Events and Programs

NEHGS events in and around Boston

Learn with NEHGS experts and partner organizations at dozens of lectures, seminars, workshops, and other events, offered each year at the NEHGS research library and in the greater Boston area. Recent seminar topics have included Irish research, digital preservation, identifying family photographs, organizing your family history, writing and publishing your family history, and many more.

| August | Conferences | Exhibits | Online Events |

August

August 2 - Boston in the American Revolution: A Town versus an Empire
Part of our First Friday lecture series
Presented by author and historian Brooke Barbier
American Ancestors Research Center, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
12:00 PM–1:00 PM Cost: FREE

In 1768, British Parliament enacted a military solution to what was not yet a military problem by dispatching thousands of British troops to Boston. Many Bostonians feared standing armies and struggled with the presence of these armed men in their streets and buildings. Brooke Barbier, author of Boston in the American Revolution: A Town versus an Empire, will discuss the bewildering and curious ways the two groups interacted with one another in 1768 and 1769—it will surprise you. Register today!

August 3 - New Visitor Tour
American Ancestors Research Center, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
10:00 AM–11:00 AM Cost: FREE

This free orientation and tour introduces you to the resources available at the American Ancestors Research Center. 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. No registration necessary.

August 14 - New Visitor Tour
American Ancestors Research Center, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
10:00 AM–11:00 AM Cost: FREE

This free orientation and tour introduces you to the resources available at the American Ancestors Research Center. 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. No registration necessary.

August 25 - American Ancestors at Open Newbury Street 2019
American Ancestors Research Center, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
10:00 AM–6:00 PM Cost: FREE

Open Newbury Street is a car-free day on Newbury Street in which vendors offer special activities, deals, and experiences. American Ancestors will participate with free entry to the first floor of our Library and Archives, family history themed games and activities, special offers, and a raffle. No registration necessary.

Conferences

July 28 - August 2, 2019
39th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy
Cleveland, OH

Join the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS at the IAJGS annual conference on Jewish genealogy and heritage. Attend lectures, browse the exhibit hall, participate in special tours, and more. Be sure to visit our booth in the exhibit hall for special conference savings and meet members of our staff. Learn more about the conference.

August 21 - 24, 2019

FGS 2019 Conference
Washington, DC

Hosted by the Federation of Genealogical Societies in cooperation with sponsoring local societies, corporate sponsors, and partner organizations, FGS 2019 offers a new full four-day format jam-packed with topics of interest to every genealogist. Whether you’re a beginner just starting to explore your family history or an old hand at research, the wide variety of new and inclusive topics offers something for everyone. Be sure to visit our booth in the exhibit hall for special conference savings and meet members of our staff. Learn more about the conference.

Exhibits

The Origins and Legacy of the Mayflower
First Floor, NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
Free and open to the public during regular library hours

The story of the Mayflower is the quintessential American story—one that resonates across four centuries with themes of democracy, religious freedom, and cultural heritage. While not the first group of European settlers to arrive on the shores of America, the Mayflower landing has become synonymous with the founding of America. But who were these Pilgrims, what motivated their departure from England, and why has their story been so ensconced in our nation's history? This exhibit seeks to explore the origins of the Mayflower migration and its lasting legacy, as expressed through anniversary commemorations, American mythos, and modern-day descendants. Items in this exhibition are drawn from the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections and the Fine Art Collection at New England Historic Genealogical Society. This exhibition has been generously supported by Anne Louise C. Van Nostrand, Brenda Williams, and Elizabeth H. Owens. Braille version of the exhibit made possible by the Flora Nichols Beggs Trust.

The History of Wampum Belts
First Floor, NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
Free and open to the public during regular library hours

From precolonial to contemporary times, wampum belts have been an integral part of the living, indigenous traditions that continue to be used for ceremonial purposes, adornment, and to record or reflect specific events and agreements. This exhibit explores the history, usage, and meaning behind wampum belts and their place in Wampanoag culture. Produced by SmokeSygnals, a Native American owned marketing and communications company.

R.H. Stearns & Company: Boston’s Grand Department Store
Permanent Exhibit
7th Floor, NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
FREE and open to the public during regular library hours

The long-gone R.H. Stearns was once Boston’s most elegant department store. From its grand building on the corner of Tremont Street and Temple Place across from Boston Common, it sold the finest women’s clothing and accessories, as well as men’s and children’s clothing, luxury linens, china, silver, and crystal. The store was founded in 1847 and closed in 1978 and was particularly noted for its extremely loyal clientele of women from the Back Bay and Beacon Hill.

NEHGS has a variety of pieces in its Fine Art Collection that are on display in this small exhibition, from portraits of the founder and his son, to advertisements, porcelain, receipts, and even a 19th century charge coin! Come to our seventh floor reading room and take a peek into a grand part of Boston’s past.