New-York Historical Society

Category Archives: Library

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Woman of Letters: Charlotte Lennox and The Life of Harriot Stuart

Written by Maureen Maryanski, Reference Librarian for Printed Collections. Among the uncatalogued treasures at the New-York Historical Society are two small, leather bound volumes I recently stumbled upon in the library stacks. Out of pure curiosity, I picked these volumes up and looked at the title page. The title read: The Life of Harriot Stuart, […]

Requesting the pleasure of your company: Artists’ receptions and the Tenth Street Studio Building’s legacy

This post is written by Joe Festa, Manuscript Reference Librarian Unlike today’s art market, American artists of the early 19th century had few galleries to represent them. While many art dealers were setting up shop in Manhattan’s wealthier areas, their focus was on representing elite European artists and serving the privileged social classes. As such, […]

“Churl Darling:” The Wartime Letters of Lester and Shirley Halbreich

This blog post was written by Megan Dolan, Archives Intern at N-YHS As is the case with most areas in New York City, Brooklyn has undergone many transformations. Today Brooklyn has become the ‘new Manhattan’, home to a range of wealthy young professionals, trendy cafes on blocks lined with street art, flea markets, and of […]

Who Coined the Phrase ‘United States of America’? You May Never Guess

This post was written by Mariam Touba, Reference Librarian for Printed Collections Take a look.  Dated January 2, 1776,  many months earlier than once thought, this, quite likely, is the first time the name “United States of America” was ever written, or possibly even expressed. People have indeed tossed around the question, “Who named this […]

What is the Oldest Book in the N-YHS Library?

Written by Maureen Maryanski, Reference Librarian for Printed Collections. A reasonable assumption would be that the oldest materials in the New-York Historical Society Library relate to Colonial North America or New York. However, in terms of the book collection, the oldest item actually predates the first North American colonies by over a hundred years. Amongst […]

Yellow Fever: the Ebola of earlier centuries

The current Ebola crisis is by no means the first time a viral  haemorrhagic fever (“VHF”) has terrorized the inhabitants of America.  Throughout the 18th century and into the 19th, epidemics of another VHF — yellow fever — spread fear and panic across the United States.  N-YHS is fortunate to hold a number of rare […]

Climate and Protest: The Letters of Reverend James MacSparran

We hadn’t even started changing the climate, and Wall Street could only be understood in a literal sense, but the title page of a tract published in 1753 captures the spirit of this week’s protests perfectly, viz: America Dissected, being a Full and True Account of all the Colonies, showing the Intemperance of the Climates; […]

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