Category Archives: Conferences

Fort Ti Material Culture Seminar This Weekend


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Fort Ticonderoga will host its Second Annual “Material Matters: It’s in the Details” Seminar the weekend of January 28 & 29, 2012. This weekend event focuses on the material culture of the 18th century and is intended for collectors, re-enactors, and people with a general interest in learning more about objects of the 18th century and what they can tell us about history. “Material Matters” takes place in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center at Fort Ticonderoga and is open by pre-registration only.

A panel of material culture experts from the United States and Canada come to Fort Ticonderoga for the weekend to share their knowledge of 18th-century material culture in a series of presentations. Designed for those who want a deeper understanding of the everyday objects that help tell the story of life and the contests for control of North America during the 18th century, the weekend’s informal approach enables attendees to interact with presenters and provides an opportunity to examine 18th-century objects up close.

Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator of Collections Chris Fox will discuss the archeological remains of clothing and sewing-related artifacts in the Fort’s collection found during the Fort’s restoration in the early 20th century.

Joel Anderson, Artificer Program Supervisor at Fort Ticonderoga, will discuss the challenges of supplying the Northern Department of the Continental Army during the year 1776.

Matthew Keagle, a scholar of 18th-century Atlantic material culture, will talk about grenadier caps used by various 18th-century armies and their cultural significance.

David Ledoyen, a heritage presentation coordinator from Montreal, will explore 18th-century surgeons’ instruments and the evolution of surgeons as a profession in New France.

Stuart Lilie, Director of Interpretation at Fort Ticonderoga, will discuss equestrian saddlery and horse furniture. Lilie is a saddler specializing in 18th- and early 19th-century saddlery.

Sarah Woodyard, an apprentice in millinery at Colonial Williamsburg, will talk about 18th-century undergarments.

Registration for “Material Matters” is now open. A brochure with the complete schedule and a registration form is available on Fort Ticonderoga’s website by selecting “Explore and Learn” and choosing “Life Long Learning” on the drop-down menu. A printed copy is also available upon request by contacting Rich Strum, Director of Education, at 518-585-6370. The cost for the weekend is $120 ($100 for members of the Friends of Fort Ticonderoga).

Photo: Speaker Henry Cooke (left) and Curator of Collections Chris Fox (right) examine an original 18th-century coat during a “Material Matters” session last winter.

Peter Feinman: The Debate Rages Over History Jobs


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The American Historical Association (AHA) held its annual conference on January 5-8, 2012, in Chicago. One of the non-academic issues it addressed was the employment situation in the history profession. The impetus for the last-minute session at the conference on the subject was an essay by Jesse Lemisch, Professor Emeritus of History at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York titled “History is Worth Fighting For, But Where is the AHA?“. Continue reading

Researching the History of Buildings in NYC Program


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This February, The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) offers New Yorkers with either a budding or an abiding interest in architectural history an opportunity to join the more than 500 architects, engineers, building owners, preservationists, lawyers, landmarks commissioners – and one New York City detective – who have taken the popular four-week MAS seminar Researching the History of Buildings in New York over the last two decades.

For the 20th year in a row, architectural historian and former NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission official Anthony Robins explains how to dig up the dirt on New York City buildings, their architects and their original owners. Participants will learn how to:

* Locate and understand NYC building records
* Track down client information through deeds and obituaries
* Suss out architectural info via periodicals and professional records
* Use historical archives to unearth photographs, maps and tax records

Anthony Robins is an architectural historian who has lectured for museums, universities and private groups around the world. Formerly deputy director of research and director of survey for The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, he is the author of Classics of American Architecture: The World Trade Center (Pineapple Press, 1987; new edition, 2011) and Subway Style: 100 Years of Architecture & Design in the New York City Subway (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2004), for which he won the New York City Book Award, as well as articles for The New York Times, New York Magazine, Gourmet, Architectural Record and Metropolis. He composed the site markers for Heritage Trails New York (New York’s answer to Boston’s Liberty Trail) and is a founding member of the Art Deco Society of New York as well as the creator of its walking tour program. In 1997 Robins received a Rome Prize fellowship to the American Academy in Rome. He holds an M.A. in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

Researching the History of Buildings in New York

Dates: Wed, Feb 1, 8, 15 + 20; 5:45-7:30 p.m. + weekday field trip (date TBA)

Location: Municipal Art Society, 111 W. 57th St (b/w 6th + 7th Aves), 16th Fl

Cost: $300 ($250 for MAS members and F/T students w/ valid ID). NOTE: Lectures and field trip cannot be purchased individually.
Continuing Ed Credits: 8.0 LU CES
Registration: Register Here
Information: (212) 935-3960, ext. 1234

Wednesday, February 1, 5:45-7:30 p.m.

The Building, Part I

An introduction to the records of the Department of Buildings: (1) new buildings and alteration applications, docket books, index cards, block and lot maps; (2) the mysteries of the plan desk; and (3) and the computerized Building Information System (BIS).

Wednesday, February 8, 5:45-7:30 p.m.

The Building, Part II: the Client

How to weave your way through deeds, directories, obituaries and Who’s Who and how to navigate ProQuest and other online resources.

Wednesday, February 15, 5:45-7:30 p.m.

The Architect

Using standard texts, guidebooks, periodicals, the Avery Index, and Committee for the Preservation of Architectural Records publications.

Wednesday, February 22, 5:45-7:30 p.m.

Miscellaneous Sources

Use of photograph collections, maps, New York City archives, libraries and historical society. Special attention to early 19th-century Manhattan real-estate tax records.

Date TBA

Weekday Morning Field Trip

Visit the New York County Register’s Office (conveyance records), the Municipal Archives (Building Department and tax records), the Municipal Reference Library and the Manhattan Department of Buildings.

The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS), founded in 1893, is a non-profit membership organization committed to making New York a more livable city through education, dialogue and advocacy for intelligent urban planning, design and preservation. For more information visit MAS.org.

Adirondack Land Use and Ethics Symposium


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The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s Northern Forest Institute At Huntington Wildlife Forest invites submissions for a symposium of interdisciplinary scholarship in land use and ethics, to be held at Huntington Wildlife Forest, Newcomb, Essex County, NY on June 1-3, 2012.

Research is welcomed from across professions and disciplines on topics related to balancing individual and community priorities with respect to land use and the associated expectations for human and ecosystem stewardship and social and environmental ethics. Submissions should generate conversation around a variety of approaches to land use, the moral implications of these approaches, as well as the ways that they influence the ongoing debate over how to achieve social and environmental justice. Submissions from a range of disciplines and professional fields are encouraged.

All submissions must be submitted as a Word document via e-mail to Symposium Coordinator Rebecca Oyer according to the guidelines below. Acceptance notifications will go out by the first week of January 2012 along with detailed travel and accommodation information (preliminary information is below).

Electronic submissions require the following:
o Submission Title
o Submission Type (including required abstract/proposal as noted below):
o Paper
o Panel discussion
o Poster presentation
o Author(s) Information:
o Affiliation (independent scholars are welcome)
o Full name
o Daytime phone
o E-mail
o Mailing address

Anonymity: Abstracts will be sent via email to the Symposium Coordinator who will respond with an e-mail acknowledgement of receipt. Abstracts will be distributed anonymously to the Symposium Chair and selection committee.

