A recent call from the California State Library praising the work of the The New York History Blog and inquiring about how to model the blog’s successes in The Golden State, reminded me that it’s been ten years.
It couldn’t have happened without the many supporters and contributors, our long time advertiser The Adirondack Experience, and especially our longest and most generous supporter Suzanne Clary, executive director of the Jay Heritage Center. Without the generous contributions of our supporters, we simply could not have produced the most widely read publication about New York State history these long years.
In addition to keeping the state’s history community informed about new publications, newly available collections, the efforts of public history and historic preservation advocates, and notices about exhibits, events, conferences, and events, The New York History Blog has served as an important place to discuss the challenges, and I think there are some notable successes of this largely volunteer effort.
Most significantly perhaps, after several years of advocacy New York State once again has a full-time State Historian. The New York History Blog was also home to the re-birth of New York State History Month.
Personally, I’m very proud of the role everyone has played in reporting on news of the history community in New York State that would have gone entirely, or in some cases almost entirely, unnoticed by other media outlets. We’ve provided a place for important news for the history community to land, and spread.
Among the important stories that received little attention in the mainstream press, were the funding issues that threatened to close half of New York State’s historic sites; the ending of the annual Conference on New York State History; the loss of the New York State Historical Association; the Path Through History and heritage tourism; the waxing and waning of the academic journal New York History; the loss of the replica ship Half Moon; and public history perspectives on important historical anniversaries.
Many have told me we’ve inspired various local efforts across the state, from better promotion of local and statewide events, to new local blogs, and increased connections between local historians, their communities, and academics that have fostered friendships, collaborations, and research.
I’m proud we are early promoters of the many new conferences, inaugural annual events, and local history podcasts, that have cropped up over the last 10 years and just needed to get the word out more widely.
We’ve striven to be honest to our readers, to allow space for the concerns and aspirations of the state’s history community, and that sometimes proves to be a powerful force for awareness and a guide for change.
Over the last 10 years we’ve reached just over a million readers (unique users according to Google Analytics).
We’ve published about 7,000 posts from 149 individual writers.
Special thanks are especially due to our long-time supporters and writers including Bruce Dearstyne, Lawrence Gooley, Devin Lander, Carol Kammen, Peter Feinman, Robert Weible, Kathleen Hulser, John Conway, A. J. Schenkman, Miguel Hernandez, David Fiske, Anthony F. Hall, Simeon Bankoff, Herb Hallas, Andrew Alberti, James S. Kaplan, Jane E. Wilcox, Peter Hess, Peter Slocum, Sean Kelleher, Olivia Twine, Marguerite Kearns, and so many more (including our Editorial Assistant these last two years Greg Dower).
Contributors to our fundraising campaigns, folks who have written posts about something they’ve been studying for years, the podcasters, publishers, and those who send their news tips, are all critical to our modest success of the last 10 years – – thank you for your continued support.
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As always, thanks for reading and for your continued support.