Events

Saturday, July 29, 2017 4:00 PM6:00 PM
Join Boston By Foot and professional photographer, Sharon Schindler, for a guided history and photography tour of one of Boston's most beautiful neighborhoods! Hear about the unique history and architecture of Beacon Hill while capturing the idyllic scenery through your own lens. This two hour walking tour features the famed architecture of Charles Bulfinch, from the grand Massachusetts State House to the charming townhouses on Mount Vernon Street. The shaded streets and red brick facades are perfect subjects for brushing up on your photography skills or learning some new tips. Whether you have a professional camera or just your smartphone, this tour offers stunning scenery and fascinating history on Beacon Hill. Space is limited, so please purchase tickets in advance.
Sunday, July 30, 2017 2:00 PM3:30 PM
The Kendall Square area has exploded with new development and is one of the hottest commercial real estate markets in the country. A center for innovation, it boasts offices for Google, Akamai, Biogen, Microsoft, Facebook, and more. This recent boom has been accompanied by the construction of new living spaces, restaurants, and hotels. In the early 20th century, Kendall Square was home to distilleries, electric power plants, soap and hosiery factories, and the Kendal Boiler and Tank Company. It remained MIT's industrial backyard after it arrived in 1916. Once the hopeful mission control center for the space program, Kendall Square was a ghost town by the 1980s. Today, it boasts a thriving live/work/play environment that is integrated with its academic neighbor and home to many startups. (Please see our website for more tours and times!)
Monday, July 31, 2017 7:00 PM
The Harvard Square Book Circle, our in-store book club, discusses James Baldwin's classic, "The Fire Next Time." This month's Book Circle is co-sponsored by Mass Humanities. A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement.
Tuesday, August 1, 2017 7:00 PM
Mass Humanities and Harvard Book Store welcome School of Visual Arts professor HILDA WERSCHKUL for a discussion of her book, "Experiences of Art: Reflections on Masterpieces," a book that explores themes in the history of art through the insights of students.
Wednesday, August 2, 2017 7:00 PM
Mass Humanities and Harvard Book Store welcome travel writer DOUG MACK, author of "Europe on Five Wrong Turns a Day," for a discussion of his latest book, "The Not-Quite States of America: Dispatches from the Territories and Other Far-Flung Outposts of the USA." This book is an entertaining account of the territories' place in the USA, and it raises fascinating questions about the nature of empire. As Mack shows, the territories aren't mere footnotes to American history; they are a crucial part of the story.
Friday, August 4, 2017 12:00 PM1:00 PM
Part of our First Friday lecture series, presented by Claire Vail and Don LeClair, learn what online resources exist, how to navigate the website, perform effective database searches, browse our collections online, and more. AmericanAncestors.org is the most-used genealogical society website in the world. It provides family historians access to more than 1.4 billion records spanning the U.S. and beyond, including one of the most extensive online collections of early American records, and the largest searchable collection of published genealogical research journals and magazines.
Saturday, August 5, 2017 11:00AM
Join the Jamaica Plain Historical Society? to tour this part of the JP neighborhood which developed from 19th-century summer estates into a model suburban enclave. It contains examples representative of New England architecture with designs by local architects and builders. It also contains an unusual garden city model housing development by the Boston Dwelling House Company which was founded in 1912. Tours last between 60 and 90 minutes and are canceled in case of heavy rain. No reservations are required, just meet the guide at the location listed.
Saturday, August 5, 2017 10:00 AM11:00 AM
This free orientation and tour introduces you to the resources available at the NEHGS research facility. Founded in 1845, NEHGS is the country's oldest and largest nonprofit genealogy library and archive. With more than 15 million artifacts, books, manuscripts, microfilms, journals, photographs, and records, and expert staff to help you navigate it all, NEHGS provides the access you need to research your family history. You do not have to be a member to participate. Tour attendees are welcome to use our resources following the tour.
Saturday, August 12, 2017 11:00AM
Travel around the Pond with the Jamaica Plain Historical Society?. Once a district that only included the houses of Boston's elite, the Pond later was put to industrial use as tons of ice were harvested there each winter. Learn about the movers and shakers such as Francis Parkman and James Michael Curley who made their homes on the Pond's shores. Discover how the Pond was transformed from private estates and warehouses into the parkland we know today. All tours are free to the public and are offered on dates shown. Tours last between 60 and 90 minutes and are canceled in case of heavy rain. No reservations are required, just meet the guide at the location listed.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Harvard Book Store and Mass Humanities welcome local debut author BENJAMIN RACHLIN for a discussion of his new book, "Ghost of the Innocent Man: A True Story of Trial and Redemption." With meticulous, prismatic research and pulse-quickening prose, Benjamin Rachlin presents one man's tragedy and triumph. The jarring and unsettling truth is that the story of Willie J. Grimes, for all its outrage, dignity, and grace, is not a unique travesty.
Saturday, August 19, 2017 11:00AM
Join the Jamaica Plain Historical Society to tour a residential area that includes a National Historic District. View architecture that spans three centuries; the oldest community theater company in the United States; and an elegant 18th-century mansion that once served as the country's first military hospital. Learn about the monument that commemorates fallen Civil War soldiers from West Roxbury and about Pauline Agassiz Shaw who established the class that became the model for continuous free kindergarten education. We will visit a house dating to 1716 that once served as a tavern, the Eliot School dating back to 1689, the home of the first woman to graduate from MIT and the First Church Burying Ground. Tours last between 60 and 90 minutes and are canceled in case of heavy rain. No reservations are required, just meet the guide at the location listed.
