Author Archives: Peter Feinman

Peter Feinman

About Peter Feinman

Peter Feinman is founder and president of the Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education, a non-profit organization which provides enrichment programs for schools, professional development program for teachers, public programs including leading Historyhostels and Teacherhostels to the historic sites in the state, promotes county history conferences, the development of Paths through History, and a Common Core Curriculum that includes local and state history.

Mass History Alliance Advocates for State, Local History

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Mass History AllianceOn June 4, 2018, I attended the annual Massachusetts History Conference. For the second year in row, the event was hosted by the Massachusetts History Alliance. This new and still-forming group drew my attention because of its mission: to advocate on behalf of state and local history.

To read about the efforts of this group go to Who Advocates for State and Local History?: The Massachusetts History Alliance Experience.

Lessons From Ulster County’s History Conference

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Vintage Ulster County Map (1897) New Ulster County Historian Geoff Miller spent his first year getting the lay of the land, and getting to know his fellow local historians.

As a follow-up, he helped convene a team of municipal historians and county historical society members to organize an Ulster County history conference.

The theme was resources (not local history stories) and addressed the resources available to the history community of Ulster County at the state, regional, and county level.  Continue reading

Peter Feinman: Lower Manhattan’s Little Syria

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Little Syria, Lower ManhattanOnce upon a time in the 19th and 20th centuries, there was a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan called Little Syria. The area was defined as west of Broadway to the Hudson River and from the Battery at the southern tip of Manhattan north to Liberty Street.

Beginning in the 1880s, a variety of people from the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East began settling there. By the 1920s the population consisted of about 8,000 people, including 27 ethnicities. Their tenements were located near the docks where the residents worked. Continue reading

Peter Feinman On Culture Wars At Columbia University

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Columbia UniversityOn April 5, while doing research, I took a lunch-break and picked up a copy of the Columbia Daily Spectator, the Columbia University undergraduate newspaper. In reading the paper, I came across several articles directly related to history and the current culture wars.

Since I have a sample of only one newspaper, I can’t determine if the contents were typical of the campus news coverage, if it was just a chance day, or some combination of both. In any event, my lunch time reading turned into a fascinating glimpse into the front-lines of the culture war.   Read about it here: History at Columbia University: Report from a Battle Front in the Culture Wars 

Former NYS Historical Assn President Responds To Criticisms

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New York State Historical AssociationI recently reported on a petition initiated by the New York Academy of History in support of local and state history.

Much of the details of the letter were against recent actions of the New York State Historical Association (NYSHA), an organization that has undergone some changes in 2017 as reported in New York History Blog by editor John Warren and columnist/advocate Bruce Dearstyne.

My post led to a response by Paul S. D’Ambrosio, President & CEO, Fenimore Art Museum & The Farmers’ Museum aka NYSHA. He sent me an email asking if I would publish it. I agreed to do so and he then sent a second draft which is published below. Continue reading

Historians File Protest for State and Local History

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new york acadamy of historyWho advocates for New York State history? I have frequently bemoaned the absence of a history agenda, an organized history community, and history advocacy day here. Last year, Ken Jackson, Columbia University and plenary speaker at the kickoff of the Path through History program, ridiculed that very program in his plenary address to the Great Hudson Heritage Network (GHHN). That plea was followed up by a letter to the Governor through the auspices of the New York Academy of History. Naturally, there was no response, not even a form letter. Continue reading