Abby Goes Digital! Highlights

events held March 27-29, 2014
Mary Plummer and Tom Lydick
Mary Plummer and Tom Lydick

Abby Goes Digital! was a series of events held March 27—29, 2014, to celebrate the digitizing of the letters of Abby Kelley Foster. These events were sponsored by the American Antiquarian Society, Mechanics Hall, Worcester Historical Museum, and Worcester Women’s History Project.

Dr. Casey King wrote on April 4th:

"Abby Kelley’s letters were once hidden treasures available only to fortunate scholars and enlightened others lucky enough to have the time and expertise to "find her" in the excellent archives and historical repositories in Worcester. Digitizing those letters is the single most significant investment one can make letting the world know of her passion for human rights, her work at ending slavery, and her contribution to the woman’s rights movement. It is an affirmation that history belongs to everyone, and ensures that Abby Kelley’s contribution to the world that we now take for granted is never forgotten."

Charlotte Wharton wrote on April 4:

Dear Lynne, Thank you for a lovely evening with you, Abby and her friends. It was incredible being a part of such an exciting and wonderful event as having Abby’s papers and letters going digital for the world to see. Thank you, too, for the beautiful flowers, note cards – painted by a dear departed art friend, and for the generous gift card. An evening I shall not forget.

Love and Hugs (Helping Us Grow Spiritually)


Review of Abby Goes Digital! Workshop at the American Antiquarian Society on March 29, 2014 by Janet Davis, WWHP Steering Committee member

As part of the Abby Goes Digital! celebration weekend in March, the American Antiquarian Society held a Hands-On History Workshop, Suffragists, Teetotalers and Abolitionists: Social Reform in the Nineteenth Century, in which participants were able to see and touch some of Abby Kelley Foster’s original letters. I was fortunate enough to participate in this amazing day-long workshop. Under the tutelage of visiting scholar Thomas Augst, participants were immersed in the reform movements of the nineteenth century. The first half of the day was devoted to exploring reform and print culture and the career of John B. Gough, a noted temperance speaker. After lunch, the network of Abby Kelley Foster was investigated through an examination of Abby’s letters. What a thrill to see Abby’s words in her own script on paper! As the title of the celebration weekend implies, these letters have now been digitized and are accessible through the American Antiquarian Society website ( Of course, the finishing touch to the day was a performance by Lynne McKenney Lydick of Yours for Humanity—Abby. Lynne had worked tirelessly to see the realization of Abby’s letters available in an easily-accessible digital format. Lynne’s passion for Abby Kelley Foster is truly infectious.

Published Date: 
September 9, 2014