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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fellows at the Connecticut Historical Society

This summer, CHS hosted two New England Regional Fellowship scholars with two very different topics. Brendan Gillis, who is completing his Ph.D. at Indiana University, spent two weeks in the Research Center concentrating on our various collections of Justice of the Peace papers and court records from 1760-1800.  He was asking two questions: (1) Did American magistrates begin “molding” English law and tradition to fit their needs in the colonies and when? And (2) How did those practices change because of, and did they have any influence on,  the Revolution? Interestingly, Brendan is finding that although many magistrates served “His Royal Majesty”, they often interpreted the laws to fit the current situation without regard for tradition.

Christine Groeger, from Harvard University, was studying  the rise of credentials between 1870 and 1940. In the 18th and 19th centuries, people often apprenticed or learned a trade on the job.  Sometime in the 19th century, it was important to have a degree or a certificate or license to prove one had the requisite skills for a job. Through her research Christine plans on documenting the development of the need for credentials, looking at time, occupation, and gender as determining factors.

Monday, June 3, 2013

And the 2013 NERFC Fellows Are.....

Kristin Allukian. Working to Become: Women, Work, and Literary Legacy in American Women's Postbellum Literature

Michael Blaakman. Speculation Nation: Land Speculators and Land Mania in Post-Revolutionary America

Richard Boles. Dividing the Faith: The Rise of Racially Segregated Northern Churches, 1730-1850

Anna Bonewitz. Fashioning the British Empire: Fashion, Imagery and Colonial Exchange in Eighteenth-Century New England

Susan de Guardiola. Figures and Changes: The Evolution of the Cotillon in France, England, and America, 1760-1840

Marian Desrosiers. John Banister and the Influence of a Colonial Newport Merchant on the Economy of Pre-Revolutionary America

Russell Fehr. Anxious Electorate: City Politics in Mid-1920s America

Benjamin Irvin. "Invalids" and Independence: Disability, Masculinity, Class, and Citizenship among Veterans of the Revolutionary War

Kathryn Irving. The American Schools for Idiotic Children: Disability and Development in the Nineteenth Century

Noam Maggor. Brahmin Capitalism: Gentlemanly Bankers, Urban Populists, and the Origins of the Modern American Economy

Karen Murray. Roxbury: African-American History, Gender, and the Politics of Urban Poverty
Steven Pitt. City upon the Atlantic Tides: Puritans, Merchants, and the Seafaring Community of Boston, 1689-1763

Ashley Smith. "We Have Never Not Been Here": Place, History, and Belonging in Native New England

Each Fellow receives a $5,000 award to visit at least three of the participating NERFC institutions for no less than two weeks' worth of research on their topic. The thirteen fellowships handed out this year are the most to date.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A New Exhibit at Baker Library

Baker Library Historical Collections is pleased to join in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of women’s admission into the full MBA program at Harvard Business School (HBS) with Building the Foundation: Business Education for Women at Harvard University, 1937–1970. The exhibition will run until September 22, 2013 in the North Lobby, Baker Library | Bloomberg Center, Harvard Business School.

Building the Foundation traces the early history of business education for women at Harvard University from the founding of the one-year certificate program at Radcliffe College in 1937 to the HBS faculty vote to admit women into the two year MBA program and finally to the complete integration of women into the HBS campus life by 1970. Illustrating the evolution of this formative period are photographs, interviews, reports, and correspondence from Baker Library Historical Collections at Harvard Business School and from the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Radcliffe Institute.

The telling documents reveal how program directors, administrators, and faculty shaped business education for women at the University, preparing students to take their places in the business world. The pioneering graduates of these programs would go on to help open doors to formerly unattainable opportunities for generations of women who followed. 

Visit   to learn more about the exhibition, to find materials that could support further research, and to view some of the items featured in the exhibition. 

Visit   to learn more about the HBS celebration of 50 Years of Women in the MBA Program.

