New-York Historical Society

Category Archives: Collections

“Aliens” in America: British Citizens during the War of 1812

Post written by Rachel Schimke, a spring intern at N-YHS who processed the Peter Curtenius Papers.  This year marks the bicentennial of the War of 1812, a conflict that is often overshadowed by the more celebrated wars in our nation’s history. The newly processed Peter Curtenius Papers offer invaluable information for researchers interested in this [...]

Elephants in the (Reading) Room

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Henry Bergh: Angel in Top Hat or the Great Meddler?

Written by Tammy Kiter, Manuscript Reference Assistant. Many of us are familiar with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA. But lesser-known and truly inspiring, is Henry Bergh, its founder and the man who worked so diligently to maintain it. A native New Yorker, Bergh was born in 1813 and [...]

American Eagle and Irish Harp: The Story of the New-York Hibernian Volunteers

A great deal of the work done on the Irish immigrant experience focuses on the refugees of Ireland’s potato blight in the late 1840s. However, the epic story of the Irish in America, and the challenges it encountered, did not begin there. One obscure chapter of this story is captured in the tale of the [...]

Happy Birthday Yellowstone!

Last Thursday (March 1), Yellowstone National Park marked its 140th year of existence. It’s also a perfect excuse to remind everyone that, despite our name, the New-York Historical Society’s collections document the history of the entire United States, not just of New York and its neighbors. In his 2008 television series documenting his tour of [...]

The Tale of the Wandering Washington

Written by Joseph Ditta, Reference Librarian. In honor of Presidents’ Day, come with us back to 1889, when the celebrations marking the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration as first president of the United States were in full swing. Perhaps the most impressive manifestation of New York’s pride of place as the location for that memorable [...]

A Christmas Carol: One of those quaint, simple, affecting, humoursome things

Holidays evolve — for better or worse. And while there is reason to bemoan the creep of commercialism into every niche of the holiday season, such disappointment is not necessarily as recent as one might think. Charles Dickens’ iconic work, A Christmas Carol: In Prose: Being a ghost story of Christmas arrived in America at a time when contemporaries [...]

Selling for a song

Peace on earth and good will to men may be in short supply, but there is no time like Christmas to appreciate that nowadays advertising is everywhere.  Billboards, newspapers, magazines, television, the Internet, cell phones . . . advertisers will try any means available to get consumers to buy their products.  So it’s hardly surprising [...]

A Castle on the Hudson: the Bannerman Island Story

Post written by Ashley Todd, a fall intern at N-YHS who processed the Bannerman Family Papers. The collection was generously donated by Virginia Betts in 2011. If you have ever taken the Metro-North Hudson Line train to Poughkeepsie then you are probably familiar with the haunting castle ruins that sit on a small island between [...]

A Spurious Thanksgiving

In 1900, The Century Co. published Colonial Days & Ways, by Helen Evertson Smith, a description of life in New York and Connecticut during that period. According to Smith, the book is largely derived from papers found  “tucked away under the eaves in old baskets of Indian make, or in open pine-wood boxes, and even in [...]

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This is a blog created by staff members in the library to draw attention to the richness and diversity of our collections.

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