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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, Manuscripts Department. Archival collections from the Revolutionary War period are thick with stories of heroic soldiers and their battles won and lost. Although less evident, collections of this era also contain documentation of what President Obama describes as the “nation’s original sin,”[i] i.e. the institution of slavery. I…

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Walt Whitman, Brotherhood, and the American Civil War
April 7, 2015

This post was written by Jonah Estess, Digital Project Intern in the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library. In the N-YHS collections are three letters addressed from Walt Whitman to the parents of Erastus E. Haskell, Samuel and Rosalinda Haskell. He writes to them about their son’s condition at a military hospital in Washington D.C. Walt had…

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What is the Oldest Book in the N-YHS Library?
October 22, 2014

Written by Maureen Maryanski, Reference Librarian for Printed Collections. A reasonable assumption would be that the oldest materials in the New-York Historical Society Library relate to Colonial North America or New York. However, in terms of the book collection, the oldest item actually predates the first North American colonies by over a hundred years. Amongst…

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Artist as soldier: David Cronin’s sketches from the field of war
February 12, 2014

This post was written by Deborah Tint, cataloging assistant.   At the start of the Civil War Harper’s Weekly, then known as a journal of news, culture and serial fiction, sprang into action to provide striking images of the conflict to those at home and at the front. Articles appeared to inform readers that a corps of “Regular Artist-Correspondents”…

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“Speak to the past and it shall teach thee”: Wilberforce Eames, the Self-Taught Bibliographer
December 4, 2013

Written by Maureen Maryanski, Reference Librarian for Printed Collections. Last week a copy of The Whole Booke of Psalmes, the first book printed in English in North America, set a record as the most expensive book ever sold at auction – for $14.2 million. Published in 1640 by Stephen Daye in Cambridge, Massachusetts, only 11…

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Combating Crime through Community Organizing: The Story of the Westside Crime Prevention Program
June 11, 2013

This post was written by N-YHS intern Erin Shaw. The Westside Crime Prevention Program Records are now available to researchers at the New-York Historical Society’s library. Although crime has always been an issue for New York City residents, an unprecedented rash starting in the 1970s began to terrorize the Upper West Side of Manhattan — a…

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Almost an Alleghanian: or how N-YHS tried to change the nation’s name to the United States of Alleghania
January 30, 2013

Given the New-York Historical Society’s reluctance to change so much as the hyphen in its own name (see “It Can Hyphen Here: Why the New-York Historical Society Includes a Hyphen”), it may come as a shock to learn that in 1845, N-YHS spearheaded an effort to give an entirely new name to the whole country….

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It Can Hyphen Here: Why the New-York Historical Society Includes a Hyphen
January 15, 2013

Visitors to the New-York Historical Society (as well as many copy editors and printers throughout the ages) have often wondered why the title of our institution includes a hyphen between the “New” and “York”.  The answer is simple; when the New-York Historical Society was founded in 1804, New York was generally written as “New-York.” This…

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The Constitution, the Java, Patrick O’Brian, and …Audubon’s Birds
December 26, 2012

This post was written by Mariam Touba, Reference Librarian. We last met “Old Ironsides” on this blog when she won her War of 1812 victory in August 1812 against the HMS Guerrière off of Massachusetts.  Less than six months later, the USS Constitution had been refitted in Boston, assigned a new captain, and in late…

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