Paul Revere, “The bloody massacre perpetrated in King-Street Boston : on March 5th 1770 by a party of the 29th regt.”(1770), Boston Public Library, Rare Books Department.

Paul Revere’s engraving, “The Bloody Massacre,” is part of Boston Public Library’s “Colonial and Revolutionary Boston”, one of Digital Commonwealth’s “Collections of Distinction”.

Scholars agree that Revere copied the arresting image in “The Bloody Massacre” from an engraving by Henry Pelham entitled “Fruits of Arbitrary Power, or the Bloody Massacre” (1770).  Pelham wrote to Paul Revere complaining about the theft of his intellectual property. “If you are insensible of the Dishonour you have brought on yourself by this Act, the World will not be so.” (Clarence Brigham, “Boston Massacre, 1770, ” Paul Revere’s Engravings (Worcester: American Antiquarian Society, 1954) ) .

While Henry Pelham may have felt that Paul Revere would be chastened for his appropriation of another man’s work, the world felt otherwise. “Certain it is that Revere was an outstanding patriot and saw the opportunity of furthering the patriot cause by circulating so significant a print.”(Brigham, p. 56).

Pelham, the artist who first rendered the image, was a Loyalist. In a letter to his sister-in-law, Susanna, the wife of John Singleton Copley, he wrote “Now we see this Country arming themselves and unsupported by any foreign Power ungenerously Waging War against their great Benefactors, and endeavouring to Ruin that State to whom they owe their being. . . “ ( Letters and Papers of John Singleton Copley and Henry Pelham, 1739-1776 , Massachusetts Historical Society, 1914, p. 344)  The Copleys had left Boston for England in 1774, and Henry would follow them in 1776.

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, “The 3rd of May 1808 in Madrid, or ‘The Executions’” (1814), Museo del Prado, Madrid.

Call to Arms or Lamentation?

On the one year anniversary of the Boston Massacre, Paul Revere put together a striking exhibit in the windows of his home, displaying work depicting the “Tyranny of the British Administration of Government.” “The Bloody Massacre” was included in the illuminated display. The Boston Gazette reported that “the Spectators, which amounted to many Thousands, were struck with solemn Silence, and their Countenances covered with a melancholy Gloom.”

Goya’s monumental work, “The 3rd of May 1808” has been compared with Paul Revere’s engraving. While the scale of the works is very different, the subject matter and the composition are very similar. The 82 prints in Goya’s series, Los desastres de la Guerra (The Disasters of War), published 35 years after Goya’s death, argue that Goya was painting about the horrors of war, not trying to create propaganda. Paul Revere’s engraving poses more of a question, asking his fellow citizens to respond. “The prints were intended as propaganda. . . “( Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere, American Antiquarian Society online resource, 2020).

Say Their Names, compassion for the victims

Samuel Gray. Samuel Maverick. James Caldwell. Crispus Attucks. These men were victims of members of a British regiment on King Street in Boston on March 5, 1770. James Caldwell and Crispus Attucks had no family or home in Boston, and Samuel Adams organized a procession to transport their caskets to Faneuil Hall, where they lay in state for three days before their public funeral. The people of Boston held a funeral procession for all of the victims, and they were buried in Boston in the Granary Burying Ground.

Crispus Attucks was a sailor of mixed African and Indigenous ancestry. The significance of his death has been a matter of debate for the last 250 years, argued in three different intertwining threads:

  1. He was the leader of a mob. This was John Adams’s argument in a Courtroom in 1770 when he defended William Wemms and seven other British soldiers. Adams described Attucks as “a stout Molatto fellow, whose very looks, was enough to terrify an person” (Adams Papers, Digital Edition, volume 3, p. 269, Historical Society) . This was also the (unsuccessful) position of the Massachusetts Historical Society when they opposed a monument to Attucks on the Boston Common in 1887 (Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Second Series, Vol. 3, [Vol. 23 of continuous numbering] (1886 – 1887), pp. 313-318).
  2. He was an African American hero who should be acknowledged and memorialized. This was William C. Nell’s argument when he advocated for an annual celebration of Crispus Attucks Day on March 5 and wrote The Colored Patriots of the American Revolution in the 1850s.
  3. He was an American hero. John Boyle O’Reilly’s poem at the 1888 dedication of the memorial on the Boston Common (p.56) captures the idea that Crispus Attucks represented all Americans:

