Explore treasures of our museum and library collections in our video series, Collections Corner. Each short video segment features a member of our staff discussing rare items in our collections, from prints and manuscripts to weapons and portraits.


An Allegorical Portrait of a French Naval Officer

Emily Parsons
October 31, 2023

Deputy Director and Curator Emily Parsons discusses an allegorical portrait from our museum collections. Completed in 1783 by Parisian artist Nicolas René Jollain, the painting depicts Thomas François Lenormand de Victot, a fallen French naval officer from the Revolutionary…

The Patriot’s Monitor

Stacia Smith
August 28, 2023

It’s back to school season! To celebrate, this month’s Collections Corner features the Institute’s director of education, Stacia Smith, discussing The Patriot’s Monitor, an 1810 American primer written by Rev. Ignatius Thomson of Pomfret, Vermont. As…

French Military Treatises of the Eighteenth Century

Joe Stoltz
June 26, 2023

Coping with the sunset that followed Louis XIV’s death, battered by a string of costly military defeats, and influenced by the intellectual currents of the Enlightenment, the French army was primed for reform in the mid-eighteenth century. Scholar…

Early French Eagle Insignias of the Society of the Cincinnati

Emily Parsons
May 13, 2023

The Society of the Cincinnati’s Eagle insignia has been the most recognizable symbol of the organization and its members for more than two hundred years. Designed in 1783 by Pierre-Charles L’Enfant, the double-sided gold insignia bears…

The New Game of the American Revolution

Stacia Smith
April 24, 2023

This segment of Collections Corner features the Institute’s director of education, Stacia Smith, discussing The New Game of the American Revolution, a 2022 acquisition from our library’s Robert Charles Lawrence Fergusson Collection. Created in 1844 by the author…

A Handkerchief Commemorating the Reign of King George III

Paul Newman
March 23, 2023

Museum Collections and Operations Manager Paul Newman discusses a commemorative handkerchief charting the reign of King George III, ca. 1812, through various political appointments, government ministries, and events of national and global interests. This handkercheif is a valuable artifact in…

Six Letters Written by Capt. Jonathan Birge

Rachel Nellis
January 21, 2023

This segment of  Collections Corner features the Institute’s research services librarian, Rachel Nellis, sharing a remarkable series of six surviving letters written from New York in the summer and fall of 1776 by Capt. Jonathan Birge of Bolton, Connecticut…

Anthony Walton White’s Silver Camp Cups

Emily Parsons
December 29, 2022

This pair of silver camp cups was owned by Anthony Walton White, an officer in the New Jersey Line and the Continental Light Dragoons during the Revolutionary War. The cups were made in Philadelphia about 1776 by silversmith Richard Humphreys…

Two Congressional Presentation Swords

Paul Newman
November 19, 2022

This segment of Collections Corner features the Institute’s Museum Collections and Operations Manager Paul Newman discussing two Congressional presentation swords from our museum collections. Resolved by Congress on November 4, 1777, one sword was awarded to Marylander Samuel Smith…

A 1770 Edition of John Milton’s Paradise Lost

Ellen McCallister Clark
October 24, 2022

On October 17, 1777, British general John Burgoyne surrendered his army to American forces under Gen. Horatio Gates. To mark the 245th anniversary of this pivotal milestone in the Revolutionary War, this edition of Collections Corner features Library Director Ellen…

Lt. William Popham’s Orderly Book

Rachel Nellis
September 25, 2022

On September 25, 1780, Benedict Arnold fled West Point and defected to the British as news of his betrayal spread. Our newest Collections Corner video features Research Services Librarian Rachel Nellis sharing an orderly book kept by Lt. William Popham…

The Historiscope: A Complete Panorama of America

Stacia Smith
August 25, 2022

The historiscope is an educational toy manufactured by Milton Bradley & Company of Springfield, Massachusetts, ca. 1868-1890. It features a scrolling set of hand-colored lithographs wound around two vertical wooden dowels with metal handles set into a cardboard…

William Truman Stoddert Portrait Miniature

Emily Parsons
July 1, 2022

This watercolor portrait miniature pictures First Lieutenant William Truman Stoddert of the Maryland Continental Line, who served in the Revolutionary War for six years. The portrait was painted about 1778 by Charles Willson Peale, the most important American artist during…

Spanish Model 1757 Flintlock Musket

Andrew Outten
June 22, 2022

The Spanish Model 1757 musket was the standard Spanish infantry firearm during the Seven Years’ War and the American Revolution. In June 1779, Spain formally declared war on Great Britain, creating a de facto alliance with the Americans and expanding…

The Institution of the Society of the Cincinnati

Ellen McCallister Clark
May 13, 2022

The most important and iconic treasure of the Society of the Cincinnati’s archives is the Institution, the document that formally established the organization of Revolutionary War veterans. On May 13, 1783, a group of Continental Army officers gathered at…

French Naval Engraving

Rachel Nellis
April 22, 2022

This recently acquired 1790 engraving depicts two French frigates, the Astrée and the Hermione, engaged in battle against a convoy of six British warships off Cape Breton Island on July 21, 1781. Engraved by François Dequevauviller, after the…

Thomas Kempton Powder Horn

Paul Newman
March 17, 2022

This engraved powder horn was made by an unidentified professional carver for Capt. Thomas Kempton of Massachusetts during the Siege of Boston in 1775. The powder horn depicts scenes of Roxbury and Boston, including the Boston lighthouse, a fort flying…