There are some obvious truths that emerge from the survey of New York State county and borough historians, submitted by the State Historian to all county and borough historians in September 2017 to which approximately 30 individuals responded.
What follows is apparent from the surveys and is a composite of their responses but cannot be considered absolute for all those who answered the survey. There are variables that will be discussed below. Continue reading
§57.09 of the NYS Arts and Cultural Affairs Law requires all appointed Local Government Historians to “make an annual report, in the month of January, to the local appointing officer or officers and to the state historian of the work which has been accomplished during the preceding year.”
New York State Historian Devin Lander and the Office of State History have made online submission of the required report available to allow historians to more easily make their required report via the web.
On August 25th, 2017 from 9 am to 5 pm the County and Borough Historians’ Institute will be held at the New York State Museum Huxley Theater, 222 Madison Avenue, Albany.
The County and Borough Historian’s Institute is a free learning opportunity for County and Borough Historians hosted by the Office of Cultural Education and facilitated by the New York State Historian, the Association of Public Historians of New York State and the Government Appointed Historians of Western New York. Continue reading
Town historians are unique to the state of New York. On the latest Forget-Me-Not Hour podcast, host Jane E. Wilcox interviewed Rhinebeck (Dutchess County) Town Historian Nancy Kelly and Brookhaven (Suffolk County) Town Historian Barbara Russell. Continue reading
New York State Association of Counties has invited the public to join on Friday, October 14th, at the NYS Museum in Albany, for a summit on preserving state and local history.
This summit will review the current historical preservation programs with an eye towards protecting and promoting our history for future generations. Continue reading
This week on “The Historians” podcast, Daily Gazette feature writer Bill Buell discusses his recent story on several vacancies in Schenectady area municipal historian positions. Buell also has an update on his research on Schenectady’s Socialist mayor, George Lunn. Listen to the podcast here. Continue reading
Paul 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.
This week I came across an article about Joe Bagley, the 31-year- old archaeologist who has been put in charge of one million mostly un-cataloged City of Boston artifacts. Underpaid and overburdened, he’s found ways to triage the projects that come at him each day. He has to be a historian, a fundraiser, a bureaucrat, a volunteer coordinator, a social media guru, an artifact guardian, a cheerleader for preservation, a meticulous registrar, and a broad minded strategic planner, all at the same time.
You’re not alone, Joe. This has become the narrative of the post-recession workplace. It’s like a reality TV premise: we give you poverty level pay and a mountain of responsibility, and expect you to turn this organization around with your hipster ingenuity. I see it so often that I’ve started to refer to it as the martyr-hero motif. Continue reading
I would like to congratulate Devin Lander on his recently announced appointment as New York State Historian.
I have known and worked with Devin for several years and believe that he holds the potential to become an outstanding State Historian. He has solid grounding in New York State history and appreciates the power it holds to educate New Yorkers, build responsible citizenship, and strengthen the quality of life in communities across the state. He’s smart, principled, thoughtful, even-tempered, respectful, patient, and very professional. He works productively and well with others, listens to what other people have to say, promotes cooperation among diverse constituencies, and gets good things done.
At the same time that I applaud Devin’s appointment, I share some concerns of many, if not most, people in the state’s history community: municipal and academic historians, history teachers, students, archivists, librarians, museum professionals, historic preservationists, community activists, heritage and cultural tourism officials, genealogists, re-enactors, and a long list of others, including just plain old history buffs. We worry that Devin will find it difficult to succeed in his newly downgraded position within the New York State Museum. Continue reading
State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia today announced the appointment of Devin Lander as New York’s State Historian. Lander, who currently serves as the Executive Director of the Museum Association of New York (MANY), is expected to join the Education Department on May 19, 2016.
The State Education Department, the Department’s Office of Cultural Education, and the State Museum have been under fire for their handling of the State Historian’s position in recent years, including their downgrading the job to a lesser-paid position reporting to the Chief Curator of the State Museum. Among those critical of the decision to reduce the role of State Historian have been former State Historian Robert Weible and members of the Commission on Local and Public History, convened ten years ago by Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education Carole Huxley to advise the Department of Education on the appointment of a State Historian. Continue reading