“And so must we come to the learning of Boston’s lesson to-day                                                                                                                                                                                           

The moral that Crispus Attucks taught in the old heroic way,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

God made mankind to be one in blood, as one in spirit and thought. . . “

Paul Revere, engraver, [Four coffins of men killed in the Boston Massacre] (1770), Revere Collection, American Antiquarian Society.
“Digital Commonwealth provides support for the creation, management, and dissemination of cultural heritage materials held by Massachusetts libraries, museums, historical societies, and archives.”

from the Digital Commonwealth Statement of Values, Adopted by the Board on October 19, 2021.

“The study of history can be an effective tool against racism and can support better understanding of the experience of Black people. However, archives are not neutral; they are created by people and reflect the power structures that those people are influenced by and participate in. We must choose what our non-neutrality means. In this moment, we specifically affirm that Black lives matter and that we support efforts to dismantle oppression and injustice.”

from Statement from Digital Commonwealth Board on Black Lives Matter, Adopted by the Board on June 16, 2020.

Barbara Schneider, Member Outreach and Education Committee

“A Pictorial Map of Loveland” by Ernest Dudley Chase, [ca. 1943], Boston Public Library, Norman B. Leventhal Map Center.

Pictorial maps are a genre within the larger field of cartography that present a geographical area embellished with illustrations related to the places shown. The actual locations shown may be imaginary lands, and the pictures could be of people, buildings, historical events, or modes of transportation. The maps might contain humorous or whimsical touches, and they inevitably reflect the values of the time in which they are made. Pictorial maps with themes of love and marriage have been created since the 18th century. On this Valentine’s Day, we can take a look at some of these maps.

“From the 18th century onward, when the commercial print industry started to get involved in the celebration of the Feast of Saint Valentine, maps with themes of matrimony and love became popular. Printed in 1777 by Breitkopf in Leipzig, Germany, the map below situates Das Reich der Liebe (The Kingdom of Love) amid the “Land of the Happy,” the “Land of Lust,” the “Land of Youth,” and, alas, also the lands of “Mourning Love” and “Fixed Ideas.””

Nancy Rosin, “Unpacking A Box of Love,” February 13, 2018, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Map of the Kingdom of Love (Das Reich der Liebe), 1777, Breitkopf & Härtel, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Digital Commonwealth Images from the 19th Century

Augustus Kollner: M.H. Traubel, “The Hymenial Expositor, or, Matrimonial Chart”, (Philadelphia: 1849), Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, Boston Public Library

The “Description” on this pictorial map reads “The Great Ocean of Love represents a period of life that all persons are supposed at some time or another to pass. By an examination of the Chart, the voyageurs will be enabled to avoid the dangers that beset them, and arrive safely at the haven of felicity. . . ” Lovers are encouraged to avoid such places as the “Whirlpool of Impetuosity,” the “Shoals of Perplexity”, the “Quick Sands of Inconstancy” and numerous other traps.

Also included in Digital Commonwealth’s collection of material from the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center is a “Map of a Woman’s Heart” by Joseph Husson. This is a manuscript map in ink and watercolor depicting  the characteristics of a woman as geographic features of a heart. “Ideal Isle” is at the center of the map, surrounded by “Affection”, “Generosity”, and “Gayety”, but also, “Vanity”, “Avarice”, and “Hatred.”This map might be telling us more about the man who made it than about the woman’s heart.

Joseph Husson, “Map of a Woman’s Heart”, (1840-1860), Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, Boston Public Library.

It may be that Husson got the idea for his sketch from seeing D.W. Kellogg’s “Map of the Open Country of a Woman’s Heart,” published prior to the middle of the nineteenth century. One of Digital Commonwealth’s member organizations, the American Antiquarian Society, owns a copy of this print and features it in an online exhibition, “Beauty, Virtue and Vice: Images of Women in Nineteenth Century American Prints”   . The introduction to the exhibition reads like a mission statement for Digital Commonwealth. The prints are “useful to historians who would like to understand how nineteenth –century Americans thought about the world in which they lived. . . When read carefully and conscientiously, prints can be very useful documentary sources for understanding the past.”

