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Blog Posts by Subject: Manuscripts and Rare Books

Live from the Reading Room: Cheryl Boyce-Taylor to Friends and Poets

This episode of 'Live From the Reading Room: Correspondence', recited by Trinidadian costume historian Natalya Mills-Mayrena, features a letter from Trinidadian Poet Cheryl Boyce-Taylor to a group of friends and poets. In the letter, Boyce-Taylor discusses writing, family, and publishing. 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 ›

Live From the Reading Room: Philippa Schuyler to Josephine Schuyler

Live from the Reading Room: Correspondence is a podcast series that aims to share interesting and engaging letters written by or to key historical figures from the African Diaspora. Read More ›

Live From the Reading Room: Josephine Schuyler to Philippa Schuyler

Today’s episode features a letter from journalist and essayist Josephine Schuyler, to her daughter, pianist, composer, journalist, and child prodigy Philippa Duke Schuyler. Read More ›

Live From the Reading Room: Zora Neale Hurston to 'Bill'

Today’s episode features a letter from writer, anthropologist, and folklorist, Zora Neale Hurston to her friend, “Bill.”Read More ›

Live From the Reading Room: Claude McKay to Walter White

Today’s episode features a letter from Jamaican-American Harlem renaissance era poet and writer Claude McKay to NAACP leader and civil rights activist, Walter White.Read More ›

Live From the Reading Room: Josephine Baker to Sumio Matasuo

Live from the Reading Room: Correspondence is a podcast series that aims to share interesting and engaging letters written by or to key historical figures from the African Diaspora. Read More ›

Recently Digitized Early American Manuscript Collections, March 2016

Recently digitized collections of early American manuscripts.Read More ›

Live from the Reading Room: Nathan Woodard to Alice Childress

A love letter from musician and composer Nathan Woodard to his wife and creative collaborator Alice Childress.Read More ›

A Trivial Blog Post for Serious People

An unassuming black notebook contains the earliest draft of Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest, written by hand and with the author’s frequent emendations.Read More ›

Live from the Reading Room: Arturo Schomburg to Langston Hughes

Today’s letter features correspondence between Arturo Alfonso Schomburg and Langston Hughes. In the excerpt below, Schomburg speaks with Hughes regarding acquisitions for The Division of Negro Literature, History and Prints—the forerunner to today’s Schomburg Center.Read More ›

Meet the Schomburg's Newest Archivists!

Our newest archivists, Tiana Taliep and Alexsandra Mitchell, tell us what it’s like to research and preserve some of the finest materials across the African Diaspora, and their journey to the Schomburg Center.Read More ›

Top 9 Documents from the Boston Committee of Correspondence Records

The BCC records is an important resource for understanding the American Revolution. But it is also a massive and unwieldy one. To make things easier, I've put together a list of nine important and representative documents from the BCC records, which, taken together, offer a rough outline of the BCC's activities and functions during the 1770s and 1780s, as well as a sense of the Committee's place in the larger story of the American Revolution.Read More ›

Joseph Hawley Papers Digitized

As part of the Early American Manuscripts Project, the Library has just digitized and made available online the Joseph Hawley papers. Hawley was a lawyer, legislator, and militia officer from Northampton, Massachusetts. Read More ›

Reintroducing the Boston Committee of Correspondence Records

Looking back on the Revolution in 1815, John Adams remarked that “The History of the United States never can be written” without the records of the Boston Committee of Correspondence. Read More ›

Unexpected Sources: Slave Cloth in the Richard Henry Lee Letters

One of the most surprising letters I have recently come across is held in a small group of Richard Henry Lee correspondence: a passing reference that serves as an indication of slavery’s enormous economic influence.Read More ›

Traveling the Roads of Early America with Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson recorded, measured, and calculated things obsessively. He kept copious notes in his account book on the distances he traversed and the roads he traveled.Read More ›

HAMILTON: The Archive

In the musical Hamilton, which opened last night on Broadway, George Washington tells Alexander Hamilton, “You have no control...who tells your story.” At the New York Public Library, we preserve the artifacts that allow such stories to be told, and we have an especially strong collection of archives related to the women and men whose lives inspired the characters in the musical.Read More ›

Sea Blazers and Early Scriveners: The First Guidebooks to New York City

The first guidebooks to New York City were written by the navigators, explorers, crewmen, trail-makers, and settlers who sailed west from Europe across the Atlantic Ocean in the 16th and 17th centuries. Read More ›

Letterbooks, Indexes, and Learning about Early American Business

Letterbooks were the hard drives of their day. Businessmen and merchants used letterbooks to keep records of their business transactions. To learn about how everyday life worked in a given period, there really is no substitute for these and other manuscript sources.Read More ›
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