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19th Century American Trade Cards
Color lithographed Victorian-era trade cards were a key late 19th century advertising vehicle for national manufacturers and local businesses. These miniature posters, about the size of a postcard, were handed out as souvenirs at major expositions during the late Victorian period. They were... more
Alexandre Benois Collection
Since 1983, the Boston Public Library has acquired in several components a distinguished and unique (to this country) scholarly resource -- the personal library and related collections of eminent painter, art historian, and Ballets Russes set and costume designer, Alexandre Benois. The... more
Along the Elevated: Photographs of the Orange Line
In the fall of 1985, four teams of photographers started a project to document the elevated Orange Line and the communities it served before its planned demolition in 1987. The project, conceived by the photographer Linda Swartz, and managed by Urbanarts, Inc. for the MBTA, paired a professional... more
Alphonse Legros (1837-1911). Prints and Drawings
Alphonse Legros (1837-1911) was a French painter, etcher, sculptor, and medallist. Born in Dijon in 1851, he went to Paris to study, took up etching in 1855, and in 1857 exhibited for the first time at the annual Paris Salon. In 1863, with the encouragement of the American artist James Abbott... more
American Art Posters 1890-1920
With the invention of lithography in Germany in 1798 and its introduction into France and England during the first years of the 19th century, there was an increasing demand for images among the growing middle class. As the new technique allowed much larger editions than did the older techniques... more
American Artists
Critical funding to support long-term preservation of and enhanced public access to Boston Public Library collections, including this one, was provided by the Associates of the Boston Public Library.
American Civil War 20th Massachusetts Regiment (Collection of Distinction)
In 1892, Boston Public Library accessioned the personal collection of Francis W. Palfrey, a colonel in the American Civil War (1861–1865). These 287 books formed the cornerstone of the 20th Massachusetts Regiment Collection, a collection now totaling over 6,000 items including printed books,... more
American Revolutionary War-Era Maps (Collection of Distinction)
With the first battles of the American Revolution occurring in the Boston area, one of the most important historical time periods represented in the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center's pre-20th-century holdings is the American Revolutionary War era, defined broadly as 1750 to 1800. This collection... more
Anders Zorn (1860-1920). Etchings and Other Works
Anders Zorn (1860-1920) was a Swedish painter, sculptor, and printmaker. Born in Mora, Zorn’s early drawings and wood carvings showed his artistic abilities. Between 1875 and 1880, he studied sculpture and painting at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts. He then traveled extensively in England,... more
Anti-Slavery (Collection of Distinction)
In the late 1890s, the family of William Lloyd Garrison, along with others closely involved in the anti-slavery movement, presented Boston Public Library with a major gathering of correspondence, documents, and other original material relating to the abolitionist cause from 1832 until after the... more
Archive of Photographic Documentation of Early Massachusetts Architecture
This collection holds late 19th century photographs as well as engravings of 17th and 18th century buildings in Eastern Massachusetts. The mounted photographs and engravings were compiled by the Liberty Tree Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (D. A. R.) and consist of homes,... more
The Birds of America: From Original Drawings by John James Audubon
The first edition of John James Audubon's Birds of America was issued through a collaboration between Audubon and the London printmakers Robert Havell, Sr. and Robert Havell, Jr., with some plates engraved by William H. Lizars, of Edinburgh. The prints were originally sold by subscription and... more
Book of Common Prayer (Collection of Distinction)
The Benton Collection of Editions of the Book of Common Prayer is one of the most abundant existing collections of its kind. It includes first-edition copies of the first Prayer Book of 1549, King Edward’s second Prayer Book of 1552, Queen Elizabeth’s Book of 1559, King James of 1604, and five... more
Boston and New England Maps (Collection of Distinction)
The primary geographical focus of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center's pre-20th-century Boston and New England Maps Collection is the local region, encompassing Boston, Massachusetts, and New England. The collection consists of more than 600 maps of the city of Boston and approximately 1,000... more
Boston Brewery Posters