A conference fee of $75 will include housing and meals beginning with dinner on Friday, June
1 and ending with lunch on Sunday, June 3 plus a wine and cheese reception at Huntington Lodge on the evening of Friday, June 1. Coffee and refreshments will be available throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday of the symposium. (Note: This is an estimated rate that may increase by $5-$10).

Accommodations: Rustic accommodations will be provided on Huntington Wildlife Forest.

Traditional Papers: The symposium welcomes work in progress. One aim of this meeting is to
provide a collegial environment for new and in-process work and ideas to be offered for comment and critique. Submissions must include a 250 word abstract. Accepted papers/research in progress will be presented by the author followed by a fifteen minute period of open discussion. Panel Discussion: A panel discussion with at least two presenters should examine specific problems or topics from a variety of disciplinary and professional perspectives on land use and ethics. Panel proposals should include a description of the issue that the panel will address, an explanation of the relevance of the topic to more than one discipline/field and an indication of how each paper in the panel addresses each issue. Panel Discussion proposals should include an abstract of 600 words for the panel as a whole.

Poster Presentations: Proposals for Poster Presentations should be in the form of a description of the research project not longer than 1000 words including a brief outline of the problem or topic presented and its relationship to land use and ethics. Posters will be on display throughout the symposium, with presenters available in the display area for a designated time during the symposium.

Session Chairs: If you would like to serve as a Session Chair, please send a CV to the Symposium Coordinator including your areas of research interest/expertise so that we can place Chairs in the most appropriate session.

Confirmation: Anyone making a submission will receive confirmation of receipt within 48 hours. If you have not received confirmation of receipt and/or notification regarding the Program Committee’s decision about your submission by January 1, please contact Symposium Coordinator Rebecca Oyer.

Scheduling: The Program Committee assumes that it may schedule a paper or session at any time
between Saturday, June 2 at 9am and Sunday, June 3 late afternoon.

For all correspondence regarding submission and/or program content, contact Symposium Chair
Marianne Patinelli-Dubay at mpatinelli@esf.edu

For submission questions, presentation/IT needs contact Symposium Coordinator Rebecca Oyer at
royer@esf.edu

For information on fees, lodging and accommodations contact Business Manager Zoe Jeffery at
aechwf@esf.edu

Photo of Arbutus Lodge, compliments of Huntington Wildlife Forest, Newcomb, NY.

Fort Ticonderoga Offers 2nd Material Culture Seminar


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Fort Ticonderoga will host its Second Annual “Material Matters: It’s in the Details” seminar the weekend of January 28 & 29, 2012. This weekend program focuses on the material culture of the 18th century and is intended for collectors, re-enactors, and people with a general interest in learning more about objects of the 18th century and what they can tell us about history. “Material Matters” takes place in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center at Fort Ticonderoga and is open by pre-registration only.

A panel of material culture experts from the United States and Canada come to Fort Ticonderoga for the weekend to share their knowledge of 18th-century material culture in a series of presentations. Designed for those who want a deeper understanding of the everyday objects that help tell the story of life and the contests for control of North America during the 18th century, the weekend’s informal approach enables attendees to interact with presenters and provides an opportunity to examine 18th-century objects up close.

o Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator of Collections Chris Fox will discuss the archeological remains of clothing and sewing-related artifacts in the Fort’s collection found during the Fort’s restoration in the early 20th century.

o Matthew Keagle, a scholar of 18th-century Atlantic material culture, will talk about grenadier caps used by various 18th-century armies and their cultural significance.

o David Ledoyen, a heritage presentation coordinator from Montreal, will explore 18th-century surgeons’ instruments and the evolution of surgeons as a profession in New France.

o Stuart Lilie, Director of Interpretation at Fort Ticonderoga, will discuss equestrian saddlery and horse furniture. Lilie is a saddler specializing in 18th- and early 19th-century saddlery.

o Sarah Woodyard, an apprentice in millinery at Colonial Williamsburg, will talks about 18th-century undergarments.

Registration for “Material Matters” is now open. A brochure with the complete schedule and a registration form is available on Fort Ticonderoga’s website at www.fort-ticonderoga.org by selecting “Explore and Learn” and choosing “Life Long Learning” on the drop-down menu. A printed copy is also available upon request by contacting Rich Strum, Director of Education, at 518-585-6370. The cost for the weekend is $120 ($100 for members of the Friends of Fort Ticonderoga).

Photo: Speaker Henry Cooke (left) and Curator of Collections Chris Fox (right) examine an original 18th-century coat during a “Material Matters” session last winter.

Rensselaerswijck: Life on the Hudson’s East Bank


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The Rensselaer County Historical Society (RCHS) and the New Netherland Research Center (NNRC) are partnering to present a day of lectures and a tour of a private home to highlight the history of Rensselaerswijck, the colonial estate owned by the van Rensselaer family that was located in what is now mainly the Capital District.

The program will be held on Saturday November 5, 2011. Lectures will take place at the RCHS, 57 Second Street, Troy NY. Cost is $25 for the day, $23 for RCHS and NNRC members. For more information or to make your reservation, call 518-244-6853 or email ilenefrank@rchsonline.org. Space is limited for the house tour.

Highlights of the day include an address by Dr. Eric Ruijssenaars and a chance to tour one of the oldest homes in Rensselaer County, Hoogebergh. Dr. Ruijssenaars, the New Netherland Research Center’s first Senior Scholar in Residence, is the founder of Dutch Archives, a historical research firm in Leiden, the Netherlands. Although a specialist in the history of Russia and the Netherlands, he is also a scholar of the Brontë sisters in Brussels and has published two books on the subject. Currently he is researching the life of Abraham Staats. Hoogebergh is a private, family owned property in which eleven generations of the Staats family have lived. The earliest sections of the home date to the 1690s.

SCHEDULE

9:00am – Coffee and Registration at RCHS, 57 Second Street, Troy NY

9:30 am – Welcome
Ilene Frank, Executive Director, RCHS & Charly Gehring, Director, NNRC

9:45 am – Native Americans Along the Hudson
Andy Krievs, Project Director, Hartgen Archeological Associates, Inc.

Through the years, Hartgen Archeological Associates has conducted several excavations that include Native American sites. Mr. Krievs will talk about several sites found along the Hudson River that date back to the Woodland time period and even earlier.

10:30am – A Dutch Founding Father: Abraham Staats
Dr. Eric Ruijssenaars, Senior Scholar in Residence, NNRC

In 1642, surgeon Abraham Staats and his wife emigrated from Amsterdam to Kiliaen van Rensselaer’s estate, Rensselaerswijck. Staats’s not only treated ailing residents but he also advised the Patroon and served as a magistrate of the court, resolving disputes both inside and outside of court. Well respected, Staats was also something of a diplomat. Entitled to trade in beavers, he learned the Algonquian Indian language and acted as an intermediary between colonists and Native Americans. His commercial interests placed him in contact with New Amsterdam’s leaders, such as Peter Stuyvesant.

11:30am – Going Dutch: The Influence of Dutch Culture in the Upper Hudson Valley
John Scherer, Historian Emeritus, New York State Museum

New York’s unique Dutch heritage was reflected in its material culture long after the colony was taken by the English in 1664. By that time New York, formerly known as New Netherland had been heavily settled by the Dutch and new settlers continued to arrive from the Netherlands. These early settlers and their descendants attempted to replicate their native land in the new world. This Dutch influence continued to exist in the Upper Hudson Valley well in to the nineteenth century.