Please contact Baker Library Historical Collections at if you would like to request a copy of the exhibition catalog.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

CT Historical Update

Gloria Whiting from Harvard and Kelly Arehart from the College of William and Mary are spending three weeks each at the Connecticut Historical Society. As usual, the Fellows make use of our resources in interesting ways. Gloria is pouring through 17th and 18th century court records for clues on family relationships among slave families in Connecticut. Kelly has benefited from our recently completed backlog cataloging project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. There was one bill we discovered just before her arrival that provided excellent details on what materials were purchased for an individual's funeral, including preserving fluid. Kelly also was in awe of the corpse preserver! Her topic, obviously, is the development of the funeral industry.

Monday, May 14, 2012

2012 NERFC Fellows Announced

Each Spring the New England regional Fellowship Consortium makes up to a dozen $5,000 grants to scholars to facilitate research at participating institutions. This year’s Fellows, and their research topics, are: Kelly Brennan Arehart, College of William and Mary “Give Up Your Dead: How Business, Technology, and Culture Separated Americans from their Dearly Departed, 1780-1930” Justin Clark, University of Southern California “Training the Eyes: Romantic Vision and Class Formation in Boston, 1830-1870" Michael Cohen, Tulane University “Jews in the Cotton Industry: Ethnic Networks in 19th Century America” John Dixon, Harvard University “Found at Sea: Mapping Ships' Locations on the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic” Moira Gillis, University of Oxford “The Unique Early Modern American Corporation” Jared Hardesty, Boston College “The Origins of Black Boston, 1700-1775” Benjamin Hicklin, University of Michigan Ann Arbor “‘Neither a Borrower nor a Lender Be’?: The Experience of Credit and Debt in the English Atlantic World, 1660-1750” Allison Lange, Brandeis University “Pictures of Change: Transformative Images of Woman Suffrage, 1776-1920” Jason Newton, Syracuse University “Forging Titans: Myth and Masculinity in the Working Forests of the American Northeast, 1880-1920” Ana Stevenson, University of Queensland “The Woman-Slave Analogy: Rhetorical Foundations in American Culture, 1830-1900” Gloria Whiting, Harvard University “‘Endearing Ties’: Black Family Life in Early New England”

Monday, March 12, 2012

Recent Boston Atheneum Fellow

Like most scholars, Robyn McMillin had clearly prepared her one sentence description to explain her project to acquaintances, and she had to put it to use over and over as she was given a tour and introduced to members of staff; however, with each repetition, she provided more and more details and seemed to catch our interest. These tours are necessary for scholars, but we find them very helpful in getting to know exactly what a researcher needs. Robyn used an impressive combination of rare and circulating materials as she researched "all those, except Benjamin Franklin, engaged in science in the long 18th century." She officially finished last week, but we look forward to her return several times this Spring, before her research trip is over.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Hampshire Historical Society News

In the past decade the New Hampshire Historical Society has hosted more than 30 recipients of NERFC grants. These graduate students, faculty members, and other scholars from around the nation and abroad have conducted research in the Society’s collections. This past year the Society hosted two NERFC fellows with two more anticipated in the coming months. Robyn McMillan from the University of Oklahoma spent two weeks at the Society in August working on expanding her doctoral dissertation, “Science in the American Style, 1680-1815,” into a book. Last winter, Christine DeLucia, a doctoral candidate at Yale University, researched her dissertation topic, “The Memory Frontier: Making Past and Place in the Northeast after King Philip’s War.” Both researchers found our collections rich in pertinent material.

In recent years several NERFC scholars have published books or articles based in part on their research at the Society. Woody Holton’s book, Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution, and Francois Weil’s article, “John Farmer and the Making of American Genealogy,” in the New England Quarterly are two examples. Another recent grant recipient, Lynda Domino of Iowa State University, discovered many first-hand accounts of Civil War medical care including what she judged to be the best description of a leg amputation she had encountered in her research.