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Posts from the Manuscripts and Archives Division

Informed Archives: The Straphangers Campaign and the NYC Subway System

Much attention has been paid lately to the MTA during what has been termed the “Summer of Hell.” Instead of simply bemoaning the current state of affairs, we can look to a citizen’s group that has been actively working toward improving the City transit system for almost forty years.Read More ›

Turn Around, Bright Eyes: Henry Draper and the 1878 Eclipse

The total solar eclipse which crossed from Alaska to Texas spurred many to make the trip West. Dr. Henry Draper assembled a group who watched the eclipse from the railroad outpost of Rawlins, in the Wyoming Territory.Read More ›

Total Eclipse of the Art: Trouvelot and the 1878 Eclipse

For Americans in the post-Civil War years, the most iconic images of the cosmos were largely the work of one man: Étienne Leopold Trouvelot (1827-1895), an artist and amateur astronomer who produced incredible images of the heavens.Read More ›

Voices Buried in the Ash Heap: Private Waste Disposers, Scavengers, and the 1939 World’s Fair

Studying the history of garbage teaches you that treasures can often be found in unexpected places. This was certainly true of my research at The New York Public Library.Read More ›

Edith Magonigle and the Art War Relief

Called Art War Relief, members from a group of art societies formed a coalition under the auspices of the American Red Cross.Read More ›

Informed Archives: The Pentagon Papers and the Fight to Know

The celebration of the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism prompted an exploration of our collections to celebrate the work and achievements of the Fourth Estate.Read More ›

Informed Archives: The Environmental Action Coalition and the Birth of Earth Day

In January 2017, thousands gathered on Fifth Avenue and the surrounding area for the Women’s March. But this wasn’t the first time that this street was the home for a massive demonstration: almost fifty years ago, it was a primary thoroughfare for the first Earth Day celebration.Read More ›

Transportation, Communications, and Colonial War

How the British Empire built the transportation and communications infrastructure that allowed them to win the colonial contest for eastern North America.Read More ›

Women's Lives in 1790s NYC: Stories from the Almshouse Records

The experience of women in 1790s New York City, from the records of the NYC Almshouse and Bridewell.Read More ›

The Other Mrs. Adams

During women's history month, consider the influence of "the other Mrs. Adams" on the American Revolution. Read More ›

Tammany Hall's Nineteenth-Century Retweets

The surprisingly modern public relations tactics of Tammany Hall--New York's most infamous nineteenth-century society.Read More ›

From Boston's Resistance to an American Revolution

Fake news, radical resistance, and the coming of the American Revolution.Read More ›

Prisons, Property, and the American Revolution

Recently digitized collections show how prisons protected property owners before and after the American Revolution.Read More ›

Evangelical Gotham: An Interview with Kyle Roberts

An interview with Kyle Roberts about his new book, Evangelical Gotham, which was Made at NYPL.Read More ›

Elizabeth De Hart Bleecker Diary, December 1799

When George Washington passed away, New Yorkers fought in the streets over his legacy.Read More ›

Literary Politics in 1790s New York City

In early New York City, reasoned and literary argument was understood as critical to political debate.Read More ›

Points of Entry: The Diaries of John Baxter Black

There are so many variables: who Black was, where he was and when, what he was doing with whom when he was there, and—most of all— what he had to say about it. Read More ›

The Specter of Foreign Influence in Early American Politics

Fears of foreign meddling spurred the development of the United States' first political parties.Read More ›

Elizabeth De Hart Bleecker Diary: October 8, 1800

A story of financial fraud, failure, and a tragic suicide in early New York City, told from the diary of Elizabeth De Hart Bleecker.Read More ›

Sympathy for a Spy

A sympathetic account of the execution of British spy John André, written by an American Army officer.Read More ›
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