Monday, November 23, 2015

State Library’s Bradford Manuscript on Public Television

On Tuesday, November 24 and Thursday, November 26 (Thanksgiving Day) at 8pm EST, PBS will air a new film by documentary film-maker Ric Burns of Steeplechase Films called The Pilgrims. The film documents the political, economic, religious and historical forces that led to the Pilgrim’s migration to New England and their settlement at Plimoth Plantation in 1620.

Mr. Burns and his production crew spent an entire day in the State Library’s Special Collections Department in November 2014, working under the careful supervision of multiple staff members to film selected portions of the Bradford Manuscript, the hand-written journal by Mayflower passenger William Bradford, one of the original Mayflower passengers. In 1630, Bradford started to write an account of the Pilgrim’s history and travels, starting in England, moving to the Netherlands, crossing the Atlantic, and then their first thirty years in Massachusetts.

The resulting “Bradford Manuscript,” considered a treasure of the Commonwealth, plays an important role in the film’s narrative.

The State Library has digitized the entire volume, and it is available for public viewing through the Library’s digital repository, DSpace.