Monday, January 26, 2009

New Acquisition in Special Collections

We are thrilled to highlight our most recent acquisition: The Repertory newspaper. Originally published in 1803 in Newburyport, Massachusetts, as the New England Repertory, the paper moved to Boston in 1804 and changed its name to The Repertory and later to The Repertory and General Advertiser. It was published until 1820 and was an early National Era newspaper published in broadsheet format. Despite its name, this paper does not address the theater. Rather, this is a news-of-the-day publication filled with interesting reports on the news and issues of Boston and the rest of the nation.

Ken Herrara, Director of News and Information at WISN-AM radio in Milwaukee, was generous enough to donate a bound volume of the Repertory from 1809 and 1810. We are grateful to Mr. Herrara, a collector of historic newspapers, who is eager to ensure that these primary sources are in "a public place where they are accessible to all."

Page One (below the fold) of the March 14, 1809 edition of The Repertory includes a full transcription of President James Madison’s inaugural address (pictured). Paying homage to his predecessor and fellow Virginian, Thomas Jefferson, Madison also gave a nod to such enduring values in presidential speeches as peace and liberty.

These issues of The Repertory from 1809 and 1810 help fill out our holdings. The State Library of Massachusetts already owns issues of this paper from 1806, 1808, and 1817. In addition, this gift is a valuable addition to our collection of newspapers published in Boston and towns across Massachusetts that date from the 18th and 19th centuries.

-Paige Roberts, Head of Special Collections