New-York Historical Society

Category Archives: Library

Grace Hoadley Dodge and the Travelers Aid Society of New York

Women’s History Month is the perfect time to pay tribute to a largely unsung heroine, Grace Hoadley Dodge. Born in 1856, to a family prominent in both business and philanthropy, Grace Dodge devoted her life to helping underprivileged women.  She was instrumental in founding a number of prestigious and long-lasting aid organizations, including the YWCA, […]

The Traveller and the Stone: John Ledyard and the Central Park Obelisk

John Ledyard’s far from a household name in his own country even though he’s arguably the United States’ first explorer, and, had Catherine the Great not abruptly ended his circumnavigation of the globe in 1787-1788, could very well have achieved what Lewis & Clark accomplished fifteen years later. Ledyard also attended Dartmouth, participated in Cook’s Third […]

Free of an Empire, by Way of an Empress

This posting was written by Dael Norwood, a  Bernard & Irene Schwartz Postdoctoral Fellow at the New-York Historical Society.  On February 22, 1784, a small ship with big ambitions weighed anchor, and sailed down the East River. Commanded by John Green, the Empress of China left New York on George Washington’s birthday aiming to be […]

It Can Hyphen Here: Why the New-York Historical Society Includes a Hyphen

Visitors to the New-York Historical Society (as well as many copy editors and printers throughout the ages) have often wondered why the title of our institution includes a hyphen between the “New” and “York”.  The answer is simple; when the New-York Historical Society was founded in 1804, New York was generally written as “New-York.” This […]

“Are and henceforward shall be free”: Marking the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation

If you’ve been preoccupied with the “fiscal cliff” saga over the last several days, you may have missed a rather significant milestone. 150 years ago yesterday, on January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in all rebellious states, enacting what has been described as, behind the Declaration of the United States, perhaps “the single […]

Louis Prang, Father of the American Christmas Card

This post was written by Marybeth Kavanagh, Print Room Reference Librarian. It’s widely accepted that the  first Christmas card was printed in London in 1843, when Sir Henry Cole hired artist John Calcott Horsley to design a holiday card that he could send to his friends. But it was Boston-based printer Louis Prang who introduced […]

A Soldier’s Story of World War I in Words and Pictures

This post was created by intern Alison Dundy. The illustrated letters of Salvator Cillis are a highlight of the New-York Historical Society’s World War I Collection (MS 671). Cillis was an artist with an edgy sense of humor. His humorous letters and drawings trace the arc of this soldier’s war experience, from enthusiastic patriotism at […]

From Kilted Soldiers to Scottish Poets–The New York Caledonian Club

This post was written by N-YHS intern Alison Shore Dundy. The recently acquired New York Caledonian Club Records (MS 2923) are a gateway to gemstones from the history of Scottish immigrants in New York City.  The records of the Caledonian Club document the work, activities, and membership of this society dedicated to the preservation of […]

A Different Booth: William Henry Seward corresponds with Mary L. Booth

This post was written by Maureen Maryanski, Reference Librarian for General Collections. Where we start is not necessarily where we end. This statement is quite true of my research into William Henry Seward, prominent political figure and Secretary of State for Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. What started as an inquiry into his public life, […]

Old Ironsides Earns Her Nickname: The USS Constitution versus HMS Guerriere

Post written by Mariam Touba, Reference Librarian The logbook’s entry for the morning, 200 years ago, of August 19, 1812 records hazy weather, temperature 64° in the air and a similar 65° in water. By “3/4 past 11 am” the weather is cloudy with fresh breezes, so the mizzen topsail is set. And then it […]

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