Tag Archives: Media

NY Journalism of Djuna Barnes Exhibit Scheduled


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“Newspaper Fiction: The New York Journalism of Djuna Barnes, 1913-1919,” an exhibition of 45 objects including drawings, works on paper, documentary photographs, and stories in newsprint by the celebrated writer and early twentieth-century advocate for women’s rights Djuna Barnes (American, 1892-1982), will be presented in the Herstory Gallery of the Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art from January 20 through October 28, 2012. Among the works on view will be eight illustrations Barnes composed to accompany her newspaper columns.

The Herstory Gallery is devoted to the remarkable contributions of the women represented in The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago, on permanent view in the adjacent gallery. Barnes is one of 1,038 women honored in Chicago’s iconic feminist work.

Prior to publishing the modernist novels and plays for which she is now remembered, such as Ryder (1928), Nightwood (1936), and The Antiphon (1958), which present complex portrayals of lesbian life and familial dysfunction, Barnes supported herself as a journalist and illustrator for a variety of daily newspapers and monthly magazines, including the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, McCall’s, Vanity Fair, Charm, and the New Yorker.

Brought up in an unconventional household, Barnes developed an outsider’s perspective on “normal” life that served her well as a writer. Her liberal sexuality fit in perfectly with the bohemian lifestyle of Greenwich Village and, later, the lesbian expatriate community in Paris. From her first articles in 1913 until her departure for Europe in 1921, Barnes specialized in a type of journalism that was less about current events and more about her observations of the diverse personalities and happenings that gave readers an intimate portrait of her favorite character-New York City. Attempting to capture its transition from turn of the century city to modern metropolis, Barnes developed her unique style of “newspaper fictions,” offering impressionistic observations and dramatizing whatever she felt to be the true significance or subtexts of a story.

Image: Djuna Barnes, Sketch of a woman with hat, looking right, for “The Terrorists,” New York Morning Telegraph Sunday Magazine, September 30, 1917. Ink on paper. Djuna Barnes Papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries

An Early Schenectady Communications Experiment


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In late 1932, on a dark mountainside in the far southern Adirondacks, a group of scientists prepared for a groundbreaking effort in the world of communications. The plan was to conduct a long-distance, telephone-style conversation with their counterparts stationed 24 miles away on the roof of the General Electric Company in Schenectady. No wires were involved. The voices of those on GE’s rooftop would be carried by a searchlight beam aimed directly at a concave, 30-inch mirror on a hillside near Lake Desolation.

This particular effort was the brainchild of GE research engineer John Bellamy Taylor. It involved a unique process he called “narrowcasting” because the tight focus of the beam differed substantially from the growing technology known widely as “broadcasting.”

Earlier in the year, Taylor had likewise communicated from the navy blimp Los Angeles floating high above the GE buildings. The effect was accomplished by making a light source flicker in unison with voice fluctuations. A photoelectric cell received the flickers, or pulsations, and converted them to electrical impulses, which were then amplified by a loudspeaker. The term narrowcasting was apt—any interruption of the narrow light beam halted the transmission.

This new attempt in the Adirondacks challenged Taylor’s abilities, covering more than ten times the distance of the dirigible effort and spanning some rough terrain. While trying to place the mirror in the Lake Desolation area, engineering crews twice buried their vehicles in the mud. Another technology—the shortwave radio— was used to effect a rescue.

A second issue arose involving the visibility of the large light beam. From 24 miles away, the searchlight blended among the stars on the horizon. Instructions were radioed to blink the light, which immediately solved the problem. Further communications by radio allowed the proper alignment of the light and mirror. With everything in place, the big moment was at hand.

A member of the extensive media coverage took part in the experiment. As Taylor waited on the distant hillside, famed newspaper columnist Heywood Broun began to interview him from atop the GE roof in Schenectady: “Do you suppose it might be possible in 50 or 100 years to communicate with Mars over a light ray?” Taylor’s reply included a bit of humor. “It might be within the range of possibility, but one difficulty would be how to inform the Martians what apparatus to set up.”

While Broun’s voice rode the light beam, Taylor’s end of the conversation was sent by shortwave radio back to Broun at Schenectady, where it was received and then rebroadcast on AM radio stations. The two-way conversation was the first ever of its kind.

