Aretha Franklin performs at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, Nov. 21, 2008.

Soul Survivor

The revival and hidden treasure of Aretha Franklin.
Lovin' Spoonful concert tour program booklet, 1966.

How ‘Summer in the City’ Became the Soundtrack for Every City Summer

The dog days of 1966 were filled with riots, protests and a nation on edge. But in Greenwich Village, something new was happening.
Soul singer Aretha Franklin is photographed in 1968 (May 16, 1968).

Aretha Franklin Was the Defining Voice of the 20th Century

No one else sang as well as her, and no other singer changed popular music as much as her.
Time Magazine cover, June 28, 1968.

Lady Soul Singing it Like It Is

In 1968, Time Magazine searched for the elusive definition of "soul."
Ledger Book of William Bache, with associated pieces (c. 1803-1812).

An Outline of Over 200 Years of Silhouettes

The oldest object on view shows on brown paperboard one of the earliest known images of a slave in the U.S.
A librarian at the Boston Public Library.

Being a Victorian Librarian Was Oh-So-Dangerous

In the late 19th century, more women were becoming librarians. Experts predicted they would suffer ill health and breakdowns.
The Hollywood Ten await fingerprinting by the U.S. Marshals Service, stemming from communist suspicions, November 1947.

Making the Movies Un-American

How Hollywood tried to fight fascism and ended up blacklisting suspected Communists.

The Healing Buzz of "Drunk History"

Sweet, filthy, and forgiving, it’s a corrective to the authoritative, we-know-better tone of most historical nonfiction.
Graceland's living room.

Going to Graceland

The makers of the documentary “The King” turn to Elvis Presley to understand something about the state of the country.

Rereading Childhood Books Teaches Adults About Themselves

Whether they delight or disappoint, old books provide touchstones for tracking personal growth.
Image from the cover of the Hammacher Schlemmer Spring 2016 catalog.

The World’s Most Peculiar Company

How does Hammacher Schlemmer, famous for such eccentric products as the Navigable Water Park, continue to survive in the age of Amazon?
Several volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary on a shelf.

The Draconian Dictionary Is Back

Since the 1960s, the reference book has cataloged how people actually use language, not how they should. That might be changing.