5.12.15_feat
“What the business requires”: Early 20th Century Firefighting in NYC
May 12, 2015

This post was written by Marybeth Kavanagh, Reference Librarian for Prints, Photographs and Architectural Collections On July 31, 1865, Engine Company 1 of the new Metropolitan Fire Department went into service, and the transition from a volunteer to a paid professional fire department in New York City had begun. The Metropolitan Fire Dept. was originally…

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5.6.15_feat
“A Terrible Mass of Wood, Iron, Steam, and Water – and Worst of all Lives and Souls!!” – Dwight C. Harris, Lusitania Survivor
May 6, 2015

This post was written by Tammy Kiter, Manuscript Reference Librarian. On the morning of May 1, 1915, the German Embassy in the United States placed ads in New York newspapers issuing serious warnings to anyone planning to travel on an Atlantic voyage; alerting them that a war zone existed in the waters adjacent to the…

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4.29.15_feat
Meaningful Utility: The Handwritten Word During the American Civil War. Part 1 of 2.
April 29, 2015

This post is by Jonah Estess, Digital Project Intern in the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library. What would we do without the written word? Written communication has been, and still is, our saving grace. The Civil War was the first time that the American military used the telegraph to communicate information across vast distances in wartime,…

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4.7.15_feat
Walt Whitman, Brotherhood, and the American Civil War
April 7, 2015

This post was written by Jonah Estess, Digital Project Intern in the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library. In the N-YHS collections are three letters addressed from Walt Whitman to the parents of Erastus E. Haskell, Samuel and Rosalinda Haskell. He writes to them about their son’s condition at a military hospital in Washington D.C. Walt had…

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“We Are All Americans:” Grant, Lee, and Ely Parker at Appomattox Court House
April 2, 2015

This post was written by Mariam Touba, Reference Librarian for Printed Collections. Robert E. Lee wore a puzzled look as he examined the officer’s dark features, then recovered enough to extend his hand and remark, “I am glad to see one real American here.” On that April 9 afternoon, 150 years ago, at the McLean House…

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3.11.15_feat
Cass Gilbert & the Brooklyn Waterfront
March 11, 2015

This post is by Nina Nazionale, Director of Library Operations The architectural profile of the Brooklyn waterfront, especially in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, has changed radically in the last ten years. Amidst the new, high-rise towers, stands a massive, stately low-rise. Originally known as the Austin, Nichols & Co., Inc. warehouse and now a luxury apartment…

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3.4.15_feat
“To wake the sluggards effectually”: The Beginnings of Daylight Saving Time
March 4, 2015

This post is by Samantha Walsh, Reference Assistant in the Department of Prints, Photographs & Architectural Collections The first mention of Daylight Saving Time was made by Benjamin Franklin, in a 1784 letter to the editor of the Journal de Paris. While many attribute today’s practice of turning the clocks forward and back to Franklin, it…

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2.18.15_feat
“Seven Moments of Love”—from Langston Hughes to Robert Earl Jones
February 18, 2015

This post was written by Luis Rodriguez, Library Collections Technician. Imagine a moment in Harlem in 1939. It’s inside the Community Center of the International Workers Order on West 125th Street, where the Harlem Suitcase Theater is putting on bare-bones experimental “proletariat” theatrical productions. The audience has left after a performance of Don’t You Want to…

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2.12.15_feat
Special Delivery for Valentine’s Day
February 12, 2015

This post was written by Tammy Kiter, Manuscript Reference Librarian. Like it or loathe it, Valentine’s Day is upon us. With all the advertisements for expensive jewelry, bountiful bouquets and fine dining, one might overlook the significance of a good old fashioned Valentine. Yep, a card can hold just as much meaning as a giant…

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