Boston, in the early 1900s, was home to 31 breweries. There were 24 breweries in Roxbury and Jamaica Plain and all were located in the vicinity of Columbus Avenue, Heath, and Armory Streets. The abundant water supply from the aquifer along the Stony Brook, artesian wells around Mission Hill, and... more
Boston (Mass.) Overseers of the Poor Indentures, 1734-1805
From 1630-1692, Boston's poor were the responsibility of the town Selectmen who believed that the welfare of the individual should come second to the religious and secular needs of the community and, conversely, that the community had a responsibility to the welfare of the individual. Thus,... more
Boston Matchcovers Collection
The bookmatch was patented in the 1890s by John Pusey, a Pennsylvania patent lawyer, who sold the patent outright to the Diamond Match Company in 1896. Soon after the sale, the bookmatch became hugely popular as an advertising giveaway and the first crudely printed example of its use appeared in... more
Boston Pictorial Archive (Collection of Distinction)
The Boston Pictorial Archive is one of the largest distinct collections of images related to Boston held by a public institution and the essential resource for Boston architectural, social, and neighborhood history. It includes more than 6,000 images on paper representing the visual history of... more
Boston Postcard Collection
Souvenir picture postcards made their American debut at Chicago’s 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. These new cards appealed immediately to a budget-conscious public as inexpensive keepsakes and an economical means of communication; by the early 1900s, the United States was in the throes of a... more
The Boston Printmakers Collection
The idea for establishing The Boston Printmakers came from faculty members and students at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, whose goal was to promote printmaking in Boston. At the invitation of Arthur Heintzelman, Boston Public Library’s first Keeper of Prints and an... more
Boston Wharf Company Collection
This collection of glass-plate negatives was given by the Boston Wharf Company to the Boston Public Library's Print Department in 1995. The negatives were taken circa 1898-1907 as a record of the buildings then owned and managed by the Boston Wharf Company in the Fort Point Channel Area of... more
Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery
Boydell's Graphic Illustrations of the Dramatic Works of Shakspeare represents the final chapter in a three-part, decades-long commercial publication venture undertaken by John Boydell. Between 1786 and 1804, Boydell prepared a sumptuous, illustrated edition of the works of Shakespeare, along... more
British Artists
Critical funding to support long-term preservation of and enhanced public access to Boston Public Library collections, including this one, was provided by the Associates of the Boston Public Library.
Carte de Visite Collection
The carte de visite, also known as a CDV, was a photographic format first produced in the 1850s, which became wildly popular in the 1860s. It consisted of a small photographic print (typically an albumen print) mounted on card stock measuring approximately 2 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches. The cards were... more
Cased Photographs
The term cased photograph refers specifically to two 19th century photographic media: the daguerreotype and the ambrotype, and, slightly less accurately, the tintype.The earliest and most important of these processes, the daguerreotype, consisted of a photographic image on a highly polished... more
Celia Thaxter correspondence with Annie Fields, 1869-1893
This collection contains letters written by Celia Thaxter (1835-1894) between 1869 and 1893. The majority of the letters are addressed to American writer Annie Fields (1834-1915) and document Thaxter’s daily life: writing and other artistic endeavors, gardening, book discussions, family troubles... more
Charles C. Perkins (1823-1886) Collection
Charles Callahan Perkins (1823-1886) spent much of his life in Boston as an author, art critic, and supporter of cultural activity, especially related to art and music. Following his studies at Harvard College, Perkins pursued additional studies in Europe. He is well known in Boston as a founder... more
Charles H. Woodbury (1864-1940). Prints, Drawings, Watercolors, Oil Paintings, and Copper Plates
Charles Herbert Woodbury (1864-1940) was an American painter and printmaker. Born in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1886, Woodbury received a degree in mechanical engineering from MIT and then established a studio in Boston. Although known as a painter and a printmaker, Woodbury also was interested in... more
Charles J. Connick Records: Gouaches
Charles J. Connick (1875-1945) was one of the pre-eminent artists in stained glass in the early twentieth century; his stained glass studio created approximately 15,000 windows in over 5,000 commissions from 1912 to 1986. The Boston Public Library's collection includes 2,150 studies for these... more
Charlestown Lantern Slides