In an area where few people had ever used or even seen a telephone, locals were suddenly talking across a beam of light. Old trapper James Link of Lake Desolation shared that “it’s getting mighty cold up here,” and two young women also spoke with Broun. It was a public relations coup for GE, and a powerful advertisement for Taylor’s wonderful innovation. The experiment was a resounding success, followed soon by other intriguing demonstrations.

A few months later, an orchestra played before a sole microphone high in New York City’s Chrysler Building. Pointing a beam of light at a lens in the window of a broadcast studio half a mile away, Taylor transmitted the performance to an audience of shocked listeners. Stunning successes like that would influence all future communications efforts in a variety of fields.

Among his many achievements, John Bellamy Taylor is credited with being the first ever to make light audible and sound visible, and with developing the first portable radio. Just how important was his work? The effects his discoveries had on radio, television, telephone, and other technologies are immeasurable. Due to the work of Taylor, Thomas Edison, and their contemporaries, the world was forever changed.

Top Photo: John Bellamy Taylor in Popular Mechanics magazine, 1931; Middle, map of the historic “narrowcast” area; Below, Taylor’s New York City experiment transmitting music.

Lawrence Gooley has authored ten books and dozens of articles on the North Country’s past. He and his partner, Jill McKee, founded Bloated Toe Enterprises in 2004. Expanding their services in 2008, they have produced 19 titles to date, and are now offering web design. For information on book publishing, visit Bloated Toe Publishing.

Fort Ticonderoga, Champlain College Collaborate


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Fort Ticonderoga and Champlain College are entering the second year of a growing collaboration, utilizing the needs of a non-profit institution while providing students at the Vermont institution with real-world experience as they prepare to enter the workforce.

“Talk about an effective engagement for student success! By employing a real-world competitive agency model, students are truly motivated to succeed,” said Nancy Kerr, Media Communication Program Director at Champlain College. Kerr’s senior-level students are currently working on a public relations project for Fort Ticonderoga.

The students are working with Lauren Grimaldi, from Brawn Media, on developing a viral social media campaign for the Fort. “With the increasing use of online campaigns as an effective marketing strategy,” Grimaldi said, “we gave them the challenge to create a viral campaign for the Fort. Working with the students at Champlain College has been a great learning experience on both ends.”

Champlain College senior Alisha Durgin, speaking of the project this semester, said “Overall, the research we did was very informative and even surprising. Just actually doing the research and collecting the results on our own was a great learning experience.” A final product from the group of students is due in December.

During the Spring 2011 Semester, students from one of Elaine Young’s marketing courses worked with Fort Ticonderoga and staff from Brawn Media developing potential marketing efforts for the Fort’s temporary exhibition “The Art of War: Ticonderoga as Experience through the Eyes of America’s Great Artists.”

Dr. Young, Assistant Dean in Champlain College’s Division of Business, noted that “The opportunity to have students work with an organization provides enhanced learning outcomes through real world application. It’s a hallmark of a Champlain education and wouldn’t be successful without true partnerships with mission-driven organizations such as Fort Ticonderoga.”

Young continued, “Senior marketing majors were able to work closely with Fort Ti to help them plan for a major event. They learned the intricacies of working with a client with specific needs and had the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to the success of the event for Fort Ti. You can’t get this kind of experience and learning in a classroom setting by itself. It is an excellent way for students to fully link theory to practice and they were able to make meaningful connections which will stay with them as they enter their careers.”

Nancy Kerr concurs, relating that students “come away with valuable skills and knowledge to make the transition to a work environment. Working with Fort Ticonderoga this semester, the Champlain College students in the Public Relations Campaign Development class are enthusiastically working to help promote Fort Ticonderoga to the public, while gaining valuable professional skills. What could be better?”

The Champlain College collaboration is just an example of a growing role Fort Ticonderoga envisions for college and university partnerships that utilize Fort Ticonderoga as a “learning campus” for both undergraduate and graduate students in multiple disciplines, not just history and historic site administration.

Photo: Nancy Kerr, Media Communications Program Director at Champlain College, has students working the Fort Ticonderoga this semester.