D.W. Kellogg & Co, lithographer, A Map of the Open Country of Woman’s Heart, (Hartford, Conn: ca. 1833-1842), American Antiquarian Society

Digital Commonwealth Images from the 20th Century

Pictorial maps in the twentieth century are less puritanical, less prescriptive. They are more whimsical. The genre evolved into a kind of popular culture art form. Ernest Dudley Chase’s “Pictorial Map of Loveland” shown at the beginning of this post is a perfect example. It is a “fictitious map of a heart-shaped place called Loveland [merging] the sentimentality of greeting cards with standard cartographic conventions.” Digital Commonwealth’s collection of the work of Ernest Dudley Chase includes 38 pictorial maps from the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library. These maps range from drawings focusing on geographical locations in the Americas or on other continents to topical maps such as  “Stamps of America” or “The Story Map of Flying: being a chronicle of man’s conquest of the air.”

“Born in Lowell, Ernest Dudley Chase (1878-1966) worked for Rust Craft Publishers, which printed greeting cards at its plant in Dedham. . . Chase’s maps were an extension of his work as a graphic artist for Rust Craft and also reflected an international trend toward pictorial mapmaking. These decorative maps, which experienced a resurgence in public popularity after 1913, are a genre in which the cartography is animated with illustrations of buildings, people, and animals. Often including historical references, the maps also frequently depicted airplanes and other modes of transportation. Borrowing from typical Renaissance cartography, Chase and other pictorial mapmakers used embellishments like compass roses, ornate cartouches, and decorative borders.”

Biographical information from the State Library of Massachusetts’s announcement for the 2009 Exhibit “Ernest Dudley Chase: A Worldview in Maps.”

Digital Commonwealth’s Pictorial Maps

Other pictorial maps in the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center’s collection are available online from Digital Commonwealth. Happy Valentine’s Day!

13 Minutes After Guilty Verdict
“13 Minutes After Guilty Verdict”, 1934
Leslie Jones Collection, Boston Public Library

Leslie Jones Collection

The Leslie Jones Collection is one of the crown jewels of Digital Commonwealth and the Boston Public Library. Jones was a press photographer who worked for the Boston Herald-Traveler from 1917-1956. During his career, he saved many of his negatives, and by the time he died in 1967, he had kept a collection of nearly 40,000 negatives. The negatives covered decades of his work, including major and minor events in and around the city of Boston.”

From the Boston Public Library’s blog post “Featured Collection: Leslie Jones Collection”, July 13, 2018.

The collection is organized into various series, including a Crime/Police series that includes 324 photos of the notorious Millen-Faber murder case. In 1934, Murton and Irvine Millen and Abraham Faber went on a crime spree which included robbing the Needham Trust Company and murdering two Needham police officers.  They were the first to use a machine gun in a bank robbery in Massachusetts. The police acted quickly, and within 18 months of their crimes, the brothers Milen and Faber were tried, convicted and executed. The murder case drew national attention, and Leslie Jones was there to photograph it all.

Crime/Police: Millen-Faber [Murder Case] from the Leslie Jones Collection with Commentary

“While Pretty Boy Floyd, John Dillinger and Bonnie and Clyde terrorized America, Murt and Irv Millen, along with MIT-educated Abe Faber, did their best to contribute to the mayhem by shooting up Massachusetts. Their criminality reached its crescendo shortly after Murt married the Rev. Brighton’s very beautiful teenage daughter, Norma. By the time they were caught in 1934, movie theaters and banks had been robbed and people killed in Fitchburg, Lynn and Needham.”

From a synopsis of the case by Former Massachusetts Appeals Court Judge R. Marc Kantrowitz, based on his reading of the book Tommy Gun Winter (2015) by Nathan Gorenstein. Gorenstein is a Massachusetts native, a veteran journalist, and a distant relative of the Millen brothers.

