Tag Archives: New York State Historical Association

New President of Farmers’ Museum, NYSHA


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The election of Dr. Paul D’Ambrosio as President of The Farmers’ Museum/New York State Historical Association was announced yesterday by Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of The Farmers’ Museum, Inc. and Dr. Douglas E. Evelyn, Chairman of The New York State Historical Association, effective April 1, 2011.

Dr. D’Ambrosio succeeds D. Stephen Elliott as President and C.E.O. Mr. Elliott, who served nearly six years as President, has been appointed Director and Chief Executive Officer of The Minnesota Historical Society.

In a joint statement, Jane Forbes Clark and Douglas Evelyn said, “although we are sorry that Steve Elliott is leaving Cooperstown after six very productive years, we have a most capable successor in Paul D’Ambrosio. Paul’s leadership, experience and creativity have been on ample display at The Farmers’ Museum and The Fenimore Art Museum, and we are fortunate to have such a worthy and skilled museum professional within our ranks to promote to our highest administrative position.”

Mr. Elliott stated that “it has been an honor to work with the very capable and dedicated staffs of the New York State Historical Association and The Farmers’ Museum and I look forward to applying what I have learned from my colleagues in Cooperstown to my forthcoming work with another of America’s premier history institutions.”

Paul D’Ambrosio has been associated with The Farmers’ Museum, The New York State Historical Association and its Fenimore Art Museum for 26 years. He has been Vice President and Chief Curator since 1998 and has been responsible for organizing and traveling exhibits, acquisitions, publications, research, academic study and the care of objects. Dr. D’Ambrosio has also taken the lead role in the adoption of the many new forms of social media at the Museums, thereby making their collections and programs open and accessible (see his blog). In addition, he is an Adjunct Professor of Museum Studies at the Cooperstown Graduate Program, a Member of the American Folk Art Society and has served as a Museum Panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts.

A nationally recognized expert of American Folk Art, Dr. D’Ambrosio is the author of Ralph Fasanella’s America, numerous exhibition catalogs and articles, and co-author of Folk Art’s Many Faces. He holds a B.A. from SUNY Cortland, an M.A. from SUNY Oneonta’s Cooperstown Graduate Program and a Ph.D. from Boston University. Dr. D’Ambrosio, his wife Anna and their family reside in New Hartford, New York.

The Farmers’ Museum, founded in 1943, is an educational organization devoted to presenting the lives of ordinary people and the agricultural and trade processes of rural 19th century New York State; it is one of the oldest and most popular continuously operating outdoor museums in the United States. Founded in 1899, The New York State Historical Association preserves and exhibits objects and documents significant to New York history and American culture. The Association is home to The Fenimore Art Museum that features collections of American folk art, 19th century American fine art, and the acclaimed Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art.

Photo: Paul D’Ambrosio with students form the Cooperstown Graduate Program.

NYSHA to host ‘Tools of History’ Launch Party


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The New York State Historical Association’s Research Library will celebrate the introduction of the South Central Regional Library Council’s new website – “Tools of History.” The library will host a “launch party” at their location, next to the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, on Saturday, September 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The website is a collaborative digitization program providing access to digital collections of historical manuscripts, photographs, maps, drawings, books, and artifacts that have been contributed by libraries, archives, historical societies, museums and cultural organizations comprising the membership of SCRLC.

Located in Ithaca, NY, South Central Regional Library Council is one of nine multi-type library consortia (NY 3RS Association) in New York State that encourage collaboration and resource sharing. SCRLC reaches over 500 libraries in its service area located in the counties of Allegany, Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates.

Use the new website to complete an online quiz and you could win a prize. Download the quiz sheet and answer questions based on the “Smith and Telfer Photograph Collection” and the “Murder Pamphlet Collection Exhibit” on the “Tools of History” website. Winners will receive prizes consisting of USB flash drives. You can download the quiz sheet and find more information at: Library.NYSHA.org/Contest.html

Bring the completed sheet to the “Tools of History” launch party between 10:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Your answers will be checked and correct solutions will count towards the prizes to be awarded at 12:45 p.m. (You must be present to claim your prize at that time.)

Cooperstown: Food For Thought Programs


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Food for Thought, the popular lunch and lecture series of The Farmers’ Museum and the Fenimore Art Museum, kicks off the 2010 season on Wednesday, May 12. All programs are held on Wednesdays beginning at noon at the Fenimore Art Museum or The Farmers’ Museum.

Food for Thought programs are a lunch and lecture series which offers visitors a more in-depth understanding of our exhibits and programs. All programs begin at noon on Wednesdays and include lunch ($15 for NYSHA members and $20 for non-members). Registration is required at least three days in advance. Cancellations without advanced warning will be charged. To reserve your spot, please call Karen Wyckoff at (607) 547-1410.

Food for Thought programs at the Fenimore Art Museum:

May 12 Virtual Folk: A People’s Choice Exhibition

June 2 Thirty Feet of Legend and Lineage

June 16 John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Praise of Women

June 23 In Our Time: The World as Seen by Magnum Photographers

July 7 Civil War Arms & Equipment: The New York Soldier

Food for Thought programs at The Farmers’ Museum:

June 9 New York State Barns

July 14 The History of Thrall Pharmacy

July 28 Phrenology in 19th-Century America

NYSHA Research Library Offers Genealogy Workshops


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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 library@nysha.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.

‘Virtual Vacations’ For Youth at Fenimore Art Museum


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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.

Schedule:

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.

Farmers’ Museum Offers Circus Workshop For Kids


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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.

First Edition Washington Irving Classic at NYSHA Library


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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.