After the Reverend Wolcott Cutler (1891-1965) was appointed rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in Charlestown, he became interested in the long and rich history of his community. In addition to taking his own photographs of Charlestown's historic sites and streets, Reverend Cutler combed... more
Childe Hassam (1859-1935). Prints and Drawings
Frederick Childe Hassam (American, 1859-1935) was a painter, printmaker, draftsman, and illustrator. Born in Boston, Hassam began his artistic career by studying wood engraving and producing designs for letterheads, newspapers, and other commercial publications. In 1882, he established... more
Circus Posters
Advertising a circus was difficult before radio, television, and the Internet. To be successful and stay ahead of the competition, a circus owner had to market his show and create a brand that would be recognizable and generate repeat patrons. He had to advertise the features of his show to set... more
Colonial and Revolutionary America
Boston Public Library holds thousands of American manuscripts, printed books, and documents from the Colonial and Revolutionary War periods. The materials document American intellectual and political life before, during, and shortly after the Revolution. Highlights include: over 1,300 individual... more
Colonial and Revolutionary Boston (Collection of Distinction)
Boston Public Library holds thousands of manuscripts, correspondence, documents, and printed records from the Colonial and Revolutionary War periods. This collection is unparalleled in the extent of its administrative and judicial records of Massachusetts Bay Colony and early Boston. The... more
Costume & Set Designs
These images include original costume and set designs for a variety of operas and other stage productions such as Renato Virgilio's "Jana," Giuseppe Cicognani's "Il figlio del mare," Richard Strauss's "Ariadne auf Naxos," Ubaldo Pacchierotti and Alberto Colantuoni's "Eidelberga mia!," Ettore... more
Cuneiform Tablets
Cuneiform script is one of the earliest known writing systems. Cuneiform first appeared in Sumer (present day Iraq), ca. 3400 B.C.E. Glyphs were created by pressing wedge-shaped reeds onto the surface of clay tablets. Surviving cuneiform tablets are written in a number of languages and record a... more
Eadweard Muybridge's Animal Locomotion
Eadweard Muybridge's "Animal locomotion : An electro-photographic investigation of consecutive phases of animal movements, 1872-1885" was published by the University of Pennsylvania in 1887. The eleven volume set consisted of 781 plates printed by the Photogravure Company of New York. The... more
Early English Printers
The Boston Public Library holds a significant collection of books from the earliest years of English printing, including works from the presses of William Caxton, Richard Pynson, Wynkyn De Worde, and others. Critical funding to support long-term preservation of and enhanced public access to... more
Early, Rare, and Exceptional Items from Special Collections, Rare Books
A curated selection of highlights from across the many collections held by the Boston Public Library's Rare Books and Manuscripts Department. Critical funding to support long-term preservation of and enhanced public access to Boston Public Library collections, including this one, was provided... more
Edgar Sutton Dorr Photograph Collection
Edgar Sutton Dorr (1854-1937) was a Boston engineer who worked for the Boston Sewer Department in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, eventually becoming the chief engineer of the sewer department in 1891. Dorr's father was Edward Reed Dorr and his mother was Eliza Ann Pitman. He... more
Edmund Blampied (1886-1966). Prints and Drawings
Edmund Blampied (English, 1886-1966) was a painter, printmaker, draftsman, illustrator, cartoonist, sculptor, and graphic designer.   Born in the Parish of Saint Martin, Jersey, Channel Islands, Blampied was inspired to draw by the people, animals, and landscape that he observed. After... more
Emily Dickinson Collection, 1862-1907
This collection contains approximately 70 letters and 43 poems sent by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) to Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823-1911). In 1862, Emily Dickinson responded to an article by Thomas Wentworth Higginson entitled "Letter to a Young Contributor," which formed a personal and... more
Emily Tennyson Letters, 1858-1873
This collection contains 83 letters from Emily Lady Tennyson, wife of Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), primarily to Margaret Gatty, children’s author and amateur marine biologist. The letters date from the time of Lady Tennyson and Mrs. Gatty’s first meeting in November 1858 through 1873,... more
English Caricature and Political Satire, 18th and 19th Centuries
Critical funding to support long-term preservation of and enhanced public access to Boston Public Library collections, including this one, was provided by the Associates of the Boston Public Library.
