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.

| May | June | Conferences | Exhibits | Online Events |

May

May 16 - Bearing Witness: The Story of the Nentershausen Synagogue
A Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center Event
Presented by Stephen Denker
Adams Street Shul, 168 Adams Street, Newton, MA
8:00 - 9:15 PM Cost: FREE

On Kristallnacht, the synagogue in the small rural village of Nentershausen, in Hessen, Germany was damaged, but not destroyed. In 1987, the derelict building was redeemed. It was dismantled, moved to Hessenpark in Neu-Anspach, Germany and rebuilt, the witness to Jewish presence. Its desecrated lintel above the Torah Ark is on exhibit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). Join author Stephen Denker, who will discuss his book, The Nentershausen Synagogue, about a Jewish community in Germany—before and after the years of Nazi tyranny—told through the stories of the community’s cherished synagogue, and two of its surviving families. The Nentershausen Synagogue is currently available at the USHMM gift shop. To order your copy in advance, please call the museum directly at 1-800-259-9998 or 202-488-6144. Note: The entrance of Adams Street Shul includes the use of stairs. Register today.

May 18 - NEHGS is coming to Arizona! It’s in the Genes: Leveraging DNA in Your Family History Research
Presented by Genealogists Christopher C. Child and Pam Holland
The Heard Museum, 2301 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM Cost: $125, includes five lectures, breakfast, lunch, access to museum galleries, and wine reception

Whether you’re completely new to DNA testing or you have already taken a DNA test—or two or three—this full-day seminar will provide you with the knowledge, tools, and strategies to interpret your results, make important genealogical connections, and take your family history research to the next level. Register today!

May 22 - 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.

May 22 - Tracing Lafayette's Trail
in partnership with the Hannah Winthrop Chapter, DAR
Presented by Julien Icher, Founder of the Layfayette Trail Project
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA
6:00 - 7:30 PM Cost: FREE

Julien Icher is the Founder and Executive Director of The Lafayette Trail ( www.thelafayettetrail.com)—a Franco-American effort to document, map, and mark the footsteps of General Lafayette across the United States during his 1824-1825 Farewell Tour. As the co-vice-chairman of the committee in charge of promoting the 2024-2025 Bicentennial of the Triumphal Tour for the American Friends of Lafayette, he is deeply committed to the success of the missions bestowed upon him by the Consul General of France in Boston. This presentation will highlight Julien's efforts with the Massachusetts and New Hampshire state legislatures while discussing his experience traveling more than 22,000 miles across the United States almost 200 years after Lafayette's fourth and last visit to his adopted land. Diaries and correspondence from NEHGS special collections documenting portions of Lafayette's farewell tour will be on display. Register today.

May 28 - Gardens of the Arts & Crafts Movement
in partnership with the Nichols House Museum
Presented by Judith B. Tankard
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA
6:00 - 7:30 PM Cost: $15

In this illustrated lecture, landscape scholar Judith B. Tankard surveys the inspiration, characteristics, and development of garden design during the Arts & Crafts Movement. Tankard presents a selection of houses and gardens of the era from Britain and the United States, with an emphasis on the diversity of designers who helped forge a truly distinct approach to garden design. Her lecture is the first event in a series of exhibition programming for The Gardens of Rose Standish Nichols, 1890-1935 opening May 16, 2019 at the Nichols House Museum. Judith B. Tankard is a landscape historian, award-winning author, and preservation consultant. She taught at the Landscape Institute of Harvard University for more than twenty years. She is the author or coauthor of ten books on landscape history, including Gardens of the Arts & Crafts Movement, Ellen Shipman and the American Garden and Beatrix Farrand: Private Gardens, Public Landscapes. A popular lecturer in the United States and Britain, Judith is a speaker at symposia and conferences devoted to the preservation of historic landscapes. Register today through the Nichols House Museum.