Saturday, August 26, 2017 11:00AM
Join the Jamaica Plain Historical Society to explore this National Historic District which includes one of the finest collections of Victorian houses in the area. Sumner Hill includes the ancestral home of the Dole Pineapple Company founder and the homes of progressives who were active as both abolitionists and women suffragists. Tours last between 60 and 90 minutes and are canceled in case of heavy rain. No reservations are required, just meet the guide at the location listed
Monday, August 28, 2017 7:00 PM
The Harvard Square Book Circle, our in-store book club, discusses Peter Pomerantsev's critically acclaimed book, "Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia." Dazzling yet piercingly insightful, Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible is an unforgettable voyage into a country spinning from decadence into madness. This month's Book Circle is co-sponsored by Mass Humanities.
Saturday, September 2, 2017 11:00AM
Join the Jamaica Plain Historical Society to explore a fascinating industrial area at the geographic heart of Boston that includes 19th-century tannery and brewery buildings, the homes of early German settlers, and today's Boston Beer Company, the brewers of Samuel Adams. In the 1970s, a coalition of community groups joined together to block construction of the Southwest Expressway through Jamaica Plain and other Boston neighborhoods. Today, the Southwest Corridor Park that runs through the Stony Brook neighborhood stands as a testament to the power of community activism. Tours last between 60 and 90 minutes and are canceled in case of heavy rain. No reservations are required, just meet the guide at the location listed.
Saturday, September 9, 2017 11:00AM
Join the Jamaica Plain Historical Society to learn about 1840s Hyde Square when German and Irish immigrants transformed the neighborhood with their businesses, schools, and institutions. See how in the early 1960s, Hyde Square changed again when Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Dominican immigrants transformed it into Boston's first predominantly Hispanic neighborhood. This tour also takes us to the home of Maud Cuney Hare, a prominent music historian and one of only two black women students at the New England Conservatory of Music in 1890. You will also learn about the property currently housing the MSPCA's Angell Animal Medical Center which was once a site of the Perkins School for the Blind. The tour will also walk through the Sunnyside neighborhood, the site of homes built by philanthropist Robert Treat Paine from 1889 to 1899 as a "worker's utopia" for working families. Tours last between 60 and 90 minutes and are canceled in case of heavy rain. No reservations are required, just meet the guide at the location listed.
Saturday, September 16, 2017 11:00AM
Join the Jamaica Plain Historical Society to tour Green Street. Laid out in 1836, the street played a key role in Jamaica Plain's development, functioning as a residential, commercial, and transportation conduit in the lives of the district's residents. Although Green Street was subdivided as early as 1851 for stores, factories and houses, it was not extensively developed until the late 1870s with construction continuing until the early 1900s. The Bowditch School was completed in 1892, and early in the 20th century the United States Post Office moved from its location on Call Street at Woolsey Square to its new location at the corner of Green and Cheshire Streets. Tours last between 60 and 90 minutes and are canceled in case of heavy rain. No reservations are required, just meet the guide at the location listed.
Saturday, September 23, 2017 11:00AM
?Join the Jamaica Plain Historical Society? to tour this part of the JP neighborhood which developed from 19th-century summer estates into a model suburban enclave. It contains examples representative of New England architecture with designs by local architects and builders. It also contains an unusual garden city model housing development by the Boston Dwelling House Company which was founded in 1912. Tours last between 60 and 90 minutes and are canceled in case of heavy rain. No reservations are required, just meet the guide at the location listed.??
Friday, September 29, 2017 6:00 PM8:00 PM
Join us for a panel discussion about the history and future of organzing for civil rights with Hollis Watkins, Carl Williams, and a local leader from Black Lives Matter moderated by Rev. Mariama White-Hammond.
  • Bruce Bolling Building, 2300 Washington St, 2nd Floor School Committee Room
  • Boston, Suffolk County, MA (Greater Boston)
  • contact: (617) 971-6815
  • email: eric.leslie@unioncapitalboston.com
  • cost: Free
  • funded by Mass Humanities
Saturday, September 30, 2017 11:00AM
Travel around the Pond with the Jamaica Plain Historical Society?. Once a district that only included the houses of Boston's elite, the Pond later was put to industrial use as tons of ice were harvested there each winter. Learn about the movers and shakers such as Francis Parkman and James Michael Curley who made their homes on the Pond's shores. Discover how the Pond was transformed from private estates and warehouses into the parkland we know today. Tours last between 60 and 90 minutes and are canceled in case of heavy rain. No reservations are required, just meet the guide at the location listed.
Thursday, October 5, 2017 7:00 PM9:00 PM
Columbia University Proffesor of Journalism and Staff Writer for The New Yorker magazine, Jelani Cobb, will address issues of freedome and enslavement in today's world.
  • African Meeting House, 46 Joy Street
  • Boston, Suffolk County, MA (Greater Boston)
  • contact: (617) 725-0022 x24
  • web: www.maah.org
  • email: charrington@maah.org
  • cost: TBD, please check website
  • funded by Mass Humanities
Sunday, October 15, 2017 2:30 PM4:30 PM
So-called fake news is not a new phenomenon. It's been around since the beginning of the Republic. And yet there is something different and more insidious going on when we have officials in the highest reaches of our government attempting to delegitimize the mainstream media by labeling stories that run counter to their preferred narratives as "fake news." Yet there is fake news. Lots of it. Conspiracy theories abound like weeds in the garden and persist despite repeated debunking. What does this tell about ourselves and what are the implications for our democracy?
Sunday, October 15, 2017 5:00 PM
Join Mass Humanities in conferring the Governor's Award upon three exemplary honorees whose public actions have been grounded in an appreciation of the humanities and have enhanced civic life in the Commonwealth. The honorees: Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Sacha Pfeiffer, and David Starr. Reception begins at 5:00 PM, followed by dinner and The Governor's Awards in the Humanities.

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