State Archives Launches New Tool for Educators

Students, researchers, and lovers of New York State history from around the world will have a better sense of the types of records held by the New York State Archives with the launch of Document Showcase, a quarterly feature on the New York State Archives’ website that will highlight iconic records by investigating specific historical topics.

Quarterly Document Showcase submissions will feature a display of 3-5 hand-picked historical records on a selected topic, background information on those records, a link to educational activities for classroom use, and other related information. All learning activities are being developed by classroom teachers, are based on the New York 7th and 8th grade social studies core curriculum, and relate to New York State learning standards.

October’s edition of Document Showcase examines industrialization and child labor in New York State. The records include: a Factory Investigating Commission brief sent to the state Supreme Court supporting restrictions on the manufacture of goods in tenement houses- letters for and against child labor from Governor Lehman’s subject and
correspondence files- excerpts from chapter 529 of the laws of 1913 restricting child labor- and a union label from the Cigar Makers’ International Union of America expressing opposition to tenement-house manufacturing and other non-union labor. The records of the Factory Investigating Commission, created after the devastating Triangle
Shirtwaist Factory Fire in 1911, uncovered a range of substandard working conditions being experienced by low paid factory workers throughout New York State, many of whom were immigrants and/or women and children.

The Document Showcase is accessed from the State Archives website: www.archives.nysed.gov and select “Document Showcase” under “News and Events.”

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