Event—Public Programming

Witches, Family and a Book: Tracing the History of the Newberry’s Copy of Cotton Mather’s Memorable Providences

The Newberry Library's first edition of Cotton Mather's Memorable Providences presents more than just its content. In the main text, Mather, famous for his role in the Salem Witch Trials, gives an earlier account of his experience with the "bewitched" Goodwin children in Boston. This presentation, however, focuses on the ownership marks within the Newberry's copy, which date back to the 18th century. It shows the work of tracing the history of this copy as it changed hands over the years, trying to connect individuals and, to some extent, those individuals to the historical context of witchcraft in New England by predominantly using the library's genealogical resources.