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.

| September | October | Special Exhibits | Online Events |

September

September 23 - New Visitor Tour
NEHGS, 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 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. No registration necessary.

September 26 - The Saverne Affair: A Lecture with Dr. Michael Neiberg
In partnership with the Boston/Strasbourg Sister City Association
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
Reception: 6:00 PM; Lecture: 6:30–7:30 PM Cost: $25 (registration through Boston/Strasbourg)

In 1912 and 1913—before the outbreak of the First World War—tensions were high between Alsace and Germany. The Alsatians felt their culture, language, and customs were under threat by Germans trying to make Alsace more culturally German; an affront to their rights under the German constitution that protected their identity within the German Empire. Many Alsatians came to see local German Army garrisons, like the one in the town of Zabern (Saverne), as symbols of Germany's attempt to stamp out local customs. During one particularly tense period in late 1913, Prussian lieutenant Günther von Forstner promised his soldiers ten marks for each Alsatian they shot if the locals of Zabern marched in protest. Forstner quickly became a symbol of the German government's arrogance and increasingly poor relationship with the Alsatians. The "Zabern Affair" set off a major political scandal, the resolution of which went all the way to Kaiser Wilhelm himself. Join Dr. Michael Neiberg to learn more about this period in history and how it shaped American attitudes toward Alsace and Germany in the months just prior to the outbreak of WWI. Register today!

September 27 - Privies and Peach Pits: Public Health in Puritan Boston
Part of Charter Day Celebrations, sponsored by the Partnership of the Historic Bostons
Presented by City of Boston Archaeologist Joe Bagley and Alfred DeMaria, Jr., M.D.
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
6:00 PM-7:30 PM Cost: FREE

History is not just in books—our knowledge about the Puritans of 17th-century New England keeps growing. Boston's active urban archaeology program allows new discoveries to be made on a regular basis. In this exciting presentation, you’ll see how the things the Puritans left behind, from doll heads to DNA, tell the stories of not only how they lived, but how they died. Hear about recent and upcoming archaeological digs right here in Boston that will uncover more of the Puritan story. Our presenters will talk about views of disease and public health in 17th- Century Boston, and how illnesses were managed on the local and colony level, including our earliest public health legislation. Register for free.

October

October 4 - New Visitor Tour
NEHGS, 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 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. No registration necessary.

October 6 - Waste Nothing: Food Rationing in WWI
Part of our First Friday Lecture series
Presented by Clara Silverstein, Community Engagement Manager at Historic Newton
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
12:00–1:00 PM Cost: FREE

From planting Victory Gardens to reducing meat consumption, Americans helped the war effort by changing their eating habits so they could send extra food to Europe. Learn more about directives from the U.S. government and how Massachusetts residents responded with recipes, school gardens, and other local initiatives to grow and conserve food. This talk ties in with the Voices of War: Americans in World War I 1917-1918 exhibit at the NEHGS Library and Archives (free and open to the public). Register today!

October 7 - Irish Study Group
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
9:30 AM–12:00 PM Cost: FREE

This Irish Genealogy Study Group gathers each month to talk about research problems and share solutions. Everyone is welcome and attendees are invited to stay and use the library resources afterwards. Contact Mary Ellen Grogan at megrogan@ix.netcom.com for more information. No registration necessary.

October 11 - Stories in Stone: America Through Its Early Burial Grounds
Part of Massachusetts Archaeology Month
Presented by Ta Mara Conde, Historic Gravestone Services
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
6:00–7:30 PM Cost: FREE

Burial grounds are outdoor museums: accessible and open to all. The stones reveal the history of the town and its people. Join Ta Mara Conde, a monument conservator with Historic Gravestone Services, for a visual tour of America through its early burial grounds. Discover the meaning behind symbols adorning historic gravestones, understand society's changing attitudes toward death, and learn about the geology found in your local burial ground. Unearth the stories hidden in the stones. Register today!

October 14 - Researching Veteran Ancestors: Civil War, World War I, and World War II
In partnership with the New Hampshire Historical Society
Presented by David Allen Lambert, NEHGS Chief Genealogist
NHHS, 30 Park Street, Concord, NH
1:00–4:00 PM Cost: $35-$50

Throughout American history, brave men and women have answered the call to serve our country and defend our families. Many of us can claim these courageous citizens as our ancestors, but how do we learn more about their service? In this workshop, David Allen Lambert of the New England Historic Genealogical Society will provide tools, tips, and strategies for researching veteran ancestors who served in the American Civil War, World War I, and World War II. Space is limited, and registration is required. Register through NHHS!

October 17 - No More Champagne: Churchill and His Money
In partnership with the National Trust for Scotland Foundation, USA
Presented by David Lough
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
6:00–7:30 PM Cost: $30

Churchill lived for most of his life on a financial cliff edge. The popular image may be of champagne and cigars, but behind the scenes, his friends and family came to the rescue several times to prevent his financial problems from engulfing his political career. In No More Champagne: Churchill and His Money (Picador, 2015), author, retired banker, and scholar of history David Lough provides the first full, lifetime narrative of Winston Churchill’s precarious private finances. Using Churchill's own most private records, Lough chronicles the family's habitual shortage of money, Churchill's own extravagance, and his recurring losses from gambling or trading in shares and currencies. Register today!

October 21 - New Visitor Tour
NEHGS, 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 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. No registration necessary.

October 25 - Hidden Treasures of NEHGS: A Special Evening with Curt DiCamillo
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
6:00 PM–7:30 PM Cost: $25

Join Curator of Special Collections Curt DiCamillo for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of the art held within the walls of the New England Historic Genealogical Society Library and Archives, including, European masterpieces, American portraiture, early furniture, and other artifacts. View a rarely seen Copley, an original piece from John Hancock’s drawing room, an exquisite example of 18th-century quilling, and other fine examples of American decorative arts. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience the NEHGS fine art collection with an internationally recognized art historian as your guide. Reception to follow. Register today.

Special Exhibit

April 18 – October 31, 2017 – Voices of War: Americans in World War I, 1917-1918
Presented by NEHGS Special Collections, Jewish Heritage Center, and Historic Newton
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
Tuesday – Saturday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Cost: Free and open to the public

One hundred years ago, America entered into a worldwide conflict unlike any it had known before. It was the Great War, the First World War, the War to End All Wars. Using letters, diaries, photographs, ephemera, and other special items from the collections of NEHGS, the Jewish Heritage Center, and Historic Newton, this exhibit brings to life the story of two American soldiers: Charles Judd Farley and Bernard Louis Gorfinkle. Farley was an ambulance driver with the American Expeditionary Forces and the United States Motor Transport Corps; Gorfinkle a Judge Advocate with the American Expeditionary Forces, 26th Yankee Division. Farley volunteered to serve with France in 1916; Gorfinkle traveled to France with his Division in 1917. Throughout the building, visitors will learn about the War through the experiences of these two men. Richly illustrated panels also tell of the American Red Cross, the role of women on the front lines, the Jewish American experience in the US military, and more. The exhibit is self-guided. If you would like to arrange for a guided tour or a group visit, please contact education@nehgs.org or call 617-226-1226.