New-York Historical American Art Lecture Dec 1st


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A huge range of print media — newspapers, magazines, short stories, even song lyrics— flooded the popular market in the early years of the 20th century. These publications relied on illustrations by William Glackens, John Sloan, George Luks and their contemporaries to inform, entertain and shape public attitudes.

The New-York Historical Society will host Dr. Mecklenburg’s free lecture, sponsored by the Sansom Foundation, about how these visual narratives helped Americans deal with the fast-changing circumstances of contemporary life. The lecture will be held on December 1, 2011, beginning at 6:30 pm. Seating is limited, and reservations are required; please call (212) 485-9266 or e-mail sansomrsvp@nyhistory.org to reserve seats.

Distinguished art historian and curator Virginia Mecklenburg, Senior Curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., will deliver the 2011 C. Richard Hilker lecture titled “Guttersnipes and Suffragettes: Ashcan Art and the Popular Press.” Dr. Mecklenburg earned both her BA and MA at the University of Texas at Austin, and her doctorate in art history at the University of Maryland at College Park. Her recent publications include Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg and Modern Masters: American Abstraction at Midcentury. She is currently working on African American Art in the 20th Century, the catalogue for an exhibition that will open at the Smithsonian in April 2012.

The Sansom Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports numerous causes. The Foundation is named for the Philadelphia street where the American painter William J. Glackens was born, and was established in the 1950s by the artist’s son Ira Glackens and his wife Nancy. In 1990, after the founders’ deaths, C. Richard Hilker assumed leadership of the Foundation until his death in 2001, when the Sansom Foundation inaugurated a series of scholarly lectures to celebrate and commemorate his leadership.

Founded in 1804, New-York Historical has a mission to explore the richly layered political, cultural, and social history of New York City and State and the nation and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history.

Illustration: Cover of The Masses by John Sloan following the Ludlow Massacre of April 20, 1914.

New-York Historical, NYC Media Offer Video Shorts


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The New-York Historical Society and NYC Media, the official network of the City of New York, have partnered to produce When “Did the Statue of Liberty Turn Green? & Other Questions about New York City,” a special series of 90 one-minute videos that feature the staff of the New-York Historical Society answering some of the most captivating questions ever posed to them about the City’s unique history. The video series airs every evening at 7:30pm on NYC life (Channel 25) in anticipation of the reopening of the New-York Historical Society’s Museum galleries on November 11, 2011. The series can also be viewed online on the NYC Media Video on Demand player.

“Inquisitive viewers will get the answers they’ve been looking for as the New-York Historical Society shares its vast knowledge and archive in our new series,” said Diane Petzke, general manager, NYC Media. “As part of our ongoing efforts to partner with local cultural organizations, we’re delighted to bring this fun and engaging perspective of City history to New Yorkers.”

“We are pleased to partner with NYC Media as we count down toward the re-opening of our galleries 90 days from now,” said Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society. “As the oldest cultural institution in New York City, we have a history that is closely tied to the history of the City as a whole. What better way to celebrate than by exploring the fascinating, sometimes surprising questions put to us by curious New Yorkers and visitors?”

On Veterans’ Day, Friday, November 11, 2011, the New-York Historical Society will throw open its doors as never before after completing a three-year renovation of its Central Park West building. The face of the institution—the first museum established in New York—will be transformed as visitors of all ages are welcomed to this great cultural destination. Visitors will experience brand-new gallery spaces that are more open and hospitable, both to major exhibitions and to a vastly expanded public. Highlights include, a multi-screen presentation of American history seen through the lens of New York City; the DiMenna Children’s History Museum, the first of its kind in New York, where the past comes to life through the stories of real children; a new museum restaurant operated by Stephen Starr Restaurants in a light-filled, modern space; and a permanent exhibition taking visitors on an interactive journey from colonial times to the September 11th attacks, incorporating high-definition digital screens and original artifacts. For more information about the New-York Historical Society’s re-opening, visit nyhistory.org.

