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Blog Posts by Subject: History of North America

The Nican Mopohua and Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

Among the many treasures of the New York Public Library are documents created as the New World was explored and settled by Europeans and a hybrid culture emerged. James Lenox (1880-1880) whose books, manuscripts, and maps formed the great base for the Library's collection was interested in the history of the Americas. This blog post focuses on a set of documents long referred to as the Monumentos Guadalupanos, or Guadeloupean Monuments, and one document in particular, the Nican Mopohua. A facsimile edition of this historic manuscript is currently underway from SYL Creaciones Graficas and Read More ›

Classroom Connections: Reconstructing Reconstruction (Gr. 11-12)

This Unit, for Grades 11-12, is a historical analysis of how school textbooks tell the story of the Post-Civil War Era, focusing on the evolution of how U.S. History textbooks interpret the history of Reconstruction.Read More ›

Zora Neale Hurston and the Depression-Era Federal Writers' Project

In 1933, the US government established the first of many New Deal projects and initiatives. Four years later, in September 1937, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston was published in New York. The connection between the two? While many readers know of the novel's seminal status (it has been one of the most lauded—and

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#TeachNYPL Pinterest Board

Did you know that we're on Pinterest?

Check out our Pinterest Board—TeachNYPL—for educational resources from the New York Public Library including:

Finds from the Archives—letters from Harry Houdini to NYPL President John Shaw Billings, Civil War diaries, the infamous Newgate Calendar (the 'chronicles of ... Read More ›

Veterans Resources at Saint George Library: Serving Those Who Have Served Us

"Freedom is not free." —Walter Hithcock "In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved." —Franklin D. Roosevelt

American freedom has been achieved and maintained due to the perseverance and sacrifice of our service men and women. Although we show our support by honoring those in service as well as veterans twice a year, on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, this does not fulfill their daily needs as they once 

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Classroom Connections: The Underground Railroad to Canada (Gr. 6-8)

"I left the States for Canada, for rights, freedom, liberty. I came to Buxton [Ontario] to educate my children" —Henry Johnson (pp. 307 A North-side View of Slavery: The Refugee, Or, The Narratives of Fugitive Slaves in Canada)

Additional Resources for Further ReadingExpanded Text List - Slavery and the Underground ... Read More ›

The Wonder Years: Music and References from Season One

What would you do if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and walk out on me?

I don't know about you, but certain songs are for me forever associated with certain movies and television shows.

What do you think of when you hear Roy Orbison's "In Dreams"? How about when you hear Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle With 

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Lincoln: The Untold Story

As Hollywood films about the passage of the 13th Amendment go, Lincoln is certainly the best one ever made! There really aren't any others. I saw it with my sons, sixth and 12th graders in Brooklyn public schools. They loved the film and saw it as an exciting movie about American history. Would they recommend it to other kids, I asked. "Yes," they agreed, "Lincoln is a movie that all students should see."

I agree Lincoln is a 

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The Victory Book Campaign and The New York Public Library

World War II Posters Collections. Published by the U.S. Government Printing Office, public domain. Northwestern University LibraryDuring the month of November 1941, three organizations, the American Library Association, the American Red Cross and the United Service Organizations (USO) formed the Victory Book Campaign (originally named the National Defense Book 

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Special Library in Focus: The New-York Historical Society Library

While I was in the neighborhood (visiting the library of the American Museum of Natural History - AMNH), I serendipitously noticed that the New-York Historical Society (NYHS) was next door. After visiting the AMNH, I decided to check out the library of the historical society. I was happy to discover that it is open to the public free Tuesday-Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and on Saturdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m, and they have a wealth of resources! In addition to their physical 

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Close Call at Monmouth, 1778

