CHS Executive Director Marieke Van Damme Invites Your Stories of Engagement

The question posed by this year’s theme at the Cambridge Historical Society, “How Does Cambridge Engage?” has brought to mind the many ways that we have taken part in political and cultural movements, starting with the American Revolution. Ever since our founding as Newe Towne in 1636, the citizens of Cambridge have come together ― and are coming together today … Read More

“Sweet Souls” Oral History Project Underway

The Cambridge Historical Society has launched an oral history project, in partnership with the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House and The Loop Lab. This summer, “Sweet Souls, Voices from the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House in Cambridge” will be documenting the life stories of twelve people, or “narrators,” closely affiliated with the 117-year-old settlement house in the Port, using audio recordings and … Read More

50 Years Later: Harvard’s 1969 Protests

In Cambridge, as in the rest of America, the late 1960s were a period of unrest and upheaval. As we consider our 2019 theme “How Does Cambridge Engage?” we benefit from looking back fifty years to the Spring of  1969. The events of April 8th-10th, 1969 were a response to the Vietnam War and the social and political tensions it sparked. … Read More

6/25/19 History Cafe 2: Engaging with “Difficult Histories” Workshop

We invite you to join us at the next Cambridge Historical Society History Café, where scholars Stephen Berrey and Tatiana Cruz will help us define “difficult histories,” who they are difficult for, and reflect on ways to grapple with them. Professor Berrey’s expertise on the history of blackface and minstrelry is just one example of the difficult stories we may encounter in our families, … Read More

Winwood Serjeant Letters Digitized for Online Research

This collection will be featured at our 2019 Open Archives on June 27. We are delighted to announce that the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati has generously provided funding to digitize the Cambridge Historical Society’s Winwood Serjeant Letters  (1769-1840) and make them accessible to the public on our website and in person at the historic Hooper-Lee-Nichols House. Winwood Serjeant (c.1730?-1780) … Read More

Self-Guided Bike Tour: Pedaling the People’s Republic, A History of Political Activism in Cambridge

The city played a central role in the American Revolution and the abolitionist movement before being named “The People’s Republic” for its role in the anti-war, civil rights, tenant’s rights, gay rights, sustainable development, and environmental movements. Pedaling the People’s Republic will take participants on a tour of past political activity from the Revolution to the grass roots movements of the 20th century.

CHS Executive Director Marieke Van Damme Introduces our 2019 Theme: How Does Cambridge Engage?

At the annual Opening Conversation held at the Cambridge Public Library in February, Cambridge Historical Society Executive Director Marieke Van Damme discussed the theme that will shape the Society’s programs throughout 2019: How Does Cambridge Engage? Three years ago, we decided to tackle issues that Cambridge is facing today and to offer a historical perspective. We vowed to be timely, … Read More

Recap of 4/10/19 History Café: Digital Engagement

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the April 10 History Café: Digital Engagement, with City Councilors Sumbul Siddiqui and Alanna Mallon and moderator Smarika Suwal. The event, held at CCTV, drew an engaged crowd.

Recap of 2019 Opening Conversation & Annual Meeting

Thank you to everyone who attended the Cambridge Historical Society’s “Opening Conversation” & Annual Meeting! We also want to thank our captivating speakers, Dr. Karilyn Crockett and Diana Lempel. To kick off the year-long series of events, CHS hosted Dr. Crockett and Diana Lempel in exploring the year’s thematic question, “How Does Cambridge Engage?” Dr. Crockett drew on her work as … Read More