“In February 2, 1934, at about half past nine o’clock in the forenoon, the three defendants [Murton Millen, Irvine Millen, and Abraham Faber] came to the trust company in a Packard automobile operated by the defendant Murton Millen. Each defendant was armed and one of them wore a mask. They went into the trust company.

“Needham Bank Murder and Robbery”, 1934
Leslie Jones Collection, Boston Public Library

The defendant Faber carried a shot gun which he fired wounding one Bartholomew, who was employed by the company as a guard. The defendant Irving Millen fired an automatic pistol while taking money from the cashier’s cage. The defendants took from the trust company about $15,000. An employee of the trust company caused an alarm bell outside the building to ring, and Officer McLeod, who was on duty near the building and heard the alarm, hastened toward the bank. Murton Millen, armed with a machine gun, fired through a window and shot McLeod, three bullets striking him and causing his death within a few hours. The defendants then entered the automobile, which was operated by Murton Millen, and drove away, compelling Arnold Mackintosh, the treasurer of the bank, and John D. Riordan, the teller, to go with them, standing on the running board. After going a short distance Riordan jumped off, and when he did so was fired upon by the defendants.

As a result of a telephone call one Salamone, a lieutenant of the fire department, was talking with Officer Haddock, and the Packard automobile operated by Murton Millen, in which the two other defendants were riding, came down the highway in front of the Needham fire station going in the direction of Boston; when in the vicinity of the fire station the machine gun was fired by Murton Millen, two of the bullets striking Haddock and killing him, and other bullets striking one Coughlin, a member of the Needham fire department, who was standing nearby. The defendants continued on for several hundred yards beyond the fire station when the automobile slowed down and Mackintosh Jumped from the running board. On February 7, 1934, this Packard automobile was found in the town of Norwood. It had been partly burned and the number plates had been removed, and there was other evidence that an attempt had been made to destroy its identity.

“Auto and inside garage used by Millen brothers and Faber after Needham bank murder”, 1934
Leslie Jones Collection, Boston Public Library


“Millen/Faber Case”, 1934
Leslie Jones Collection, Boston Public Library

The storage battery showed that it bad been recently repaired. There was evidence introduced at the trial that the defendants Millen previously had possession of this battery and that they had taken it to a certain shop to be repaired. As a result of this information the police learned that Murton Millen was living in Boston.”

From a synopsis of the crime in Commonwealth vs. Murton Millen & Others, 289 Mass. 441 (1934-1935), a judgment in an unsuccessful appeal to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court of the Millen and Faber trial held in Norfolk County.

“[The Millen/Faber] trial lasted longer than any other murder-one in the history of the commonwealth. During the proceedings, the notorious Bonnie and Clyde were shot dead in Louisiana. The Boston press reported it below the ongoing Millen-Faber proceedings. After 37 days, the all-male sequestered jurors, who had been allowed to shower once a week, got the case. It took them six hours to render a verdict. Guilty. The sentence: death. While awaiting their fate, Murt and Irv, with help from the outside, tried a daring escape that failed. On June 7, 1935, the brothers and Abe sat in the electric chair. It marked the first time two brothers were put to death on the same evening.”

From a synopsis of the case by Former Massachusetts Appeals Court Judge R. Marc Kantrowitz, based on the book Tommy Gun Winter (2015) by Nathan Gorenstein.

The Gun and Early Attempts at Gun Control

“The [Thompson] machine gun used in the first machine-gun bank robbery and murder in Massachusetts yesterday in Needham is that stolen from the State Police, in the opinion of experts.”

From “Bold Gunmen First to Employ Machine Gun in This State Staging Bank Holdup”, The Boston Daily Globe, Feb. 3, 1934, page 1.

“Van Amburg – Ballistics expert with gun used in Needham murders”, 1934
Leslie Jones Collection, Boston Public Library

“An amendment to the Firearms law which would prohibit the sale of shotguns, rifles and other firearms without a license, was drafted yesterday by Police Commissioner Joseph J. Leonard.  . . The amendment is a direct development of the futile attempt of Edward C. Frye of Dorchester to free the Millen brothers from Dedham Jail Thursday morning. Frye bought a shotgun on Hanover st and later fired it through a Dedham Jail window peppering Irving Millen with pellets. Under the present law a person may buy a shotgun or rifle without being questioned.”

