Hamilton FI
NOW ON VIEW – Hamilton: A life in Documents
October 20, 2015

In conjunction with the success of the Broadway musical Hamilton, the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library at the New-York Historical Society is exhibiting a selection of original manuscript documents and contemporary printed works in the library reading room evoking the remarkable life of America’s first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton (1757?-1804). Like a great number…

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Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Joseph Brant
October 9, 2015

This post was written by Julita Braxton, AHMC Cataloger. In the United States, the second Monday of October is a federal holiday commemorating the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Americas, but it is also an opportunity to honor the people native to this land. This Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we will recognize one such person,…

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Treasure Trove: New York Noir by Charles Gilbert Hine
October 7, 2015

This post was written by Julia Lipkins, Reference Archivist, Manuscripts Department. Charles Gilbert Hine (1859-1931), an amateur photographer, captured this noir scene of Madison Square Theatre on 24th Street between Sixth Avenue and Broadway in 1905. His collection of photographs at N-YHS includes platinum, cyanotype, and albumen prints of Manhattan at the turn of the 20th century….

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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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A Pictorial Record of New York’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial March, April 5, 1968
January 15, 2015

Margot Gayle is synonymous with historic preservation. A leading figure in the movement which found its voice following the tragic loss of Pennsylvania Station in 1963, Gayle played a seminal role in the creation of New York’s Landmark Preservation Law two years later. For sixteen years she penned an architecture column in the Daily News while  helping to found the Victorian…

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“The Science of Government” and the U.S. Constitution
June 18, 2014

While preparing for a presentation about the intellectual foundations of American political thought, I consulted Donald Lutz’s book A Preface to American Political Theory which offers an interesting introduction into an extremely complicated aspect of American history. Among several things that piqued my interest was Lutz’s discussion of the Enlightenment origin and conception of “political science,” a term…

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‘It’s a Small World’ of Tomorrow: Remembering The 1964-65 New York World’s Fair
April 2, 2014

This post was written by Mariam Touba, Reference Librarian for Printed Collections It was a financial failure and—being unsanctioned—not even a real “world’s fair.”  It stands as little more than yet one more piece of Baby Boomer nostalgia.  But, in fairness, the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair that opened 50 years ago this month was…

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“An abomination in the eyes of sportsmen”: The early days of professional football
January 29, 2014

On April 4, 1865, New Yorker James F. Maury wrote in his diary “Very fine day. I celebrated the capture of Richmond by breaking my leg while playing football.” Although the injury will not be new to today’s football fan, the game played that day might not have been quite as familiar. In 1865, football…

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The Everywhere Footprints of Captain John Montresor
December 18, 2013

This post was written by Mariam Touba, Reference Librarian for Printed Collections. Fictional works—movies, most memorably—depict characters like Forrest Gump or Woody Allen’s Zelig who manage to turn up at every major historical event alongside the world’s movers and shakers.  A nominee for such a real-life character in 18th-century America would be John Montresor. Unlike…

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