More than a year ago, the Massachusetts Historical Society began publishing the diaries of John Quincy Adams on Twitter. Adams was a prolific diarist, writing something everyday from the age of 12 until he died, leaving behind 14,000 pages. Since Twitter only allows posts of 140 characters, it may be centuries until the project is complete. Still, each day I look forward to my small nugget from John Quincy Adams.
This Adams-Tweets also gave me a Lowell-centric idea. In 1868 Lowell resident Charles Cowley wrote the “Illustrated History of Lowell” which covered the city’s history from before the English arrived until just after the American Civil War. Long out of copyright, the book is now freely available on Google Books for viewing and download. Like Adams’ diaries, Cowley’s book is filled with fascinating facts about our city’s history making it the perfect candidate for a long-term Twitter project. So tonight I’ll begin Tweeting the “Illustrated History of Lowell” (or at least my own abridged version of it). If you’d like to follow along, click the Twitter icon in the right sidebar and then click “follow” when my Twitter page appears. For those of you not ready to make the leap into Twitter, I’ll try to post a compilation of each week’s Tweets here on this blog each Sunday.