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The Idea of the West: Ephemera from the James G. Harbord Papers
August 24, 2016

This post was written by Karen Hammer, CUNY graduate fellow at the New-York Historical Society. As a CUNY graduate fellow at the New-York Historical Society, I’ve been helping to process the James G. Harbord Papers. Lieutenant General James Guthrie Harbord (1866-1947) retired in 1922 from a distinguished military career to serve as Chairman of the Board…

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Sketches of New York
May 19, 2016

This post was written by Marybeth Kavanagh, Reference Archivist, Deptartment Of Prints, Photographs and Architectural Collections. Today there is nothing remarkable about the idea of New York as a large, diverse, cosmopolitan city. But to mid-19th century New Yorkers,  the rapid growth of New York  from a small, walkable city to a bustling, sprawling metropolis must have been a…

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N-YHS Institutional Archives Finding Aids Now On-line (Part 2)
January 21, 2016

This post was written by Project Archivist Larry Weimer. In Part 1 of this blog posted last week, I introduced N-YHS’ institutional archives project now underway thanks to a generous grant from the Leon Levy Foundation. Several finding aids are now online, and in this Part 2, I would like to give you a short…

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N-YHS Institutional Archives Finding Aids Now On-line (Part 1)
January 6, 2016

This post was written by Project Archivist Larry Weimer. Over the course of its 211 year history, the New-York Historical Society has been steadily accumulating the records of one of New York and America’s pre-eminent cultural institutions; of an organization that ranks as the second oldest state historical society in the United States and the…

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Vintage advertising calendars
January 7, 2015

The beginning of a new year seems like the perfect time to explore our collection of vintage calendars. It’s hard to imagine in this age of email marketing and television commercials, but calendars were once among the most effective means of advertising.  Unlike advertisements in newspapers or magazines, which were likely to be discarded right…

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How to Have a Jolly Halloween
October 29, 2014

This post was written by Marybeth Kavanagh, Reference Librarian for the Department of Prints, Photographs and Architectural Collections. Looking for inspiration to get into the spirit of the season, I found a small, sweet  volume in our Printed Collections called Games For Halloween. In less than 60 pages, author Mary E. Blain lays out a plan that Martha Stewart…

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“Feelin’ Tomorrow Lak Ah Feel Today”: W.C. Handy, the St. Louis Blues, and Marion Harris
March 20, 2014

Written by Maureen Maryanski, Reference Librarian for Printed Collections. An often overlooked source of historical and cultural memory is the ephemeral format of sheet music. The New-York Historical Society houses an extensive sheet music collection numbering close to 15,000. Many of these are from the 19th century, but a significant subsection contains popular songs from…

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Louis Prang, Father of the American Christmas Card
December 19, 2012

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…

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Happy Mother’s Day!
May 6, 2011

To celebrate Mother’s Day, here is one of my personal favorites from the Bella Landauer Collection of Business and Advertising Ephemera: A delightful departure from the sentimental view of motherhood most often associated with the Victorian era, this advertisement features a mother reclining on a chaise lounge and sipping a Pabst Malt Extract — “The…

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