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, April 28, 2018

“Unfolding Histories” at the Cape Ann Museum

The Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester is hosting its first major archival exhibition, showcasing notable documents from its collection and those of seven other local institutions.

“Unfolding Histories: Cape Ann before 1900” is organized around ten themes: Native American history, education, religion, African-American history, literary imagination, charity and welfare, women’s history, temperance, warfare, and transportation. The museum says:
Organized thematically, Unfolding Histories lets the documents tell the stories of Cape Ann, thereby highlighting often neglected experiences and perspectives. This archival record richly depicts the political and social structures of our nation before its founding, through its early years and on up to 1900, and provides windows into the working and cultural life of a place that would become a haven for artists and writers.
The Boston Globe reported, “The show consists of some 80 items: letters, books, maps (one of them executed by no less than Samuel de Champlain), official documents, photographs, diaries, Native American artifacts, even stereopticon cards.”

The Cape Ann Museum’s Twitter feed has been sharing items from the exhibit under the hashtag #unfoldinghistories. Highlights from the Revolutionary era include:
The exhibit was curated by Gloucester resident Molly O’Hagan Hardy, who is also director for Digital and Book History Initiatives at the American Antiquarian Society. The other organizations lending documents for the exhibit are the Annisquam Historical Society, Essex Historical Society and Shipbuilding Museum, Essex Town Hall, Gloucester City Hall, Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library, Manchester Historical Museum, Sargent House Museum, and Sandy Bay Historical Society.

“Unfolding Histories” will be on display until 9 September.

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