The Boston Athenæum
Founded in 1807, the subscription library was a gathering place for local scholars, “men of business,” and members of the upper classes in search of knowledge.
The Birth of the Modern American Debt Collector
In the 19th century, farm loans changed from a matter between associates into an impersonal, bureaucratic exchange.
When “Middle Eastern” Nightclubs Swept America
In the 1950s, nightclubs featuring "Middle Eastern" music and belly dancers mixed and matched cultures, serving white audiences an exotic experience.
The Woman Who Crashed the Boston Marathon
In 1966, Bobbi Gibb was the first woman to run the Boston marathon. Gibb had a bigger mission, however: to overcome prejudice against women in sports.
Discovering the Real Little Women: Researching The Other Alcott
Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women" is a cultural touchstone. But what about the women behind the "Women," Alcott's real-life sisters on whom she based her characters? An interview with novelist Elise Hooper considers the life of "The Other Alcott."
When the Temperance Movement Opened Saloons
Charles Sumner Eaton's “Temperance Spa” served alternative adult beverages like coffee, egg phosphates, and "Moxie Nerve Food," all in the name of health.
The Saturday Evening Girls’ Guide to Helping Immigrants Succeed
The “Saturday Evening Girls" was a Progressive-Era club that afforded urban, Jewish and Italian girls and women a chance at coveted social mobility.
How Harvard Became Harvard
Older than the nation, Harvard has always been elite, but it was only in the 19th Century that it became the school of the Boston ruling class.