Tag Archives: New York State Archives

NYS Archives Consolidates Doc Heritage Program


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archives 2The New York State Archivist has announced that the State’s Archives Documentary Heritage Program’s (DHP) regional archival services are being consolidated in a move that critics say will diminish the effectiveness of the popular historical records program.

In a message sent in May, New York State Archivist Christine Ward announced the changes, which eliminated the DHP’s regional administrators at the end of June and will replace them with a single, statewide administrator under a five-year contract. Continue reading

Documentary Heritage Grants For Historical Records


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archives 2The New York State Archives has announced its Documentary Heritage Program grants for 2014-2015.

The Documentary Heritage Program (DHP) is a statewide program established by law to provide financial support and guidance to not-for-profit organizations that hold, collect and make available New York’s historical records. Funding is available to support projects that relate to groups and topics traditionally under-represented in New York’s historical record. Continue reading

NYS Archives Hackman Research Residency Program


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The Archives Partnership Trust and the New York State Archives have announced the availability of awards for applicants to pursue research using the New York State Archives.

The Larry J. Hackman Research Residency program is intended to support product-related research in such areas as history, law, public policy, geography, and culture by covering research expenses. Award amounts range from $100 to $4,500. The deadline for receipt of application materials is January 15, 2013.

Academic and public historians, graduate students, independent researchers and writers, and primary and secondary school teachers are encouraged to apply. Projects involving alternative uses of the State Archives, such as background research for multimedia projects, exhibits, documentary films, and historical novels, are eligible. The topic or area of study must draw, at least in part, on the holdings of the New York State Archives.

Information on the 2013 Larry J. Hackman Research Residency Program is available on-line at www.nysarchivestrust.org or by contacting the Archives Partnership Trust, Cultural Education Center, Suite 9C49, Albany, New York 12230; (518) 473-7091; hackmanres@mail.nysed.gov.

AJ Schenkman: The Hasbrouck Ledger


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One of the problems in researching the life of Colonel Jonathan Hasbrouck is that there are so few primary sources written by him left to us. We are fortunate that at least one of the treasures that give us a peek into his life, one of his account ledgers, has been preserved. It is a rich source for a researcher of not only Hasbrouck, but of others from his time period as well. Continue reading

Civil War Legal Issues Conference Planned


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A conference entitled “Civil War on Trial-Legal Issues That Divided A Nation” will feature a three-day program over June 7-9, 2012, include some of the foremost Civil War and Constitutional scholars in the nation on the subjects of the Civil War and the law, and will look at this iconic period in American history in a way unique from virtually all other conferences nationwide. The conference is being chaired by nationally prominent Civil War scholars Paul Finkelman and Harold Holzer.

The conference will be held on the campus of Albany Law School in Albany, New York from June 7-9, 2012. For more information on the conference agenda and registration, go to www.nysarchivestrust.org or call (518) 473-7091.

The New York State Archives Partnership Trust and the Government Law Center at Albany Law School, in cooperation with the Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York, the New York State Bar Association, and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation are organizing the conference. Principal financial support has been provided by History Channel and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation.

Documentary Heritage Program Grant Apps Due


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The 2012-2013 Documentary Heritage Program (DHP) Grant Guidelines are now available. The Documentary Heritage Program is a statewide program established by law to provide financial support and guidance to not-for-profit organizations that hold, collect and make available New York’s historical records. Funding is available to support sound archival administration, and for projects that relate to groups and topics traditionally under-represented in New York’s historical record.

The New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) 2012-2013 appropriation for DHP is $461,000. This includes $369,000 for regional services and $92,000 for DHP Grants. DHP Grant Project Types include: Documentation and Arrangement & Description. DHP is administered by the New York State Archives, a unit of the New York State Education Department.

The guidelines may be obtained by emailing the New York State Archives at dhs@mail.nysed.gov or by visiting the State Archives website.

Applications for Archival Documentation and Arrangement & Description projects will be considered. Postmark deadline is Thursday, March 1, 2012 for projects to be carried out from July 1, 2012-June 30, 2013.

Caro Wins Empire State Archives and History Award


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Robert Caro, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his biographies of Robert Moses and Lyndon B. Johnson, will receive the 2011 Empire State Archives and History Award on Monday, December 5, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. in the Egg, Empire State Plaza, downtown Albany. As part of the program, Caro will be interviewed by noted Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer. Tickets are $10 and may be obtained from The Egg Box Office at (518) 473-1845. The event is sponsored by the New York State Archives Partnership Trust, The History Channel, the Times Union, and the New York State Writers Institute.

