A Gift from the Past: Inscription from John Quincy Adams to the Essex Historical Society

 

Oration on the Life and Character of Gilbert Motier de Lafayette

Phillips Library copy of Oration on the Life and Character of Gilbert Motier de Lafayette bound in red leather with decorative gold tooling.

Two printed copies of the John Quincy Adams speech Oration on the Life and Character of Gilbert Motier de Lafayette reside here at the Phillips Library. I thought one copy in particular, printed in Washington by Gales and Seaton in 1835, was absolutely worth sharing in honor of Adams on the 167th anniversary of his passing. Adams spoke to Congress as a member of the House of Representatives from Massachusetts, and our copy at the library includes a presentation inscription from Adams to the Essex Historical Society. If you know your PEM history, then you know that the Essex Historical Society joined with the Essex County Natural History Society to form the Essex Institute, which the merged with the Peabody Museum of Salem to become the Peabody Essex Museum as we know it today.

Read more

An Eclectic Collection

Shelf detail, DS

Library collection development can be a complex process. As a rule, unless yours is a legal deposit repository, some manner of selection has to take place. Every institution has constraints of space and budget which require limits to be set. A library chooses particular areas in which to collect and holds to those, in order to keep the collection germane to its mission. For the Phillips, a library with a long and tangled history, that mission has not remained constant, and so our collecting interests have shifted.

Read more