Dyer Date: [ca. 1973–1978] Location: North Truro, Massachusetts Creator: Doris Felton Source: Erving Public Library Collection: Erving Public Library Gravestone Rubbings Description: Erving Public Library holds a substantial collection of gravestone rubbings from historical cemeteries around Massachusetts and New England.  Over time, rubbings like these damage…
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Featured Image: Army of the Potomac at Cumberland Landing

Title: Army of the Potomac at Cumberland Landing Date: 1861–1865 Location: Cumberland Landing, Virginia Creator: Unknown Source: The Medford Historical Society & Museum Collection: The Medford Historical Society Civil War Photograph Collection Description: The Medford Historical Society has an extensive collection of albumen photographs from the Civil War. Many from Mathew Brady's studio.  Typically albumen prints…
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Moderating on the Talk Boards for the Anti-Slavery Manuscripts Transcription Project

Joanna Treasure has been one of our most active and reliable moderators for the Anti-Slavery manuscript transcription project. In this role, she takes questions and addresses concerns from other Zooniverse volunteer transcribers. Zooniverse projects often include moderators who have been recruited from the active participants. This shows that that the management of the project is…
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Featured Collection: Emily Dickinson Collection, 1862-1907

In April, 1862, The Atlantic published an article by Thomas Wentworth Higginson titled “Letter to a Young Contributor.” He received a direct reply from a young poet named Emily Dickinson. She included four examples of her poems and asked if he thought her work was “alive.” Higginson responded and offered her a positive review and…
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Anti-Slavery Manuscripts: How We’re Dividing the Data

A note from IMLS Postdoctoral Fellow, Samantha Blickhan on the logic behind how we decided to make a fairly large collection of manuscripts more manageable in our transcription project: Crowdsourcing can be an effective tool for classifying really large datasets, and Anti-Slavery Manuscripts (ASM) is no exception. The dataset is made up of about 12,000 letters written during the 19th…
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Digital Commonwealth

I'd like to introduce you to the rare and interesting historical materials that the Boston Public Library makes available online through Digital Commonwealth.  We’ll mostly be doing that through featuring images and collections that we think are particularly interesting or speak to current events in some way.  But I thought it would be best to…
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8th graders in Missouri transcribe anti-slavery documents and learn about the abolitionist movement

Dr. Lisa Gilbert, a Social Studies teacher in St. Louis, Missouri, recently tweeted about her experience with her 8th grade class transcribing and examining some of the BPL’s anti-slavery manuscripts. She blogs about it here... As a social studies teacher, I hope for my students to develop an appreciation of the discipline of history itself…
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Anti-Slavery Manuscripts now available for the public to transcribe

For the past several years, we have been carefully cataloging and digitizing manuscript correspondences from our Anti-Slavery collection. These items document the thoughts, transactions, and activities of the abolitionist movement in Boston, Massachusetts, and throughout New England. Over 12,000 of these letters were recently made available on Digital Commonwealth. This work was made possible through…
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