The New York State Archives Partnership Trust will host an evening of conversation between Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Robert Caro and noted Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer. Known for his interest in the nature of power in American democracy, Caro will be awarded the 2011 Empire State Archives and History Award of the Archives Partnership Trust.

Caro’s first book was The Power Broker (1974), a landmark, Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of New York City urban planner Robert Moses. Eminent American journalist Theodore H. White called it, “A masterpiece of American reporting… an elegantly written and enthralling work of art.” Leading political reporter David Halberstam proclaimed it, “Surely the greatest book ever written about a city.” The New York magazine reviewer called The Power Broker, “The most absorbing, detailed, instructive, provocative book ever published about the making and raping of modern New York City and environs and the man who did it…. A monumental work, a political biography and political history of the first magnitude.”

For the past three decades, Caro’s writing has been devoted to a prize-winning series of books on the life and career of Lyndon B. Johnson, including The Path to Power (1982), Means of Ascent (1990), and Master of the Senate (2002), which earned Caro a second Pulitzer Prize. The final LBJ volume, tentatively titled The Presidency, is currently a work in progress. Writing in the New York Times, Jill Abramson called the first three volumes, “A panoramic study,” and said, “Combining the best techniques of investigative reporting with majestic storytelling ability, Caro has created a vivid, revelatory institutional history as well as a rich hologram of Johnson’s character.” Writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, Steve Neal called, Master of the Senate, “Probably the best book ever written about the U.S. Senate. A terrific study of power politics.”

Other honors received by Caro include the National Book Critics Circle Award (twice), and the National Book Award, the Francis Parkman Prize (awarded by the Society of American Historians to the book that “best exemplifies the union of the historian and the artist”), the H.L. Mencken Award, and an award in literature and a gold medal in biography from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. In 2010, Caro received the National Humanities Award from President Obama.

In advance of the program, a ticketed reception to honor Caro will be held at The Egg from 5:30-7:00 p.m. To learn more, contact Grazia Yaeger at (518) 474-1228. Proceeds will benefit the New York State Archives and Archives Partnership Trust.

New York Archives Month in New York City


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Hundreds of organizations in the archives community across New York State will celebrate New York Archives Month in October with special commemorative activities across the state. New York Archives Week is an annual celebration aimed at informing the general public of the diverse array of archival materials available in New York State.

Among the many activities free and open to the public will be open houses, exhibitions, lectures, workshops and behind-the-scenes tours of archives throughout the state. These special events are designed to celebrate the importance of historical records, and to familiarize interested organizations and the public with a wealth of fascinating archival materials illuminating centuries of New York history and culture.

Among those participating in the event are local government agencies, historical societies, universities, libraries, and cultural organizations. Highlights in New York City include tours of the archives at the Museum of the City of New York, the Girl Scout National Historic Preservation Center, and the New York Transit Museum; a workshop on preserving family papers at the National Archives at New York City; and open house presentations at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc.

A complete list of Archives Week events and schedules in New York City can be found on the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York’s website. Please note that pre-registration for some events is required.

Photo: Lockport and the Erie Canal, Courtesy the NYS Archives.

State Museum, Library, Archives Closed Saturday


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The New York State Museum, State Library and State Archives will be closed to the public on Saturday, September 24 due to semi-annual routine maintenance of electrical systems in the Cultural Education Center.

The Cultural Education Center is closed on Sundays. The State Museum, Library and Archives will reopen on Monday, September 26.

The State Museum, Archives and Library are part of the Office of Cultural Education (OCE) and are programs of the New York State Education Department. They are located on Madison Avenue in Albany. Admission is free. Further information can be obtained by calling (518) 474-5877 or visiting the OCE website.

NYS Archives Online Exhibit of Rare 9-11 Images


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The New York State Archives, the nation’s largest repository of records of a state government, has introduced a new online exhibition entitled Ground Zero from the Air.

Based upon an archival collection of images commissioned from a private contractor by the New York State Office for Technology (NYS OFT), the website features aerial, infrared and computer generated imagery of Ground Zero, as well as photo images of recovery efforts. Also included
is a directory of related websites and New York State Government records contained within the New York State Archives related to the World Trade Center attacks and subsequent response efforts.

Principally accumulated during a series of flights that occurred between September 15 and October 22, 2001, the aerial imagery collected for NYS OFT was used to direct the efforts of first responders, identify unstable areas, pinpoint stairwells and elevator shafts, and coordinate removal of debris.

