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

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 ›

Things to Do in New York City with Kids: Time Travel Edition

A look at forgotten pastimes as well as classic activities that children can enjoy today with guidebooks for families, past and present.Read More ›

Celebrating Immigrant Heritage Month 2016

Happy Immigrant Heritage Month! The Library is proud to be hosting a wide array of events throughout the month of June to celebrate. Read More ›

From Suburb to City and Back Again: A Brief History of the NYC Commuter

Facing more incoming commuters than any other county, Manhattan’s population nearly doubles each day. Learn about the history and rise of commuter culture in New York City.Read More ›

The Run for the Roses: An Exciting Two Minutes of Bluegrass Local History

The peak season of professional horse racing breaks from the gate this Saturday at 6:24PM, as 20 thoroughbreds contend nose-to-nose down to the wire for the 142nd Kentucky Derby, at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. Read More ›

The OldNYC App Is Here! We Spoke with Its Creators

The OldNYC experience is now available on mobile phones—discover what was there at thousands of locations across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. We talked to the developers to learn more about their work with our collections.Read More ›

Emigrant City: A Collaborative Resource

Find your great-great-uncle or the former owner of your apartment building: We’ve built an interface for you to browse records after searching names, addresses, and other fields.Read More ›
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