Early NY and NYPL’s Digitized Manuscript Materials


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ny public libraryTo coincide with New York History month, the New York Public Library (NYPL) will host a class on researching early New York history using digitally available NYPL manuscript materials.

The class will take place on November 29th, from 5-7 pm, in Room 217 of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (the Library’s main branch), located at 42nd Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan.

With support of the Polonsky Foundation, and as part of the ongoing Early American Manuscripts Project, NYPL has recently made available thousands of pages of manuscript materials relevant to the early history of New York (City and State). A number of these collections are among the most valuable and well-known resources available to New York historians, but until now were only available by going to the Library.

This class will provide an overview of these resources, an introduction to using them, and examples of how digitized manuscripts have already shaped groundbreaking scholarship. While the class focuses on digitized manuscript collections, it will also introduce other relevant resources — newspapers and other contemporary printed materials, published primary source collections, undigitized manuscript collections, and secondary sources. Participants will gain a fuller understanding of the range of sources freely available at NYPL for studying early New York and its place in the nation and world.

The class will be led by Mark Boonshoft, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and historian for the Early American Manuscripts Project at NYPL. He will be joined by two guest experts on the history of early New York who will discuss their important scholarship and innovative research approaches.

Michael Hattem is a Ph.D. Candidate at Yale University. He studies eighteenth-century political culture and intellectual history, particularly the role of history culture in the American Revolution. His previous work has focused on both the coming of the American Revolution and the Enlightenment in late colonial New York City.

Alisa Wade received her Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate Center and is currently the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Post-Doctoral Fellow at New-York Historical Society and the New School. Her work examines the political and economic influence wielded by elite women in early national New York City.

The class is free, but space is limited and advanced registration is required. RSVP to NYHistory.NYPL@gmail.com.

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