From “Would Tighten Firearms Law”, The Boston Globe, June 12, 1935, page 20.

Digital Commonwealth provides access to Boston Public Library’s Leslie Jones Collection

The Leslie Jones Collection of photographic images from roughly the first half of the twentieth century has been digitized by the Boston Public Library, and made available to the public through Digital Commonwealth’s website. The nearly forty thousand pictures cover a wide variety of subjects. Strengths of the collection include images of baseball and of maritime activities, as well as photographic documentation of criminal trials. We can use a photo-journalist’s eye to reconstruct the story of the Millen brothers and Abe Faber’s crime spree in 1934 and gain a deeper understanding of the events that shaped our history.

“The Birthplace of Robert Burns” found on Jones’s Cabinet Edition of Select British Poets, Vol. 2,
Boston Public Library, Rare Books Department

To honor the Scottish poet Robert Burns on his birthday, we present two delicate works of art painted on the fore-edges of books of his poetry.

Digital Commonwealth’s Massachusetts Online Collections include Boston Public Library’s collection of Fore-Edge Paintings. The paintings are ”visible only when the pages of the book are carefully fanned, in the same manner as when the artist was painting the picture. When the book is closed the painting disappears under the gold leaf of the edge . . . The work itself is done in watercolor, very dryly.” The books with fore-edge paintings were collected by Albert H. Wiggin between 1945 and 1951, and donated to the Boston Public Library at the time of his death in 1951.

Robert Burns was born on January 25, 1759 in Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland. His birthday is celebrated all over the world with Burns suppers and Burns Night activities.

“A View of the Bridge of Ayr” found on Jones’s Cabinet Edition of Select British Poets, Vol. 1,
Boston Public Library, Rare Books Department

Written by Patricia Feeley

WAFS Pilot 1 paper doll in military outfit
WAFS Pilot 1 paper doll in outfits from Lawrence Public Library
WAFS Pilot 1 paper doll in mufti
WAFS Pilot 1 paper doll from Lawrence Public Library

The holiday season was celebrated at Digital Commonwealth by adding some interesting collections.  Our biggest contributors, Boston Public Library and the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, of course, did their bit.  But let’s highlight our other two contributors.

The Jamaica Plain Historical Society performed a good deed for all Bostonians by sponsoring the digitization of the Doyle’s Café memorabilia.  When that 137-year-old institution closed in October 2019, many of the pub’s decorations and ephemera were auctioned off.  JPHS made sure a record was made before they all disappeared into private collections.  Thank you!

The Lawrence Public Library has been a frequent and welcome contributor.  This month’s collection, the Phyllis Tyler Paper Doll Collection, is another set of seldom seen ephemera.  If the fashions didn’t give away the fact that this set is from the 1940’s, the celebrity dolls – Betty Grable and Ava Gardner – would.  Perhaps most striking is the WAFS (Women’s Air Force) pilot dolls in both military and mufti (left and right respectively).  Yes, women did their bit in World War II, too.

My very first post on the Digital Commonwealth blog was an interview with Louise Sandberg of the Lawrence Public Library.  She was knowledgeable, encouraging and funny.  She was a perfect first interview.  I’ve interviewed other members since and they have been universally enthusiastic about their collections and digitizing through DC.

I am grateful to all of them, although maybe a little more grateful to Alison Basset and Sarah Hayes of the Trustees for introducing me to one of my favorite images (Studio portrait of unidentified woman in black dress and monocle with cigarette posing with Great Dane; whip and globe on floor, which has as great a backstory as it is a photo.) and to Dick Rowley of the Granville Public Library, a dedicated correspondent and proof, if you need it, that a small library can have a big impact thanks to social media crowdsourcing, the Granville Historic Image Library, partnering with local history organizations and more.

