Man at computer

January 1, 2002

WORCESTER, MASS.--The on-line history journal Common-place begins the new year with the January 2002 issue in which readers are invited to take on the role of armchair detective, amateur archaeologist, and ardent photographer exploring the past in the comfort of the present. This issue, available free of charge at, offers the first installment of Joshua Brown's serial novel, "The Hungry Eye," featuring historical characters Peleg Padlin and Little Waddley, pictorial artists for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, and their misadventures while touring New York's netherworld. Brown is director of the American Social History Project at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. His Beyond the Lines: Pictorial Reporting, Everyday Life, and the Crises of Gilded Age American will be published this year by University of California Press.

In this issue's new popular culture column, "Vox Pop," Simone Zelitch looks at the historical American Girl dolls created by the Pleasant Company, now a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. In another feature, University of South California's, Gregory Fried, takes readers on a digital tour of how race was represented in early American daguerrotypes. And finally, from "The Common School", high school history teacher, Dean Eastman, and his students "tiptoes through the tombstones" in local cemeteries to learn about the evolution of Puritan New England gravestones.

The January 2002 issue of Common-place will be on-line through March and then available among the journal's archived issues on the website. Individuals may "subscribe" to the journal in order to be notified of the publication of each issue and occasional between-issue "extras." Common-place readers can join in the discussion of any of the journal's features by visiting the "Republic of Letters," a message board on the website.

About Common-place

Common-place is designed to be a cross between a scholarly journal and popular magazine, where scholars, museum curators, teachers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in American history before 1900 can explore and exchange ideas about early American history and culture. The web magazine has been named Yahoo! "pick of the week," a USA Today "hot site", and won a People's Choice Web site 500 award. Common-place was founded and is edited by two scholars, Jane Kamensky, associate professor of history at Brandeis University, and author of Governing the Tongue: The Politics of Speech in Early New England; and Jill Lepore, associate professor of history at Boston University and author of the Bancroft Prize-winning The Name of War: King Philips' War and American Identity and of A is for American: Letters and Other Characters in the Newly United States.

Two distinguished historical organizations--the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) of Worcester, Massachusetts, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History (GLI), based in New York City--have formed a partnership to sponsor and support the publication of Common-place. The editorial board of this Internet magazine of pre-twentieth century American history includes such notable historians and historical administrators as Gordon Wood, Gary Nash, John Demos, and Cary Carson.

About the American Antiquarian Society

AAS is a learned society and independent research library, specializing in all aspects of American history and culture through 1876. Founded in 1812 by the patriot printer and publisher Isaiah Thomas, AAS is the third oldest historical organization in the United States and the first to take the whole nation as its scope. The AAS library is the preeminent repository of pre-twentieth-century American printed materials and related manuscript and graphic arts materials in the world. The Society also sponsors an array of programs to encourage the use of its collections and to foster a greater understanding of American history. The main office for Common-place is at AAS, 185 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609-1634. For further information on AAS, telephone (508) 755-5221 or visit

About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

The GLI promotes the study of the American past by organizing seminars and enrichment programs for teachers; supporting and producing publications and national traveling exhibitions; creating innovative history high schools, history programs, and Saturday academies; establishing research centers at universities and cultural institutions; granting and administering a major fellowship program for work in leading archives; and seeking to build national and international networks of people and institutions involved in American history. These programs draw extensively on the Gilder Lehrman Collection, on deposit in the Pierpont Morgan Library. Numbering more than 40,000 items from Columbus to recent times, but concentrated in the period 1760-1876, it is one of the largest collections of American historical documents in private hands. For further information, call (646) 366-9666 or visit

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