June

June 1 and June 8 - Capturing Family Stories with Your Cell Phone, Two-Part Workshop
Presented by Bob Craigue, multiple Emmy-winning Videographer, Editor, and Producer
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
2:00 PM–3:30 PM Cost: $30

Every family has a story to tell. Why not capture these memories with something you carry with you every day— your cell phone! In this workshop held over two Saturdays in June, students will learn the basic skills needed to record their story: composition, lighting, audio, interviewing, editing, and publishing to the web. Every camera has it's pluses and minuses, so we will also look at point and shoot cameras and small video cameras.

Session 1: In the first part of the workshop you will learn pro tricks and techniques for lighting, audio, and composition. Students will practice by filming each other.
Session 2: In the second part of the workshop you will learn how to edit your video using iMovie—a free editing software for your Apple laptop. Microsoft no longer has a free editing product for PC users, however, we will discuss a few PC options. Finally we will demonstrate how to publish your finished video to YouTube.

NOTE: To best prepare for the class, please make space on your phone by saving all video and photos from your cellphone to a computer; if using a digital point and shoot camera or video camera, please empty the SDHC cards. All phones and cameras should be fully charged. You may also wish to bring a tripod or desktop stand for your camera. Register today!

June 7 - Essex, England: the Home of the Mayflower?
Part of our First Friday Lecture Series
Presented by Linda MacIver, Essex England Record Office
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
12:00 PM–1:00 PM Cost: FREE

The voyage of the Mayflower in 1620 is seen as a defining moment in American history with millions of living Americans able to trace their ancestry back to the ship’s passengers. Join Linda MacIver as she examines the early and final history of the Mayflower and the ship’s close connections to the county of Essex. Linda serves as the New England representative for the Essex England Record Office. She is recently retired from the Boston Public Library where she inaugurated the patron genealogy classes. Attendees are welcome to use the library resources after the lecture. Register today!

June 8 - 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.

June 12 - Using AmericanAncestors.org
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA
12:00–1:00 PM Cost: FREE

AmericanAncestors.org is the most-used genealogical society website in the world. It provides family historians access to more than 1.4 billion records spanning the U.S. and beyond, including one of the most extensive online collections of early American records, and the largest searchable collection of published genealogical research journals and magazines. Learn what online resources exist, how to navigate the website, perform effective database searches, browse our collections online, and more. Register today!

June 19 - 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.

June 21 - Kreplach & Dim Sum—Yes, there are Jews in China!
A Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center Event
in partnership with the Chinese Historical Society of New England
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA
7:00–9:00 PM Cost: $36; Shabbat Dinner and Performance

Join acclaimed musician and presenter Robyn Helzner and the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center in partnership with the Chinese Historical Society of New England, for a special evening of music, education, entertainment, and dinner. The extraordinary presence of Jews in China is celebrated in this unforgettable presentation featuring lively stories, photos, video, and music. Learn about the history of Jews in China from the 8th and 9th century to present day, focusing on the areas of Kaifeng, Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong. Items from the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center archives will also be on display. Kosher-style dinner catered by Mei Mei. Register today!

June 22, June 29, and July 6 - Building Your Genealogical Skills, Three-Week Class
Presented by Ann Lawthers, Genealogist
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA
2:00–4:00 PM Cost: $75

Take your research skills to the next level! With the sheer number of online resources at your fingertips, it's easy to dive in to your family history research without any formal training as a genealogist. Certainly you'll learn along the way, and devise your own methods, but it's also easy to become overwhelmed and form bad habits. Whether you are new to genealogy, want to refresh your skills, or learn best practices, this course will set you on the right path to getting the most out of your family history research. Topics include: how to record your findings, strategies for analyzing records, online research, and more. Each class includes skill-building exercises to help students apply their new found knowledge. Register today!

Conferences

May 8 - 11, 2019
NGS Family History Conference
St. Charles, MO

Join NEHGS, fellow family history enthusiasts, seasoned genealogy experts, and other organizations at the 2019 NGS Conference. Choose from more than 150 lectures presented by many nationally recognized speakers, explore an exhibit hall filled with more than 80 exhibitors, and network with more than 2,000 genealogists. 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.