1:00pm – Tour Hoogebergh
Join us for a special tour of Hoogebergh, a private, family owned property that has remained in the Staats family for eleven generations. The stone house was begun in the 1690s or before and lengthened in 1722. Other additions have been made, but the older parts are little changed. Space is limited, book early.

Illustration: The Hudson River Valley c 1635.

Call for Papers: Conference on NYS History


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The Program Committee for the Conference on New York State History invites proposals for individual presentations, full sessions, panel discussions, workshops, and other program suggestions for the 2012 conference to be held at Niagara University on June 14-16, 2012. Diverse historical perspectives are welcomed. Presentations may consider any aspect of the history of New York State over the past 400 years. We encourage presenters to take a dynamic approach to their presentations, including the use of visual and audio aids, audience participation, and panel discussions. Continue reading

Symposium on 18th Century Mohawk Valley Culture


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An upcoming symposium, “Frontier Style: Culture at the Edge of Empire, Mohawk Valley NY, 1700-1800” looks at clothing, furniture and household decorations to see what they can reveal about a person’s cultural and social status in colonial New York.

Scholars at the 2011 Western Frontier Symposium will discuss the interactions of the Mohawk, Dutch, English, German and slave cultures within this region, their traditions of costume and household design, and their perceptions of each other.

The two day symposium will be held October 15-16 at Fulton-Montgomery Community College in Johnstown, NY. Participating experts in 18th century design and the region’s cultures include Phillip Otterness, David Preston, Timothy Shannon, George Hamell, Mark Hutter, Robert Trent, Mary Elise Antoine and others.

“Frontier Style” looks closely at daily life in the 18th century Mohawk Valley, when this region was the western edge of colonial New York, a frontier space where European and Native American communities were both neighbors and trading partners.

In that diverse multicultural world, personal objects from everyday life like painted German chests or Iroquois body art revealed cultural roots and traditions. Stylistic choices also could suggest a person’s career aspirations, as when decorating exclusively with imported British goods or wearing the latest London fashions.

Symposium presentations include the basics of Mohawk Valley “dressing for success”, local fashions for every budget, regional furniture and architecture, as well as discussion of the dominant ethnic and social cultures of the period.

Admission to the symposium is $20.00 per day with a discount for advance registration. A special symposium package available by advance registration only includes admission to the presentations, printed copies of the papers, box lunches both days, a reception with the speakers and a special 18th century dinner for $135. Registration forms can be downloaded from the web link below.

The biennial Western Frontier Symposium has presented the latest scholarly research about the history and cultures of the Mohawk River Valley since 2005. It is sponsored by a collaboration of regional historic sites and organizations: Old Fort Johnson, Palatine Settlement Society, Montgomery County History & Archives, Johnson Hall State Historic Site, Herkimer Home SHS, Schuyler Mansion SHS, Crailo SHS, Fort Plain Museum, Fort Klock, Historic Cherry Hill, Old Stone Fort Museum, Fulton-Montgomery Community College, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, and the Costume Society of America.

More information and registration forms are available online.

Papers to be presented October 15-16, 2011 include:

* David Preston – “The Texture of Contact: European and Indian Settler Communities on the Iroquoian Borderlands, 1720-1790”

* Phillip Otterness “Neither French, nor English, nor Indians: The Palatine Germans of New York”

* Erica Nuckles – “The Dutch had a very bad Opinion of Me”

* Clifford Oliver Mealy –“ Slaves in the Mohawk Valley, 1750-1800”

* Tim Shannon – ”Dressing for Success on the Mohawk Frontier: Hendrick, William Johnson, and the Indian Fashion”

* George Hamell – “Native American Body Art”

* Scott Meachum – “Native American Calling Cards: War Clubs & Pictographs”

* Mark Hutter – “High Style in the Hinterlands: 18th Century Design for the Fashionable Consumer”

* Kjirsten Gustavson – “Colonial Clothing in Upstate New York”

* Michael Roets – “18th C Mohawk Life: Lower Castle Archeology”

* Wanda Burch – “Collecting Cultures: Sir William Johnson’s Cabinet of Curiosities”

* Cindy Falk – “Mohawk Valley Architecture: Cultures Built in Stone & Wood”

* Rabbit Goody – “Household Goods: 18th Century Fabrics for the Home”

* Robert Trent – “Mohawk Valley Interiors & Furniture: The Stylish Home‘

* Mary Antoine – “German Folk Arts in Upstate New York”

* Deborah Emmons-Andarawis – “Shades of Gentility: Philip Schuyler and Philip Van Rensselaer” (sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities)

* Ron Burch – “Music in the Johnson Family” (lecture & concert)

Call for Papers: Land Use and Ethics Symposium


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The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s Northern Forest Institute At Huntington Wildlife Forest invites submissions for a symposium of interdisciplinary scholarship in land use and ethics, to be held at Huntington Wildlife Forest, Newcomb, Essex County, NY on June 1-3, 2012. The deadline for submissions is November 30, 2011.

Research is welcomed from across professions and disciplines on topics related to balancing individual and community priorities with respect to land use and the associated expectations for human and ecosystem stewardship and social and environmental ethics. Submissions should generate conversation around a variety of approaches to land use, the moral implications of these approaches, as well as the ways that they influence the ongoing debate over how to achieve social and environmental justice. Submissions from a range of disciplines and professional fields are encouraged.

All submissions must be submitted as a Word document via e-mail to Symposium Coordinator Rebecca Oyer according to the guidelines below. Acceptance notifications will go out by the first week of January 2012 along with detailed travel and accommodation information (preliminary information is below).

Electronic submissions require the following:
o Submission Title
o Submission Type (including required abstract/proposal as noted below):
o Paper
o Panel discussion
o Poster presentation
o Author(s) Information:
o Affiliation (independent scholars are welcome)
o Full name
o Daytime phone
o E-mail
o Mailing address

Anonymity: Abstracts will be sent via email to the Symposium Coordinator who will respond with an e-mail acknowledgement of receipt. Abstracts will be distributed anonymously to the Symposium Chair and selection committee.

A conference fee of $75 will include housing and meals beginning with dinner on Friday, June
1 and ending with lunch on Sunday, June 3 plus a wine and cheese reception at Huntington Lodge on the evening of Friday, June 1. Coffee and refreshments will be available throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday of the symposium. (Note: This is an estimated rate that may increase by $5-$10).

Accommodations: Rustic accommodations will be provided on Huntington Wildlife Forest.

Traditional Papers: The symposium welcomes work in progress. One aim of this meeting is to
provide a collegial environment for new and in-process work and ideas to be offered for comment and critique. Submissions must include a 250 word abstract. Accepted papers/research in progress will be presented by the author followed by a fifteen minute period of open discussion. Panel Discussion: A panel discussion with at least two presenters should examine specific problems or topics from a variety of disciplinary and professional perspectives on land use and ethics. Panel proposals should include a description of the issue that the panel will address, an explanation of the relevance of the topic to more than one discipline/field and an indication of how each paper in the panel addresses each issue. Panel Discussion proposals should include an abstract of 600 words for the panel as a whole.

Poster Presentations: Proposals for Poster Presentations should be in the form of a description of the research project not longer than 1000 words including a brief outline of the problem or topic presented and its relationship to land use and ethics. Posters will be on display throughout the symposium, with presenters available in the display area for a designated time during the symposium.

Session Chairs: If you would like to serve as a Session Chair, please send a CV to the Symposium Coordinator including your areas of research interest/expertise so that we can place Chairs in the most appropriate session.

