AHMC of the Month: A “Half-King” in America
March 23, 2016

This post was written by Christine Calvo, AHMC Cataloging Assistant.   On October 29, 1754, John Harris Jr. wrote to Philadelphia politician Richard Peters about a visit from an Iroquois leader “Monacatootha” and “Severall others.” Harris was the son of John Harris Sr. (1673 – 1748), the namesake of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. John Harris Sr. was known for…

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From the Lab: Ambrotypes Abound
March 16, 2016

This post was written by Sara Belasco, Enhanced Conservation Work Experience conservation assistant. For the last six months, I have been working on rehousing a collection of cased images in the Library collection. Almost all of these photographs are ambrotypes, one of the earliest photographic processes on glass plates popular in the 1850s. The collection was previously…

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Arabic Verse with an Unusual History
March 9, 2016

This post was written by Alison Barr, Manuscript Department volunteer. The Charles Frederick Heartman Collection at the New-York Historical Society is comprised of a vast array of material mostly related to American history and culture. Heartman was a well-known and respected book and autograph collector, a bookseller and author who wrote on diverse topics but…

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Highlights from the Keppler Collection
March 2, 2016

This post was written by Trish Kaiser, intern for the Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architecture. As an intern with the Library’s Graphic Materials Collections, I researched the extensive Keppler collection, which highlights Joseph Keppler and his son Udo’s influential satirical 19th century publication Puck. This collection includes 26 folders of original drawings, color lithographic prints, and…

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Witness to Tragedy: The Sinking of the General Slocum
February 24, 2016

This post was written by Ted Houghtaling, Scanning Technician. “Terrible affair that General Slocum explosion. Terrible, terrible! A thousand casualties. And heartrending scenes. Men trampling down women and children. Most brutal thing…” — James Joyce, Ulysses On the morning of June 15th, 1904, 1,358 members and friends of the St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church chartered an…

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The Aristocrat of Harlem: The Cotton Club
February 17, 2016

This post was written by Maureen Maryanski, Reference Librarian for Printed Collections. At the height of the Roaring Twenties, the wealthy and glamorous descended in droves on the northeast corner of 142nd Street and Lenox Avenue to hear the latest compositions, see the newest dances, and revel in the cultural and creative crucible of Harlem’s…

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AHMC of the Month: Benjamin Smith affidavit of freedom
February 9, 2016

  This post was written by Matthew Murphy, Head of Cataloging and Metadata. One of the many interesting aspects of the American Historical Manuscript Collection is the opportunity for new research it provides. One such item that would benefit from a deeper investigation is the June 16, 1821, affidavit of freedom for Benjamin Smith. Little is…

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NOW ON VIEW: A Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr., with selections relating to African American history
February 3, 2016

Through March, the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library at the New-York Historical Society is displaying a number of documents reflecting the long history of African Americans in North America. These complement a particularly important new acquisition, an original letter from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to publisher Henry Luce, that came to N-YHS as part of the recent…

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A closer look at the origins of the “skyscraper”
January 28, 2016

Some words wear a patina of history that make them appear to have been around forever. Others, like “skyscraper,” seem inherently modern, embodying the age which first saw the buildings they describe. By complete accident, while looking at an early 19th-century log book in the papers of Philadelphia physician and botanist, William Darlington, we recently stumbled across the word…

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