New Academic Book Takes on ‘Mad Men’


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Since it premiered in July 2007, the AMC cable network’s “Mad Men” series has won many awards and been syndicated across the globe. Its imprint is evident throughout contemporary culture—from TV advertisements and magazine covers to designer fashions and online debate. Its creator, Matthew Weiner, a former executive producer on “The Sopranos,” has again created compelling, complex characters, this time in the sophisticated, go-go world of Madison Avenue of the 1960s, with smoking, drinking, and the playing out of prejudices and anxieties of an era long neglected in popular culture. As editor Gary R. Edgerton and a host of other well-known contributors demonstrate in this new title, Mad Men: Dream Come True TV, Mad Men is a zeitgeist show of the early twenty-first century.

Edgerton, who is Chair of the Communications and Theater Arts Department at Old Dominion University in Virginia, has edited this book to provide an academic yet still engaging read that sheds light on the appeal and attraction of the television series, as well as it’s cultural import.

Mad Men: Dream Come True TV features essays that analyze and celebrate the cutting edge TV series. It also includes an interview with the show’s Executive Producer Brett Hornbacher and an episode guide. The book presents essays under five parts: Industry and Authorship, Visual and Aural Stylistics and Influences, Narrative Dynamics and Genealogy, Sexual Politics and Gender Roles, Cultural Memory and the American Dream.

The book is part of the Reading Contemporary Television Series which offers a variety of intellectually challenging responses to what is happening in television today. Other books in the series have tackled CSI, Deadwood, Desperate Housewives, Lost, Sex and the City, The L Word, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, Doctor Who, 24 and more.

Gary R. Edgerton’s previous books have included The Essential HBO Reader (with Jeffrey P. Jones) and The Columbia History of American Television. He is co-editor of the Journal of Popular Film and Television.

Note: Books noticed on this site have been provided by the publishers. Purchases made through this Amazon link help support this site.

Submitting Your News For Publication


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If you are interested in having your organization’s news or event noticed at The New York History Blog, be sure to send a press release following these simple steps:

1. Focus on a single subject.  Keep press releases to one subject – a lecture series, a single event, exhibit, or conference. 

2. Be sure your press release is complete. In at least three paragraphs describe the what, when, where, and why of your event. Always include a paragraph describing your organization that includes a URL to your website, the location, hours, and admission fees. Spell out acronyms.

3. Write press releases journalistically. The best press release is one that the media reprints verbatim. Provide an easy-to-use, ready-made story. Write your press release to read as though you were a reporter. Avoid unnecessary hyperbole and never use all caps, italics, bold, or other strange formatting except where grammatically correct. Avoid exclamation points and rhetorical questions. Avoid “you” in favor of “participants” or “visitors”.

4. Include photos. If you don’t have at least one photo, find a relevant public domain image, or send along your logo. Consider also creating a poster or other image than can be shared on social media.  ALWAYS include a caption with the source for your image. Send images as a jpg.

5. Provide enough lead time. Send your event notices two weeks in advance. If you are sending a late announcement be sure to indicate the event date in the subject of your e-mail.

6. Consider sending a flier or poster for social media. In addition to a press release consider creating a flier or poster for use with social media such as Facebook or Twitter. Send your poster as a jpg.

Questions? Comments? Drop the editor an e-mail at jnwarrenjr@gmail.com.
Editor

 

Newspaper Archive Summit Announced


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On April 10-12, 2011, a diverse group of stakeholders will meet at the Reynolds Journalism Institute located at the University of Missouri School of Journalism to have a conversation about preserving news content. They’re calling it the Newspaper Archive Summit: Rescuing Orphaned and Digital Content.

More than 160 U. S. newspapers have either quit business or stopped publishing a print edition during the past three years. How can we make sure that a community’s history and cultural record does not cease to exist? How can we make sure that digital news products currently being created by online news organizations are preserved and accessible for citizens and scholars in the twenty-second century?

In 2010, a Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access, created and funded by the Library of Congress, NSF, Mellon Foundation, National Archives and a few other organizations, published their final report. Some of their recommendations were:

* To convene expert communities to address the selection and preservation needs of commercially owned cultural content

* To discuss methods for providing financial and other incentives to preserve privately held cultural content in the public interest

* That stewardship organizations (libraries, museums, historical societies) should model and test mechanisms for flexible long-term public-private partnerships that foster cooperative preservation of privately held materials in the public interest

These issues will be addressed at the conference which will bring six groups of diverse stakeholders together to have a conversation about how we can create public/private partnerships and define incentives for commercial entities to hand off public interest content to stewardship organizations for preservation.

