As we look forward to the new year ahead, we continue to search for and try out ideas that will strengthen state and local history here in New York. What follows is a short list of resources that might be of interest:
Of course, the best place to publicize, monitor, and comment on historical programs and issues in our state is this New York History Blog. John Warren continues to provide a unique forum here to keep up with history community news and exchange ideas. Without this blog, we would not have any way to keep in touch. We wouldn’t be able to follow news from historical programs, updates on the work and role of local historians, or discussions of New York History Month, Path Through History, the State Historian’s position, or the proposed Museum Education Act, just to cite a few examples. But keeping the blog going requires support from the state’s history community. Continue reading
A announcement sent to the media says that Governor Andrew Cuomo has introduced a new Path Through History website in celebration of New York State History Month.
“The new website features streamlined visuals and user-friendly navigation to help travelers map visits to sites across the state using 13 unique themes that explore New York’s rich cultural and natural history,” the announcement said. Continue reading
Recently, while researching the Old Huguenot Burying Ground in New Paltz, I consulted two excellent online resources, the New York State Historic Newspaper Project and Fulton History. Continue reading
As the school year approaches, history teachers are looking for new classroom resources, especially primary sources for inquiry based lessons.
Many teachers want to make that local connection with their students who are sometimes unaware of the importance their area might have played in larger American History. There are a plethora of local sites and museums that are terrific jumping-off points for dynamic lessons, but I’d like to focus attention on a very useful site for educators, Hudson River Valley Heritage (HRVH). Continue reading
“What is the Hudson River School?” is the frequently asked question that prompted the Albany Institute of History & Art to present the exhibition The Making of the Hudson River School: More than the Eye Beholds in 2013. The exhibition featured 96 works from the Albany Institute’s collection of Hudson River School paintings, drawings, prints, and historical documents, along with 38 works from several private collections that had not been shown before in a public exhibition.
This exhibition, which highlights such a key component of New York State’s history and the history of American art, has been digitized and is now available as the museum’s first online exhibition, bringing the story of the Hudson River School to greater audiences. Continue reading
Saratoga National Historical Park has announced the launch of its new mobile app for smart phones and tablets. Starting April 2015, visitors using these portable computing devices will be able to use this app to enhance their park touring experience.
The app features content for over 30 points of interest, including images and an audio tour of the battlefield created by the Friends of Saratoga Battlefield. Visitors can also listen to a new Wilkinson Trail Hiking Tour, an immersive soundscape with two distinct tours, one for adults and a student-narrated one for children. The Wilkinson Trail tours were created by park rangers, volunteers, and students. Visitors can also discover points of interest with location-aware alerts and GPS-enabled maps. Continue reading
nehThe National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has announced a new grant program, called “Common Heritage,” that hopes to bring to light historical records and artifacts currently hidden in family attics and basements across the country and make them digitally available to the wider public.
NEH invites historical societies, libraries, archives, museums, colleges and other local institutions to apply for the Common Heritage grant program. Grants will support day-long events, organized by community cultural institutions, in which members of the public will be invited to share materials important to their family or community histories, such as photographs, artifacts, family letters, and works of art. Continue reading
The genealogy website Findmypast and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) have announced that Findmypast will host the newly expanded Digital Library of the NYG&B. The partnership is expected to provide additional membership benefits for the one of the nation’s oldest genealogical organizations, and also add new content to Findmypast’s online collections. Continue reading
AT&T has given a $20,000 contribution to support the conservation and digitization of documents burned in the 1911 New York Capitol Fire.
The documents are expected to be conserved and digitized are badly fire damaged and contain information about life in the Hudson Valley in the 1700s, primarily in Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange counties. They have been unavailable to the public since 1911; no timetable for online public access has been announced. Continue reading
A new website, the Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS), provides access to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation’s (State Parks) historic records. Continue reading
As the recently appointed historian for the City of Ogdensburg I was stunned at the amount of historical artifacts and research that I had inherited that somehow was crammed into a very small space. I had always been interested in local history and in a previous life had worked as an archivist at the Ogdensburg Public Library, until teaching called me.
Twenty years later I was given the task of not only preserving Ogdensburg’s history, but making it accessible to others. Continue reading
Aerial photos can be helpful research tools for historians. Google Earth, which provides access to a vast collection of aerial photography stretching back 20 years, is just a sampling of the many aerial photos that have been made since French balloonist Gaspard-Félix Tournachon, known as “Nadar”, took a photo over Paris, France in 1858.
