Recap: Cambridge Open Archives 2019

In late June, the Cambridge Historical Society participated in the eleventh annual Cambridge Open Archives, a free event organized by the Cambridge Historical Commission where archival repositories around Cambridge open their doors to visitors and highlight thematic collections. This year’s theme was “Politics and Activism in Cambridge (and Beyond).” Visitors to the Society learned about our archival collections, including the … Read More

CHS Executive Director Marieke Van Damme Invites Your Stories of Engagement

Click here to share your story! 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 … 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

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

Thank you to all who joined us at the First Church of Cambridge for the June 25th History Café: Engaging with “Difficult Histories” Workshop. The Café was led by two historians, Dr. Stephen Berrey, University of Michigan, and Dr. Tatiana Cruz, Lesley University, who guided us through a facilitated conversation based on their research and scholarship. Dr. Berrey’s academic research … Read More

Serjeant Family Letters, 1769-1840: Digital Collection

This collection was featured at our 2019 Open Archives. In 2019, the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati generously provided funding to digitize and transcribe the Cambridge Historical Society’s Serjeant Family Letters (formerly titled “The Winwood Serjeant Letters”). The collection is now accessible online (view it here). Winwood Serjeant (c.1730?-1780) was born in England and ordained in 1756. Following his ordination, … 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