A Book of War: Benjamin Church and King Philip's War


Introduction -

This online exhibit centers on the 1834 edition of The History of Philip's War, Commonly Called The Great Indian War, of 1675 and 1676, by Benjamin Church (1639-1718)* - edited by Samuel G. Drake (1798-1875).

This book is housed at The University of Southern Maine, Special Collections Library in Portland, Maine.

With the decline of public libraries and the rise of digitized mediums such as e-books and "scanned documents," the reading public is increasingly becoming less exposed to books of antiquity in physical form.

The aim of this exhibit is to show an alternative method to "digital preservation" - a way that expresses the book's character, while simultaneously preventing further handling and damage.

A Book of War explores how a mass-produced book of the 19th century can reveal a multidimensional "place" where several strands of history can be perceived.

These "strands" are revealed in four parts at the links above: The Book (The Artifact), Benjamin Church & King Philip (The Narrative), Samuel G. Drake & The Antiquarian Bookstore (The Producer), and Provenance (The Consumer).

Feel free to explore this exhibit by clicking the links above.






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* A note on authorship: Thomas Church, Benjamin Church's son, is often credited as the author, but the book has come to be known as  his father's; it was likely dictated by Captain Church to his son. Many scholars consider it a "collaborative effort."