Stakeholders will include:
* Stewardship organizations (libraries, museums, digital archives)
* Print and Online News content publishers and organizations
* Experts in news copyright
* Academic and community scholars who depend on news content for their research
* Genealogy community
* Commercial vendors and content aggregators

On the first day, participants will hear stakeholder panelists talk about how it is in the public interest to preserve and provide access to news content. They’ll talk about copyright and third party vendor issues; hear from scholars and genealogists about the need for preservation and access of this content and listen to the needs and concerns of news content creators and publishers. Attendees will also hear from stewardship organizations and successful commercial and non-commercial digitization projects.

On the second day, conference goers will work together in diverse groups developing a plan for creating partnerships and incentives to preserve and provide access to analog and digital news content.

The event will be held on Monday, April 11, 2011, at the Reynolds Journalism Institute on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, Missouri.

Visit their regularly updated conference website. Registration is free, go here to sign up.

Study: Audio Preservation, Access in ‘Dire State’


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Digital technology alone will not ensure the preservation and survival of the nation’s sound history. That is one of the findings in a major study released by the Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB) detailing the state of sound-recording preservation and access. The study was mandated by the U.S. Congress under the “National Recording Preservation Act of 2000″ (P.L. 106-174) and is the first comprehensive study on a national level that examines the state of America’s sound-recording preservation ever conducted in the United States.

Titled “The State of Recorded Sound Preservation in the United States: A National Legacy at Risk in the Digital Age,” the study outlines the interlocking issues that now threaten the long-term survival of America’s sound-recording history. It also identifies the public and private policy issues that strongly bear on whether the nation’s most culturally and historically important sound recordings will be preserved for future generations.

Although public institutions, libraries and archives hold an estimated 46 million recordings, the study finds that major areas of America’s recorded sound heritage have already deteriorated or remain inaccessible to the public. Only an estimated 14 percent of pre-1965 commercially released recordings are currently available from rights-holders. Of music released in the United States in the 1930s, only about 10 percent of it can now be readily accessed by the public.

In his introduction to the study, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington noted: “Sound recordings have existed as one of the most salient features of America’s cultural landscape for more than 130 years. As a nation, we have good reason to be proud of our historical record of creativity in the sound-recording arts and sciences. However, our collective energy in creating and consuming sound recordings in all genres has not been matched by an equal level of interest, over the same period of time, in preserving them for posterity.”

Authored by Rob Bamberger and Sam Brylawski under the auspices of NRPB, the study points out the lack of conformity between federal and state laws, which has adversely affected the survival of pre-1972 sound recording. One of the major conclusions in the report is that the advent of digital technologies and distribution platforms has made inseparable the issues surrounding both the preservation of sound recordings and access to them.

The authors also conclude that analog recordings made more than 100 years ago are likelier to survive than digital recordings made today. In addition, the report warns that there must be a coordinated effort by the various stakeholders to address the scope of the problem, the complexity of the technical landscape, the need for preservation education and the copyright conundrum.

Finally, the report notes that newer materials such as born-digital audio are at greater risk of loss than older recordings, such as 78-rpm discs; that there is a lack of a comprehensive program to preserve born-digital audio; and that open-reel preservation tapes made in the 1970s and 1980s are deteriorating faster than older tape recordings. For more findings from the report, review the appendix at www.loc.gov/today/pr/2010/PR10-194SRstudyAppendixwithkeyfindings.pdf and the introduction/executive summary at www.loc.gov/today/pr/2010/CLIRpub148Intro.pdf.

“The State of Recorded Sound Preservation in the United States: A National Legacy at Risk in the Digital Age” is available for purchase and as a free download at www.clir.org/pubs/abstract/pub148abst.html. Information for this study was gathered through interviews, public hearings and written submissions. NRPB previously commissioned five ancillary studies in support of this final report, which will lay the groundwork for the National Recording Preservation Plan, to be developed and published later this year.

The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation has already begun initiatives to solve some of the problems identified during preparation of the study. For example, the Recorded Sound Section of the Packard Campus has obtained a license to stream acoustical recordings controlled by the Sony Music Entertainment for the Library of Congress National Jukebox, which will debut later in 2010.

