“To wake the sluggards effectually”: The Beginnings of Daylight Saving Time
March 4, 2015

This post is by Samantha Walsh, Reference Assistant in the Department of Prints, Photographs & Architectural Collections The first mention of Daylight Saving Time was made by Benjamin Franklin, in a 1784 letter to the editor of the Journal de Paris. While many attribute today’s practice of turning the clocks forward and back to Franklin, it…

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The Last Hours of World War I
November 19, 2014

This post was created by intern Alison Dundy. Imagine hearing the war is over, but a time lag in communications means men are still laying on their bellies in trenches while shells whizz overhead and explode around them. Elsewhere in the world, champagne corks are popping and glasses are raised in toasts to peace. Will…

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Digitization 101
July 30, 2014

This post was written by library intern Jacob Laurenti The digitization of collections is a controversial issue at museums and libraries.  It can be both expensive and time-consuming, and some argue that the quality and detail of artwork is lost in the digitization process.  But there are also obvious benefits to scanning photographs, manuscripts and…

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Turning the Pages of Patriotism with the American Library Association
August 28, 2013

This post is written by Tammy Kiter, Manuscript Reference Librarian Thoughts of World War I do not necessarily conjure up images of soldiers reading for leisure. Rather, we tend to recall seeing photographs of brave young men engaged in trench warfare and scenes of the horrific aftermath of brutal battles. But through the efforts of…

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A Soldier’s Story of World War I in Words and Pictures
November 30, 2012

This post was created by intern Alison Dundy. The illustrated letters of Salvator Cillis are a highlight of the New-York Historical Society’s World War I Collection (MS 671). Cillis was an artist with an edgy sense of humor. His humorous letters and drawings trace the arc of this soldier’s war experience, from enthusiastic patriotism at…

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Veterans Day: Remembering World War I
November 11, 2011

At 5 a.m. on November 11, 1918, the United States and its allies concluded an armistice with Germany. Later that morning, at 11 a.m. French time, World War I hostilities came to an end after one concluding salvo. In America, the day became known as Armistice Day until Congress substituted “Veterans” in 1954 to expand…

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“Happy New Year” from the Battlefields of World War I
December 31, 2010

In the Society’s manuscript collections is a cache of letters sent by former sign-painter, Pvt. Salvatore Cillis of the 306th Field Artillery from Camp Upton, Long Island and France. Written between 1917 and 1918, Cillis’ good-natured, humorous observations are complemented by several pen and ink and watercolor sketches enlightening his former co-workers about camp life….

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Merry Christmas!
December 23, 2010

Most people do not associate Santa Claus with war, but in fact the connection goes back to Santa’s very beginnings. Our popular image of Santa was created by cartoonist Thomas Nast during the Civil War. Nast’s first Santa illustrations, published in the January 3, 1863 edition of Harper’s Weekly, featured Santa visiting dejected Union soldiers….

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