Confirmation: Anyone making a submission will receive confirmation of receipt within 48 hours. If you have not received confirmation of receipt and/or notification regarding the Program Committee’s decision about your submission by January 1, please contact Symposium Coordinator Rebecca Oyer.

Scheduling: The Program Committee assumes that it may schedule a paper or session at any time
between Saturday, June 2 at 9am and Sunday, June 3 late afternoon.

For all correspondence regarding submission and/or program content, contact Symposium Chair
Marianne Patinelli-Dubay at mpatinelli@esf.edu

For submission questions, presentation/IT needs contact Symposium Coordinator Rebecca Oyer at
royer@esf.edu

For information on fees, lodging and accommodations contact Business Manager Zoe Jeffery at
aechwf@esf.edu

Photo of Arbutus Lodge, compliments of Huntington Wildlife Forest, Newcomb, NY.

Americana Symposium at Fenimore Art Museum


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On September 30 and October 1, the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York will host an Americana Symposium, “Inspired Traditions.” This new event, which is expected to be an annual occurrence, will feature distinguished scholars who will present their research on a variety of topics represented by the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana – a privately held folk art collection – as well as the folk art collection of the Fenimore Art Museum.

Presenters include Robin Jaffee Frank, David A. Schorsch, Robert Shaw, and other folk art and Americana specialists including Jane Katcher, Dr. Paul S. D’Ambrosio (President and CEO of the New York State Historical Association / Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum), Eva Fognell (Curator of The Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art), Richard Miller, and Robert Wilkins.

The symposium will coincide with the opening of the Fenimore Art Museum’s fall exhibitions – Inspired Traditions: Selections from Jane Katcher Collection of Americana and Unfolding Stories: Culture and Tradition in American Quilts. Both exhibitions run through December 31, 2011.

A new book, “Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence, Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana, Vol. II” will also be released at that time.

The symposium schedule includes a welcome reception and attendee dinner on Friday, September 30. On Saturday, October 1, there will be morning and afternoon speaker sessions with a buffet lunch at noon. Attendees will also have time to explore the Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum. Fee: $75 ($65 New York State Historical Association members). For a complete schedule or to registeronline, visit FeninmoreArtMuseum.org/symposium or call (607) 547-1453.

Photo: Flying Fame weathervane, Possibly New York, circa 1880–1890. Copper, zinc, traces of original gold leaf, verdigris, 30 × 31 × 12 inches.

Mohawk Valley: 2011 Western Frontier Symposium


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The 2011 Western Frontier Symposium: Frontier Style Culture at the Edge of Empire Mohawk Valley, NY: 1700-1800 will be held October 15-16, 2011 at Fulton-Montgomery Community College in Johnstown, New York.

The fourth biennial Western Frontier Symposium continues to explore the history of the Mohawk Valley in the century when the region was the western edge of colonial New York and a crossroads of French, Dutch, British and Native American empires.

Far from European centers of fashion, Mohawk Valley residents expressed their sense of style with strategic design choices from multiple cultures. Distinct regional variations in their clothing, architecture and interior designs reveal their values and their aspirations. Participating experts in 18th century design and regional cultures include Phillip Otterness, David Preston, Timothy Shannon, George Hamell, Mark Hutter, Robert Trent, Mary Elise Antoine and others.

There will be a companion exhibit, “Frontier Style: The Height of Fashion at the Edge of Empire Mohawk Valley NY 1700-1800” at Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s Perella Gallery from October 14 through December 9, 2011. The exhibit will be an exhibition of 18th century Mohawk Valley fashion and home decor, featuring clothing reproduced for New York State Historic Sites collections.

This event is sponsored by Mohawk Valley Historic Sites, Fulton-Montgomery Community College, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, Costume Society of America.

More information about the symposium can be found online.

NY Folklore Society Graduate Student Conference


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For over 65 years, the New York Folklore Society (NYFS) has held an annual conference, typically with guest speakers, such as master artists and academic scholars, who have addressed a particular theme. This year, in collaboration with Binghamton University’s English Department, NYFS invites graduate students to present their work on legends and tales. In this way, students will be given a platform at a local conference to share their work and connect with other young academics from around the state. The NYFS seeks to encourage young scholars to continue their studies and become active contributors to the fields of folklore, ethnomusicology, anthropology and more. This conference presents students with the opportunity for feedback on works-in-progress and mentorship from the academy.



Theme: Legends and Tales

Legends and tales present characters under duress in extraordinary circumstances. They preserve cultural patterns and facilitate social change. Legends such as “The Vanishing Hitchhiker” and “The Killer in the Back Seat” have a kernel of truth; tales such as “Little Red Riding Hood” and “The Armless Maiden” are clearly fictional but have complex layers of meaning. When legends and tales inspire literature and films, they bring richly resonant traditions to the minds of readers and viewers.

This multidisciplinary conference welcomes papers about legends and/or tales from graduate students in literature, folklore, anthropology, American studies, cultural studies, film studies, ethnic studies, gender studies, social and cultural history, and other fields. The conference organizers especially encourage papers related to the cultural traditions of New York State.

The NY Folklore Society Graduate Student Conference will be held November 12, 2010

at Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY.

Students are encouraged to submit proposals by August 15; the final deadline for submission is September 15.

More information can be found online.

Researching NY Conference Call For Papers


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The organizers of the 14th annual Researching New York Conference invite proposals for panels, papers, workshops, roundtables, exhibits, and documentary and multimedia presentations on any aspect of New York State history -in any time period and from any perspective. Researching New York brings together historians, archivists, museum curators, graduate students, teachers, documentarians, and multimedia producers, to share their work on New York State history. Presentations that highlight the vast resources available to researchers, as well as scholarship drawn from those resources, are encouraged. This year’s conference will be held November 17th & 18th, 2011 at the State University of NY at Albany.

Anniversaries are a means to recall, celebrate, or commemorate significant milestones in history. Often forgotten is what came next. Examining the aftermath of momentous events in both the short and long-term enlarges historical understanding, whether viewed from a political, cultural, social, legislative, or other perspective. 2011 marks a number of anniversaries: 9/11, the Attica Prison Uprising, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, and the beginning of the Civil War, among others. For Researching New York 2011 we encourage submissions that not only explore how we remember, commemorate, and create meaning from these and other notable events in New York State history, but that also consider what came next.

Proposals are due by July 1, 2011. Complete panels, workshops, media presentations, or sessions are preferred; they will consider partial panels and individual submissions. For complete sessions please submit a one-page abstract of the session, a one page abstract for individual presentations, and a one-page curriculum vita for each participant. For individual submissions, include a one-page abstract and one-page vita. Submissions must include name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address. Please submit electronically to resrchny@albany.edu. All proposals must detail any
anticipated audiovisual needs or time constraints. All conference participants are expected to register for the conference.

They also seek commentators for panels. If you would like to comment on a panel, please contact us at resrchny@albany.edu, indicating your area of expertise, along with a one-page vita.

For additional details and future conference updates, visit the Researching New York website.

Researching New York is sponsored by the University at Albany History Department and History Graduate Student Organization and the New York State Archives Partnership Trust.

Dutchess County History Conference May 7


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The Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education (IHARE) has announced the fourth of five county history conferences in the Hudson Valley to be held this spring. The history of Dutchess County will be the focus of the conference, which will be held May 7, Greenspan Dining Room, Drumlin Building, Dutchess Community College.

