Booker T. Washington, undated. PR-084, Pach Brothers portrait photograph collection, New-York Historical Society.
AHMC of the Month: “The strongest and happiest men and women…”
February 15, 2017

This post was written by Matthew Murphy, Head of Cataloging and Metadata. In honor of Black History Month, the American Historical Manuscript Collection staff would like to share an item that really resonated with us. It is a note, signed by Booker T. Washington, and dated November 15, 1906. In the note, Washington states “The strongest and…

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Photograph of portrait of Theodosia Burr, age 11, by Gilbert Stuart, 1795.  {PR 052 Box 19}
The Precocious Theodosia Burr and a Love Letter for “Citizen Alexis”
February 8, 2017

This post was written by Mariam Touba, Reference Librarian for Printed Collections. Popular culture now makes it known how much Aaron Burr believed in the education of women, endorsing “with avidity and prepossession” what he would read in Mary Wollstonecraft’s 1792 A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.  He applied these principles to the upbringing…

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From the Lab: Conservation Treatment of a Civil War Sketchbook
February 2, 2017

This post was written by Clare Manias, Enhanced Conservation Work Experience (ECWE) Assistant Near the end of the Civil War, lithographer George John Kerth was stationed with the 96th Civilian Corps, New York State Volunteers, at Dover Mines, Virginia. On June 19, 1865 he received a blank sketchbook (N-YHS museum accession no. X.433), which he…

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A Curious “Grammar of the Hebrew Tongue”
January 25, 2017

The West’s relationship with Hebrew is a complex and sometimes contradictory story. The study of Hebrew by Christians, or “Christian Hebraism,” which emerged in the Renaissance and continued into the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and beyond, was generally not a reflection of its adherents’ interest in Jewish contemporaries, or Judaism, per se. Rather, knowledge of the…

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AHMC of the Month: A Card Catalog Mystery
January 18, 2017

This post was written by Catherine Falzone, Cataloger, American Historical Manuscripts Collection. In cataloging the many small collections that make up the American Historical Manuscripts Collection (AHMC), we catalogers first turn to our card catalog. Many (but by no means all) items in our collections are represented by a card. Sometimes these cards give us…

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Greetings! from the Postcard File
January 11, 2017

This post was written by Jill Reichenbach, Reference Librarian, Department of Prints, Photographs and Architectural Collections. At this time of year, many people fantasize about going on a relaxing vacation somewhere exotic, or at least warm. And while some lucky people actually do get to go on vacation, still more might receive a postcard from…

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“Ode” Lang Syne: New Year’s Poems
January 1, 2017

This post was written by Megan Cherry, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow for 2016-2017. New Year’s comes with its own unique traditions, especially in New York. Approximately a million people will be gathering in Times Square this New Year’s Eve to watch the ball drop – a New York tradition since 1907. But one New…

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The Ties that Bound: Corset Controversy in the Victorian Era
December 29, 2016

This post was written by Tammy Kiter, Manuscript Reference Librarian. During chillier seasons, one may feel constricted by layers of sweaters, coats, scarves and other accessories designed to keep us warm and comfortable. But imagine how our foremothers felt in their confining corsets, also known as “stays,” of yesteryear. Although corsets had been in use…

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From The Lab: Stabilizing A Tattoo Sketchbook
December 21, 2016

This post was written by Saira Haqqi, Enhanced Conservation Work Experience (ECWE) Assistant. Our upcoming exhibition, Tattooed New York, will feature this delightful sketchbook containing tattoo designs by an unknown artist. Before it could be exhibited, the book needed some conservation treatment. When it came to the lab it showed signs of extensive use: the covers…

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