Fine and Historic Bookbindings (Collection of Distinction)
Boston Public Library's collection of fine bookbindings includes examples from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas during a time period that spans the 15th–20th centuries. The collection falls into three major categories. Bindings from the Medieval period to the first quarter of the... more
Fore-Edge Paintings
In 1945, Albert H. Wiggin began to form the fine collection of fore-edge paintings that, upon his death in May 1951, came to the Boston Public Library. It is one of the largest collections in this country, surpassed in size only by the Estelle Doheny Collection that is housed in the Edward... more
Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910). Prints and Drawings
Sir Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910) was an English physician and printmaker. Born in London, Haden was trained as a physician and was admitted to membership in the College of Surgeons in 1842. He received no formal training as an artist. However, he made his first sketches from nature... more
Frank W. Benson (1862-1951). Prints and Drawings
Frank Weston Benson (American, 1862-1951) was a painter, printmaker, and educator. Born in Salem, Massachusetts, Benson received his training as an artist at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Académie Julien in Paris. He subsequently became an instructor in painting and... more
French Artists
Critical funding to support long-term preservation of and enhanced public access to Boston Public Library collections, including this one, was provided by the Associates of the Boston Public Library.
George Bellows (1882-1925). Prints and Drawings
George Bellows (1882-1925) was an American painter and printmaker. Born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1904 Bellows moved to New York, where he studied with Robert Henri. Although he continued to paint, in 1916 Bellows took up lithography and, working first with George C. Miller and later with Bolton... more
George Cruikshank (1792-1878). Prints and Drawings
George Cruikshank (1792-1878) was an English caricaturist and book illustrator. Born in London to Isaac Cruikshank, one of the leading English caricaturists of the 1790s, George received his early training as his father’s apprentice and assistant. Coming of age during a major period in the... more
Grove Hall Memory Project
The Grove Hall Memory Project was an effort by the Grove Hall Branch of the Boston Public Library to capture stories and images from the lives of Roxbury residents and to explore the role of Roxbury in twentieth-century Boston. The goal of the project was to provide audio/visual "snapshots" of... more
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901). Prints and Drawings
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) was a French painter, draftsman, and printmaker. Although he regularly exhibited paintings and drawings throughout his career, Lautrec is best known for his lithographs and especially his posters, which celebrate the cabarets and the performers active in the... more
Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904). Lithographs and Other Prints
Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) was a French painter and printmaker. Born in Grenoble, he moved with his family to Paris in 1841. There, Fantin-Latour received his first drawing lessons from his father, Jean-Théodore Fantin-Latour, who was a portrait painter. In 1850, he began more formal... more
Honoré Daumier (1808-1879). Lithographs, Woodcuts, and Other Prints
The career of Honoré Daumier (French, 1808-1879) spanned one of the most turbulent periods in French history, including the Revolution of 1830, the Revolution of 1848, the rise of Napoleon III, and the Franco-Prussian War. Daumier established a reputation as a painter and a sculptor, as well as... more
Hugo Münsterberg Collection, 1890-1916
Hugo Münsterberg (June 1, 1863-December 16, 1916) was born in Danzing, Germany. He received his Ph.D. in psychology in 1885 and his medical degree in 1887. Münsterberg met William James in 1891 and, in 1892, James invited him to a three-year term in the psychological laboratory at Harvard.... more
Incunabula (Collection of Distinction)
Incunabula or incunables are defined as books printed from the time that Johann Gutenberg perfected moveable types sometime between 1440–1445 until January 1, 1501. The term comes from the Latin for “things from the cradle,” i.e., the cradle of printing. While learning and knowledge in the... more
James Gillray (1756-1815). Prints and Drawings
James Gillray (1756-1815), English caricaturist and printmaker, became one of the leading chroniclers of his country’s social habits and political struggles at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries. Born in London, Gillray was apprenticed to an engraver for whom he... more
