The Piccirilli Brothers, 1930.

Six Italian Immigrants From the Bronx Carved Some of the Nation’s Most Iconic Sculptures

The Lincoln Memorial, the NY Public Library lions, and the senate pediment of the US Capitol Building are among their creations.

American Beauties

How plastic bags came to rule our lives, and why we can’t quit them.

Podcasting the Past

Why historians should stop worrying and embrace the rise of history podcasts by non-scholars.
Street art of author Virginia Woolf (2018).

The Rare Women in the Rare-Book Trade

When most people hear the term rare books, they imagine an old boys’ club of dealers seeking out first editions, mostly by men.
Aretha Franklin performs the national anthem at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

When Aretha Franklin’s ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Drew a Torrent of Racial Abuse

Racist critics declared that Franklin ‘crucified’ the anthem at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
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.