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Posts from the Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy

On the Town: 7 Archtober Buildings of the Day & NYPL Resources

Archtober is an annual month-long celebration of New York City's built environment, with thirty-one "building of the day" sites. Here are seven locations that archi-lovers can explore any day of the year, using materials at NYPL.Read More ›

Genealogy Research on the Front Page

Genealogy and local history research is not often headline-making news, but resources in The New York Public Library's Milstein Division are highly relevant to controversies currently flashing big across the news ticker. Read More ›

6 Surprises for Newcomers to Genealogy

Once genealogy hobbyists get hooked, they often encounter a few surprises in their research. Read More ›

17 Open House New York Sites You Can Research at NYPL

What's Open House New York? It's an invitation to explore the city. Every October, the five boroughs open up for the annual weekend—this year on October 14 and 15, with over 200 buildings and projects. Can't make it? In honor of the festival's fifteenth anniversary, I selected seventeen long-time participants you can explore more through NYPL resources.Read More ›

New York and the American Revolution: Resources at NYPL

Interested in learning more about New York's role, and the early battles of the American Revolution? Inspired by Hamilton? Here are some of the resources I consulted for @NYPLHistory.Read More ›

Genealogy Tips: New York Cops in The City Record

Researchers will often ask librarians in the Milstein Division about where to find historical “police records.” If a researcher is looking for an individual who was in law enforcement, The City Record might be a helpful resource.Read More ›

Better Know a State: See the Nation, Through the American Guide Series

To keep the spirit of adventure and travel going all month long, a look into the Writers' Project Series of American Guide books, published in the 1930s-1940s and available from The New York Public Library and online.Read More ›

#ThisPlaceMatters: Preservation Month Resources

May is Preservation Month! I know, there are only a few days left, but you can celebrate Preservation Month all year long with great books and other resources from The New York Public Library.Read More ›

Lower East Side Story: Beth Hamedrash Hagodol

The Library has a number of items that highlight the development and presence of synagogues in New York City, including at least one photographic collection wherein Beth Hamedrash Hagodol features prominently. This post pays tribute to the building, with a short history, and a view back to better days.Read More ›

Christopher Gray: an Appreciation

Architectural historian and New York Times columnist Christopher Gray died last week. He was 66. Milstein Division librarians took a moment to reflect on Gray's work, and his impact on the written history of New York City and research of its built environment. Read More ›

Ep. 65 "This Is My Contribution" | Library Stories

Try your hand at research at the Schwarzman Building at 42nd Street, and be amazed at what you can learn—about your own family. Just ask Jennifer Maston, who took a course on African-American genealogy and came away with more than she expected. Read More ›

The Titan and the Dictator

History is often subject to an arrogant and belabored information literacy.Read More ›

Looking for Langston, Du Bois, and Miss La La: An Interview with Author John Keene

An interview with John Keene: a writer-in-residence in the Library’s Wertheim Study in 2013, where he researched and wrote Counternarratives, for which he received an American Book Award and a Lannan Literary Award in Fiction in 2016.Read More ›

New York Public Library Digitizes 137 Years of New York City Directories

New York Public Library is digitizing its collection of New York City Directories, 1786 through 1922/3, serving them free through the NYPL Digital Collections portal. The first batch—1849/50 through 1923—have already been scanned, and the 1786–1848/9 directories are right now being scanned. The whole collection will be going online over the coming months.Read More ›

Talking U.S.A. Death Records

A death record is a legal statement of fact that provides information for purposes other than the apparent fact that the subject individual is dead. Read More ›

The Last Nostrand Streetcar: Max Hubacher's New York Photography

A prolific amateur photographer and local historian, Hubacher documented New York City and its environs with a seemingly objective eye, the typed or handwritten captions on the verso of each photograph often markedly specific in terms of date and location.Read More ›

Genealogy Tips: Probate Records in New York

In New York City, there are three ways to get started researching probate records.Read More ›

Genealogy Tips: Searching the Census by Address

Ever wondered who lived in your home before you? Or having trouble finding great-grandparents in old census records? If you are so inclined, and want to search the census by address, to see who lived in your American house many moons ago, this post explains how you can do that. Even better, all the information is available online for free. You will need an address... Read More ›

A Brief Passage in U.S. Immigration History

In the years after the Revolutionary War, about five thousand immigrants arrived in the U.S. annually; in 2014, one million people obtained lawful permanent residency. Read More ›

The Writing on the Wall: Documenting Civil War History

As June turned into July in 1863, the residents of Vicksburg, Mississippi faced an increasingly dire summer. The city's newspaper, the Vicksburg Daily Citizen, was remarkable in that it both documented and physically represented the effects of the siege.Read More ›
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