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Traces from Jefferson's Account Book: The Hemings Family

The New York Public Library has just digitized Jefferson’s manuscript account book from 1791 to 1803. The volume is basically a day-by-day running record of Jefferson’s transactions. The account book offers a glimpse of how Jefferson interacted with his world on a daily basis.Read More ›

5 Ways to Research Your Italian Heritage Without Leaving Home

Over four million Italians entered the United States between 1880-1930. Are your ancestors among them? Get started now exploring your Italian roots.Read More ›

Sea Blazers and Early Scriveners: The First Guidebooks to New York City

The first guidebooks to New York City were written by the navigators, explorers, crewmen, trail-makers, and settlers who sailed west from Europe across the Atlantic Ocean in the 16th and 17th centuries. Read More ›

Letterbooks, Indexes, and Learning about Early American Business

Letterbooks were the hard drives of their day. Businessmen and merchants used letterbooks to keep records of their business transactions. To learn about how everyday life worked in a given period, there really is no substitute for these and other manuscript sources.Read More ›

Baudelaire, a Skeptic, Shares His Photo

Why does a man, who believed that photography contributed to the “impoverishment of the French genius” let himself be photographed and therefore share his image with the world?Read More ›

Recent Acquisitions in the Jewish Division: July 2015

The following titles on our Recent Acquisitions Display are just a few of our new books, which are available at the reference desk in the Dorot Jewish Division. Read More ›

Occupying Ellis Island: Protests In the Years Between Immigration Station and National Park

Ellis Island is powerfully symbolic in American culture. For many it marks the beginning of their American identity. For Native Americans and African Americans, it became a powerful place to stage a protest in the 1970s.Read More ›

Finding Yiddish Music: A Quick Online Guide

Use these resources to find Yiddish music online and in libraries and archives: search for sheet music, audio recordings, catalogs, and print anthologies.Read More ›

Historic Central Park Maps

The Library's collection includes a diverse range of cartographic material including well-known topographic surveys depicting the landscape before the park’s construction as well as numerous maps published after its completion with indexes that list amenities and places of interest.Read More ›

Romantic Interests: Sex, Lies and Poetry Redux, Part 2

Shelley's literary response to the events in England was less judicious than Byron's. Oedipus Tyrannus; or, Swellfoot the Tyrant, a two-act barnyard burlesque in which all the leading political figures of the day were satirized, was rushed into print in London and caught the censor's eye the moment it appeared. Read More ›

Independence Day Booths: Fourth of July Feasting in 19th Century New York

Ready for Fourth of July barbeques? Of course you’ll be having some pickled oysters, egg nog, and lobster, right? If you think these are some interesting cuisine choices for Independence Day festivities, 19th century New Yorkers would disagree.Read More ›

The Olive Branch and the Declaration of Independence

Was the Declaration of Independence really necessary? Or was it widely understood by the end of 1775 that the American colonies were already engaged in a war for independence? The key to answering these questions about July 4, 1776 begins with the events of July 5, 1775, when the Second Continental Congress approved the Olive Branch Petition.Read More ›

Romantic Interests: Sex, Lies and Poetry Redux, Part 1

When the dissolute, spendthrift son of George III ascended the throne, he wished to rid himself of his wife, Caroline, from whom he had long been estranged, and instituted divorce proceedings against her in the House of Lords. The "trial" lasted for eleven weeks during the summer and autumn of 1820.Read More ›

George Chalmers and the History Wars of the American Revolutionary Era

George Chalmers was a sore loser. Born in Scotland in 1742, Chalmers came to Maryland in 1763 and practiced as an attorney until 1775. Hostilities between Britain and its colonies drove the ardent loyalist to leave North America for London. In England, Chalmers began amassing documents and writing histories about colonial North America and British imperial policy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.Read More ›

Recent Acquisitions in the Jewish Division: June 2015

The following titles on our Recent Acquisitions Display are just a few of our new books, which are available at the reference desk in the Dorot Jewish Division. Catalog entries for the books can be found by clicking on their covers.Read More ›

The Mythology of Bruno Schulz

How did a Jewish writer, who wrote exclusively in Polish and who died in the Holocaust, become practically a cult figure of mid-­20th century literature?Read More ›

Celebrating Jewish LGBT Pride

In honor of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Pride Month in June, the Dorot Jewish Division recognizes the achievements of LGBT Jews in history and in the Library’s collection. Here are some key moments and figures.Read More ›

Names Have Meaning: A Research Guide for Baby Names and Family Names

Like any word in the dictionary, a person’s name has meaning. The study of names is called onomastics or onomatology. Onomastics covers the naming of all things, including place names (toponyms) and personal names (anthroponyms). Given names, often called first names, and surnames, often called last names, usually derive from words with distinct origins.Read More ›

Despotic Characters: Researching Shorthand at the New York Public Library

Through multiple gifts over the years, The New York Public Library has gathered an outstanding and extensive collection of shorthand material. These items can help answer such wide-ranging questions as: What was the eruption of Mount Vesuvius like? Why are some of the lines in Shakespeare’s King Lear so weird? and How can I take faster notes in my classes and work meetings?Read More ›

The Great War and Modern Mapping: WWI in the Map Division

Among the hundreds of maps from the Great War, you'll find commercial maps produced for sale to the general public, pictorial propaganda maps, newspaper maps intended to illustrate the unfolding conflict, and military maps produced for a variety of purposes including training, planning offensive and defensive operations, troop dispositions and more. The languages printed on the map mirror the international range of the conflict.Read More ›
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