“As we consider the events of September 11, 2001 and the heroic efforts of first responders and, indeed, of many levels of local, state, and federal government in the weeks and months following the attacks, we at the New York State Archives committed ourselves to putting together an online exhibition that provided a unique look at this history event
for the 10th anniversary,” said New York State Archivist Christine W. Ward.

Ground Zero from the Air is the newest in a series of projects undertaken by the New York State Archives. Following the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, the New York State Archives was instrumental in the creation of the World Trade Center Documentation Task Force, a
multi-institution group committed to identification, collection and preservation of public and private records that chronicle the attack and its aftermath and to determine future steps necessary to insure that the historical record is as complete as possible for use by future
generations.

Ground Zero from the Air may be found on the New York State Archives webpages online.

Photo: Ground Zero seen from above. Courtesy the NYS Archives.

New Collection of Union Labels Available Online


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In 1889, in response to growth in the number of labor unions, New York State passed a law offering unions an opportunity to register their labels, names, brands, or other devices with the Secretary of State. It was thought that this procedure of officially recognizing the uniqueness of each labor association or union logo would help avoid the confusion that might result from similar designs.

The law was amended in 1943 to substitute the Department of Labor as the registering agency. Hundreds of labels were registered during the period from 1901 to 1942, the time period represented by a new collection of online images hosted by the New York State Archive [link].

Most union labels were made of paper and usually fairly simple in design; a few were colorful and elaborate. One of the devices registered was a branding iron designed to literally “make an impression.” However, the labels were intended to do more than just identify an association of people who made a particular product or service; all projected, explicitly or implicitly, the pride that members had in their trade, while encouraging solidarity with workers everywhere.

State Museum, Library to Close Saturday, Reopen Mon


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The New York State Museum, State Library and State Archives will be closed to the public on Saturday, March 5 due to an annually scheduled power shutdown to test the emergency power system in the Cultural Education Center building.

The Office of Cultural Education (OCE) building is closed on Sundays. The State Museum, Library and Archives will reopen on Monday, March 7.

The State Museum, State Archives and State Library are cultural programs of the New York State Education Department. They are located on Madison Avenue in Albany. Admission is free. Further information can be obtained by calling (518) 474-5877 or visiting the OCE website at www.oce.nysed.gov.

New Genealogy Tools at NY State Archives


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The New York State Archives recently announced the creation of two tools, called “pathfinders,” to help genealogists and researchers locate naturalization and probate records created throughout New York, from the colonial period to the present.

Naturalizations grant the full legal rights and privileges held by native-born individuals to someone born in another country. Legal jurisdiction over naturalization has changed repeatedly since the colonial period, so the records can be found in various locations. They may be in the county clerk’s office, the New York State Archives, the National Archives branch in New York City, or U.S. District Court clerk’s office. The pathfinder highlights books, links to indexes, and directories where researchers can find more information about an ancestor and the places that may hold these naturalization records.

Probate records include wills, estate inventories, letters of administration, and other documents relating to the administration and settlement of a deceased person’s estate. The State Archives holds probate records created or compiled by predecessor courts that had legal jurisdiction over probate matters prior to 1787. A limited number of probate records after 1787 are held by the Archives because they are filed and retained by the Surrogate’s Court in each county. For that reason, the probate pathfinder is divided into two chronological sections: before 1787 and after 1787. This pathfinder identifies collections within the State Archives as well as books and links to guides and locations that may help researchers.

The pathfinders can be found on the State Archives’ website.

New Netherland Research Residencies


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The Quinn Library Research Residency consists of specialized research in Dutch-related documents and printed materials at the New York State Library. Researchers interested in the history of New Netherland and the Dutch Colonial Atlantic World are also encouraged to apply for the special Cunningham Grant of $2,500.

The Quinn Archives Research Residency consists of up to one year in Albany, working in the rich collections of the New Netherland Institute and the New York State Archives.

Researchers interested in the history of New Netherland and the Dutch Colonial Atlantic World are also encouraged to apply for the research residency, which carries a stipend of $2,500.

The Quinn Library Research Residency Award application must be postmarked by January 28,2011 and is due January 29,2011. The Archives Research Residency Award application is due January 15,2011. Each award is for $2,500 and the successful candidate has a year from the time the awards are announced to complete his/her research.

A panel of scholars and library staff will review proposals. The panel’s decisions will be announced by April 14, 2011.