James McBey (1883-1959). Prints and Drawings
James McBey (1883-1959) was a Scottish painter and etcher. Born in Newburgh, Aberdeenshire, he left school at age 15 to work as a bank clerk while attending evening classes at Gray’s School of Art and teaching himself how to etch. In 1910, McBey decided to pursue a full-time career as an... more
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903). Lithographs, Etchings, and Drawings
James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) was an American painter and printmaker born in Lowell, Massachusetts. Whistler received his first training as an artist in St. Petersburg, Russia, while his father was working there as a railroad engineer. Whistler’s early interest in art was... more
John Brown: Correspondence relating to John Brown and the raid on Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
This collection contains correspondence relating to the abolitionist John Brown (1800-1859), specifically the unsuccessful armed slave rebellion he led at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Brown was captured and convicted of both murder and treason. He was hanged on December 2, 1859. Collection dates... more
John Copley (1875-1950). Lithographs
Critical funding to support long-term preservation of and enhanced public access to Boston Public Library collections, including this one, was provided by the Associates of the Boston Public Library.
John D. Merriam Collection
The John D. Merriam Collection is a collection devoted to illustration. The particular focus of the collection is original prints, drawings, and paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries that were created as illustrations for children's books and for children's magazines. However, in later... more
John Sullivan Dwight correspondence regarding Brook Farm, 1840-1848
This collection contains letters written to and from John Sullivan Dwight between 1840 and 1848. They cover a variety of subjects including George Ripley’s (1802-1880) resignation from the Purchase Street church in 1840, Sophia Ripley’s (1803-1861) description of early life on the Farm, Albert... more
Joseph Pennell (1857-1926). Prints and Drawings
Joseph Pennell (American, 1857-1926) was an illustrator, printmaker, author, and lecturer. Born in Philadelphia, Pennell attended classes at the Pennsylvania School of Industrial Art and at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. However, he was largely self-taught. Using his natural... more
Justin H. Goodstein-Aue Collection
Justin H. Goodstein-Aue is a Boston-based photographer who spends much of his time documenting historic businesses and local neighborhoods. This digital collection includes images created at James Hook & Co., a family business founded in 1925 and located on Boston's waterfront. Goodstein-Aue... more
Lane/Mead Boston Maritime Collection
The Lane/Mead Boston Maritime Collection holds many items that capture, reflect, and document the industrial development and history of the Port of Boston. It contains material from various entities connected with the Port of Boston Harbor Shipping Industry, and many of its photographs were... more
Leon Abdalian Collection
The photographer Leon Hampartzoum Abdalian was born in Cilician Armenia, Ottoman Empire (now Turkey), circa 1884. He moved with his family to the United States in April of 1896 and eventually settled in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. It is not known if Abdalian had any formal... more
Leslie Jones Collection
Modest about his abilities as a photographer (he called himself a camera-man, not a photo-journalist), Jones quietly built an unrivaled collection of photographic negatives, almost 40,000 of which were given to the Boston Public Library by his family in the early 1970s. The collection is a... more
The Liberator (Boston, Mass. : 1831-1865)
The Boston-based radical abolitionist newspaper The Liberator was published weekly from January 1, 1831 to December 29, 1865. The Liberator was founded and published by William Lloyd Garrison and Isaac Knapp and was a leading vehicle for unrelenting advocacy of the abolitionist cause and for the... more
Louis Prang & Company Chromolithographs
Louis Prang (1824-1909), a German immigrant, ran a highly successful printing firm in Boston during the late nineteenth century. His company produced high quality reproductions of major art work and greeting cards using the complex technique of chromolithography. Prang is often referred to as... more
M. C. Escher (1898-1972). Prints and Drawings
Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972), better known as M. C. Escher, was a Dutch draftsman and printmaker born in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. Escher created his first prints in 1916 while a secondary school student in Arnhem. From 1919 to 1922, he attended the School for Architecture and... more
Magic Posters
The world of magic has entertained and mystified humans since the first known performance of conjuring by the magician Dedi in ancient Egypt. The first book of magic tricks appeared in 1584. During the 1600s, many similar books were published that described magic tricks. Until the 18th century,... more
Margaret Fuller Papers, 1837-1884
This collection contains approximately 154 letters, poems, fragments, and journal extracts written by Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) from 1837 to 1850, including letters to William Henry Channing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Lewis Cass. This material provides insights into Fuller's thoughts about... more
Maritime Charts and Atlases (Collection of Distinction)
A significant component of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center's pre-20th-century cartographic holdings is an extensive collection of nautical charts and atlases pertaining to the world and particularly North America. The core of this collection consists of 25 atlases dating from the 17th and... more
Mary Cassatt (1844-1926). Prints and Drawings
Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) was an American painter and printmaker. Born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, now part of Pittsburgh, Cassatt lived with her family in Paris from 1851 to 1856. In 1856, Cassatt returned to Philadelphia, where she studied at the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts.... more
Medieval and Early Renaissance Manuscripts (Collection of Distinction)
The major part of this distinguished collection is comprised of religious and devotional texts, but there are also a number of secular and scientific titles. Many are superbly illuminated with exquisite miniatures illustrating the codices and single leaves. Some noteworthy volumes include a... more
Michael T. "Nuf Ced" McGreevy Collection
Donated by this owner of a Columbus Avenue saloon, the collection consists of photographs of professional baseball in Boston and personal scrapbooks from the 1890's to 1912. Originally displayed at McGreevy's tavern, Third Base, the photographs form the largest collection of its kind. It... more
Mural Cycles at the Central Library in Copley Square
The Boston Public Library's 1895 McKim Building houses art and architecture treasures contributed by renowned painters, sculptors, and craftsman of the 19th and 20th centuries. Among the masterpieces at the Central Library are three major mural cycles: Edwin Austin Abbey's depiction of Sir... more
Norman B. Leventhal Map Center Collection
The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library is dedicated to the creative educational use of its cartographic holdings, which extend from the 15th century to the present.In pursuit of its mission, the Center collects and preserves maps and atlases, promotes research in the... more
Old Boston Photograph Collection
The Old Boston Collection, a series of late 19th century photographs of historic Boston sites, was rediscovered by the Boston Public Library in 2007. Although the origin and early history of the collection remain a bit of a mystery, we believe that the prints represent the work of photographers... more
Old Masters Collection
This series includes woodcuts, engravings, and etchings, from the late 15th century through the 17th century, produced in the Western tradition. Among the important artists included, in addition to Durer, Rembrandt, and their contemporaries, are Hendrik Goltzius, Lucas van Leyden, Hans Holbein... more
Paintings and Fine Arts Collection at the Boston Public Library
The Boston Public Library’s collection of painting and sculpture is representative of the collecting and exhibiting habits of the mid- to late-19th century: oil portraits, copies of antique statues, a variety of decorative arts, and portrait busts (all almost exclusively Neoclassical in style).... more
Paul Gavarni (1804-1866). Lithographs and Other Works
Paul Gavarni (pseudonym of Hippolyte-Guillaume-Sulpice Chavalier, 1804-1866) was a French draftsman, watercolorist, and lithographer. Although he achieved recognition as a watercolorist, like his contemporary, Honoré Daumier, Gavarni is best known for his lithographs, which provided a forum for... more
Philip Hale Photograph Collection
The Philip Hale Photograph Collection contains items owned and used by Boston music critic Philip Hale in his writings. The photographs contain professional photos of composers, conductors, musicians, actors, dancers, vocalists, and other performers.
