The Radical Prison Press: Prison Times and Culture at Fort Delaware
July 23, 2015

This post is by Jonah Estess, Digital Project Intern in the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library. In the New-York Historical Society library collection is number one, volume one of Prison Times, a newspaper devised and edited by prisoners at the Union Army prison at Fort Delaware, Delaware. The document itself is handwritten and well organized, ready for…

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Cards versus Slips: Rufus King and Collection Concordance
July 14, 2015

This post was written by Nora Slominsky, New-York Historical Society Graduate Archival Research Fellow A key figure in the politics of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Rufus King was a powerful Federalist senator, diplomat, and attorney. In his very limited spare time, he also built and maintained one of the largest personal libraries in the Early…

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The Many Faces of a Primary Source: Philip L. White and the Beekman Family Papers
July 8, 2015

This post was written by John C. Winters, a New-York Historical Society Graduate Archival Research Fellow Sometimes, the sources historians use are not all we believe them to be. Whether a primary source collection is incomplete, transcribed and edited heavily or simply consists of unreadable copies of the originals, historians need to be wary about…

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“Some relicks of Genl. Washington”: The Misadventures of the Washington Papers
July 1, 2015

On December 18, 1836, Henry Van Der Lyn penned a letter to his nephew describing a visit to the Georgetown home of Col. George Corbin Washington, with a former student, Congressman Aaron Ward. As they prepared to leave, George Washington’s grand-nephew called them back to show them “some relicks” of his esteemed great uncle. In his…

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Seal and Flag of the City of New York, edited by John B. Pine (1915) F128 CR114.P6
Of Seals and Rampant Beavers: New York City’s Flag on its 100th Birthday
June 23, 2015

This post was written by Mariam Touba, Reference Librarian for Printed Collections Well, not those seals, as in, mammals sunning themselves on rocks.  We talk here of a heraldic emblem or insignia.  New York City’s seal and flag celebrate their 100th birthday this week, and yes, beavers are always a big part of the story.  The…

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American emancipation or African colonization: Juneteenth, Paul Cuffe and “the society of people of colour”
June 17, 2015

This post was written by Julita Braxton, AHMC Cataloger. On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after Lincoln granted freedom to all persons enslaved within rebellious states through the issue of the Emancipation Proclamation, word finally reached Galveston, Texas. It was on this date that Union soldiers brought news that the war had…

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“Profligate, abandoned, and dissipated”: New York City’s Last Colonial Mayor
June 10, 2015

This year marks 350 years since Governor Richard Nicoll appointed New York’s first mayor, Thomas Willett, in 1665. Much has changed since the office’s earliest days, including the expansion of the mayor’s powers. New York mayors are now known far and wide while a comparatively small number of the 109 overall are familiar to the average New Yorker. Among this less recognizable cohort…

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Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes in America
June 3, 2015

Written by Maureen Maryanski, Reference Librarian for the Printed Collections. Last week the New-York Historical Society proudly opened its new installation of Pablo Picasso’s “Le Tricorne” drop curtain, formerly located in the hallway of the Four Seasons Restaurant until its removal and conservation late last year. This impressive 20 foot square curtain was commissioned as part…

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The Beekman Family Papers and the Archival Challenges of Women’s History
May 26, 2015

This post was written by Alisa Wade, New-York Historical Society Graduate Archival Research Fellow James Beekman and his wife, Jane Keteltas Beekman, circulated in New York’s high society in the post-Revolutionary era.  After returning to the city following British evacuation in 1783, the Beekman family reintegrated themselves into the social circles of the urban elite,…

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