Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Dreaming of Summer

From the Cambridge Room Postcard Collection (028).

The Charles River Basin, circa 1980.

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Bruce Adams former archivist at the Division of Old Records, courtesy of the New York Times.

The New York Times recently wrote a Character Study on Bruce Adams, a newly retired archivist with a tenure of 30 years at the Division of Old Records in Manhattan.  The Division of Old Records contains courtroom journals dating back to 1674 – that means there’s a lot of paper.  There’s so much paper that Adams decided that immediately upon retiring, he would continue to work as a volunteer.  Now he’s doing his old job with no pay.

Don’t let the name of the archives fool you – the collection is filled with great artifacts, like the 1909 letter from Typhoid Mary asking to be set free from quarantine from the North Brother Island and Aaron Burr’s 1804 indictment for dueling as well as his divorce filing.  Who wouldn’t want to keep filing those papers?  Take it from us, archivists can be obsessive about their work!  Read the article on Adams here.

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Harvard Square looking west, circa 1870s.

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13 St. John’s Road, circa 1960s, copyright Bertram Adams.

Thanks to our friend, Charlie Sullivan, at Cambridge Historical Commission, we have identified another in our mystery photo series.  The house was originally built on 14 Appian Way in 1821 but was moved to its new location at St. John’s Road in 1963, presumably to build Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.

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If you’re looking for a last minute holiday or New Year’s gift, we recommend Frank Bidart’s latest publication of Metaphysical Dog:  Poems.  Bidart was listed on several best book lists of 2013, including the New York Times Book Review and Publisher’s Weekly.  If you are interested in learning more about Metaphysical Dog, NPR has put together a few reviews on Mr. Bidart’s latest book.

Frank Bidart visited the library earlier this month as part of the Louisa Solano Poetry Series for a wonderful reading from his 2013 Metaphysical Dog.

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The recently launched Boston TV News Digital Library contains the archives of the Ten O’Clock News, WCVB, WHDH, and Cambridge’s CCTV.  This amazing and free resource contains over 50,000 news stories.  Users can search directly within each collection.  Our personal favorite is this 1967 clip of Cambridge Mayor Daniel Hayes being interviewed about the presence of hippies in Cambridge. He objects to there being over 2,000 hippies living in “pads” in Cambridge especially in the residential areas.  It is a must watch.


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Tags are a new feature of the Historic Cambridge Newspaper Collection upgrade.

The latest version of our Historic Cambridge Newspaper Collection incorporates several new features that give you the ability to interact with digital collections and personalize your experience.

Tags – Placing tags on an article, an image, or an audio or video file helps group items into categories, making it easier for you to browse and search through collections by common themes.

Comments – Add comments about an article or item of any type.  Comments can be especially useful for adding context to historical photographs, maps,and manuscripts. Comments become instantly searchable by all everyone.

Private Lists – Bookmark items in the Historic Cambridge Newspaper Collection and add them to “private lists.”  You can easily rename items, e-mail selections, and add or edit notes related to the items.  Delete lists, move items between lists, and remove items from lists.  Keep track of interesting content and set specific materials aside for easy access at a later date.  Lists are managed on the “My Account” page.

User History – The Historic Cambridge Newspaper Collection now remembers your recently viewed items and your most recently added tags and comments.  When logged in, access your history of interactions under “My Account.”

To start using the Collection’s new features, log in or register.

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Frank Bidart, Louisa Solano, and Dan Chiasson.

Last Tuesday evening was the third and final reading in the Library’s new poetry series in honor of Louisa Solano.  The turnout was great.  The evening began with a personal and wonderful introduction by poet and critic Dan Chiasson.  Frank Bidart took the stage and read for about 30 minutes.  After his thought-provoking reading, Bidart answered questions from the audience.  The night was perfect.

The Library would like to thank everyone who came to the readings.  For our new poetry series, it was an honor to host four critically acclaimed poets:  Gail Mazur, Robert Pinsky, David Ferry, and Frank Bidart.  Now its time for the Cambridge Room to prepare Louisa Solano’s materials for use by researchers.  Stay tuned for updates!

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Photograph of Frank Bidart by James Franco.

Tuesday December 3rd
6:30 p.m.
Lecture Hall
Main Library

Frank Bidart visits the Cambridge Public Library to read from his newest collection, Metaphysical Dog: Poems, a finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry. Bidart received Yale University’s prestigious Bollingen Prize in 2007 and is a professor of English at Wellesley College. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

The library presents this series in honor of Louisa Solano, former owner of the Grolier Book Shop and patron of the poetry community. Her significant donation to our Archives and Special Collections includes a substantial collection of signed first editions from members of the Cambridge poetry community.

For more information, please visit the library’s website.

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This life mask was taken on February 11, 1865, a day before Abraham Lincoln’s fifty-sixth birthday, by sculptor Clark Mills. The 3-D object above is a 1917 copy from the casting given to the Smithsonian in 1889 by the sculptor’s son.

The Smithsonian Institution now offers a 3D archive of historic artifacts available for viewing, downloading, and printing.  Because the site just launched and it is in beta, there are only 20 items available for printing.  Among those 20 artifacts are a sculpture of President Abraham Lincoln’s head, the Wright brothers’ 1903 Flyer, China’s ancient Cosmic Buddha, the American Revolution’s Gunboat Philadelphia, and Amelia Earhart’s Flight Suit.

After registering on the X 3D site, anyone can view and download the 3D images for personal or educational use by enabling Web GL, a JavaScript API that renders 3D graphics in a browser, and then print them on a 3D printer.   Watch this great video introduction to the project here.  Start printing historical artifacts here.

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