The Ties that Bound: Corset Controversy in the Victorian Era
December 29, 2016

This post was written by Tammy Kiter, Manuscript Reference Librarian. During chillier seasons, one may feel constricted by layers of sweaters, coats, scarves and other accessories designed to keep us warm and comfortable. But imagine how our foremothers felt in their confining corsets, also known as “stays,” of yesteryear. Although corsets had been in use…

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Women in Nursing during the Civil War
March 25, 2016

This post was written by Tammy Kiter, Manuscript Reference Librarian. As Women’s History Month draws to a close, let’s take this opportunity to celebrate the women who served as nurses, both Union and Confederate, throughout the Civil War. Statistics vary, but it is estimated that approximately 3,000 women served as nurses during this turbulent time…

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AHMC of the Month: Susan B. Anthony Letter
November 17, 2015

This post was written by cataloger Catherine Falzone. The American Historical Manuscript Collection (AHMC) contains seven letters by Susan B. Anthony, American feminist and campaigner for women’s suffrage. The letters mostly concern various speaking engagements—both her own and those of Frederick Douglass, Julia Ward Howe, Theodore Tilton, and Mary L. Booth. The following letter is from Anthony…

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The Many Faces of a Primary Source: Philip L. White and the Beekman Family Papers
July 8, 2015

This post was written by John C. Winters, a New-York Historical Society Graduate Archival Research Fellow Sometimes, the sources historians use are not all we believe them to be. Whether a primary source collection is incomplete, transcribed and edited heavily or simply consists of unreadable copies of the originals, historians need to be wary about…

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The Beekman Family Papers and the Archival Challenges of Women’s History
May 26, 2015

This post was written by Alisa Wade, New-York Historical Society Graduate Archival Research Fellow James Beekman and his wife, Jane Keteltas Beekman, circulated in New York’s high society in the post-Revolutionary era.  After returning to the city following British evacuation in 1783, the Beekman family reintegrated themselves into the social circles of the urban elite,…

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Ladies, Get Ready: Its a Leap Year!
February 28, 2012

Ever since the idea of an extra day every four years was implemented as a corrective measure for the calendar, it has been filled with traditions and superstitions.  One of these is the (shocking!) idea that a woman may propose to a man on February 29th (or anytime during a Leap Month or even the…

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