Object of the Month


January 2024

“An old, impudent and mischievous offender”: John Malcom Tarred and Feathered in Boston

Lithograph, 1830 (after engraving created in 1774)

December 2023

Tea Before the Tea Party: a Vivid Eyewitness Account of the Boston Tea Party

Manuscript, 1773

November 2023

The Berkeley Hotel’s Menu Ledger and the Philadelphia Pepper Pot

Manuscript volume, 1903

October 2023

Precious Cargo: Phillis Wheatley’s Poems and the Boston Tea Party

Manuscript, 1773

September 2023

View of Snow George. Bound to the East Indies – 1796

Ink and handcoloring, 1797

August 2023

“Hoop, Hoop, Hooper up for Red Sox”: Harry Hooper, Four-Time World Champion Outfielder with the Boston Red Sox

Sheet music, 1915

July 2023

“Boys, I but did my duty; the dear old flag never touched the ground”: Sergeant William H. Carney, a Hero of Fort Wagner


June 2023

A Home for Art Education in Boston: Hartwell and Richardson's Design for the Massachusetts Normal Art School

Engraving with hand coloring, 1889

May 2023

“Lo Children are an heritage of God”: a Family Record Sampler of the Child Family

Black cotton thread on loosely woven natural linen, 1827

March 2023

"To fill up time I have begun a Survey of Charlestown": Henry Pelham's map of 1775 Boston

Facsimile map by the Union Engraving Co., after map surveyed by Henry Pelham, engraved by Francis Jukes, and published in London in 1777

February 2023

“Fast embedded in seven miles of ice”: the saga of the RMS Britannia, February 1844

Lithograph by Ferdinand Mayer, [1876]

January 2023

An Indigenous Deed and Map of Lands in Connecticut

Manuscript deed written by Henry Whitfield and map drawn by Quassaquench

December 2022

A Late Christmas Gift for East Boston: the 1904 Opening of the East Boston Tunnel

Ticket by Boston Transit Commission, 29 December 1904

November 2022

Boston in Ashes: Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Great Boston Fire

Words and music by Charles Albert White

October 2022

“She was brave and bright to the last … She died like a heroine”: the life and death of Edith Cavell

White metal engraved by Georges-Henri Prud'homme, 1917

August 2022

A Presidential Visit to Martha’s Vineyard: Ulysses S. Grant in August, 1874

Photograph, stereograph by R. G. Shute, [1874]

July 2022

The Catastrophe in State Street: A Fourth of July Celebration in Boston Leads to Deadly Violence

Broadside by John Horace Nichols, December 1806

June 2022

The Golf Course that Might Have Been: Donald Ross Designs 18 Holes for The Country Club in Brookline

Map by Henry F. Bryant, engineer

May 2022

“All Good Boston Children Went to Papanti’s”: Lorenzo Papanti and his Boston Dancing Academy

Carte de visite by Icilio Calzolari, [circa 1865-1872]

March 2022

Sarah Gooll Putnam Visits the Battle-scarred USS Kearsarge at the Charlestown Navy Yard


January 2022

An Unusual New Year’s Address: Lines in Behalf of Silas Crane of Charlestown

Broadside, [Charlestown: unidentified printer, 1854]

December 2021

“Make This a Red Cross Christmas": Santa Claus Solicits Aid for the “World’s Unfortunates” in an Unlikely Setting

Color lithograph by C. E. Doty, 1918

November 2021

“At once an art and a science”: Francis Blake Photographs His Son Benjamin

Positive image derived from glass plate negative in the collection, by Francis Blake, circa 1888

October 2021

“Pseudo-Shakespeare”: William Henry Ireland’s Forgeries


September 2021

The Opera Ejection Case: Sarah Parker Remond Protests Segregated Seating at Boston’s Howard Athenaeum


July 2021

Louisa Catherine Adams Reviews John Quincy Adams's Fourth of July Speech


June 2021

Celebrating the Bunker Hill Centennial (and a New Piggery!) at Ridge Hill Farms, 20 June 1875

White metal, grosgrain ribbon, 1875

May 2021

"Jolly Fellowship": Bicycles and Bicycling Clubs in Turn of the Century Massachusetts

photograph by E. I. Whitney, 1904

April 2021

Following the Footsteps of Miles Moore, Drummer Boy of the 54th Regiment, Company H

Silver cross, embossed and engraved, late 19th century

February 2021

Defeating the “Speckled Monster”: The Fight against Smallpox from Inoculation to Vaccination

Broadside by Sylvanus Fansher

December 2020

Christmas 1862, Santa Visits the Troops

Engraving of political cartoon drawn by Thomas Nast

November 2020

The Plumed Knight Becomes the Plumed Crow: Did Thomas Nast “Unmake” a President in 1884?

Pen and ink drawing by Thomas Nast, 1884

October 2020

“A barren island with hardly a house upon it”: Nineteenth Century Hong Kong

Oil on canvas mounted on aluminum attributed to Lam Qua, [1830s-early 1840s]

September 2020

The Next Four Years

Manuscript, 1972

August 2020

"Have you seen the Nightingale?": The Triumphant American Tour of Jenny Lind

Oil on metal, circa 1850

July 2020

“Does it not seem necessary on our part, there should be a declaration of independence on Great Britain?”

Manuscript, 23 March 1776

June 2020

Survivors of the Battle of Bunker Hill: Relief Ellery’s Teaspoons

Silver by John Allen, [17--]

May 2020

"Perished in the service of his country": Lieutenant Frederic Baury, United States Navy

Linen, bone buttons, [1809-1812]

April 2020

“Summer flowers … sprung from the earth in such haste and abundance as to tell of infinite treasures beneath”: the Brook Farm watercolors of Marianne Dwight

Watercolor on paper, November 1845

February 2020

“Malicious accusations, often intirely false and always overcharged”: an Unpopular Account of the Boston Massacre

Pamphlet, 1770

December 2019

“I never, never wish to be away from that Christmas party”: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Bowditch Family Christmas Revels

Manuscript and ribbons, 1886

October 2019

Opalescent: The Story of Opal Whiteley

Photograph, circa 1919

September 2019

"Happy childhood's golden hours": Marian Hooper's 1850 Sampler

Cotton on linen, 1850

August 2019

"A big baby always having to be fed and never growing up": Lucy Stone and the Woman's Journal

Engraving, 1916

June 2019

"A Blushing Debutante": Nathan Appleton's Gender Crossing

Photograph, 1862

May 2019

“Women Who Need to Earn Their Own Living”: A Female Journalist Considers the New Woman at Work

Typescript, circa 1910s

April 2019

From Loyalist son to American consul: Benjamin Joy of Boston

Furniture, 18th century