More information and the application link can be found at http://www.nnp.org/nni/Research%20&%20Education/quinn.html

If you’d like to discuss the suitability of your research topic for one of these awards, contact cgehring@mail.nysed.gov or jvenema@mail.nysed.gov or mdshattuck@gmail.com

Adk Museum Library Honored by State Archives


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The Adirondack Museum Library, Blue Mountain Lake (Hamilton County) has been selected as the recipient of the “2010 Annual Archives Award for Program Excellence in a Historical Records Repository,” by the New York State Archives and the Archives Partnership Trust. The award was presented to Director Caroline M. Welsh and Librarian Jerry Pepper at a luncheon ceremony at the Cultural Education Center in Albany on October 12, 2010.

The award commends the library for an outstanding archival program that contributes significantly to the understanding of Adirondack history. The award further recognizes the facility for well-organized and managed archives and for efforts to provide access to documentary heritage through extensive collections and excellent education programs for teachers and school children.

The Adirondack Museum Library is the largest and most comprehensive repository of books, periodicals, manuscripts, maps, and government documents related to the Adirondack region.

Supported by private funds, the library is administered by the museum and fulfills an independent mission as a library of record for the Adirondack Park.

New York State Archives Research Grants Available


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The Archives Partnership Trust and the New York State Archives have announced the availability of awards for applicants to pursue research using the New York State Archives. The Larry J. Hackman Research Residency program is intended to support product-related research in such areas as history, law, public policy, geography, and culture by covering research expenses. Award amounts range from $100 to $4,500.

Academic and public historians, graduate students, independent researchers and writers, and primary and secondary school teachers are encouraged to apply. Projects involving alternative uses of the State Archives, such as background research for multimedia projects, exhibits, documentary films, and historical novels, are eligible. The topic or area of study must draw, at least in part, on the holdings of the New York State Archives.

Information on the 2009 Larry J. Hackman Research Residency Program is available on‑line at www.nysarchivestrust.org or by contacting the Archives Partnership Trust, Cultural Education Center, Suite 9C49, Albany, New York 12230; (518) 473‑7091; hackmanres@mail.nysed.gov.

Deadline for receipt of application: January 15, 2011.

New Expanded Saturday Hours for NYS Archives, Library


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The New York State Library and New York State Archives will institute new Saturday hours beginning on October 16th. Saturday hours of operation at the two facilities, located on the 7th and 11th floor of the Cultural Education Center (CEC) at the Empire State Plaza in Albany, will be from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free public parking will be available in the Madison Avenue parking lots adjacent to the CEC. Directions and parking information is available on the New York State Museum website.

This new policy for expanded access does not affect the hours of the New York State Museum, which is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. However if a major holiday (e.g. July 4th, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day) falls directly on a Saturday, the Library and Archives will not be open (checking their websites is advised for such holidays).

The New York State Library has served New Yorkers, New York State government and researchers from throughout the United States for more than 190 years. It is the largest state library in the nation and the only state library to qualify for membership in the Association of Research Libraries. The Library’s research collection of more than 20 million items includes major holdings in law, medicine, the social sciences, education, American and New York State history and culture, the pure sciences and technology.

The New York State Archives identifies, preserves, and makes available more than 200 million records of colonial and state government dating back to 1630 that have enduring
value to the public and private institutions and to all the people of the Empire State and the nation.

Documentary Heritage Program Grants Offered


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The Documentary Heritage Program (DHP) is a statewide program established in 1988 under Education Law, §§ 140, 207; L. 1988, ch. 679. The DHP is administered by the New York State Archives to ensure the identification, sound administration and accessibility of New York’s historical records.

One component of the DHP is the grants program. DHP Grants are designed to encourage more comprehensive documentation of New York State’s history and culture by supporting projects that identify, survey, collect, and make available important records relating to groups and topics traditionally under-represented in the historical record. DHP is administered by the New York State Archives, a unit of the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants include not-for-profit community organizations, archives, libraries, historical societies, and similar institutions within New York State and consortia or partnerships of such agencies. Also eligible are service providers such as historical service agencies, colleges and universities, professional associations, or other not-for-profit institutions or systems that provide services to historical records programs.

Funding

A total of $92,000 is expected to be available for grants projects. Grants will be available in amounts up to $25,000. Applicants may seek support for personnel; purchased services, including qualified consultants; supplies; materials and equipment costing less than $5,000; and travel as required to directly support project activities and outcomes.

Important Dates

Grants in this cycle are for up to 12-month projects, from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. Applications must be postmarked by Tuesday, February 1, 2011. Tentative date for the announcement of grant awards is June 30, 2011.

