Everyday here in the Milstein Division, we get questions from all over the city and around the country about the history of New York City. Questions range from the very specific, “What was the weather in Manhattan on May 7th 1864?” to the dauntingly vague, “My great-grandfather lived in New York, his name was Patrick Murphy. Could you send me information on him?” Fortunately, the library’s collection of reference material on New York City history is astounding and rare is the question that goes unanswered. But for those who don’t have direct access to our print collection and are interested in researching the history of our great metropolis, I invite you to a free research class at the library this week.
This Friday, June 27th, I’ll be teaching a class on the different online resources we use to answer questions about New York City’s history and the lives of its inhabitants. In this class, Digital Gotham, I’ll introduce some of the more useful databases and websites librarians use to search for photographs, newspaper articles, genealogical information and more, even the weather in 1864. If you’ve ever wanted to look up your New York ancestors, were curious about the Astor Place riots, or needed some new ideas about researching city history, please drop by the classrooms at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building this Friday at 3:15. If you can’t make it to this class, no need to panic, there’ll be more classes on researching New York City online coming this fall.