Events and Programs

NEHGS events in and around Boston

Coronavirus Information

Learn with NEHGS experts and partner organizations at dozens of lectures, seminars, workshops, and other special events, offered each year at the American Ancestors Research Center and in the greater Boston area.

| March | April |Conferences | Exhibits | American Inspiration author series | Online Events |

MARCH

CANCELLED - March 18 - 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.

POSTPONED - March 19 - Stephen Puleo with Voyage of Mercy: The USS Jamestown, the Irish Famine, and the Remarkable Story of America's First Humanitarian Mission
Part of our American Inspiration Author Series
American Ancestors Research Center, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
6:00 PM–7:00 PM Cost: $12.50 Admission; $34.00 Admission + Signed Book

The author of Dark Tide and American Treasure, a celebrated Boston historian, returns with Voyage of Mercy: The USS Jamestown, the Irish Famine, and the Remarkable Story of America’s First Humanitarian Mission—an inspiring tale of generosity.

POSTPONED - March 21 - Using Land Records in Family History Research
Presented by Chief Genealogist David Allen Lambert
New Hampshire Historical Society, 30 Park Street, Concord, NH
1:00 PM–4:00 PM Cost: $35 Members; $50 Not-Yet Members

Land records are an important, but sometimes overlooked resource for many family historians. Hidden in the “metes and bounds” and other legalese, there can be critical clues to identifying extended family members, the location of ancestral homelands, and family relationships. Join the New England Historic Genealogical Society’s Chief Genealogist David Allen Lambert to learn how you can locate, read, and apply the information contained in land records to your own family history.

POSTPONED - March 24 - Honor Moore with Our Revolution: A Mother and Daughter at Mid-Century
Part of our American Inspiration Author Series
American Ancestors Research Center, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
2:00 PM–3:00 PM Cost: $12.50 Admission; $34.00 Admission + Signed Book

The author of The Bishop’s Daughter and The White Blackbird will discuss her new biography-memoir, Our Revolution—the story of her mother and herself, and the changing lives of 20th-century women—with author Claire Messud (The Burning Girl, The Emperor’s Children).

POSTPONED - March 25 - Journey Back in Time: In Search of Crypto-Jewish Ancestors
Presented by Genie Milgrom
A Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center event in partnership with Vilna Shul and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston
American Ancestors Research Center, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
6:30 PM Cost: FREE

Tracing her family back 15 generations to 1405 pre-Inquisition Spain, Genie Milgrom was able to unravel the web of lies and deceit that her family had spun around themselves in order to survive the Spanish Inquisition. This fascinating story brought her on a journey she could have never imagined. NOTE: This program will be rescheduled for a later date.

POSTPONED - March 28 - Women in 19th Century American Bookbinderies
Presented by Todd Pattison, Conservator and Dr. Elizabeth DeWolfe
American Ancestors Research Center, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
1:00 PM–2:00 PM Cost: FREE

Have you seen the recent film Little Women and want to learn more about book production in the 1860s? This was a time of dynamic changes for bookbinding in America as binderies evolved from small shops employing a handful of workers to large factories. This talk will examine these changes and the crucial role that female labor played in the industrialization of bookbinding in the middle part of the nineteenth century. NOTE: This program will be rescheduled for a later date.

CANCELLED - March 30 - TaraShea Nesbit, Beheld
In Partnership with the Boston Public Library
Commonwealth Salon, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston Street, Boston
6:00 PM–7:30 PM Cost: FREE

Join us for a conversation with TaraShea Nesbit about Beheld, which is about a murder and a trial, and the motivations-personal and political-that cause people to act in unsavory ways. It is also an intimate portrait of love, motherhood, and friendship that asks: Whose stories get told over time, who gets believed-and subsequently, who gets punished?

APRIL

View a full list of our upcoming online program offerings for April.

CONFERENCES

April 4 - 5, 2020
Massachusetts Genealogical Council Seminar: Origins & Destinations
Lowell, Massachusetts

Enjoy two days of exciting programs, exhibitor tables, and conversations with fellow family historians! Attend sessions by editor of the Mayflower Descendant Christopher C. Child and Director of the Great Migration Study Project Robert Charles Anderson, FASG and visit with American Ancestors staff at our table and receive special discounts on memberships, books, and services. Learn more about the seminar and register today!

May 20 - 23, 2020
NGS Family History Conference
Salt Lake City, Utah

Join thousands of family historians and genealogists in Salt Lake City, Utah, 20–23 May 2020, for the National Genealogical Society’s 42nd Annual Family History Conference. Choose from more than 175 lectures and special programs with a variety of topics to enhance your research techniques and fine-tune your analysis and problem solving skills. Attend lectures by American Ancestors Chief Genealogist David Allen Lambert and meet staff, receive special discounts, and more at our booth. Learn more about the conference and register today!

EXHIBITS

Philadelphia in Boston: The Art of The Curtis Publishing Company
Permanent Exhibit
2nd Floor, NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
Free and open to the public during regular library hours

In the early 20th century The Curtis Publishing Company was one of the largest and most influential companies in the United States. Founded in Philadelphia in 1891 by Portland (Maine) native Cyrus Curtis, the company dominated the American cultural scene with titles like The Ladies’ Home Journal and The Saturday Evening Post. This exhibition tells the Curtis story using the company’s most lasting legacy: the iconic, beautiful, and influential covers the company commissioned for their magazines.

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.