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.


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

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…