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“Taken By Certain Resemblances”: Revisiting Jefferson and Sally Hemings
August 18, 2015

Although the prospect of Thomas Jefferson having fathered children with Sally Hemings, his slave, is now widely accepted, a few weeks ago I made a little discovery on the subject. As is often the case, it was largely a matter of happenstance. At the time I was skimming letters of Jared Sparks, an early editor of George…

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Civil War in 3D: Stereographs from the New-York Historical Society
Civil War in 3D: Stereographs from the New-York Historical Society
August 12, 2015

This post is by Alex Japha, Digital Preservation Intern in the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library. While 3D technology is now most associated with big-budget movies, 3D imagery is not a new concept. As part of the New-York Historical Society’s ongoing effort to make the Civil War Treasures Collection available digitally, more than 700 stereographs of the…

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Treasures of the Maritime History Collection: John Paul Jones
August 5, 2015

This post was written by Eva Gratta, New-York Historical Society Graduate Archival Research Fellow Recognized as the greatest hero of the Revolutionary Navy, John Paul Jones is remembered for his colorful life and tenacity in battle. Jones achieved his most celebrated victory as the commander of the American warship Bon Homme Richard, which defeated the British…

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Horatio Gates, Samuel Washington, and America’s Original Sin
July 28, 2015

This post is by Julia Lipkins, Reference Archivist, Manuscripts Department. Archival collections from the Revolutionary War period are thick with stories of heroic soldiers and their battles won and lost. Although less evident, collections of this era also contain documentation of what President Obama describes as the “nation’s original sin,”[i] i.e. the institution of slavery. I recently…

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The Radical Prison Press: Prison Times and Culture at Fort Delaware
July 23, 2015

This post is by Jonah Estess, Digital Project Intern in the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library. In the New-York Historical Society library collection is number one, volume one of Prison Times, a newspaper devised and edited by prisoners at the Union Army prison at Fort Delaware, Delaware. The document itself is handwritten and well organized, ready for…

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Cards versus Slips: Rufus King and Collection Concordance
July 14, 2015

This post was written by Nora Slominsky, New-York Historical Society Graduate Archival Research Fellow A key figure in the politics of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Rufus King was a powerful Federalist senator, diplomat, and attorney. In his very limited spare time, he also built and maintained one of the largest personal libraries in the Early…

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The Many Faces of a Primary Source: Philip L. White and the Beekman Family Papers
July 8, 2015

This post was written by John C. Winters, a New-York Historical Society Graduate Archival Research Fellow Sometimes, the sources historians use are not all we believe them to be. Whether a primary source collection is incomplete, transcribed and edited heavily or simply consists of unreadable copies of the originals, historians need to be wary about…

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“Some relicks of Genl. Washington”: The Misadventures of the Washington Papers
July 1, 2015

On December 18, 1836, Henry Van Der Lyn penned a letter to his nephew describing a visit to the Georgetown home of Col. George Corbin Washington, with a former student, Congressman Aaron Ward. As they prepared to leave, George Washington’s grand-nephew called them back to show them “some relicks” of his esteemed great uncle. In his…

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Seal and Flag of the City of New York, edited by John B. Pine (1915) F128 CR114.P6
Of Seals and Rampant Beavers: New York City’s Flag on its 100th Birthday
June 23, 2015

This post was written by Mariam Touba, Reference Librarian for Printed Collections Well, not those seals, as in, mammals sunning themselves on rocks.  We talk here of a heraldic emblem or insignia.  New York City’s seal and flag celebrate their 100th birthday this week, and yes, beavers are always a big part of the story.  The…

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