The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation is a state-of-the-art facility funded as a gift to the nation by the Packard Humanities Institute. The Packard Campus is the site where the nation’s library acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of motion pictures, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings (www.loc.gov/avconservation/). The Packard Campus is home to more than six million collection items, including nearly three million sound recordings. It provides staff support for the Library of Congress National Film Preservation Board, the National Recording Preservation Board, and the National Registries for film and recorded sound.

Photo: Vice-President Elect Harry Truman’s family listening to election returns, 1944.

Library of Congress Adds To Online Newspaper Site


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The Library of Congress has added more than 380,000 historic newspaper pages to the Chronicling America website, including newspapers from 3 new states – Louisiana, Montana, and South Carolina – and expanding the site’s time coverage further into the Civil War era. The site now includes almost 2.7 million pages from 348 titles published between 1860 and 1922 in 22 states and the District of Columbia.

Chronicling America is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.

NEH Seeks Proposals National Digital Newspaper Program


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The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is soliciting proposals from institutions to participate in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). NDNP is creating a national, digital resource of historically significant newspapers published between 1836 and 1922, from all the states and U.S. territories, published in English, French, Italian or Spanish. This searchable database will be permanently maintained at the Library of Congress (LC) and be freely accessible via the Internet. See the website, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers – http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/.

Northeast Public Radio Launches History Program


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WAMC Northeast Public Radio and the New York State Archives Partnership Trust present the Power of Words, a new series of programs that follows American history through some of the most memorable and inspiring political speeches of our time. The series of 26 programs kicks off tomorrow Friday, June 25th at 1 p.m. and a new program will air every other week on WAMC.

On the debut program, WAMC’s Alan Chartock and Dr. David Woolner, senior fellow and resident historian at the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, will set the scene and provide context and analysis of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inaugural address. In addition, listeners will have an opportunity to actually hear the speech as it was delivered on March 4th, 1933. Other speeches in the year-long series include Barack Obama’s inaugural address, Ronald Reagan’s speech at the Berlin Wall, John F. Kennedy’s “I am a Berliner” speech, and more.

WAMC’s President Alan Chartock says, “It is imperative that everyone remember and learn where we came from and what this country has gone through in tough times. Great leaders are hard to come by and these great speeches can teach us a great deal about courage and leadership. WAMC is very proud of this series.”

Support for the series is provided by the Archives Partnership Trust; Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture & Engineering P.C.; the New York Council for the Humanities, a local affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities; and Assemblyman Jack McEneny.

“We could not be more indebted to WAMC for their leadership on this series and to our sponsors for their support,” said Robert E. Bullock, President of the Archives Partnership Trust. “It is our hope that this series will encourage citizens to truly understand the role of great ideas and transformational language in our everyday lives.”

WAMC Northeast Public Radio broadcasts 24 hours a day with information and cultural programming from stations reaching parts of seven Northeastern states. WAMC is an award-winning producer of regionally based programming. WAMC is a member station of National Public Radio and is affiliated with Public Radio International and American Public Media.

The program will be broadcast over WAMC-FM 90.3 FM, Albany; WAMC, 1400 AM, Albany; WAMK 90.9 FM, Kingston; WOSR, 91.7 FM, Middletown; WCEL, 91.9 FM, Plattsburgh; WCAN, 93.3 FM, Canajoharie; WANC, 103.9 FM, Ticonderoga; WRUN, 90.3 FM, Remsen-Utica; WAMQ 105.1 FM, Great Barrington, MA; 93.1 FM, Troy; 99.3 FM, Oneonta; 97.1 FM, Hudson; 107.1 FM, Warwick; 107.7 FM, Newburgh; 103.9 FM, Beacon; 96.5 FM, Ellenville; 106.9, Middletown; 102.1, Highland, NY and 90.9 FM, Milford, PA.; 97.3 FM, Cooperstown and on-line at http://www.wamc.org/.

Massachusetts Historical Society Featured on NBC


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Over one year ago, on January 27, 2009, there was a rare celebrity sighting at the nation’s oldest historical society, the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS). Actress Sarah Jessica Parker, best known for HBO’s Sex and the City, visited the reading room to work with material from the Society’s manuscript collections as part of filming for the inaugural episode of NBC’s new series Who Do You Think You Are? The program, an American adaptation of the hit British documentary series by the same title, follows well-known celebrities as they discover their proverbial roots, researching their ancestors in an attempt to learn more about their families and themselves.

