We are an intergenerational team of scholars tracing the multiple ways in which a much earlier set of readers, also intergenerational, also male and female, read–how they studied, annotated, and used almanacs and Bibles, pamphlets on witchcraft and treatises on alchemy, the lives of neighbors and the wonders of nature. Reading, in the Winthrops’ world, was deadly serious. 

The members of the Winthrop Project are:

Anthony Grafton
Jennifer Rampling
Ann Blair
Frederic Clark
Richard Calis
Madeline McMahon
Christian Flow

The Winthrop Project will produce a database of the Winthrop books held at the New York Society Library. This will include images, transcriptions, and, where necessary, translations of the copious annotations left by various generations of readers. Two heavily annotated books that belonged to John Dee and later to John Winthrop Jr. will be digitized in full. We are also researching Winthrop materials in other libraries, including the New York Academy of Medicine, and the Massachusetts Historical Society.

We will be presenting some preliminary findings about the history of reading and science at the History of Science Society plenary session on Thursday, November 19, 6 – 7:30 pm.

This project is generously funded by the Gardner Magic Project at Princeton University. You can follow us on Twitter @WinthropProject. You can also email us at winthrops @ princeton dot edu.

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