Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Boston University
Website URL
early republic, New England, capitalism, environment, industrialization, technology, internal improvements, railroads
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

With a long career in public history and historical administration, I am currently a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University in the American and New England Studies Program (Fields: the literature of the first half of the 19th century, material culture, the intellectual history of the long 19th century, and 20th-century environmental history). My dissertation, “‘To Try the Speed’: Adventures in the Development of Massachusetts Railroads, 1826-1850,” presents the adoption of this technology as the outgrowth of a long history of rural improvements, knowledge and technology transfer to the countryside, and rural industrialization following the War of 1812.

For 8 1/2 years, until June 2018, I was Research Coordinator and then Director of Research at the Massachusetts Historical Society. Previously, I was executive director of the New England Museum Association and the director of the Old Colony Historical Museum in Taunton, Mass.

I hold the A.B. in English and History from Salve Regina University and the M.A. in History with a Certificate in Historical Administration from Northeastern University, where I was an editorial assistant for The New England Quarterly. I am a member of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and a member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, among other organizations.

Recent Publications

Edited Collections

The Future of History: Historians, Historical Organizations, and the Prospects for the Field, with Conrad Edick Wright (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2017)

Massachusetts and the Civil War: The Commonwealth and National Disunion, ed. with Matthew Mason and Conrad Edick Wright (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2015)

What’s New about the New Immigration?: Traditions and Transformations in the United States since 1965, ed. with Marilyn Halter, Marilynn S. Johnson, and Conrad Edick Wright (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)

Margaret Fuller and Her Circles, ed. with Brigitte Bailey and Conrad Edick Wright (Hanover: University Press of New England, 2013)

Entrepreneurs: The Boston Business Community, 1700–1850, ed. with Conrad Edick Wright (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1997)

New England’s Disharmony: The Consequences of the Industrial Revolution, ed. with Douglas M. Reynolds (Kingston, R.I.: Rhode Island Labor History Society and the Labor Research Center, University of Rhode Island, 1993) 


“Introduction,” in Peter Benes, ed., Small World: Toys, Dolls, and Games in New England, Proceedings of the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife (Deerfield, Mass.: The Dublin Seminar, forthcoming)

“Pride and Asparagus: 1820s Market Gardening on the Christopher Gore Estate,” in Peter Benes, ed., Foodways in the Northeast II: A Second Helping, Proceedings of the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife (Deerfield, Mass.: The Dublin Seminar, forthcoming)

“Almost a Riot: Irish Labor Unrest on an Early Massachusetts Railroad,” in Peter Benes, ed., The Irish in New England, Proceedings of the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife (Deerfield, Mass.: The Dublin Seminar, 2016)

“For the Love of History: The Benefits of Collection-based Research,” American Association for State and Local History History News, vol. 71, no. 1 (Winter 2016): 13-17

“Introduction,” in Peter Benes, ed., Waterways and Byways, 1600-1890, Proceedings of the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife (Deerfield, Mass.: The Dublin Seminar, 2014)

“The Cotton Industry in Canton, Massachusetts, 1850–1888,” in Reynolds and Viens, eds., New England’s Disharmony 


Sibley’s Harvard Graduates: Biographical Sketches of Those Who Attended Harvard College, vol. 19, classes of 1775–1777, with Malcolm Freiberg, Edward W. Hanson, Eric Streiff, and Conrad Edick Wright (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, forthcoming)

The 2008 Economic Recession in New England Museums: Executive Directors’ Response (Arlington, Mass.: New England Museum Association, 2009)

The Employer’s Handbook, 7th ed., with Charlotte Perkins Cutler and Naomi Joshi (Arlington, Mass.: The New England Museum Association, 2004)

Review of Patricia Cleary, Elizabeth Murray: A Woman’s Pursuit of Independence in Eighteenth-Century America, in The New England Quarterly, March 2001, pp. 158-161

“Alva E. S. V. Belmont,” American National Biography (N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 1998)


Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
Expertise by Topic
Capitalism, Environment, Museums, Public History