New-York Historical Society

Category Archives: Library

“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 [...]

Ladies, Get Ready: Its a Leap Year!

Ever since the idea of an extra day every four years was implemented as a corrective measure for the calendar, it has been filled with traditions and superstitions.  One of these is the (shocking!) idea that a woman may propose to a man on February 29th (or anytime during a Leap Month or even the [...]

Mr. Mitchell’s Muscular Map

Post written by Eric Robinson It’s hard to believe, but a document with the imperious title A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America was the cartographic basis for our American republic. John Mitchell’s 1755 masterpiece provided the lens with which the founding generation negotiated independence and plotted westward settlement. Needless to [...]

Daniel E. Sickles: The Rotten Apple from the Big Apple

Far be it from us to dwell on the negatives of history, but there’s no denying that New York has produced its share of heels. High on anyone’s list should be Daniel Sickles. On a Sunday morning in February of 1859, the New York born and bred Sickles shot the un-armed Philip Barton Key (the son of [...]

Friggatriskaidekaphobes Need Not Apply

Written by Joseph Ditta, Reference Librarian Thirteenth Annual Report of the Thirteen Club, 1895 (cover) Happy Friday the Thirteenth! Are you cowering under the covers, hoping to escape the horrible tragedies that are doomed to hit you should you set foot out of bed? If you answered yes, we are sorry to say your friggatriskaidekaphobia [...]

The Sailor’s Life

Sometimes primary sources overturn history’s misconceptions while at others they simply illustrate common knowledge. The latter is a task by a cache of records from the Richard Worsam Meade 2nd Papers in conveying the colorful life of a sailor. The documents in question all cover the Civil War service of the USS San Jacinto, a screw [...]

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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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