Man at computer

January 2, 2003

Contact: James David Moran
Director of Outreach
Office: (508) 471-2131
Home: (508) 248-4694

WORCESTER, MA - Today marks the launch of the newest issue of Common-place, the award-winning American history web journal, at This installment includes essays investigating the digitalization of George Washington's papers at the Library of Congress, Americans' devotion to the national flag, and the world of female miniature portrait painters.

Common-place's January issue also includes a story on boxing in nineteenth-century New Orleans, by Melissa Haley, a manuscript archivist at the New-York Historical Society. In "Biography and Pseudobiography," Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Kenneth Silverman examines the act of writing lives. And in "VoxPop," J. M. Mancini of the University of Sussex contemplates the revival of America's interest in folk music. Book reviews and the journal's other regular columns wrestle with the Salem witch trials, the origins of the American Revolution, and slavery in the Southwest borderlands.

About Common-place

The web journal aims to provide "a common place for exploring and exchanging ideas about early American history and culture," said co-editor Jill Lepore. "A bit friendlier than a scholarly journal, a bit more scholarly than a popular magazine, Common-place speaks ñ and listens ñ to scholars, museum curators, teachers, hobbyists, and just about anyone interested in American history before 1900." The first issue of Common-place was published on the Internet in the fall of 2000.

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 Street, Worcester, MA 01609-1634; telephone (508) 755-5221.

About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

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.

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