Each Saturday conference brings together scholars, municipal historians, historic organizations, teachers, and lovers of history to share in the experience of the history of a region in the Hudson Valley, address the challenges in preserving that legacy, and to hear about teaching local history in our schools. We look forward to

seeing you at the next conference.



Lunch is $10 (mail check payable to IHARE to POB 41, Purchase, NY, 10577). To pre-register or for more information contact info@ihare.org

9:00 Welcome – D. David Conklin, President

Dutchess Community College [invited]

9:15 Students take a Trip in a Time Machine Back 7,000 Years

Stephanie Roberg-Lopez and Tom Lake

Dutchess Community College

Examine the legacy of the first human settlers in what would become Dutchess County. Explore the mysteries of Bowdoin Park. See what the students have uncovered as part of their archaeological training over the past decade. The discoveries of Native American culture dates to at least 7,000 years ago.

Stephanie Roberg-Lopez is an Associate Professor in Behavioral Sciences at Dutchess Community College where she teaches Anthropology and Archaeology. She also does cultural resource management consulting throughout New York. She has a BA in Anthropology from Columbia University and an MA in Archaeology from Yale.

Tom Lake works for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson River Estuary Program as its Estuary Naturalist, where he shadows eagles, teaches the ecology of the estuary, and edits the Hudson River Almanac, a natural history journal now in its 18th year. He is an Adjunct lecturer at Dutchess Community College.

10:15 It Really Is Our History:

Dutchess County And The American Civil War

Pete Bedrossian, National Purple Heart Hall of Honor,

New York State Office Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation

Everyone knows that the Civil War occurred in the South – that’s where all the National Park Services sites are located excepted for Gettysburg! But it was the people from the North who fought in those battles and marched in those campaigns and no state contributed more than New York State. Units tended to be based on communities and the soldiers from Dutchess County were no exception to this practice. Come here the story of the 150th New York, the Dutchess County regiment.

Peter Bedrossian has studied the Civil War for 20 years as a Civil War Living Historian and re enactor. He is the military commander of the 150th New York, which is an education association chartered by the Board of Regents. His areas of focus are the 150th New York, “the Dutchess County Regiment” and Civil War Medicine and Surgery. He has made presentations at Gettysburg National Battlefield Park, the Antietam National Battlefield Park, St. Paul’s National Historic Site, local libraries and historical societies as well as providing school programs throughout the region. When not in the 19th century, he preserves our history as Program Director at the National Purple Heart

Hall of Honor.

11:15 The Home Front at Roosevelt’s Home Town

Carney Rhinevault, Hyde Park Town Historian

The Home Front at Roosevelt’s Home Town tells an almost entirely forgotten story in wonderful, personal detail: the myriad ways in which people in small town America coped with the challenges, hardships and inconveniences of world war and threw themselves – every man, woman and child of them – into the effort of winning the war by

means of civic enterprise. A selection of chapter titles spells it out: “airplane spotters,” “blackout drills and civil defense,” “home front industries,” “rationing and shortages,” “victory gardens,” “recycling.” This book presents Anytown USA in wartime. It also tells us about the lifelong home town that was much loved by the

Commander-in-Chief. The Roosevelts pass in and out of the narrative with sufficient frequency to add celebrity flavor and worldwide resonance to the initiatives and privations of his “friends and neighbors.”

Carney Rhinevault is the Hyde Park Town Historian, a position once held by FDR. Rhinevault discovered a previously unpublished account of daily doings in Hyde Park and Staatsburg during eighteen months in the middle of World War II written by a career newspaper reporter Helen Myers.

12:15 Lunch

1:15 Preserving the Past in Dutchess County

Saving the Fishkill Supply Depot: A Call to Action

Lance Ashworth, President, Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot

Over the past forty years, the overall site has been considerably damaged and fragmented by commercial development. A combination of general contemporary pressure to seek revenue from properties, regulatory, legal and procedural gaps, and historical accident have combined to produce a situation in which the 70 acres of National

Register of Historic Places-designated Fishkill Supply Depot land, or at least some parcels within it, have never come under the care of effective custodianship.

Key open space parts of the Fishkill Supply Depot complex are currently up for sale, primed for future commercial development. Still, the opportunity remains for respectful preservation and subsequent interpretation of remaining open space. The preservation of essential properties at the core of the Depot site can happen in our

time. It is to this end that we are dedicated.

The Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot is a not-for-profit organization that advocates the permanent preservation of undeveloped acres within the Fishkill Supply Depot and Encampment, a Revolutionary War site that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The mission of The Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot includes

permanent protection of the Continental Army Burial Complex within the boundaries of the Fishkill Supply Depot, stringent archaeological review of development projects that may affect the site, preservation of archaeological resources associated with the Fishkill Supply Depot during the Revolutionary period, and the future interpretation of the historic site for public benefit.

Restoring the Beacon Railway

Anne Lynch, Mount Beacon Incline Railway Restoration Society

Founded in 1996, the Mount Beacon Incline Railway Restoration Society consists of members from across the Hudson Valley and beyond. This diverse organization is united in its efforts to restore, operate and preserve an integral piece of American industrial, engineering, transportation and leisure history. Incline railway service to the summit of Mount Beacon will offer the public unparalleled vistas and scenic beauty. The Incline Railway will serve as a living museum and centerpiece asset in the restoration of the Mount Beacon summit as a scenic, historic educational and recreational resource.

Anne Lynch is the president and CEO of the Mount Beacon Incline Railway Restoration Society

2:15 Dutchess County: A Community Experience

Dutchess County: A Community of Pots and Transportation

George Lukacs, Poughkeepsie City Historian

Upper Landing: Bridging our Past and Future in Poughkeepsie

Jolanda Jensen and Nancy Cozean

Restoring a Village Green, Renewing a Community

The Pawling Green Project

Nancy Tanner, Bill McGuinness, and Karen Zukowski

Historic Resource Surveys:

Planning Tool for Communities in the 21st Century

Kathleen Howe, New York State Historic Preservation Office

Historic resource surveys help raise awareness about historic and cultural resources, provide useful information for municipal planners, developers and property owners, and help protect these resources, providing critical baseline information about historic resources in a specific area. Learn about the State Historic Preservation Office’s

(SHPO) recent efforts to enhance survey efforts throughout New York State.

Kathleen Howe is the Survey and Evaluation Unit Coordinator for the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), part of the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). She holds a M.A. in Architectural History and Certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Virginia. After graduation, she worked in the planning unit of the Peak National Park in the United Kingdom as part of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)

internship program. Before joining the SHPO staff, Ms. Howe worked for ten years at Bero Architecture in Rochester, New York preparing historic structure reports and surveys. She also worked for a non-profit preservation organization in Rochester as curator of two historic house museums. She began working for the SHPO in 1999 as

National Register representative for the New York City territory, working with property owners and interested citizens in listing properties to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Under Ms. Howe’s guidance over 200 listings (both individual properties and historic districts) were added to the Registers

encompassing over 4,100 properties from skyscrapers and industrial complexes to brownstone row houses and synagogues. She has shepherded through a number of State and National Register nominations that represent the diverse architectural and cultural landscape of New York City including historic districts for the Lower East Side, Chinatown and Little Italy, Gansevoort Market, Garment Center, Sugar Hill, and

Wall Street, among others. She completed the nomination of over 65 subway stations in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the NYC Subway System. Ms. Howe has recently spent time evaluating several properties from the recent past including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Look Building, the TWA Terminal, and the World Trade Center site. She is a frequent guest lecturer at Columbia University’s Historic Preservation graduate program. Since February 2011, Ms. Howe has been head of the SHPO’s newly formed Survey and Evaluation Unit which is responsible for the identification and evaluation of historic properties in New York State as required by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and the New York State Historic Preservation Act of 1980.

