Social History Events in Greater Boston area this spring

This is just a handful of the many events going on at the living museums, historical societies, and repositories. Browse through their calendars to see what else is offered. Let me know about other events to be added.


Ongoing: Finding Home: Stories from a Neighborhood of Newcomers (Strawbery Banke, NH)
Uses stories to explore the experiences of immigrants in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Ongoing: Freemasonry exhibits (Lexington, MA)
Several exhibits focus on ritual books, brotherhood and Masonic gifts

Through April 18: Women in Medicine exhibit (Cambridge, MA)
Tells the story of female medical professionals from 1850-present and the barriers they fought against in order to provide medical care

Through April 19: Journeys and Discoveries: The Stories Maps Tell (Lexington, MA)
Explore how maps are created, and how various groups of people, including students, travelers, merchants, and politicians used maps.

Through May 23: Tell It with Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Shaw Memorial (Mass Historical Society, Boston, free)
This exhibition tells the story of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, one of the first African-American regiments to fight in the Civil War, and the monument commemorating the storming of Fort Wagner.


April 17: John Demos (author talk) about the Heathen School (Boston Athenaeum, free)
Explores the Heathen School, which brought together students from all societies in order to “Christianize” them. Their acculturation into the local community (and marriage with locals) intensified racism. Click on link on right side of page for this event for more details. (John Demos is one of my favorite authors in the social history genre, and one of the historians who pioneered social history in the 1970s)

April 21: Patriot’s Day at Old Sturbridge Village (Sturbridge, MA)
Talk with men going off to join the battle at Lexington and Concord, talk with the women left behind, and learn how to make a cartridge and other hands-on activities.

April 23: Zabdiel Boylston Adams (Mass Historical Society, Boston, free)
Adams was a innovative surgeon in the Civil War. After noticing how many soldiers died while being taken off the battle field for treatment, he tried new on-site treatments in the field to save lives. He was captured and self-treated his leg infected with gangrene with nitric acid. Click on calendar link for more details. Registration required.

April 25: The End(s) of Revolution Symposium (Brandeis University, free)
Panel discussion about three different revolutions: The French Revolution, The Haitian Revolution and the American Revolution.

April 26: American Canadian Genealogical Society Conference (Manchester NH, free).
All day conference. The event I am most interested in is a talk in the afternoon by Pauline Cusson about New England Captives about the lives of those who returned to New England and those who stayed in Canada.

April 26: A Primer on conducting historical research (American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA $10).
Workshop led by Mary Fuhrer with a focus on the 18th century and uncovering the tidbits

April 26-27: A Weekend of 17th Century Samplers (Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, MA $240-$300)
The 2 day special event will focus on the samplers from the 17th century and the girls who created them. Scroll down to April 26 and then click on link.

 May 10: Walking Tour of Boston Black Heritage Trail (Boston, free)
2 hour walking tour by The Boston African American National Historic Site. Click on calendar link for more details. Registration required.

May 13: Slavery in the Bowels of a free and Christian County: People of Color and the Struggle for Freedom in Revolutionary Massachusetts (American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA)
Explores the relationship of the struggles of people of color in Central Massachusetts and the new political ideas of freedom.

May 18: Natural Plimoth: Holistic Healing (Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, MA)
Explores the ideas behind medical treatments and theories in the 1600s. Scroll down to May 18 and click on link.

 June 20-22: The Dublin Seminar: Sports and Recreation in New England (Historic Deerfield, MA)
Explores sports and recreation in New England, primarily in the 19th and 20th centuries

And don’t forget to check out GeneaWebinars for upcoming webinars (most are free) on a a variety of topics.

Heather Wilkinson Rojo has also compiled a nice list of April genealogy events in the New England area.

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