Samuel V. Chamberlain, Marblehead Artist and Photographer

A Lane at Vez, watercolor by Samuel Chamberlain, undated

One of my favorite manuscript collections in the Phillips Library is that of Samuel V. Chamberlain, noted artist and photographer. Early in his life, while living in Europe, he sketched all that he saw and later in life, he traveled all over New England, photographing homes and local landmarks.

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Documents of Musical Life in Salem

March for the 35th Regiment, circa 1789

This blog post was written by Ann Morrison Spinney, who processed the collection under the supervision of Tamara Gaydos, as part of her internship for Introduction to Archival Services at Simmons GSLIS.

The Phillips Library contains a fascinating collection of manuscripts documenting the musical activities and tastes of local people. In this collection we can see the development of local repertories as well as the changing styles in music and dance from the late eighteenth to the late nineteenth centuries. We can listen in on public and private musical entertainments.

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Valentines from the Phillips Library

Valentines by Louis Prang, circa 1880s

The ancient custom of observing St. Valentine’s Day began with the early Romans, but the first written message using St. Valentine’s name is found in England in the late 1600s. The oldest valentines that the Phillips Library holds are these two in the Spitzenbilder style. Folk artists created papercuts in Germany in the 17th century. Austrian monks and nuns went on to create “Spitzenbilder,” splendid “lace-pictures” of cut paper.

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