This was probably one of the largest engagements fought in the American Revolution. No larger battles occured in the United States until the Civil War. Yet, there is a surprising paucity of books concerning this pivotal event. Why is this so? Monmouth certainly gets mentioned in every history of the Rev War, but in-depth studies are scarce. William Stryker wrote a full length history many years ago, and while its comprehensive, the author's bias is decidedly slanted toward the patriot cause. Stryker does provide a more detailed description of the battle, but with some 

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A Closer Look at Jefferson's Declaration

The New York Public Library's Manuscripts and Archives Division is honored to safeguard a copy of the Declaration of Independence penned by Thomas Jefferson. Because the Declaration was featured in the Library’s 2011 Centennial Exhibition, it will not be on display in July 2012. However, the occasion offers a chance instead for a closer look at the document through the Library’s website. In the days immediately following its 

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The Music of the Titanic

An oft-reproduced sheet music cover, memorializing the Titanic and the StrausesThere will probably be more written about the RMS Titanic this month than in the past 100 years. This blog entry is my contribution to the literature of the steamship and its connection to music.

The sheet music cover above (from The New York Public Library’s

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My Heart Will Go On: Stories from the RMS Titanic, Truth and Fiction

In the late hours of April 14th, 1912 and the early morning hours of April 15th, about 85 years before a dying Leo DiCaprio urged a freezing Kate Winslet to live, the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sunk into the icy waters of the North Atlantic. In a matter of hours this “unsinkable” ship was on the bottom of the ocean and only 712 out of its 2,208 passengers would survive.  Since the news of the sinking first got out up to the present day, on the100th anniversary of the tragedy, there have been hundreds of stories about those who died, those who survived 

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1940: What's Going On

Released April 2, 2012 by the National Archives, the Sixteenth United States Federal Census is an exciting and important document. It describes the lives of Americans caught between two cataclysmic events in the country's history. When the 1940 census was taken, the nation was still in the throes of the Great Depression, with 14.6 percent of the population out of work, but not yet caught up in the Second World War, a soon to be global conflagration that was, ironically, to put an end to years of economic hardship. Using The New 

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Booktalking "Firehorse" by Diane L. Wilson

Firehorse by Diane L. Wilson, 2010

Imagine a world where horses pull fire engines, hoses and firemen, galloping to fight fires and save lives. Imagine a place where "ready-made" clothes are the talk of the town, and women gasp at the prices, where dalmatians nip at the heels of horses to make way for the fire horses, where a working "woman writer" at the Bostonian newspaper Argus is 

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The Second Time America was Bombed in World War II

A patron wrote ASK NYPL to ask about her uncle, who died in March 1945 while serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. She granted us permission to share the story of the search here.

The patron knew very little about her uncle "Buddy." When the Army notified her uncle's next of kin of his death, they did not disclose how or where he died. Further, her uncle's military records had been destroyed in the 1973 National 

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"Chris in the Morning" Reading List

From 1990 through 1995, the television viewing public was obsessed with the goings on in Cicely, Alaska. Northern Exposure ruled the television airwaves. And while our airwaves were dominated by this quirky drama, on the show itself the airwaves were ruled by Chris Stevens and his KBHR radio show Chris in the Morning.

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Teaching Prohibition: Databases for Use in Creating Lesson Plans

To help in your lesson planning, I've highlighted some databases available at the Library that are related to Prohibition.

Grolier Online — type in "Prohibition" and find articles on the topic in various reading levels and in Spanish. Kids Search — click on the “images” link and type in "Prohibition." You will find primary source information on the topic. ... Read More ›

Social Studies Resources for the 4th Grade Classroom: Colonial and Revolutionary Periods

With Thanksgiving a few days away, many of us are getting ready to enjoy the wonderful foods of our harvest, spend time with loved ones and reflect on the things for which we are thankful. We know that teachers are also busy creating social studies lessons about the significance of this holiday, especially the contributions of the different groups living in and travelling to the "New World" in the 1600-1700s.  This list of resources was compiled to help teachers and students learn, from a variety of perspectives, how the United States was 

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