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Blog Posts by Subject: Historical Newspapers

Live from the Reading Room: Langston Hughes to E. Ethelred Brown

Robert G. O’Meally, Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director of the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University recites this letter about faith composed by Harlem Renaissance poet and novelist, Langston Hughes, to Jamaican born Harlem preacher E. Ethelred Brown. 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 ›

Now Screening: Telegraph Historical Archive and the British Popular Press

Now Screening highlights NYPL's recent electronic resource acquisitions. This month: Telegraph Historical Archive, 1855-2000, available at any NYPL location, or remotely using your library card.Read More ›

The Leap Day Bachelor List of 1888

The editors of the newspaper decided that women could make better use of their quadrennial opportunity if they had a better lay of the marriageable land. So, the newspaper published an annotated list of eligible Chicago bachelors.Read More ›

Now Screening: Caribbean Newspapers

Caribbean Newspapers encompasses twenty countries during their occupation by European colonizers and chronicles a tumultuous time in Caribbean history.Read More ›

NYPL Across and Down: A Crossword Puzzle

On December 21, 1913, the first known published crossword appeared in the New York World newspaper. Today, in celebration, we're challenging you to complete our New York Public Library-themed crossword!Read More ›

The Digital Villager: Summertime, 1945

August 2, 1945: The high temperature in New York City was 84 degrees, and the second World War was drawing to a close. Where were Greenwich Villagers going to wile away the hot evening hours? Why, Little Shrimp, The Golden Eagle, and Dick the Oyster Man, of course!Read More ›

The Digital Villager: Bargain Hunting at Hearn's

Picture it: The year is 1933, and you need a new coat! Chances are, you'd be headed to Hearn's. This department store, located on 14th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues from 1879 until 1955, was a New York shopping mecca. Read More ›

Why Is New York City Called the Big Apple?

New York is a city of nicknames. The City That Never Sleeps, Empire City, The City So Nice They Named It Twice… and of course Gotham, which we’ve covered before. Today let’s just look at the Big Apple.Read More ›

Conducting Genealogical Research Using Newspapers

Historical newspapers are useful tools for history and genealogy research. They can be searched for ancestors’ death notices/obituaries, personal announcements and celebrations, community involvement, social news and gossip, lodge and club news, employment ads, real estate transactions, legal notices, casualty lists, military news, criminal activity, and much more.Read More ›

Play Strike! Exploring NYC Playgrounds Through Historical Newspapers

At the turn of the 20th century, children’s lifestyles were not quite what they are today. Child labor laws were not declared constitutional until 1938 and children largely socialized with their adult co-workers in dance halls, gambling dens, and gin mills. It was this children-as-adults culture that sparked the play movement, removing children from the “physical and moral dangers of the street” to playgrounds, under the direction of trained play leaders.Read More ›

Researching Past Weather Information for New York City

For those researchers who need to look up past weather information for New York City, one way to do so is to use a historical newspaper database, such as ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2009) with Index (1851-1993) which is accessible at any New York Public Library location.

In this case, since it is not weather forecast information that one is interested in, but 

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How to Search The New York Times

Over the years working at the reference desk, I get this question a lot: "Do you have the New York Times on [given date]?" I reply, "YES! Which formats are you interested in seeing? We have some bound copies, microfilms and digital resources." It is one of the most popular primary sources that patrons often want to see.

Whatever the patrons are researching, the NYT is quite useful for a variety of subjects: genealogy, history, social sciences, etc.; the newspaper covered and still covers many international, national, regional and local issues. We 

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Celebrate National Doughnut Day

The first Friday in June is National Doughnut Day.

Usually I am skeptical of nonsensical food holidays. Did the cinnamon-sugar lobby come up with this? The lard council?

Still, National Doughnut Day grabbed my attention. So I checked Chase's Calendar and the sources cited in the Wikipedia article.

It's time to CELEBRATE!

The first Doughnut Day was in 1938, organized by the Salvation 

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Extra! Extra! Read All About the Newsboys Strike of 1899

This year the musical Newsies got nominated for eight Tony Awards. The popularity of the Disney Broadway show based on the Disney film has led many of our younger patrons to ask about the newsboys and the strike they led in 1899 on which the film and play  are based.

If you are interested in learning more about the strike of 1899 (there were other strikes before and after) simply 

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Women's and Gender Studies: A Research Guide

March is Women's History Month. This year, the theme of Women's History Month is Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. This blog post will explore how one can conduct research in women's and gender studies and history.

The research collections of The 

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Islam in Europe: A Resource Guide at NYPL

According to the BBC News, "Islam is widely considered Europe's fastest growing religion, with immigration and above average birth rates leading to a rapid increase in the Muslim population." There are currently over 15 million Muslims (Sunni and Shiite) living in Europe and Islam is currently the second largest religion in the world after Christianity.

This blog post will focus on NYPL’s rich collection on the history of Islam in Europe: past and present; the historical, political, cultural, and 

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Weddings and Marriages at NYPL: A Research Guide

This post briefly examines and explores how one can conduct research in weddings and marriages using the Library's traditional and new media collections.Read More ›

The Face of Intellectual Beauty: The New York Review of Books at 48

First published on February 1st, 1963, The New York Review of Books has been hailed to be one of the world's leading intellectual literary magazines. Known for its sharp and critical insights, commentaries and book reviews on culture, literature and current affairs, The NYRB has had much success in gaining attention from and written contributions by eminent scholars, intellectuals and writers such as Margaret Atwood,

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