WORCESTER – The American Antiquarian Society (AAS) — located at 185 Salisbury St. in Worcester — is hosting the grand opening of a three-story, 7,000 sq. ft. addition on Saturday, May 4 from 10 AM to 3 PM.
The event is free and open to the public.
The 109-year-old Antiquarian Hall’s addition will include the Learning Lab, a multi-purpose room for programming, a state-of-the-art conservation studio, and infrastructure improvements to secure climate-controlled storage, “dramatically increases our capacity to preserve and share the multitude of American stories documented in the printed record of our nation’s past,” said Ellen S. Dunlap, AAS president.
The new Learning Lab’s teleconferencing capabilities of the room will allow individuals around the world to join AAS programs and utilize the collection materials. They will also be able to access the expertise of AAS staff, fellows, and members through virtual engagements online.
During the open house on May 4, visitors will be able to tour the new spaces, meet AAS staff, members, and research fellows and view items from AAS collections.
The AAS was founded in 1812 by Revolutionary War patriot and printer Isaiah Thomas. It is both a learned society and a major independent research library. The Society is located on the web at www.americanantiquarian.org.
Among highlights of the AAS collection:
- The first book printed in British North America, The Whole Booke of Psalmes (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1640), commonly referred to as the Bay Psalm Book.
- The only surviving copy of the first modern novel published in America, Pamela by Samuel Richardson, printed by Benjamin Franklin in 1742.
- The first Bible published in this country, an edition printed in the language of the Algonquian language of the Natick Indians by the Reverend John Eliot in 1663.
- The only known copy of an 1804 political cartoon entitled A Philosophic Cock, which lampoons Thomas Jefferson for his affair with his slave Sally Hemings.
- All but two of Paul Revere’s engravings are among 200,000 graphic arts and ephemera items including political cartoons, maps, lithographs, portraits, photographs, and paintings.
The AAS library at Antiquarian Hall is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 9 AM to 5 PM. and on Wednesdays from 10 AM to 7 PM. It is closed on all legal holidays. The library is open to all serious researchers, free of charge.
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