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Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness at the Boston Athenaeum

July 17, 2019 | 6:00 pm


The Boston Athenaeum has partnered with the New England Historic Genealogical Society to index and publish the waste books of the Provident Institution for Savings from 1817 to 1882. What is a “waste book,” you might ask? Waste books were traditionally used in bookkeeping as a kind of diary where daily transactions could be written down in chronological order, before being transcribed to a more permanent ledger or daybook. The waste books of the Provident Institution for Savings provide an invaluable source of information about poor and immigrant communities in Boston, particularly the Irish. In this lecture, Don LeClair will describe the project and show how you can directly contribute to making this unique data accessible. It does not require a large amount of time or special skills to create something lasting for the public good. Come hear more about this project! A reception and chance for individual discussions will follow the presentation.

Don LeClair joined NEHGS in 2016 and manages the data acquisition and systems support for NEHGS’s online database collections. He first got involved with genealogy while in college and spent many a day in the NEHGS library tracing his ancestors through New England and New York. Don also did volunteer indexing work for the library before joining the staff. Don has 30 years of experience in the software industry working in and leading engineering and product management teams focused on IT Management products. Don has a B.A. and MBA from Boston University.


Boston Athenæum
10 ½ Beacon Street
Boston, MA United States
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Did You Know?

Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.