Anne E. Bentley, Curator of Art at the
Massachusetts Historical Society writes:
For anyone in your readership who is researching and publishing Revolutionary War material, have I got a website for them...The Massachusetts Historical Society has just completed a project to document and index an online version of the newspapers of Boston merchant and Son of Liberty, Harbottle Dorr. For an overview of the project, go to
www.masshist.org/dorr/ and explore—his comments will entertain and enlighten!
Early newspapers are a valuable historical record in themselves, but a collection of newspapers annotated by a contemporary citizen is especially interesting and useful.
This collection is comprised of 805 newspaper issues primarily published between 1765 and 1776 in Boston and surrounding towns. High quality digital images of 3,969 newspaper and pamphlet pages are available.
Beginning in 1765, and continuing over a dozen years, Harbottle Dorr, Jr., a merchant and a member of the Sons of Liberty, collected, annotated, and indexed newspapers and pamphlets. He wrote that he sought “to form a political history” and arranged his collection into four volumes. See the collection outline for an overview of each volume.
Dorr was well-versed in the heated politics of the day and he annotated many newspaper pages with his opinions, cross-references to articles elsewhere in his collection, and sometimes noted the identities of anonymous contributors to the newspapers. Dorr also systematically indexed the contents of his collection, writing 4,969 index terms on 133 index pages. Digital images and electronic transcriptions are available for Dorr’s handwritten index pages. Search Dorr’s index to his collection of newspapers and pamphlets.
To view the collection, see:
THE BOOK BAZARRE
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Wayne Homren, Editor
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