It’s been an honor to be editor of this blog for three years and it is a joy to know I’m passing the editorship on to someone who loves the collections and finds our members just as fascinating as I did.  (Good luck, Anne!)

You were all inspirational to me.  I hope I did you some justice in these postings.

Boston Public Library
Paintings and Fine Arts Collection at the Boston Public Library – 10 items added to existing collection

Jamaica Plain Historical Society
Doyle’s Cafe Memorabilia – 111 items

Lawrence Public Library
Phyllis Tyler Paper Doll Collection – 258 items

University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries Special Collections and University Archives
27 new collections; 23,055 new items re-harvested

Blizzard of 1978
Blizzard of 1978 from Newton Free Library
Main St. after the blizzard of 1888
Main St. after the blizzard of 1888 from Lee Library Historical Collection

Every year there is a first substantial snow of the year.  As I type this, snow has just started falling in Boston.  Over the course of the Thanksgiving weekend, the prediction has gone from “up to 12 inches” to 6-12″, to 4-6″ to “wintry mix”.  I have no idea how much snow we’ll get in the end.  It definitely will make a difference if you’re in the Berkshires, Greater Worcester or south of the Pike.

Two things I do know: media forecasters will talk as if this is a never-seen-before event in Massachusetts and drivers across the state will drive like they’ve never seen snow before.  Come on, people.  We have snow every year.  Some storms are historic, like the Blizzard of ’78 or the Blizzard of ’88.  This time, though, the timing is everything.  The Blizzard of ’78 occurred in February, in 1888 it was March.

This time it’s Thanksgiving weekend.  One of the busiest travel days of the year.  No matter how much snow we get, it couldn’t come at a worse time.  So be smart, slow down, be careful and be safe.

Old-fashioned snow blizzard, Boston. Coldest snow blizzard at its height on Tremont St.
Old-fashioned snow blizzard, Boston. Coldest snow blizzard at its height on Tremont St. from Boston Public Library’s Leslie Jones Collection
John Kennedy portrait
Portrait of John F. Kennedy from Historic New England. One of the politicians honored at Doyle’s.

Every town has one.  The general store where everyone discusses local politics.  The church where the community has potluck dinners.  The community center where the schools and amateur theater troupe put on shows.  They’re gathering places that you can’t imagine losing because they’ve always been there.  Until they’re not.

Someone retires, a weather disaster occurs, an owner gets an offer too good to decline and that local institution is gone.  What can you do to preserve it?  In Boston, the latest example was the closing of Doyle’s Cafe.  Doyle’s was an institution in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood, known for attracting politicians and generations of families.  And for the memorabilia on its walls.  When the decision was made to close, the owners held an auction of its contents.

As reported on the Irish Central website, Digital Commonwealth and the Boston Public Library are teaming up to digitize any item purchased at the auction.  So, if you are losing a local institution and you can’t add its contents to your collections, think about having them digitized.  Chances are you have an image, maybe a map, that includes the institution, why not have a digital image of the furnishings, the banners, the costumes?  Enrich the memories and your collections before they’re lost.

Champions, 1917
Champions, 1917 from Boston Latin School

The Boston Public Library went to town in October, adding three new collections and adding new items to three existing collections, for over 1,000 items total.  But Digital Commonwealth did not neglect its smaller members.  Boston Latin School, Sturgis Library, Weymouth Public Libraries and Wilbraham Public Library all added from 1 to 952 items to the Digital Commonwealth universe.

This includes the image on the left.  We know these five young men and two coaches were champions in 1917, but of what?  No matter how much I enlarge the photo, I can’t make out the inscription. The athletes are wearing heavy wool sweaters with their shorts plus pretty gnarly socks.  The only hint is the surprisingly-impressive-for-a-high-school trophy.  The Roman (Greek?) god appears to be holding what looks to me like a crew oar crowned with a laurel wreath.  I vote for crew champions.  What do you think?


