New-York Historical Society

Category Archives: Manuscripts

Golf and the Gilded Age at Newport Golf Club

It’s probably no consolation for last week’s heat wave but if you were a well-heeled New Yorker living in the late nineteenth century, you would probably be spending the sultry days of summer living it up in Newport, RI. Not surprisingly, the story of Newport and New York’s richest dwellers is well documented at the N-YHS. [...]

Transits of Venus from Times Past

On June 5th a rare transit of Venus will occur that can be seen from most of North America.  During the transit, Venus can be seen from Earth as a small black dot moving across the sun.  A transit, in which Venus passes directly between the Sun and Earth, is exceptional in that it occurs [...]

Who put the “Williams” in Williamsburgh?

Today uttering Williamsburg  is more likely to precede a snarky comment about hipsters than it is to spur thoughts of its namesake. After all, time has heaped layers of meaning onto New York’s place names, and while places like Fort Greene and Fort Tryon require little effort to discover that they were once military installations, other [...]

Johnny Reb in the Big Apple: The Confederate Veteran Camp of New York

This post was written by N-YHS intern Rachel Schimke, a graduate student in the Archives and Public History program at NYU, who processed the Alexander Robert Chisolm Papers. Though most war-weary Confederate soldiers returned home following Lee’s surrender, not all had the ability or interest to recover their lives in the South. Founded in 1890, [...]

New York cyclists and the “Orange Riding District”

It’s National Bike Month again, and it so happens that Albert B. Barkman’s Road-Book of Long Island (1886) recently crossed our path. It’s an unassuming book at best, but like a great deal of our collections, when given a dose of context it turns out to be an interesting little piece of bicycling and mapmaking history. The Road-Book contains [...]

“High class freight”: The Titanic and its cargo

With the centennial of its sinking having arrived, the Titanic is a big ticket these days. Fittingly, most commemorations  recognize the terrible loss of life associated with its sinking but there are certainly less somber aspects of this catastrophe too. Aside from its great quantity of passengers, the Titanic also sailed with a modest cargo, [...]

“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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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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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