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Grant number like: LI-50370-07

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Boston Public Library Trustees (Boston, MA 02116-2813)
Elizabeth Prindle (Project Director: January 2007 to July 2013)

Libraries Implementation
Public Programs

$299,310 (approved)
$299,310 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2007 – 6/30/2012

John Adams Unbound: The Library of a President

Implementation of a traveling panel exhibition with public programs to go to 20 libraries nationwide about how Adams' passion for reading shaped his life and his actions as a national leader.

The Boston Public Library (BPL) requests $299,310 to implement a traveling facsimile-panel exhibition entitled John Adams Unbound, to be adapted from the 2006-2007 gallery exhibition at the BPL-Copley Square. This exhibition uses the lens of President John Adams's personal library of 3,500 volumes--willed by Adams to the people of Massachusetts and permanently deposited at the BPL in 1894--to reveal for a national audience how the intellectual content and historical context of Adams's reading reflected, shaped, and informed his world and revolutionary views. From youth through old age, Adams recorded thousands of interpretive comments in handwritten notes throughout the margins of hundreds of his books. Until 2005, the majority of these had never been fully transcribed or made accessible to the public. This groundbreaking exhibition charts the development of Adams's political and moral convictions through the analysis and interpretation of his library and personal annotations.