The New York State Historical Association Research Library will be offering three workshops for both the beginner and intermediate genealogist on Wednesday, April 7; Thursday, April 8; and Wednesday, April 14.
Workshops will be held from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm in the NYSHA Research Library in Cooperstown, NY. Each session is $10 for NYSHA members and $15 for non-members. Registration required; contact the Research Library at (607) 547-1470 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Genealogy Workshops may be taken individually, although it is recommended that Researching Your Family History: An Introduction Part I and II be taken in sequence.
Wednesday, April 7: Researching Your Family History: An Introduction, Part I
This workshop provides an introduction to family history research and an overview of the genealogical records at the New York State Historical Association’s Research Library. Some popular online databases and websites will be demonstrated.
Thursday, April 8: Researching Your Family History: An Introduction, Part II
This workshop will teach you how to research your ancestors using major genealogical sources, including cemetery records, Bible records, church records, and other primary resource materials. In addition, Revolutionary War and Civil War soldiers will be covered. (Attendance at Workshop Part I helpful but not required.)
Wednesday, April 14: How to Find Your Ancestors in Census Records
The first federal census was taken in 1790. During this workshop, participants will learn how to search censuses and use the indexes to them in their family history research. Participants will also learn how to use the census taken by New York State.
Young people will take a walk on the wild side this February as the Fenimore Art Museum presents “Virtual Vacations.” Each day, children (ages 5 to 8) will be transported to faraway places using the Museum’s advanced video conferencing technology. The Museum will connect “live” with professionals from the Life Science Education Center at Marian College and The Toledo Zoo for entertaining and educational programs focusing on various types of animals. After each lesson, children will participate in a hands-on activity based on the theme of the virtual visit. Each “Virtual Vacation” will feature two live animals via video conferencing.
“Virtual Vacations” programs are designed for children ages 5-8 and take place from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day (February 16, 17, and 18) at the Fenimore Art Museum. The cost per program is $15 for NYSHA members and $20 for non-members. Or attend all three – $40 for NYSHA members and $50 for non-members. Pre-registration is strongly recommended. To register, please call Karen Wyckoff at 607-547-1410.
Tuesday, February 16 – Catch Me If You Can: Why do some animals have scales, stripes, stingers, or spines? Join the Life Science Education Center at Marian College to explore how some of nature’s most amazing creatures protect themselves. We’ll even see some of the animals!
Wednesday, February 17 – Desert Dwellers: The Toledo Zoo takes participants to the desert! We’ll learn what a desert is and explore some of the fascinating animals that live there. Discover how living things have adapted to the arid conditions and temperature swings.
Thursday, February 18 – Animal Coverings: Join the Toledo Zoo and play a game to discover how animal groups are formed using similarities and differences. Live animals will help us learn the differences between the 5 classes of vertebrates: fish, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.
The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown will provide an entertaining way for kids to spend part of their February break by offering a 3-day, circus-themed workshop entitled “Under the Big Top.” The workshop is designed for kids ages 10-14 and will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day (February 16, 17, and 18) at the Museum. This workshop will help kids discover the fascinating background of circuses and sideshows in New York State and throughout America.
Each day will feature history, art, games, and a chance for children to express their acting talents! Participants will see actual pieces of circus history, learn about clowns and their acrobatic antics, and even take part in a performance.
The cost for the 3-day workshop is $150 for NYSHA members and $200 for non-members. To register or to get more information, contact Karen Wyckoff at 607-547-1410. Circus-themed snacks will be provided but participants are asked to bring a bag lunch each day.
In observance of the 200th anniversary of the classic work of literature, A History of New York by Washington Irving, the New York State Historical Association’s Research Library will have its copy of the first edition on display from December 2009 through February 2010. Commonly known as Knickerbocker’s History of New York, the book was published in December 1809 and was an immediate success.
Irving, in his satirical history, poked fun at the early Dutch governors of the colony of New Netherlands and their “reigns.” He drummed up interest in the book before its publication by having an announcement published in a New York City newspaper asking for anyone with information regarding the disappearance of an old man named Diedrich Knickerbocker to contact the Columbian Hotel – stating that he had left without paying his bill. Subsequent notices said that if Mr. Knickerbocker was not found, a manuscript that he left behind would have to be published as a book and copies of the book sold to pay off his debt. Finally, a notice appeared advertising the book, A History of New York, by Diedrich Knickerbocker.
New Yorkers, who had become interested in the disappearance of the old man, bought up the book. Most realized the story of Knickerbocker’s disappearance was a hoax since there was no Columbian Hotel in New York, but they went along with the fun, purchased the book, and found it to be highly humorous. Irving’s history became a classic. The book is still in print and the humor within is still appealing today.
The NYSHA Research Library is located next to the Fenimore Art Museum on Route 80 in Cooperstown, N.Y. and is open from 10 – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is no charge to see the display featuring Knickerbocker’s 1st edition and subsequent editions. Also on display is the exhibit Doubleday and the WPA, which details the creation of Cooperstown’s Doubleday Field as a WPA project in the 1930s. The library will be closed for the Christmas holidays from December 23 to January 10. For more information, please call 607-547-1470 or visit www.NYSHA.org.