3:45 Municipal Historian Roundtable: Education and Cultural Tourism

Mary Kay Vrba, Dutchess County Tourism

Mary Kay Vrba CTP, Director of Tourism for Dutchess County has more than 25 years of tourism experience and has the responsibility for marketing Dutchess County as vacation destination. Mary Kay’s job responsibilities include sales and marketing for all publications printed by DC tourism, she oversaw the visitor profile study, grant

writer for tourism agency, new product development and the day-to-day-aspects of the agency.

Mary Kay currently serves as President of Hudson Valley Tourism and past President of the NYS TPA Council, Instructor at NYU at the Tisch Center for Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Management, and serves on Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Valkill Board of Directors

Mary Kay has a master degree from George Williams College in Downers Grove Illinois in Leisure and Environmental Resource

4:15 Dutchess County School/Historic Organization Collaborations

Peter Feinman, Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education, moderator

Teaching Dutchess County History: A High School Experience -

Shaun Boyce, Arlington High School

Shaun Boyce has been teaching social studies at Arlington High School since 2000. Although he has developed course curricula at Dutchess Community College and Marist College, Hudson River Heritage is his first truly original course for a high school audience. He?ll discuss the challenges and rewards of teaching about the Hudson River Valley.

Trunks to Interns: Teaching Local History

Betsy Kopstein, Executive Director of the DC Historical Society

Memories of a Community: Seniors to Seniors Oral History Project

Sandra Vacchio, President

Wappingers Historical Society

The Wappingers Historical Society, in collaboration with Robert Wood, Instructor of The Roy C. Ketcham High School Broadcast Arts Class, has documented stories of the past as told to us by long time Wappingers residents. Each Monday night, throughout March, a different program featuring the reflections of lifelong Wappingers residents was presented. “his has been an incredible opportunity for the students here at RCK,” says, Robert Wood, art educator. “This has truly been a cooperative educational experience and a terrific interaction between students and community. Students filmed and edited these interviews. All involved are very excited about the final products.” An ongoing effort to save history through various mediums, additional video and audio interviews are now in production. One can visit the website at www.wappingershistoricalsociety.org to see photo, post card and glass negative galleries.

11th Annual Algonquian Peoples Seminar


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The Native American Institute of the Hudson River Valley and The New York State Museum have announced the program for this year’s 11th Mohican/Algonquian Peoples Seminar to be held at the NYS Museum in Albany April 30, 2011.

This year’s featured topics will include: Archaeological Research on First Peoples of Eastern New York and the New England-Maritimes, Life’s Immortal Shell: Wampum as a Light and Life Metaphor, The 150th Anniversay of the Mohican Stockbridge-Munsee in the Civil War, Frank Speck on Penobscot and Iroquois Worldviews in the Cosmological Narratives, Investigation of the Vosburg Archaeological District, Growing up on the Reservation, Lithic reduction & resource use in southern New York State and the Stephentown Mounds


For a complete schedule and registration information email Mariann Mantzouris, Seminar Chairwoman at marimantz@aol.com or call 518-369-8116.

Historic Preservation Event Grants Offered


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Want to attend the 2011 National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference in Buffalo from October 19 – 22, 2011? If you work in a New York State non-profit organization such as a library, college, or community-based group, you are eligible for a special Go! Grant.

These grants are offered to encourage cross-discipline learning and cross-organization collaboration, these special Go! Grants provide up to $500 to cover travel and registration costs to the conference. This opportunity is only available for New York professionals working for non-profits outside of the museum field. Applications are due on June 1, 2011.

To learn more visit www.museumwise.org.

Greene County History Conference Set


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The Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education (IHARE) has announced the third of five county history conferences in the Hudson Valley to be held this spring, this one focused on Greene County. The first conference was held at the Mahopac Library in Putnam to a capacity crowd on March 19. The second one at the Albert Wisner Public Library in Warwick, Orange County on April 16 is fully registered.

Each Saturday conference brings together scholars, municipal historians, historic organizations, teachers, and lovers of history to share in the experience of the history of a region in the Hudson Valley, address the challenges in preserving that legacy, and to hear
about teaching local history in our schools.

Greene County History Conference

Date: April 30
Time: 9:00-5:00
Location: Catskill Middle School Auditorium
343 West Main Street, Catskill
Cost: Free (optional $10 lunch)
Registration: check payable to IHARE and mail to POB 41, Purchase, NY 10577

Immerse yourself in the history of Greene County. Hear its music. View its art. Sing its songs. Tell its stories. See its historic sites. Learn about the Greene people who over the centuries have made the county what it is today. Meet the people who are preserving that
legacy and help us to continue to do so in the 21st century.

9:00 Welcome – Wayne Speenburgh, Chairman of the Legislature (invited)

9:15 Why Greene Is Great: Local History Matters
Dave Dorpfeld, Greene County Historian

Greene County has experienced many changes since the end of the Ice Age and first human settlements in the land. Thousands of years later these first settlers would be joined by the Dutch, Palatines Africans, and the English. The area was part of the struggle for Independence
and witnessed a boom with the arrival of the turnpike, steamboats and railroads, and emergence of industry in the valley towns. The county became a cultural center as well with the stories of Rip Van Winkle, the paintings of the Hudson River Artists and the growth of tourism in
the mountain towns. By remembering our past we help to build the future our county in the 21st century.

David Dorpfeld is a native of Greene County with a 36 year career in state and federal government agencies as an investigator, management analyst and auditor. He has been a member of the Greene County Historical Society for over 30 years and serves as Treasurer. For the
past two years, he has been the Greene County Historian. In addition he writes a weekly history column for several Register Star Newspapers including the Catskill Daily Mail.

10:15 Hudson River School
Ted Hilscher, Columbia Greene Community College

Welcome to the Hudson River School of Art. This presentation will showcase its art, discuss the messages of the artists, investigate the changes in society to which they were responding, and emphasize the role of the Hudson River School in the origins of the environmental movement.

Ted Hilscher is Associate Professor of History and Government at Columbia Greene Community College in his academic life. As one devoted to local history, he is the Town of New Baltimore Historian and Trustee Emeritus of the Greene County Historical Society. In the
past he was the chairman of the board of the Greene County Historical Society when that organization purchased the Thomas Cole House and the preservation efforts began in 1998. He also serves as a docent there.

11:15 The Civil War from a Local Perspective: The William H. Spencer Letters
Robert Uzzillia

Everyone knows that the Civil War occurred in the South – that’s where all the National Park Services sites are located excepted for Gettysburg! But it was the people from the North who fought in those battles and marched in those campaigns and no state contributed more than New York State. New York in particular contributed more soldiers to the Union than did any other state. The soldiers who fought the war shared their experiences with the homefront through letters to their families. These letters provide a graphic description of war and insights that only a soldier could have. The letters of Greene County resident William H. Spencer were transcribed by Eileen Cords, a descendant, during the town’s Bicentennial. Re-reading them reminds one of just how powerful they were and of their impact on the loved ones who were reading them.