During her visit, Ms. Parker registered as a researcher and followed the standard MHS rules that apply to researchers working in the reading room. The one, highly unusual exception was that the Society allowed the film crew to follow her and record her as she researched her ancestors. Reference librarian Elaine Grublin spent some time with Ms. Parker in the catalog room, helping her identify and call for the material she wanted to see, and then brought the manuscripts to her in the reading room. Ms. Parker’s examination of the materials led to some surprising discoveries.

After filming wrapped, Ms. Parker stopped in the lobby to chat with a couple of Emerson College students that had also been conducting research. She stayed on into the evening for a tour and the chance to see some of the Society’s treasures, asking detailed questions about the collections. While looking at selected materials from the Adams Family Papers, Ms. Parker noted that her birthday, March 25, was the same date that Thomas Jefferson wrote his last letter to John Adams.

When an MHS staff member pointed out that a portrait of Lieutenant Frederick Hedge Webster, who was killed in action in 1864 while serving in the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, bore an uncanny resemblance to Ms. Parker’s husband, Matthew Broderick, who played Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, also of the 54th, in the film Glory, she enthusiastically agreed.

Unfortunately, the MHS cannot disclose which documents Ms. Parker requested to see or what she learned from her research. Instead, those interested will have to tune in to the series debut on NBC on Friday, March 5, 2010, at 8:00 PM to learn more about the Society’s role in Sarah Jessica Parker’s journey of genealogical discovery and enjoy the MHS and its reading room staff’s 15 minutes of fame.

For more about the Massachusetts Historical Society, visit their website at www.masshist.org.

State Archives Social Networking Pilot Project


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The New York State Archives is participating in a New York State Education Department pilot project testing the value of social networking sites in the government environment. The Archives currently has posted videos, images and news updates to Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The Archives is welcoming feedback either through the sites or via email at archinfo@mail.nysed.gov. Here are the the various sites:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nys_archives/
http://www.facebook.com/nysarchives
http://www.youtube.com/nysarchives
http://twitter.com/nysarchives

Adk Museum Gets Newspaper Preservation Support


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The Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, in Hamilton County has received a grant in the amount of $4,253 from the New York Newspaper Foundation in support of microfilm services in the museum’s research library.

According to Librarian Jerry Pepper, the funds will underwrite the partial cost of preserving twelve newspapers published in the Adirondack Park over the next two years.

The Adirondack Museum has long appreciated the unique role played by local newspapers in documenting every-day life in the Adirondacks, and has collected and microfilmed regional newspapers since 1970. The collection now contains 108 different regional newspaper titles in microfilm format, some dating from the early nineteenth century.

Since 2003 the museum has collaborated with the Northern New York Library Network to increase research access to its microfilmed newspapers and make them available for use on the Internet.

The project, called the Northern New York Historical Newspapers Project, has digitized and electronically indexed 1,693,000 individual pages from forty-four newspapers in the region. The initiative has proven to be a great asset to those interested in the region’s unique history: over 12 million online searches of the site are conducted annually.

The Adirondack Museum is grateful for assistance with preparation and submission of the successful grant proposal from John Hammond, Director of the Northern New York Library Network, and Catherine Moore, Publisher of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.

Drunk History: Drink A Bottle of History


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Drunk History has got to be seen. It is one of the funniest historical things you will ever see, and I’m not kidding. Created by Derek Waters and edited and directed by Jeremy Konner, these short films involve a narrator / host who gets drunk and then relates a fascinating bit of U.S. History. Among the topics these hilarious denizens of history take on are William Henry Harrison (who death was from an obvious cause – “with no coat on… cold as shit!”), Benjamin Franklin‘s time in London (“Franklin liked to F@*#” – featuring Jack Black), Oney Judge, George & Martha Washington’s “favorite slave”), and more.