Grant Project Types

Documentation projects identify and ensure the systematic preservation of papers and records that shed light on the people, groups, events or changing political, economic or social conditions of New York State. The ultimate goal of a documentation project is to contribute to the building of a comprehensive and equitable historical record in repositories which make unique original source materials available to researchers and citizens. Typically consisting of three phases – planning, surveying, and collecting, documentation projects usually take at least two years to complete. Cost sharing of at least 20% is required.

Arrangement & Description projects – Arrangement and description are the processes used to obtain physical and intellectual control over materials held in historic records repositories. Arrangement is the process of organizing materials with respect to their provenance and original order, to protect their context and to achieve physical and/or intellectual control over the materials. Description is the creation of an accurate representation of a unit of archival material by the process of capturing, collating, analyzing, and organizing information that serves to identify archival material and explain the context and records system(s) that produced it. The objective of archival description is the creation of access tools that assist users in discovering desired records. Cost sharing of at least 50% is required.

Ineligible Projects

Several types of historical records projects are not eligible for funding under the DHP. These include:

· Projects that do not demonstrate a primary focus on New York State

· Digitization (projects to create digital records)

· Item-level description and/or indexing

· Oral history and/or video taping

· Newspaper collections (these are not considered to be historical records under the DHP law)

· Preservation (i.e., the physical work to conserve, restore, or repair records, or reproduction for preservation purposes such as microfilming)

Topical Priorities

In order to insure that the DHP addresses the New York State Historical Records Advisory Board’s mandate to identify, survey, collect, and make available historical records that relate to under-documented groups or subjects, the State Archives has identified and given priority to specific topical areas for DHP funding. These topics are listed in Priority Levels One and Two below. Although applications for projects that focus on any under-documented group or subject are eligible for funding, they will receive fewer points during grants review than those in Levels One and Two.

Priority Level One

· Population groups in the 20th and 21st centuries
· Economic change in the 20th and 21st centuries
· World Trade Center disaster, September 11, 2001
· Education policy

Priority Level Two

· Environmental affairs
· Mental health

Priority Level Three

· Other under-documented topics in New York State history

Application Process

Grant application forms may be obtained by emailing the State Archives dhs@mail.nysed.gov or by visiting the State Archives Web site www.archives.nysed.gov and clicking on Grants and Awards.

For further information contact:

Pamela Cooley/Documentary Heritage Program
New York State Archives
Room 9C71 Cultural Education Center
Albany, NY 12230
Telephone: 518-474-6276
Email: dhs@mail.nysed.gov

Archives Month: Palisades Interstate Park Commission


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October is New York State Archives and National Archives Month, a time to celebrate and promote the rich and diverse documentary heritage of our great state by increasing public awareness of archival materials and repositories and by acknowledging the importance of our records keepers.

Archives are essential to the historical record and include a wide range of document types, including letters, legal records, transcripts, diaries, newspapers, photographs, reports, architectural drawings, manuscripts, artifacts, audio and video records, and materials in electronic formats.

The Palisades Interstate Park Commission has 110 years worth of archives in all of these categories. The PIPC’s archives are currently housed in a former naval barrack on the Iona Island Estuarine and Bird Sanctuary. The vast collection, which documents the creation and development of the nation’s first interstate park, is an important resource for historians, environmental advocates, and archaeologists. From the documentation of the movement to stop the destruction of the Palisades cliffs, the collection of statistics of multiple natural studies, to the reports and hearings that form the genesis of today’s environmental movement at Storm King Mountain, to the creation of its 28 parks and historic sites, PIPC’s archival holdings are a largely untapped Hudson Valley treasure.

Palisade’s archives are divided into four disciplines: Archaeology and Native Americans, Historical Photographs, Research Library, and Park History. Researchers, educators, and authors have used items in the collection for unlimited projects including books, films, newspaper articles, and lectures.

But like many repositories of history, the PIPC Archive is in serious need of improvement. Only generally organized, volunteers and funding are greatly needed for database entry, cataloging, digitizing documents, and general upkeep.

The Commission is grateful for its first archive grant given by the Nyack based Austin Stokes Ancient Americas Foundation in support of the PIPC Native American collection. This funding allowed the protection of this invaluable collection.

But, much more is needed. For example, of the approximately 100,000 photographs located in the collection, less than five percent have been digitized and catalogued. And the facility in which the archives are stored, originally a barracks from when Iona Island was a naval munitions factory for World Wars I & II, lacks climate control, a critical component in the preservation of any archive.

If you are interested in assisting the Palisades Interstate Park Commission to preserve and make available this unique collection, please contact Susan E. Smith, PIPC Research and Development Director, at smiths@pipc.org.

Photo: The Carpenter Quarry, Fort Lee, NJ.