Robert Uzzillia is a lifetime resident of Greene County. He graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 1980 with a BS in Geography and was appointed Cairo Town Historian in 1988. He has written articles for the Town of Cairo Bicentennial (Catskill Daily Mail), as well as a photo history
and has given presentations on topics ranging from a general history of Cairo to collecting salt-glazed pottery from Athens, NY.

12:15 Lunch: Musical entertainment
John Quinn & Bill Lonecke and others

1:15 Preserving a Legacy: Warren Hart, AICP, Director,
Economic Development, Tourism & Planning, moderator

The Civil War in Ballads, Stories, Poems & Camp Fire Songs
John Quinn & Bill Lonecke

The War Between the States was prolific in war poems and songs. In the North and South, poets and songwriters vied with each other in invoking the muse. The program will recreate the music of the period that reached the hearts of the people with fiery metrical appeals to
patriotism. The influence of music and the power of song —- the plaintive ballad, the lofty, patriotic, and heroic lyric, the parody, the spiritual anthem and even the crude and comical camp fire songs will be presented. These are the songs that would have been heard in
‘the hundred circling camps’ and family parlor by our ancestors.

John Quinn is the co-chair of the Greene County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee, member of the Civil War Heritage Foundation, former teacher, school administrator and college faculty
member, board of trustee member at the Pratt Museum and Vice Chairman of the Community of Windham Foundation. He’s a member of the 77th NY Regimental Balladeers a Civil War parlor band.

Bill Lonecke – is a Social Studies teacher at Margaretville CSD. He is a member of the Civil War Heritage Foundation, Greene County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee, Banjo player for the balladeers band and has over 30 years experience as a reenactor and historian.

Using Film to Preserve Local and County History
Jonathan Donald, Jonathan Donald Productions, Inc.

An anecdotal account of history’s role in film, especially in the arts and entertainment which give an audience a touchstone to the past that political history rarely offers.

Jonathan Donald or his company has produced over 200 documentary and dramatic programs for network, cable, and Public Television including major series like the dramatized documentaries of Rediscovering America (Discovery), Faces of Japan (PBS), The Africans (Time-Life
Television and PBS), Conserving America (PBS), Wild, Wild World of Animals (Time-Life Television). He has written directed and produced these programs and won various awards such as an Emmy and Golden Eagles. He began his career in television at an ABC documentary unit.
His first jobs in broadcasting were at a radio station in Berkeley before moving to Public Affairs Director at WBAI in New York.

A Most Important Historical Legacy – Writing It Down!:
Getting the local words out
Deborah Allen, Publisher, Black Dome Press

Greene County’s only regional publisher shares the remarkable triumphs of documenting local history. Find out how books are really made, how they get into the stores and finally, onto your night stand. How can these books on local history be used in the classroom? Can local
students in high school and college partner with municipal historians and historical societies to write books about the history of Greene County and their community? Let’s talk.

Debbie Allen is the publisher of Black Dome Press, an independent publisher of New York State histories and guidebooks with a special focus on the Adirondacks, Catskills, Capital District and Hudson River Valley. Founded in 1990, Black Dome Press honors include the
first-ever Barnes & Noble 2009 “Focus on New York Award for Outstanding Regional Literature,” the Columbia County Historical Society “Preservation Heritage Award,” the Community of Windham
Foundation “Leadership in Cultural Heritage Award” and the “Distinguished Service Award” by the Greene County Council on the Arts. Their offices are in the Catskill High Peaks below Black Dome Mountain.

Getting Our Local and County History Together
Barbara Mattson, Executive Director
Mountain Top Historical Society

Hear what goes into selecting, collecting and organizing a collection and why organizations must constantly re-examine and re-define their roles.

Barbara Mattson lives in Maplecrest, NY and has been Executive Director of the Mountain Top Historical Society since 2008. She has written grants for non-profits and municipalities and has worked in the communications and media industries.

3:00 The County and the Classroom – Hudson Talbott, Moderator

The River and the County
Hudson Talbott, author River of Dreams: The Story of the Hudson River

Hudson Talbott has written and illustrated nearly twenty books for young readers. Born in Louisville, KY, he attended Tyler school of Art in Rome, lived in Amsterdam, Hong Kong and traveled extensively throughout the world before starting his career in New York. His first
children?s book was commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art, called How to Show Grown-ups the Museum. His second book, We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story, was made into a feature-length animated film by Steven Spielberg. Hudson then collaborated with composer Stephen Sondheim on a book version of the composer’s musical “INTO THE WOODS”. His books have won a variety of awards and been transformed into other media. He was honored recently by Scenic Hudson Environmental Organization for his River of Dreams – The Story of the Hudson River. That book and O’Sullivan Stew have both been produced as musicals for young people. He is currently working on a book titled It’s All about Meow! A Young Cats’s Guide to the Good Life, which will soon be published by PenguinPutnam.

The Colonial World and the Classroom
Wanda Dorpfeld, Greene County Historical Society

Wanda Dorpfeld was born and raised in Freedom, New York. She holds Bachelor of Science and Master of the Science of Education degrees from The College of St. Rose, Albany, New York. After living in Indiana and Washington, D.C., she moved to Greene County in 1977. She
was a teacher for 25 years in the Catskill Central School District. She currently is on the Board of the Greene County Historical Society and is co-chair of the Museum Committee and Chair of Board Development and Resources. She also is on the Board of The Heermance Public
Library and is Chair of Policy and Planning, Hudson-Athens Lighthouse.

Jean Cardany and Michelle Whiting
Coxsackie-Athens School District

Each year the second grade classes from Coxsackie Elementary School and Edward J. Arthur Elementary School participate in a special program called “Beacons of Learning.” Through this program the students have the opportunity to visit and learn about the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse.

The boys and girls learn about the past, present, and future of this special community treasure. They meet Emily Brunner who lived on the lighthouse as a child and they discover ways to help with the preservation of the lighthouse. Another important feature is the
opportunity to experience the river firsthand. Despite living so near it, many of our students have never been on the Hudson River in a boat. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share our program and experiences with the participants of the Greene County History Conference. We hope that by listening to the children recount their experiences, it will encourage more schools to learn about their local history.

A Greene Family History as American History
Carolyn Bennett, Director, Pratt Museum Board

4:30 Teaching County History Roundtable
Peter Feinman, Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education

The Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding the knowledge and appreciation of human cultures from ancient times to the present through an array of student, teacher, and public programs and activities. The goals and objectives of the organization are:

1. To increase the public awareness of the benefits of history and archaeology through public programs.

2. To promote the inclusion and development of history and archaeology in the k-12 curriculum.

3. To provide history and archaeology enrichment programs at the k-12 level.

4. To develop, implement, and teach history and archaeology programs for teachers by working with the schools and teacher centers.

5. To work with educational institutions of higher learning, government organizations, cultural institutions, and professional archaeological and historical organizations to develop, promote, and implement archaeological and historical programs.

Troy Underground Railroad Conference This Weekend


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The annual Capital District Underground Railroad Conference will be held this weekend in Troy, NY on April 8, 9 and 10th at the Russell Sage Campus in celebration of the conference’s tenth year presenting workshops, music, and stories about the historic struggle to escape slavery.

In the words of the conference founders, Mary Liz and Paul Stewart, the conference activities are, “a fresh interpretation of an Old Story. “ This is the story of the heroic men, women and children who escaped from slavery and who traveled to new, free, lives along the Underground Railroad.

