New-York Historical Society

Category Archives: General

Meaningful Utility: The Handwritten Word During the American Civil War. Pt. 2 of 2.

This post is by Jonah Estess, Digital Project Intern in the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, approximately 60,000 amputations were performed during the Civil War. This equates to about three out of every four wartime operations. A large percentage of those soldiers had hand or arms amputated. For […]

“What the business requires”: Early 20th Century Firefighting in NYC

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 […]

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

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 […]

Meaningful Utility: The Handwritten Word During the American Civil War. Part 1 of 2.

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, […]

Earth Day Photos Reveal the Dirt on NYC

Now that every inch of Manhattan is covered with buildings or fabricated parks, it’s hard to imagine the city was once just another patch of earth. To celebrate Earth Day, here are photographs that reveal some dirt on New York City’s past. The first one shows the land currently occupied by the New-York Historical Society. […]

Now He Belongs to the Ages: 150 years after Lincoln’s Assasination

Today marks the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. As is fitting for our most eloquent president, Lincoln’s death, and life, have inspired a torrent of writing. The memorializing began at the moment of Lincoln’s death, when his friend and Secretary of State, Edward Stanton, famously said, “Now he belongs to the ages” (or, as […]

Walt Whitman, Brotherhood, and the American Civil War

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 […]

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

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 […]

Celebrating Women’s History: Rebecca Lepkoff

To celebrate Women’s History Month, here are some images by pioneering street photographer Rebecca Lepkoff.   A quintessential New Yorker, Lepkoff gained international acclaim for her iconic images of the Lower East Side. She was born on August 4, 1916, in a Hester Street tenement. Like the majority of families living in the neighborhood at […]

“The unadulterated Irish language”: Irish Speakers in Nineteenth Century New York

The June 13, 1857, issue of Harper’s Weekly ran this short anecdote under “Things and Otherwise”: A woman a short time since appeared at the lower police court in New York city, and, going up to the judge, addressed him, as nearly as our reporter could understand, as follows:“R-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r!” The judge at once called the interpreter of the court. “Here, F—, […]

About

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

Share Our Blog!

Subscribe

Support n-yhs

Help us present groundbreaking exhibitions and develop educational programs about our nation's history for more than 200,000 schoolchildren annually.