Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Leading Early American Scholarship Since 1943


Also of Interest

We are happy to share news from our friends regarding opportunities of possible interest to early Americanists. If you have something you would like to share then please contact Martha Howard at Martha.Howard@wm.edu.


New England Beginnings is a recently formed partnership of historical organizations and individuals to encourage and promote the cultures that shaped early New England. Four hundred years ago a major epidemic brought about by contact between Europeans and natives was transforming the region leading to the virtual extermination of some tribes and the weakening of others. In 1620 the Pilgrims established a settlement at Plymouth, and over the next decade other English settlements occurred, culminating in the 1630 establishment of Massachusetts. The New England Beginnings partnership is focused on 1) using the best scholarship to tell these and other stories to the general public, and 2) enhancing accessibility of resources for future scholarship in the field.

The current Regional Partners are the American Antiquarian Society, the Boston Public Library, the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, the Commonwealth Commission on Indian Affairs, the Congregational Library & Archives, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, the Harvard University Libraries Colonial North American Project, the Jonathan Edwards Center of Yale University, the Massachusetts Archives and Commonwealth Museum, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the New England Quarterly, the Old South Meeting House, the Partnership of Historic Bostons, the Peabody and Essex Museum, Pilgrim Hall Museum, the Pilgrim Society, the Plymouth Antiquarian Society, Salem in 1630: Pioneer Village, and the Tomaquag Museum.

The story of New England is an international story that ties together English and Dutch elements and the introduction of African-American slaves from Bermuda in the 1630s. Reflecting that breadth, the New England Beginnings partnership included as International Partners the Dissenting Experience initiative, the Gateway to Early Modern Manuscript Sermons, the History of Independence Project, the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, the National Museum of Bermuda, and the University of East Anglia History Department.

Advancing these efforts as Participating Scholars are Sue Allan, the official historian of Scrooby Manor; Robert Allison of Suffolk University; Robert Charles Anderson, independent scholar; Emerson Baker of Salem State College; James Baker, independent scholar; Peggy Baker, independent scholar; Stephen Curry, the tribal archivist of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe; Linford Fisher of Brown University; Katherine Grandjean of Wellesley College; David D. Hall of Harvard Divinity School; Kevin McBride of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center; Paula Peters of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe; Lynn Rhoads, editor emeritus of the New England Quarterly; Len Travers of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth; Cedric Woods of the University of Massachusetts Boston Native American Indigenous Studies Center; and Walt Woodward of the University of Connecticut.

The website for the partnership is newenglandbeginnings.org.

The program coordinator is Dr. Francis J. Bremer, Professor Emeritus of History at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, editor of the Winthrop Papers of the Massachusetts Historical Society; and a member of the board of the Congregational Library and Archives. Dr. Bremer is the author of numerous books and articles on New England’s early history and puritanism in the Atlantic world. Contact him at francis.bremer@millersville.edu.