“With a happy open smile”: An New Yorker’s 1859 Visit to the Vatican
September 22, 2015

The city is certainly abuzz with preparations for Pope Francis’ impending visit. Naturally, a pope’s visit is uncommon, and therefore an historic occasion, but it’s a surprisingly short history since the first visit to the United States didn’t occur until Paul VI’s arrival in 1965. Still, that didn’t stop Americans from the visiting the pope. The diary of dry goods…

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New York Now: The Raymond Germann Photograph Collection
September 17, 2015

The Library has recently acquired the Raymond Germann Photograph Collection, a great addition to our collection of documentary photography of contemporary New York City. With over 300 images of NYC from 1978 to 2015, the collection captures views of the ever-evolving cityscape and examines the intersection of architecture and street life. Below is a selection of Germann’s  photos that highlight the geometry of the built…

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Learning the Hard Way at the New York Parental School
September 9, 2015

If young students are feeling frustrated by the demands of the new school year, perhaps they can be grateful that they weren’t around a century ago when they might have been sent off to the New York Parental School in Flushing, Queens. The boys pictured here were deemed to be habitual truants and troublemakers and…

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“People generally are improving in their knowledge of good Tea”: 19th Century Americans & Tea
September 2, 2015

This post was written by Samantha Walsh, Reference Assistant in the Department of Prints, Photographs & Architectural Collections  On September 9, 1828, a member of the Townsend family attended a tea auction at Lippincott & Richards auction house in Philadelphia. While the purchase of tea by a New York merchant is not surprising, I was intrigued…

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Inside a Civil War Prison Camp: Sketches from Point Lookout
August 26, 2015

This post is by Alex Japha, Digital Preservation Intern in the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library. As part of our ongoing effort to re-launch the digital collection Civil War Treasures from the New-York Historical Society, formerly hosted by the Library of Congress’ American Memory website, we have made available 42 sketches from the Union prison camp at Point Lookout, Maryland….

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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 was written 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…

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