Photo caption

185 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609-1634
A research library of American history and culture through 1876
Contact: James David Moran
(508) 471-2131 (office)
(508) 248-4694 (home)
(508) 783-5085 (cell)
E-mail: [email protected]
Photo caption for A New Plan of the Harbour of Boston in New England
In 1698, Edmond Halley (1656-1742) left his position working under Isaac
Newton at the Royal Mint in order to undertake an Atlantic voyage with the purpose of
charting the ocean’s magnetic fields. This elegant manuscript map of Boston harbor was
prepared by Halley in 1702 after his return to England. In 1705 Halley returned to his
study of the stars, calculating the orbit of the large near-Earth comet which today bears his
name. Once in the possession of Admiral Lord Richard Howe (1726-1799), commander of
the British Navy during the American Revolution, this chart came to the American
Antiquarian Society (AAS) as part of generous bequest by John W. Farwell, which more
than doubled the Society’s cartographic holdings.
This item is part of the exhibition In Pursuit of a Vision: Two Centuries of
Collecting at the American Antiquarian Society on view at the Grolier Club, 47 East 60th
Street, New York, from September 12 – November 17, 2012. This exhibition is in honor of
the Society’s bicentennial this year. In Pursuit of a Vision tells the story of the significant
collectors, librarians, and bibliographers who developed and expanded the Society’s
collections from its founding in 1812. The AAS library, located in Worcester,
Massachusetts, contains over four million items from 1640 through 1876 including the
largest collection of pre-1821 American imprints in the world.
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