The New York State Library has a new exhibit, “A Nation of Immigrants,” which focuses on the past and present immigrants in the United States.
The centerpiece of the exhibit is a two-page spread from the July 2, 1887 issue of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, which appeared less than a year after the Statue of Liberty was dedicated. The caption reads, “New York — Welcome to the Land of Freedom — An Ocean Steamer Passing the Statue of Liberty: Scene on the Steerage Deck.” Continue reading
State Librarian Bernard A. Margolis, 69, died early Saturday, April 14th, after an eight-year battle with acute myeloid leukemia. His wife of 45 years, Amanda Batey, and close friends were by his side.
Margolis, known as Bernie, began serving as New York State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries in January 2009, following appointment by then Governor Eliot Spitzer. Continue reading
A talk at the New York State Library will tell the story of the “soldier shows” which were presented during and after the first World War.
The program, titled “Broadway Goes to War: Soldier Shows of World War I,” will be held on Saturday, October 28, 2017, at 2 pm, at the State Library, located in the Cultural Education Center, 222 Madison Avenue, Albany, New York. Local author David Fiske will be the presenter. Continue reading
In the United States of America, President’s Day is always celebrated on the third Monday in February, and that occasion will serve a short four-week term as the theme of this month’s New York State Library public floor exhibit. Continue reading
The New York State Library commemorates the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor with an exhibit on the 7th floor, the centerpiece of which is a small but interesting collection of papers left by one Private First Class/later Sergeant Archibald Francis McCaw, who preferred to be known as Fran.
From the memo section of Private McCaw’s small five-year diary, it is learned that after basic training he left Brooklyn Army Base for Honolulu, Hawaii aboard the troop transport Republic, arriving on 9/13/1939. He was assigned to Company C of the 35th US Infantry, Schofield Barracks. “It was sure great to begin my time and get it over in a hurry.” Little did he know. Continue reading
Charles Gehring, director of the New Netherland Research Center at the New York State Library in Albany, recently joined host Jane E. Wilcox on the podcast Forget-Me-Not Hour, for two consecutive episodes.
Gehring talked about the Center’s project of transcribing and translating the provincial Dutch records of New Netherland. He shared the astonishing history of the records, his most recent work to put them online, explained what genealogists and historians can find in them, and more. Continue reading
West Kill Creek by Shawn Purcell (Troy Book Makers, 2014) is a contemplative work of post-apocalyptic fiction set in upstate New York and shot-through with local history.
A particularly lethal virus has rapidly wiped out most of civilization. A hardy band of survivors does what it takes to stay alive, but the novel also reverberates with the echoes of local history and deep time, the beauty and terror of nature, the power and glory of books, current environmental and political issues, and actual events and places. Continue reading
Paul Grondahl at the Albany Times Union is reporting that the New York State Library is rapidly discarding tens of thousands of items in the stacks of the old State Library beneath the State Education Building.
State Librarian Bernard Margolis, who is overseeing the reduction of the stacks, blames years of State Library budget cuts and an increase in state Education Department paperwork. Opposition from State Library employees, who remain anonymous out of fear for their jobs, has gone unheeded.
Here are some of the details from Paul Grondahl: Continue reading
The New York State Library on Madison Avenue in Albany is a treasure trove of genealogy resources. This month, library staff will present two public programs for those tracing their family histories.
“Genealogy Online with HeritageQuest and Ancestry Library” will be held this Saturday, August 10, 2013 from 10:30am to noon at 7th floor computer classroom. Senior Librarian Stephanie Barrett will demonstrate the HeritageQuest and Ancestry online databases, both of which are accessible at the New York State Library. Participants will learn how to access census records, genealogy and history book, maps and other resources included in these databases. Seating is limited and registration is required. Continue reading
Dr. Paul Huey, now retired as archeologist for the New York State Historic Sites system (Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation) who will present a talk on the history of Fort Orange and the excavation in 1970 and 1971 of archeological remains of the fort ahead of the construction of Interstate 787, an event which inspired a revival of interest in the history of Albany in the Dutch period.
Fort Orange was a trading center built by the Dutch West India Company in 1624. The fort was located outside of Beverwijck (present-day Albany), to the south and near the river bank. In 1647, Petrus Stuyvesant, representing the West India Company as director of New Netherland, began to allow private traders to build houses inside the fort. Other traders built houses close to and outside the fort, which Stuyvesant considered to be illegal.
Consequently, Stuyvesant established the settlement of Beverwijck as a town at what he considered a satisfactory distance away from the fort. The fort and all of New Netherland were taken by the English in 1664 during peacetime. The fort was retaken briefly by the Dutch who then returned it to the English, and it was finally abandoned in 1676 by the English. The English then built a new fort on the State Street hill in Albany.
The event is hosted by The Friends of the New York State Library and will take place on September 26 2012 from 12:15pm – 1:15pm at the 7th floor Librarians Room, at the New York State Library, Madison Avenue, Albany, NY. To register for the program, go to: http://www.forms2.nysed.gov/nysl/trngreg.cfm
Illustration: Location of Fort Orange on today’s Albany’s riverfront from Len Tantillo’s Visions of New York State. Digital copy courtesy The People of Colonial Albany Project.