Much of New York Sate was photographed with the camera pointing straight down, an oblique presentation that is less useful to some historians. An effort to capture all of New York in an orthophotographic perspective (corrected to a uniform scale) started in 1936 with a contract to C.S. Robinson of Ithaca, NY. These images are particularly valuable resources for historians of all stripes. Continue reading
The National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) in Philadelphia is launching “LGBT Stories: A Collecting Project,” a new website that focuses on Jewish Americans in the barrier-breaking movement for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights during the twentieth century and beyond.
“The courageous story of the LGBT civil rights movement is a vital part of America’s ongoing search for freedom and NMAJH is proud to celebrate and share this history – with the public’s active participation,” says Ivy Barsky, the Museum’s Chief Executive Officer and Gwen Goodman Director. Continue reading
The New-York Historical Society has received a grant of $304,470 from the Leon Levy Foundation to preserve and process its institutional archives, which document the institution’s 210-year history. “The two-year initiative will improve scholarly access to the archives and open a trove of material for a broad range of research possibilities,” an announcement sent to the press said.
The records document various aspects of the New-York Historical Society, encompassing collecting, exhibitions, research, scholarly and social activities, and even day-to-day operations. As part of this two-year project, New-York Historical is expected to arrange and describe over 1,600 linear feet of records, converting them from a modestly used, in-house resource to publicly accessible research collection. Continue reading
Cambridge University Press and the British Society for the History of Science (BSHS) have announced their partnership to launch a new, peer-reviewed, open access, thematic journal, for the history of science. A call for proposals for the first volume of BJHS Themes has been released, seeking thematic collections of papers that animate, provoke and inspire the scholarly community.
Each volume of the journal will be free to read online from the date of its publication. By launching the journal in this way, the BSHS and Cambridge will encourage widespread engagement with the important ideas each volume will present, stimulating public and scholarly debate that will enhance our collective understanding of science in history.To fully promote onward exploration of each volume’s theme, the journal will use a Creative Commons license that permits re-use and dissemination. Continue reading
Steve Seim is a volunteer researcher attempting to catalog cemeteries established for residents of asylums, poorhouses, poor farms, prisons, orphanages, and similar institutions – in other words, cemeteries for the unclaimed.
Most of the individuals laid to rest in these cemeteries were forgotten in their own lifetimes. It is his hope that they will not be forgotten to history. Continue reading
Staatsburgh State Historic Site has launched a blog about the mansion and estate, the Mills Family, their guests and staff, the site’s collections, and the Gilded Age.
“A tour of the house just scratches the surface of the rich history, the many personalities and fascinating events that occurred here,” says site manager Pam Malcolm. “Through the blog we can offer those interested in the site and the Gilded Age a closer look at the Mills Family and other members of New York’s turn-of-the-century elite society, Gilded Age life, and the work done behind the scenes by historians and conservators to preserve this history at Staatsburgh. We hope everyone will visit www.staatsburghstatehistoricsite.blogspot.com to take a look. We welcome suggestions from interested readers for future research and blog posts.” Continue reading
The Future of Museums Conference, a collaborative global conversation about technology, museums, and the future will be a free, online event held from 10am – 5pm US-Eastern Time on July 24th, 2014, and will feature keynote speakers and crowdsourced presentations.
Attendees can expect to learn best practices to implement in their museums, and will hear real-world examples of innovative practices in the field. Continue reading
The hand-written, photocopied flyer from 1980 asks a question and offers a response: “Gay at UB? Well, you are not alone!!”
The word “not” is underlined four times.
The flyer, as well as other materials in the University at Buffalo Libraries’ latest online archive, “LGBT at UB,” documents lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history at the university from the 1970s to the late 1990s. Continue reading
Last week The Nation published its first installment of “Back Issues: Guided tours through the archive of America’s oldest weekly,” a new blog to be written by Richard Kreitner (Twitter: @richardkreitner).
The blog’s goal is to use the magazine’s historic archives (dating back to 1850) to cast light on news of the day. The inaugural post, “Come Explore the Treasure Chest That is Our 1950 ‘Spring Books’ Issue,” was published to coincide with publication of The Nation’s biannual books issue. Continue reading