Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Revere Family Papers Finding Aid

The Swain Report, Number Two

In his second installment, David Swain, the David Library's volunteer researcher, describes a couple of interesting items he discovered in the Revere Family Papers. For those interested in Paul Revere or in the military action in Rhode Island, it might hold a few gems.

Patrick Spero

Paul Revere Family Papers

by David Swain

Biographical information

Paul Revere (1734-1818) lived his entire life in Boston, becoming a wealthy and prominent silversmith. His niche in history has been assured by the endurance of the tradition about the role he played as messenger of the Lexington-Concord patriot victories. The papers discussed here focus more on Revere and his family’s business in metalworking.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The John Rowe Diary Finding Aid

The Swain Report, Number One

David Swain is our volunteer resident researcher. On the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month, we will feature some of the items David has found in our archives. In his first entry for the blog, David writes about the recently purchased Diary of John Rowe. Rowe lived in Boston, where he earned a living as a merchant and sometime smuggler like John Hancock. Rowe kept a detailed and meticulous diary from the revolutionary era, which the David Library just purchased on microfilm from the Massachusetts Historical Society. Rowe was active politically and socially in Boston. He was a Freemason, served on numerous town committees, and regularly socialized with people like Samuel Adams and George Washington. As you will see, Rowe's diary can provide a wonderful window into the world of revolutionary Boston.

Patrick Spero

John Rowe Papers (diary)

by David Swain

Biographical information

John Rowe (1715-1787) was born in Exeter, England and came to Massachusetts Bay colony as a boy with his brothers. He settled in Boston and lived there for the rest of his life. He became a prominent merchant whose primary interests in life revolved around his private business activities and related socializing (especially through active membership in Freemasonry starting in 1740).

Monday, February 1, 2010

Introducing the Swain Report Finding Aids

Over the course of July 2010, David Swain, our volunteer researcher, re-edited his finding aid reports and provided the following introduction, which I have ante-dated for new users. We owe David a great debt of gratitude for his tireless work, which promises to make life much easier for future users of our microfilm collection. To see all of the Swain Reports at once, click on the link under "Topics" in the menu sidebar.

Will Tatum

The Swain Reports

The purpose: To highlight new microfilm acquisitions by the David Library of the American Revolution and to provide summary information about each to guide researchers seeking manuscript documents about particular people, events, or topics within the Library’s area of historical interest—the American Revolutionary period from about 1750 to about 1800.