7.23.14_feat
Street Trades: The Photography of Marcus Reidenberg
July 23, 2014

“The ballet of the good city sidewalk never repeats itself from place to place, and in any one place is always replete with new improvisations.” Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. From poet Walt Whitman to activist Jane Jacobs to fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, New Yorkers have celebrated their streets as…

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5.14.14_feat
Spring Fashion, circa 1890’s
May 14, 2014

“Fashion is unfolding, just like nature,” reads the caption for a recent On the Street column by famed New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham (whose work is currently on exhibit at N-YHS).  Now that spring has finally arrived, we decided to take a look at seasonal fashion in New York over a hundred years ago….

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5.7.14_feat
George Frederick Seward and the Chinese Exclusion Act
May 7, 2014

This post was written by Heather Mulliner, spring semester intern in the Department of Manuscripts. A career in politics seemed all but inevitable for George Frederick Seward, the nephew of Lincoln’s famed Secretary of State (and one-time Presidential rival) William Henry Seward. But like his better-known uncle – whose vocal opposition to slavery cost him…

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4.18.14_feat
Happy Passover and Easter!
April 18, 2014

To celebrate the holidays, here are a few lighthearted Easter and Passover images that can hardly help but make you happy, regardless of religion.                      

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2.26.14_feat
New York City: the Curling Capital
February 26, 2014

Most Americans view curling — reinstated as an Olympic medal event just 16 years ago , in 1998 — as a novel and peculiar sport.  Given its exotic status, not to mention the U.S. team’s dismal performance at Sochi, it may come as a surprise to learn that this ancient Scottish game also has a…

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2.5.14_feat
Doris Ulmann’s Portraits: “The Marks of Living Intensely”
February 5, 2014

In honor of the death of Pete Seeger last week, this week’s blog will highlight the work of another champion of American folk music and crafts: the photographer Doris Ulmann (1882-1934). Like Seeger, Ulmann was born in Manhattan, and seemed an unlikely candidate to work in the rural South. The eldest daughter of a prosperous…

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12.24.13_feat
“A Real Santa:” the portrait photography of Theron W. Kilmer
December 24, 2013

Long before SantaCon, Theron W. Kilmer found — and photographed — “A Real Santa” in New York City. Although largely forgotten now, in his own time Theron W. Kilmer was aptly described as “an amazing person.”   He was a distinguished physician, an associate professor of pediatrics, a writer, a lecturer, an honorary police chief,…

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11.20.13_feat
Rare photographs of Hart Island, New York’s potter’s field
November 20, 2013

Off-limit to the public for over 35 years, Hart Island — a mile-long island off the eastern coast of the Bronx — has remained one of New York City’s most closely guarded secrets.  It is the home of New York’s “potter’s field,” for those who can’t afford to pay for burial, or whose identity is…

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10.9.13_feat
Indian Summer
October 9, 2013

Above-average temperatures at other times of year may raise alarms of global warming, but autumn heat waves are still fondly referred to as “Indian summer.” So where does the term come from, and what exactly does it mean? A number of explanations have been advanced over the years, including the following: 1. In 1804, Charles…

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