John Adams Unbound marks the first public exhibition of the complete personal library of founding father and lifelong book collector, John Adams.
Designed by C&G Partners, New York, John Adams Unbound features more than 3,800 books from Adams’s personal library. Held by the Boston Public Library since 1894, the John Adams collection is of particular historical importance because hundreds of books retain a permanent record of John Adams’s interactions with his library. He read with a pen clasped firmly in hand, and scores of volumes contain Adams’s handwritten commentary in the margins. These private notes often represent a lively dialogue between Adams and the author, moments where he felt compelled during his reading to respond to the printed text with force, passion and his unique – and often testy – insights. His books also feature original family signatures, acquisition dates, purchase amounts, drawings, inscriptions, and a wide variety of family bookplates, as well as loose manuscripts, newspaper clippings and handwritten indices.
This landmark event is the culmination of a three-year project by the Boston Public Library to catalog, preserve, digitize and provide access to the extraordinary personal library of America’s second president and was made possible by federal grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the General Services Administration (GSA). An online John Adams Library will be made available to the public soon!
September 22, 2006 - April 1, 2007
Exhibition open during all library hours
Guided Tours beginning September 30th
Thursdays at 6 p.m. & Saturdays at 2 p.m.