Author Archives: Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff

About Editorial Staff

Stories written under the Editorial Staff byline are drawn from press releases and other notices. Submit your news to The New York History Blog here.

Anthony Comstock, Censorship and Obscenity


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lust on trialAmy Werbel’s new book Lust on Trial: Censorship and the Rise of American Obscenity in the Age of Anthony Comstock (Columbia University Press, 2018) takes a look at Anthony Comstock, America’s first professional censor.

In Lust on Trial, Werbel presents a colorful journey through Comstock’s career that doubles as a new history of post–Civil War America’s risqué visual and sexual culture.

Born into a puritanical New England community, Anthony Comstock moved to New York in 1868 armed with his Christian faith and a burning desire to rid the city of vice.

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Oneida Community And The Crusade For Public Morality


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ministers warMichael Doyle’s new book The Ministers’ War: John W. Mears, The Oneida Community, and the Crusade for Public Morality (Syracuse University Press, 2018) takes a look at Hamilton College philosophy professor and Presbyterian minister John W. Mears and his fight against every sin and carnal lure, from liquor to free love.

In The Ministers’ War, Doyle explores the ways in which Mears’ multipurpose zeal reflected the passions behind the nineteenth-century temperance movement, the fight against obscenity, and the public animus toward unconventional thought. As an speaker, author and political candidate, Mears was a prominent moralizer.
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Historical New Paltz Documents Being Digitized


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View Looking Down Broadhead Street toward Huguenot Street Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) has been awarded a $59,966 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Humanities Collections and Reference Resources program to support planning for the preservation and digitization of selections from its own archival collections, as well as collections from the Town of New Paltz, the Reformed Church of New Paltz, and the Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection at the Elting Memorial Library in New Paltz. This is the third NEH grant awarded to HHS in two years. Continue reading

Grant Cottage Seeks Volunteers


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Ulysses S. Grant Cottage State Historic Site in Wilton (Saratoga County) has announced they are seeking volunteers to assist with operations throughout the upcoming season.

Volunteer opportunities are available for adults and teens (age 14 and up). Available positions include Tour Guide, Visitor Center Greeter, Education Assistant, and Parking Attendant. Schedules are flexible, and training is provided. No experience is necessary. Continue reading

NYSCA: Arts Contribute Over $114B to NY Economy


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New York State’s arts and cultural industries generate $114.1 billion to the state economy, employ 462,584, and award $46.7 billion in compensation, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Produced by the NEA and BEA, the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA) quantifies New York’s role as a national leader in economic output through the arts.

Of the total $760 billion generated by the arts nationwide, New York’s $114.1 billion accounts for 15 percent according to this data. At the state level, the cultural sector accounts for 7.8% of the value added to the state’s economy – more than retail, construction or transportation. New York ranks second among all states in arts and cultural value added to the economy and in arts and cultural employment. Continue reading

Broadway: A History of New York City in Thirteen Miles


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broadway bookFran Leadon’s new book Broadway: A History of New York City in Thirteen Miles (W. W. Norton & Co, 2018) takes a mile-by-mile look at Broadway that traces the gradual evolution of the seventeenth-century’s Brede Wegh, a muddy cow path in a backwater Dutch settlement, to the twentieth century’s Great White Way.

Readers can learn why one side of the street was once considered more fashionable than the other; view construction of the Ansonia Apartments, Trinity Church, and the Flatiron Building and the burning of P. T. Barnum’s American Museum; and discover that Columbia University was built on the site of an insane asylum. Continue reading

Caldwell Letters From War of 1812 Now Online


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the transfer of the documents to their proper archival materials with Matthew Thorenz and Jill Moore.The Quassaick Chapter, NSDAR, and the Moffat Library of Washingtonville, NY, both located in Orange County, recently completed a year-long project to preserve and digitize a set of four letters belonging to the Caldwell family of Blooming Grove from the War of 1812 era.

The library has other letters from the family that had been previously transcribed by the Blooming Grove Town Historian, but these are the first letters to be digitized and put online for public view. Continue reading

Willard Suitcases Update: A Roosevelt Island Lecture


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Suitcase of Robert Y, courtesy John CrispinA lecture by John Crispin on the famed Willard Psychiatric Center suitcases has been set for Thursday, May 10th at 6:30 pm at the New York Public Library Branch on Roosevelt Island, led .

When Willard Psychiatric Center closed in New York’s Finger Lakes in 1995, an employee discovered a large collection of suitcases in storage in an attic. Many of these pieces of luggage contained the personal belongings of former patients. Continue reading