J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Local Printing Exhibit at the Boston Public Library

A graduate course at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, taught in the Boston Public Library’s Rare Book and Manuscripts Department has led to a small display at the library called “Sermons, Slavery, and Scandal: The Printed Worlds of Early Boston, 1660-1830.”

While we know that Boston was from its very beginning a city organized around the study of the word, we have tended to imagine that reading community as a disembodied entity, one which left earthly concerns behind for the contemplation of Scripture. This exhibit invites reconsideration of the origins of our city of readers and writers by revealing how the print culture of early Boston reflected its bodies and borders, particularly its lines of race and gender.
Here’s the exhibit poster. People can visit the display for free in the Rare Books Department of the library’s main branch in Copley Square on Monday through Friday, 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., through 30 Sept 2009.

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