On the most recent episode of the podcast A New York Minute In History, co-hosts Devin Lander and Don Wildman examine how two New Yorkers – Al Smith and Franklin Delano Roosevelt – influenced the Progressive Era of the early 20th Century. The episode also explores how the administrations of Smith and Roosevelt shaped modern day politics and the role of government. [Read more…] about Al Smith, FDR, and the Progressive Movement
The journal New York History turns a century old in 2019 and this summer readers will find volume 100, issue number 1, in their mailboxes and see notices of the digital delivery of the journal in their email inboxes.
The most anticipated change at the journal, which is under new stewardship of Cornell University Press collaborating with the New York State Museum, is a welcome return to the past. The journal, after being a digital-only publication since 2012, will return to glorious print. Readers will be able to peruse bound paper issues and consult PDF and reflowable e-journals as their interests and reading needs determine. We know that paper and screens have their respective and complementary places in our reading lives, and the editors of the journal have ensured that all readers will have a choice of formats. [Read more…] about New Directions for ‘New York History’ Journal
§57.09 of the NYS Arts and Cultural Affairs Law requires all appointed Local Government Historians to “make an annual report, in the month of January, to the local appointing officer or officers and to the state historian of the work which has been accomplished during the preceding year.”
New York State Historian Devin Lander and the Office of State History have made online submission of the required report available to allow historians to more easily make their required report via the web.
Is New York’s “historical enterprise” really entering a new phase, as Bruce Dearstyne contends in his recent post? There certainly seems to have been some change going on in the New York State Office of Cultural Education. Perhaps most notably, New York is now employing a full-time State Historian for the first time since 1976 (not 1994, as Bruce suggests).
While this is certainly a step in the right direction, it would be naïve to allege that today’s State Historian position holds the same power and responsibility that it once did. [Read more…] about History In New York: Where Are We Headed?
There is encouraging evidence that we may be moving toward a turning point for New York’s historical enterprise.
During the last several months:
The Education Department made the State Historian an independent, full-time position. This is unlike the previous situation, where the State Historian, Bob Weible, also served as Chief History Curator of the State Museum. In effect, that was two jobs rolled into one. The curatorial work left little time for the state history work. Creating a new, dedicated position required approval of the Director of the State Museum, the Commissioner of Education and the Division of the Budget. Those are positive signs of interest and support. [Read more…] about A New Phase For New York’s Historical Enterprise?
I wanted to give an update on some things I am working on currently.
I am happy to see the excitement generated regarding the history community coming together for a meeting [ed. – more on this as it develops]. I think it certainly shows both the passion members of the community have for the important work they are doing and the need for a concise and attainable priority agenda. [Read more…] about New State Historian Plans History Advisory Group, New Website
You can find the Times Union story here. We’ll have another essay by Devin Lander on his plans as State Historian later this week.
You can read all our reporting and commentaries about the State Historian’s position here.
In a previous post, I reviewed the position of the Commissioner of Education. Mary Ellen Elia had received an open letter from two prominent state historians about the state historian position. In this post, I’ll consider what happened next. [Read more…] about Feinman: We Need A NYS History Advisory Coalition
I am humbled and honored to be New York’s 16th State Historian. It is certainly a privilege to have the opportunity to work with an amazing network of dedicated historians across the State to further the study, preservation, and celebration of New York’s unique and vital history.
The position of New York State Historian has a long history dating back to the first Historian being named in 1895. During the past 121 years, the State Historian has worn many hats; archivist and records collector, editor of historical collections, historical researcher and writer, preservationist, director of historic sites, museum curator, advocate for State and local history, and facilitator of a matrix of municipal, academic, and agency historians. It is a potentially daunting and multi-faceted position. [Read more…] about A Message From The New State Historian Devin Lander
New York State now has a new historian. In some ways that should seem like a routine announcement since the State is required to fill that position. However as people in the history community well know, the State, like many counties, cities, towns, and villages does not always comply with regulatory requirements. There is no penalty to the State for the failure to comply either and only a trivial unenforced one at the municipal level.
Even when the State and the municipalities do comply with the letter of the law, they don’t necessarily comply with the spirit. The position is often disrespected and/or disregarded excluding some ceremonial occasions and is not taken seriously when the real decisions of government are involved. The diminishment of the State position sets a poor but accurate example to the county executives, mayors, and town supervisors that local and state history really aren’t important regardless of any lip service at the press release level. How often is the voice of the history community actually heard in the REDC funding process (which is now beginning again for the 2016 cycle). How much funding is there for collaboration in the Path through History project regardless of how often the jargon is spoken? Message received. [Read more…] about New York State Historian: The Weible Years