Booker T. Washington, undated. PR-084, Pach Brothers portrait photograph collection, New-York Historical Society.
AHMC of the Month: “The strongest and happiest men and women…”
February 15, 2017

This post was written by Matthew Murphy, Head of Cataloging and Metadata In honor of Black History Month, the American Historical Manuscript Collection staff would like to share an item that really resonated with us. It is a note, signed by Booker T. Washington, and dated November 15, 1906. In the note, Washington states “The strongest and…

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“Ode” Lang Syne: New Year’s Poems
January 1, 2017

This post was written by Megan Cherry, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow for 2016-2017. New Year’s comes with its own unique traditions, especially in New York. Approximately a million people will be gathering in Times Square this New Year’s Eve to watch the ball drop – a New York tradition since 1907. But one New…

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From the Lab: Civil War Blood
September 28, 2016

The Story . . . While processing the records of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, New York Commandery, we came across a poignant relic of the Civil War: a note passed between the lines at the Battle of Antietam, one of the bloodiest battles in the history of the nation….

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AHMC of the Month: Pictorial Excursions
September 14, 2016

This post was written by Christine Calvo, American Historical Manuscript Collection Processing Assistant. “I came to a dead halt, — It was like translation to another planet — all the mountains, I had ever seen at such close range were barely wooded hills by comparison. I’m lost for adjectives that are at all comprehensive.” The…

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AHMC of the Month: Frederick Douglass letters, 1851-1894
October 14, 2015

This post was written by Matthew Murphy, Head of Cataloging and Metadata One of the jewels of our American Historical Manuscript Collection (which is a “collection of collections” consisting of 12,000 small and unique manuscript collections) is the Frederick Douglass letters, which consists of ten letters sent and received by Frederick Douglass between 1851 and 1894. In…

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Horatio Gates, Samuel Washington, and America’s Original Sin
July 28, 2015

This post was written by Julia Lipkins, Reference Archivist, Manuscript Department. Archival collections from the Revolutionary War period are thick with stories of soldiers and generals, their battles won and lost. Although less evident, collections of this era also contain documentation of what President Obama recently described as the “nation’s original sin,”[i] i.e. the institution of slavery….

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Meaningful Utility: The Handwritten Word During the American Civil War. Part 2 of 2.
May 19, 2015

This post is by Jonah Estess, Digital Project Intern in the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, approximately 60,000 amputations were performed during the Civil War. This equates to approximately three out of every four wartime operations. A large percentage of those soldiers had hand or arms amputated. For those…

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Meaningful Utility: The Handwritten Word During the American Civil War. Part 1 of 2.
April 29, 2015

This post is by Jonah Estess, Digital Project Intern in the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library. What would we do without the written word? Written communication has been, and still is, our saving grace. The Civil War was the first time that the American military used the telegraph to communicate information across vast distances in wartime,…

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“Churl Darling:” The Wartime Letters of Lester and Shirley Halbreich
November 11, 2014

This blog post was written by Megan Dolan, Archives Intern at N-YHS As is the case with most areas in New York City, Brooklyn has undergone many transformations. Today Brooklyn has become the ‘new Manhattan’, home to a range of wealthy young professionals, trendy cafes on blocks lined with street art, flea markets, and of…

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