We had our first day of class this week at the AAS. It was very exciting! We had part of our class in the Goddard-Daniels House. It is very beautiful and antique looking in the house. We discussed some of the reading we had done and got to know everyone that is participating in the seminar. After that, we went over to the library! We got a tour of the entire building except for the reading room. There were so many fascinating things to learn about on the tour. We got to see a printer that belonged to Isaiah Thomas. He founded the AAS and was a printer in Boston before fleeing to Worcester during the early phases of the American Revolution. I found the printer itself to be very interesting. The process using a printing press is very tedious and difficult. Every single letter needs to be loaded into a tray before it can be placed in the machine and if an apprentice drops it, all that work is lost! Another part of the tour was seeing where all the documents and books are kept. I was fascinated to learn that there are about 4 million different pieces in their collection and that they have 25 miles of bookshelves! The area where the books are kept has to be dark and temperature controlled so they can be preserved. We also got to touch some of the documents and examine the type of paper, or rather linen, on which they were printed. It felt very strange being able to touch artifacts that are so old! I am very eager to see what kinds of sources we will be examining in the coming weeks!