Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Check Out the Records of the Boston Committee of Correspondence

Mark Boonshoft, a post-doctoral research fellow at the New York Public Library, informs us that records of the Boston Committee of Correspondence (1772-1774) are now freely available online. Here is a taste of his post at the blog of the NYPL:

Looking back on the Revolution in 1815, John Adams remarked that “The History of the United States never can be written” without the records of the Boston Committee of Correspondence. When it was formed in 1772, the BCC was the closest thing to an organizing body of the nascent American revolutionary movement.  From that year through 1774, when the First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, the BCC corresponded with similar committees in hundreds of Massachusetts towns, as well as from every one of the thirteen colonies.  It was the central node in a growing revolutionary network.  According to Adams at least, the BCC was not merely significant for American history but also for world history. He argued that the BCC provided a model for future European revolutions...

As part of an ongoing project to digitize large portions of the New York Public Library’s early American manuscript collections, NYPL has made the records of the Boston Committee of Correspondence freely available online.  Over the next couple of months, I’ll periodically blog about the collection, especially with an eye toward making it accessible for students.  And we certainly hope this will reinvigorate researchers’ interest in the collection.  But keeping with the Library’s mission to make knowledge available to all, we hope everyone who is interested in the history of the American Revolution will also dive into this rich material.