Photographs of the American West
Includes Carleton Watkins photographs of Yosemite Valley, Eadward Muybridge's nine panel panorama of San Francisco from California Hill, 1877, Alexander Gardner's photographs from Across the Continent on the Kansas Pacific Railroad, Timothy O'Sullivan's and William Bell's photographs for the War... more
Press Photography from the Brearley Collection
This collection includes small, medium, and large format negatives taken by Boston press photographers dating from the 1920s through the early 1970s. It was amassed by photojournalist Dennis Brearley during the course of his career as a working photographer. From 1978 to 2012, Mr. Brearley and... more
Produce Crate Labels
Prior to World War II, produce was packed in wooden crates with attractive labels, designed to catch the buyer's eye, pasted on the ends. After the onset of war, rationing, cost cutting, and a search for cheaper materials in every industry motivated the fruit packers to experiment with cardboard... more
Robert McCloskey Sketchbooks for "Make Way for Ducklings"
Robert McCloskey was the writer and illustrator of such classic children's books as "Blueberries for Sal," "One Morning in Maine," and "Homer Price." McCloskey twice won the Caldecott Medal, the American Library Association's annual award of distinction for children's book illustration. He... more
Rocco Paoletta Collection
In 1974, Boston press photographer Rocco Paoletta donated to the Boston Public Library a collection of nearly 500 of his film negatives related to the political career of John F. Kennedy. The majority of Paoletta’s photographs document Kennedy before his election as President of the United... more
Rufus W. Griswold Papers, 1834-1857
Rufus Griswold (1815-1857) was the editor of Graham's Magazine and the publisher of American literature and poetry in the mid-19th century. This collection contains the near entirety of Rufus Griswold's correspondence between the years 1834 and 1857. In particular, it reflects his business... more
Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee (Collection of Distinction)
Spanning the years 1914–1967, the Aldino Felicani Collection: Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee Records documents the efforts and activities of the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee to free Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti from prison for the murders of Frederick Parmenter and Alessandro... more
Shakespeare (Collection of Distinction)
The Thomas Pennant Barton Collection is acknowledged as one of the largest and most comprehensive collections in a public institution focusing on the writings of William Shakespeare and his contemporaries. The collection was the first in the United States to include the first four folios of the... more
Sheet Music Lithograph Covers
The Boston Public Library Music Special Collection includes materials concerning every facet of musical study, such as biography, history and criticism, ethnomusicology, theory and composition, and music education; the collected editions of all the major composers (and many less well-known... more
Ships Through the Ages
Ships Through the Ages, originally four murals painted by Frederic Leonard King between 1934 and 1935, was commissioned as part of the Public Works Art Project for the Jeffries Point Branch of the Boston Public Library. In 1956, the Jeffries Point Branch closed, and each mural was divided into... more
Sir David Young Cameron (1865-1945). Prints, Drawings, and Paintings
Sir David Young Cameron (1865-1945) was a Scottish painter and etcher. Born in Glasgow, he studied at the Glasgow School of Art and the Edinburgh Schools of Art. Cameron gained recognition both as a painter in oil and in watercolor and as an etcher. His images were enhanced by European... more
Sir Muirhead Bone (1876-1953). Prints, Drawings, and Paintings
Muirhead Bone (1876-1953) was a Scottish printmaker and watercolor artist. Born in Glasgow, Bone first trained as an architect before pursuing his studies at the Glasgow School of Art. In 1901, Bone moved to London and in 1902 held his first solo exhibition at the Carfax Gallery. From that time,... more
Sixteen illustrations of subjects from Kipling's "Jungle book"
Portfolio of sixteen illustrations by Maurice and Edward Detmold for Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book. Plates are mounted on board with hinged mat and covered with guard sheet with letterpress. Many captions include a quotation and page number from the text. Critical funding to support long-term... more
Social and Political Cartoons
Caricature is a pictorial representation of a person or thing through the gross exaggeration of its most characteristic features. It is the portrait that conveys the meaning, often playing on accepted symbols or repeated imagery. The text, if present at all, is secondary.Caricaturists portray... more