Sound and Story of The Hudson Valley Event


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Eileen McAdam, Director of The Sound and Story Project of the Hudson Valley, will be the featured speaker during the Annual Meeting of the Friends of Senate House on Wednesday November 4th, at the Senate House Museum, 312 Fair Street in Kingston. Ms. McAdam has made it her mission to preserve and celebrate the history and culture of the Hudson Valley through recorded sound. Her Sound and Story Project includes oral history interviews, but it also encompasses many unusual sound recordings that portray this region, including the now-silenced bells of early American churches, or the sounds of bats in the caves of Rosendale. McAdam will talk about the art and method of capturing and preserving the sounds of the Hudson Valley, and the history they offer us.

The program will begin with light refreshments in the Vanderlyn Gallery at 6:30 pm, followed by a brief annual report, with the keynote address starting at 7:15 pm in the second floor gallery. The program is free and open to the public. For more information, please call (845) 338-2786, or visit www.nysparks.state.ny.us

This year the Friends of Senate House supported a diverse range of activities and events for the public, including 17th, 18th and 19th century living history events, as well as celebrations of African-American and Native-American contributions to our history, heritage and culture. The Friends of Senate House also help make possible the historic site’s many school programs, which serve schools in several counties. The November 4th event is a great opportunity for newcomers and current supporters alike to learn about the Friends’ recent activities and enjoy an entertaining evening.

Senate House State Historic Site is part of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, which administers 29 parks, parkways, and historic sites for the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in New York as well as the Palisades Interstate Park and parkway in New Jersey. For more information about New York State parks and historic sites, please visit www.nysparks.com, for information about the New Jersey section of the PIPC please visit www.njpalisades.org, and for more information about the Palisades Parks Conservancy and the Palisades Interstate Park parks and historic sites, please visit www.palisadesparksconservancy.org.

Champlain Quad Project Featured In Federal Publication


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A project that helped celebrate the 400th anniversary of the navigation of Lake Champlain by Samuel de Champlain is being held up as an example of how partnerships between public broadcasters, libraries, and other entities can benefit communities.

The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation joins the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in announcing the release of a new publication, Partnership for a Nation of Learners: Joining Forces, Creating Value, which offers guidance on creating effective community collaborations. Continue reading

Hyde Collection Receives Gift of Major Crockwell Painting


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The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, NY has announced that it has received a gift of a 1934 oil painting by Douglass Crockwell (1904-1968) entitled “Paper Workers, Finch Pruyn & Co,” from Mr. and Mrs. Samuel P. Hoopes, of Bolton Landing, New York.

Douglass Crockwell was a founding trustee of The Hyde Collection, acted as its first director, and was famous for his illustrative paintings for such national publications as the Saturday Evening Post, Life, Look, and Esquire. His commercial illustrations were commissioned by such manufacturing and industry giants as General Electric, General Motors, Coca Cola, and Standard Oil. Crockwell lived and worked in Glens Falls from 1932 until his death in 1968. Continue reading

Revisiting Great Literature With Penguin Classics on Air


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“Penguin Classics On Air” is an online radio series devoted to the discussion and exploration of some of Penguin Classics’ more than 1400 titles from many eras, cultures and regions of the world. The program is hosted by Penguin Classics Editorial Director Elda Rotor and features in-depth conversations on new, timely and rediscovered classics between Elda Rotor or Classics editor John Siciliano and scholars, translators, or experts of a specific Penguin Classic.

The show wraps up with Associate Publisher Stephen Morrison offering a sampling of the Classic by reading the first pages from one of the works discussed. In addition, each episode of “Penguin Classics On Air” features a review by Alan Walker, Senior Director of Academic Marketing, on one of the Classics he’s recently read, as he fulfills his mission to read one Penguin Classic by an author per letter of the alphabet from A to Z.

As a sample of the goods, take a look at The Birth of Knickerbocker: Washington Irving’s A History of New York. Elda Rotor interviews Betsy Bradley, the introducer and editor of Washington Irving’s A History of New York , Irving’s popular first book is an early nineteenth century satirical novel of colonial New Amsterdam. It follows the fictional historian Diedrich Knickerbocker as he narrates the development of New York cultural life—from the creation of the doughnut to the creation of Wall Street. Alan Walker introduces listeners to The Emigrants by Gilbert Imlay and Stephen Morrison offers up the opening to Washington Irving’s beloved story “Rip Van Winkle.” in his segment, “First Pages.”