The international conference is titled, “Abolishing Slavery in the Atlantic World: the ‘Underground Railroad’ in the Americas, Africa and Europe, and its relationship with us today.” Several hundred attendees are expected at workshops, art exhibits, and musical events. The conference is organized by the Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc., (URHPCR) co-sponsored by Russell Sage College and the College’s Department of History and Society. Several non-profit groups are collaborating: Rensselaer County Historical Society, Museumwise, and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

On Friday April 8th, 2011 the Opening Address will be given by Dr. Robin Blackburn at 7:00 pm, Bush Memorial, Russell Sage College, Troy, NY, “The International Struggle to End Slavery and the Slave Trade and Its Ramifications Today.” Dr. Blackburn, Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex in England and Visiting Professor of Historical Studies at the New School for Social Research in New York, will describe the international slave trade which fueled the American Colonial economy and he will explore the ramifications for today of the struggle to end slavery. Performing are Kim and Reggie Harris.

Blackburn has taught in England at King’s College, Cambridge University, FLACSO (Latin American Social Science Faculty); in Ecuador, and at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. He has studied and taught at the London School of Economics and Oxford University. He is the author of many books and scholarly articles on historical sociology and critical social theory. Two of his most important books are The Making of New World Slavery: from the Baroque to the Modern, 1492-1800, and The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, 1776-1848. In recent years he has written several influential articles on slavery and resistance. He is the founding editor of The New Left Review and an editor at Verso Books. Blackburn’s Opening Address at the conference will bring a high level of scholarship and an international perspective to discussions about the historical struggle for freedom from slavery in the United States.

The Underground Railroad Conference in Troy is a venue for African American art exhibits, storytelling, history workshops, and programs for educators and people of all ages. A Workshop for Educators on Friday April 8th is followed on Saturday April 9th with speakers, workshops, a raffle, art exhibit, reception and evening award ceremony. Keynote speakers on Saturday are Dr. Franklin Knight, Stulman Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, speaking about slave societies. His talk opens the conference at 9:00 am and is titled, “Of Slavery and Abolitions: Perspectives from the World of Slaves.” After the morning workshops at 1:00 pm Tony Burroughs, internationally known lecturer on genealogy, a guest speaker on many television talk shows, will participate in a panel discussion called, “Heritage Preservation Through Genealogical Research, Song and Storytelling.” Joining him on the panel are singer, MaryNell Morgan and storyteller, Miki Conn. Saturday afternoon workshops conclude at 5:00 pm followed by an evening reception and art exhibit held at the Rensselaer County Historical Society located at 57 Second Street, Troy, NY.

The conference continues on Sunday April 10th at 2:00 pm in Russell Sage College’s Bush Memorial Hall with programs devoted to music and performance. There will be performances by the Hamilton Hill Dancers, Garland Nelson, MaryNell Morgan, Eshu Bumpus, Magpie, Sparky and Rhonda Rucker, Graham and Barbara Dean, the musical group Peter, Paul and George, the Hamilton Hill Dancers, and the Hamilton Hill Drummers.

The conference is possible thanks to leadership from co-founders Mary Liz and Paul Stewart, the contribution of volunteers with the URHPCR, Inc., and conference donors and supporters: M & T Bank, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, Russell Sage College, Kate Storms, The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region’s Standish Family Fund, The Alice Moore Foundation, Museumwise, the Arts Center of the Capital Region, New York Council for the Humanities, Pioneer Bank and Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation.

Find conference information and register online at www.ugrworkshop.com. Contact Paul Stewart at (518) 432-4432.

North Country Archival Conference Friday


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Anyone interested in learning more about conservation, archival security, digitizing photographs, the history of the Adirondacks, and a whole lot more is invited to come and spend a few hours of their time in return for a wealth of knowledge.

The Northern New York Library Network based in Potsdam is hosting its second Annual North Country Archives and Special Collections Conference: Efficiency, Effectiveness and Education on April 8, 2011 at the Crowne Plaza Resort, Lake Placid. The cost for all attendees is only $10.00. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. with the conference running from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Attendees of the North Country Archives and Special Collections Conference will have the opportunity to select from two of four morning sessions, then attend an afternoon presentation immediately following lunch, which is included in the price.

The first Session I choice will “Large Conference Benefits and Highlights of the 2010 Society of American Archivists Annual Conference,” presented by Jane Subramanian, SUNY Potsdam. During this session, the benefits of attending the larger archival conferences and involvement with professional organizations for those working in smaller archives will be discussed. Conferences and professional organizations from the Society of American Archivists, Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, New England Archivists, and New York Archives Conference will be examined. Educational and other opportunities will also be covered. News and highlights of the Society of American Archivists 2010 Annual Conference that are useful for all sizes of archives will also be presented.

The second Session I choice will be “Conservation 101,” presented by Barbara Eden, Director, Department of Preservation and Collection Maintenance, Cornell University. As custodians of our cultural heritage, we have the responsibility to ensure the long-term survival of these resources. Participants will learn about the elements of a preservation program that can easily be implemented into their institutions. This session will provide a beginner’s course in conservation of archival materials. Students will learn how to get started, what planning must take place, policies and procedures, and care and handling of materials held in many archival collections.

The first Session II choice will be “On Our Watch: Security in Archives and Special Collections,” presented by Nicolette A. Dobrowolski, Head of Public Services, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library. Archives and libraries with historical and special collections materials sometimes do not recognize how vulnerable their collections are to loss. That is, until you cannot find that one important book or folder for your researcher… The question on a lot of our minds today is “How can we fulfill the need to provide access to our collections while simultaneously protecting them?”

Collections have the potential to be threatened by theft, vandalism, natural disasters, and damage from careless handling or poor environmental conditions. Responsibility must be taken to protect collections today so they are available to future generations of researchers. This presentation will help participants gain the knowledge needed to start developing or revising strategies and policies with regards to security of archives and special collections materials. Topics will include overall security risk awareness, developing institutional policies, facility design, reading room management and design, staff hiring and training, collection management and record keeping and theft (including insider theft and responses to theft). Real life scenarios and practices will be used as examples.

The second Session II choice will be “Digitizing Your Historical Photographs,” presented by Denis Meadows, Regional Advisory Officer, NYS Archives. Today many historical records repositories are looking at digitization for their collections, including their historical photographs. Digitization of these valuable historical photographs can be a great way to share history with a wider audience and, at the same time, save wear and tear on the original photographs. This session will look at what repositories can digitize and why they should consider digitization, as well as present an overview of the scanning and metadata development processes.

Following lunch, Caroline M. Welsh, Director Emerita of the Adirondack Museum, will present a lecture on “From Axes to Zootropes: Museum Collections and Community History.”

“Within the walls of the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake are century-old tools that harvested trees and earth-bound minerals and ores; vehicles that transported people and goods on land and water; objects from camps and homes; and artifacts that picture the past – thousands of documents from the region, historic photographs, and works of art,” Ms. Welsh commented.

Objects document how people lived — elitist and non-elitist. An object tells us about the people who made and used it, and also about the people for whom it was made. Objects also document intangibles like attitudes, values, and ideas. All in all, the Adirondack Museum Collections number over 100,000 objects, pieces and parts. The late Arthur Schlesinger said, “History is to a nation as memory is to the individual.”

While this lecture is but a cursory overview of the complex history of the Adirondacks, it signals the importance of preserving the region’s material culture as a memory bank for the stories of the people who lived, worked, and played in the Adirondacks.

For more information or to sign-up, go online to www.nnyln.org and click on “Classes,” or call 315-265-1119.