Some of these events target specific areas within the history community such as preservation, museums, and tourism. [Read more…] about Upcoming History Advocacy Days, Conferences and Events
The New York State Board of Regents has overall responsibility for the history organizations in the state. The Department of Education which charters New York museums and historical societies operates under the auspices of the Regents.
Its purview includes the Office of Cultural Education: the New York State Archives, the New York State Library, and the New York State Museum where the New York State Historian is based. [Read more…] about History and the New York State Regents
One of the trends in public history programs these days is to re-examine program mission, reach out to new audiences, and reach back into the histories of groups that have been neglected or marginalized.
There are lots of examples here in New York. For instance, the mission statement of the Brooklyn Historical Society says it connects the past to the present and makes the vibrant history of Brooklyn tangible, relevant, and meaningful for today’s diverse communities, and for generations to come.” The Society features exhibits and public programs that delve into the historical roots of contemporary issues. [Read more…] about Bruce Dearstyne: Broadening Historical Programs’ Horizons
One of the challenges that public history programs face is how best to interest and engage their communities in history.
Of course, interesting exhibits and presentations continue to be at the core of our work and essential for that engagement. But some programs are going further, featuring initiatives that connect historical evidence and perspectives with current concerns and events. [Read more…] about Bruce Dearstyne: Engaging Communities With History
What can the everyday life of an enslaved person tell us about slavery, how it was practiced, and how some enslaved people made the transition from slavery to freedom?
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History we explore the life of Charity Folks, an enslaved woman from Maryland who gained her freedom in the late-18th century.
This is the time of year when the Governor is preparing his state-of-the state message, the Division of the Budget is assembling the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 budget, and legislative leaders are working on their priorities. What will be done to advance state and local history?
As 2018 closes and we look ahead to 2019, there is progress and momentum in several areas, thanks to the leaders of several programs and the energy and work of many people in the history community. [Read more…] about NY History Progress in 2018, Looking Ahead to 2019
Historians need to consider doing more of what might be called putting history to work – using it to provide historical perspective on current events. A few examples:
*There are now several history forums and a number of history museums that are supporting dialog including historical insights about current issues. [Read more…] about Putting History to Work: A Few Recent Examples
The subject was “Impact of Arts and Cultural Organizations on the State’s Economy” and the purpose was “To examine the impact New York’s artistic and cultural institutions have on the economy of the State.” To read my blog on the meeting click here.
What can we learn from the controversy over the naming of the Tappan Zee Bridge? What lessons can be drawn by looking at the larger picture? I recently examined the issue by starting with the above-the-fold headline in my local paper on August 31, 2018:
Cuomo or Tappan Zee: Names Feed Identity Crisis by Frank Esposito, Rockland/Westchester Journal News [Read more…] about New York History and the Name Tappan Zee Bridge
In the 17th and 18th century, as New Amsterdam grew from a trading post into a village, a village into a town, and then a town into the port city of New York, its wealthiest residents were financially invested in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. And because they were among the most prominent of its early citizens, many of the city’s oldest streets are named after slaveholders and slave traders. An online database, New York Slavery Records Index, created by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York, opens this forgotten history to public view.
During the past year a mayoral commission held public hearings and recommended that a statue of James Marion Sims, a 19th century American physician who experimented on enslaved African women, be removed from the Central Park wall at 103rd street and 5th Avenue in the City of New York. Unfortunately, the commission ignored much of the city’s deep connection to slavery and the trans-Atlantic slave trade. [Read more…] about New York Streets Named for Slave Traders