Category Archives: Public History

Albany Times Union Covers State Historian Controversy

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NYS MapPaul Grondahl at the Albany Times Union has picked-up the story of the recent downgrading of the State Historian’s position, which we’ve been covering on The New York History Blog.

You can find the Times Union story here. We’ll have another essay by Devin Lander on his plans as State Historian later this week.

You can read all our reporting and commentaries about the State Historian’s position here.

Friends With Benefits: NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation

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OPRHP-1How many historic sites does the NYSOPRHP maintain? That is not a trick question. At the NY Statewide Preservation Conference, May 5-7, in Albany and Troy, the question was an unintended running joke among several sessions. Generally the number was between 35 and 40 with a variation due to how to classify a site given a site can be recreational and historic. But this is not a post about the combination of recreation and historic sites in one bureaucracy (it wasn’t always that way). Rather it is a discussion about what it means to be a state historic site. Continue reading

Please Contribute To The NY History Blog For 2016

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2016 Funding New York History Blog Funding CampaignThe New York History Blog relies on contributions from readers to keep publishing important news relevant to the New York State History community. We’ve seen some successes in promoting the cause of New York State’s history, among them lending our voices to help revive New York State History Month, and toward the re-establishment of a full-time New York State Historian.  We’ve promoted thousands of exhibits, events, collections, historic sites, and new publications.

Now we need your help to keep going in 2016.  Giving is easy, and this year it’s even easier – you can simply send a check to The New York History Blog, 7269 State Route 9, Chestertown, NY 12817 – or  contribute via this year’s campaign here: Continue reading

Stonewall National Monument Dedicated In NYC

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The Stonewall Inn, taken September 1969On Monday, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis and White House Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett joined federal, state and local officials and LGBT leaders to participate in a public dedication ceremony to commemorate the designation of Stonewall National Monument in New York City.

President Obama designated Christopher Park in Greenwich Village as Stonewall National Monument using his authority under the Antiquities Act. The monument’s boundary also encompasses the Stonewall Inn, a seminal location in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) history, as well as the surrounding streets and sidewalks integral to the Stonewall Uprising. Continue reading

Digging For Our Dutch Roots Event In Rochester, June 24-25

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digging for our dutch rootsThe New Netherland Institute will be hosting the Digging for our Dutch Roots event in Rochester on June 24-25.

The event hopes to answer questions such as, “what were the Dutch doing in America in the seventeenth century, and why didn’t we learn this piece of our history in school?” The New Netherland Institute will offer a fact-filled program for teachers, students, genealogists, academics and the general public. Continue reading

Conscious Collaboration: Grassroots Opportunities for NYS Cultural Organizations

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Hart-Cluett Mansion and Rensselaer County Historical SocietyThis year’s Massachusetts Humanities conference focused on collaboration and community among cultural organization throughout the Commonwealth. As an attendee hailing from Central New York, I was of course interested in gathering useful insight to apply to New York’s current state of affairs regarding public history institutions. Organization representatives at the conference came together and agreed that maintaining or regaining relevancy at a cultural site or institution depended on institutions’ willingness and ability to look inward and outward – inward toward the organization itself, and outward toward the larger community outside its doors. Similarly, New York State’s cultural and heritage organizations stand to benefit from increased and tangible collaboration, between sites, organizations, and communities, as well as other state and local institutions. Continue reading

A Message From The New State Historian Devin Lander

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Seal of New York StateI am humbled and honored to be New York’s 16th State Historian. It is certainly a privilege to have the opportunity to work with an amazing network of dedicated historians across the State to further the study, preservation, and celebration of New York’s unique and vital history.

The position of New York State Historian has a long history dating back to the first Historian being named in 1895. During the past 121 years, the State Historian has worn many hats; archivist and records collector, editor of historical collections, historical researcher and writer, preservationist, director of historic sites, museum curator, advocate for State and local history, and facilitator of a matrix of municipal, academic, and agency historians. It is a potentially daunting and multi-faceted position. Continue reading