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1, December 2017

William Carr Lane: St. Louis's First Mayor

William Carr Lane had a restless nature, floating from academic studies, to work, to militia fighting, to medicine. Eventually, President James Madison appointed him as “garrison surgeon’s mate” at Fort Belle Fontaine, north of St. Louis. Lane served there until 1819, when he settled in St. Louis. By this time, Lane was nearly 30, and although he maintained a continuous medical practice and served as chairman of the Department of Obstetrics at Kemper College, he began to turn more of his attention toward public office. Read more »

7, November 2017

Elijah Lovejoy: An American Martyr

“Elijah Parish Lovejoy died in Alton, Illinois, on November 7, 1837. He died, so far as is known, as the only martyr in the United States of America to the cause of the Freedom of the Press.” So reads the legal motion to close the case of Lovejoy’s estate, 100 years after his death sparked new passion in the abolitionist movement. Read more »

12, October 2017

Hidden Gems of Our Manuscript Archives

The Missouri Historical Society's Manuscript Archives contain more than 3,000 individual collections that range in size from a single document to 1,800 boxes full of documents. The vast array of material makes it difficult, if not impossible, for us archivists to know what’s in all of them. However, through our two primary tasks—processing collections and assisting researchers—we get to know the collections better.  Read more »

21, March 2017

Mighty Military Women

Women have participated in nearly every major war in this country starting as far back as the Civil War, when hundreds of women disguised themselves as men to serve as secret soldiers, and others nursed the wounded. Read more »

19, October 2016

3 Reasons to Love the Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries

One question I’m frequently asked when people find out I’m an archivist (besides “What’s an archivist?”) is: Which collection is your favorite? For me, that’s easy. I loved digitizing and transcribing the Thomas Butler Gunn diaries. Read more »

5, October 2016

From Lincoln's Pen to Your Hands

I started at the Missouri History Museum as an intern in 1997, right after graduating from college with a degree in history. My first task was to help Dennis Northcott, one of the archivists, compile a guide to the Civil War manuscripts in the Archives. Previously I had viewed the 19th century as boring, but the more I read the letters and diaries of soldiers who fought in the Civil War, the more my perspective changed. Read more »

3, October 2016

What's an Archivist Anyway?

Over the years, I’ve gotten a wide range of reactions when I tell people I’m an archivist. One lady told me not to say that too loudly. To this day I don’t know why she responded that way, but I suspect she misunderstood me and thought I’d said I was an anarchist. Read more »

20, July 2016

St. Louis's Compliments to Sherman

If you’ve ever attended a formal dinner in a grand location for the express purpose of paying homage to the featured guest, you’ve attended the modern equivalent of a mid-19th-century complimentary dinner—but probably with fewer speeches to sit through. Read more »

24, November 2015

Hairy History: The 10 Best Beards (and Mustaches) in Our Collection

In honor of No-Shave November, we're diving into the Photographs & Prints Collection to feature some of Missouri's top facial-haired folks. From gentlemanly mustaches to flowing beards, Missourians have been major players in the facial hair game for quite a while. Click through the gallery below to see for yourself!

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1, October 2014

When History and Video Games Collide

Recently, as I was browsing through our collections, I came across a piece of hardtack. I paused in surprise, and thought, “Wow. This is actually a thing.” Hardtack is something that I use every day but didn’t realize actually exists (or existed). You see, I use hardtack in a virtual world, one in which I fight for the good of humanity as I try to save the world from its own narcissistic tendencies. Read more »