AAS Visit

Our trip to AAS was really cool. To see newspapers, books, and and other materials exactly as those living in the 18th and 19th centuries would have seen them was really an awesome experience. I have such a solidified image in my mind of what a newspaper looks like, what a book looks like, and so on. But now that has changed and I think it will definitely help me to better understand class materials since I like to have a clear image in my mind of what we are talking about in class.

One of my favorite objects that we saw was the poster for the new post office. It talks about how The American Letter Mail Company has established new post offices in various places, such as New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore. The ad also says the company will carry only letters and that they assure customers a rapid delivery and at the cheapest rates. I think this was a cool piece of history because letters were such an integral part of communication for so many decades. I imagine a person first seeing this ad in their town or city felt joy, as they would be able to send letters to loved ones easier. It also shows how important it was to have post offices in major cities and how they catered to the areas around them.

Another object that I enjoyed looking at was the copy of The Coquette. I think this was a cool artifact because we had read the book so seeing it, as people would have when it originally came out was a nice experience. I also liked looking at the back of it to see how they had printed Eliza’s tombstone. It was also cool because the copy they had was bound, so it really did not look all that different from a book we would read today even though there are so many different ways to read books now, like with kindles and online readers .

The big book of newspapers bound together was also a fascinating object because before taking this class I hadn’t thought much about the evolution of media and newspapers. Though we had seen some examples in class and online, to see it in person as those hundreds of years ago would have was really cool. The ads for lost slaves, animals and stolen property were interesting because seeing the actual object made it so much easier to imagine a person behind whatever the ad was for. The articles published also varied from news, to letters that conveyed the news, and so on, so that was neat. I think this most contributed to my understanding of media and communications, and how we take for granted the ease of which we gather and have information. Overall, I really enjoyed the field trip and woul like to see what else they have in their collection.

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