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[p. 129] or interest than any other bricks or sticks in Medford, in spite of which many people will preserve them with care; and it may even be that the Medford Historical Society will, for some reason that none of its members can ever explain, find room for something of the sort on its shelves. We shall do well to get out of the amateurish relic stage as soon as possible. The boy collects pieces of the Charter Oak and the Washington Elm and the House that Jack Built; but when he becomes a man he puts away childish things and learns that the Connecticut charter probably was never put in the Charter Oak, that the greatness of Washington is not fitly illustrated by a misplaced bit of wood, and that Jack's house was no better than his next-door neighbor's.

In a thoughtful paper, read at the 1897 meeting of the American Historical Association, on ‘The Function of State and Local Historical Societies with respect to Research and Publication,’ Prof. J. F. Jameson, of Brown University, dealt in his usual clear-cut way with some of the questions considered in this article. A passage may well be quoted. Dr. Jameson is seeking for an explanation of certain shortcomings in the research and publication work of many of our historical societies. He says:

‘In the first place, should we not all agree that our older historical societies have often seemed to conceive of their respective fields and duties in too narrow, and even parochial, a sense? The reason for their existence is, of course, local history, and they win their public support, their money, and their members by devoting themselves to local history. But there are some topics of local history which are purely local and nothing else, and there are those which, while no less important to the history of the locality, are also of significance with respect to the larger life of the nation. The historical society which devotes itself to the former when it might be doing something to elucidate the latter fails of the best part of its mission. Is a subject in the history of ’

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