Boston Latin School
Boston Latin School Photograph Collection – 15 items

Boston Public Library
Colonial and Revolutionary Boston (Collection of Distinction) – 2 items added to existing collection
George Bellows (1882-1925). Prints and Drawings – 158 items added to existing collection
Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778). Etchings – 114 items
Medieval and Early Renaissance Manuscripts (Collection of Distinction) – 1 item added to existing Collection
Thomas Prince Library and Collection of the Old South Church – 46 items
Victoria Woodhull Martin Papers, 1883-1927 – 776 items

Sturgis Library
Stanley Smith Deed Collection – 952 items

Weymouth Public Libraries
Weymouth Public Libraries Historical Photograph Collection – 3 items added to existing collection

Wilbraham Public Library
Wilbraham Town Archives Photographic Collection – 1 item added to existing collection

The library
The library The Fine Arts Collection of The Winsor School

Those lazy, hazy days of August brought us some fascinating new collections.  Appropriately, the Falmouth Public Library contributed over 2,000 postcards.  If you’re missing the beach already, take a look.  The Winsor School added close to 200 items from its Fine Arts Collection, including this Jacob Lawrence print of the school library (left).

The Brockton Public Library added 7 illustrations from the Shoe Industry in Brockton, Massachusetts.  The Boston Public Library uploaded a few small collections plus over 2,000 photographs from the Richard Merrill Collection.  Richard Merrill was fascinated by radio, which explains the interestingly titled photo below.  Spreading New England’s Fame was a program on the old WNAC radio station in Boston.

Finally, the University of Massachusetts/Boston re-harvested over 12,000 items in 4 collections.  Speaking of radio, the Lecco’s Lemma collection within the Massachusetts Hip Hop Archive is comprised of demo audio tapes for rap artists sent to the Lecco’s Lemma radio show as well as some audio tapes of the program.  Not to mention the W. Arthur Garrity chambers papers on the Boston Schools Desegregation Case – always of interest to students and historians.

Accordion players  on Spreading New England's Fame radio program
Accordion players, Spreading New England’s Fame Richard Merrill Collection, BPL

Boston Public Library
Carte de Visite Collection – 2 items added to existing collection
Ellen F. O’Connor Collection – 144 items
Norman B. Leventhal Map Center Collection – 8 items added to existing collection
Richard Merrill Collection – 2,289 items

Brockton Public Library
Illustrations from the Shoe Industry in Brockton, Massachusetts – 7 items

Falmouth Public Library
Falmouth Public Library Historical Postcard Collection – 2,296 items

University of Massachusetts Boston
Joseph P. Healey Library – 4 new collections; 12,673 new items re-harvested

The Winsor School
The Fine Arts Collection of The Winsor School – 185 items


Waltham, interior detail, stairway, Governor Gore Mansion, 1799
Stairway, Governor Gore Mansion, 1799 from Frank Cousins Collection of Glass Plate Negatives

Digital Commonwealth uploaded several outstanding photograph collections in June.  But it’s not all photos, there are maps from Phillips Academy in Andover and a painting from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

But the photos are this month’s find.  Like the unusual Massachusetts Metropolitan District Water Supply Commission, Quabbin Reservoir, Photographs of Cemeteries, 1928-1945 from the Massachusetts Archives. It’s sure to be a boon to anyone researching the flooded towns and their families. And the usual Boston Public Library additions to existing collections, like the Leon Abdalian Collection. If, like me, you’re a sucker for snowscapes, Abdalian’s photos, e.g. Ward’s Pond, snow view of hillside are a Christmas-in-July gift. (See below.)

The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum makes a splash with its inaugural contributions of photographs from the glass plate negatives of Frank Cousins and Herman Parker.  Cousins’ larger collection began with photographic essays on Essex County, but soon expanded across the eastern seaboard of the US.  Any fan of historic buildings will appreciate his elegant photos of exteriors and interiors, like the stairway inside the Governor Gore mansion (See top left.)

Views across Marblehead Harbor with boats at sunset
Marblehead Harbor with boats at sunset from Herman Parker Collection of Glass Plate Negatives

Parker also photographed Essex county, but focused on views from his home in Marblehead. I feel I could walk right in to the Views across Marblehead Harbor with boats (See bottom left.) at sunset photo – and I want to. What a great end to a summer day!