Online Voting for $3M in NYC Preservation Funding

New York City will be this year’s location for Partners in Preservation, American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s community-based initiative to raise awareness of the importance of historic places. The program will infuse $3 million in grants to preserve the city’s historic buildings, icons and landmarks. The program hopes enlist the aid of New Yorkers, and anyone who loves New York, to vote online for the preservation projects most important to them.

From April 26 to May 21, 2012, anyone 13 years of age and older, anywhere in the world can vote online – either from their web-enabled mobile device, online or on Facebook – for one of 40 to-be-announced historic New York City places, by visiting www.Facebook.com/PartnersinPreservation or www.PartnersinPreservation.com.

The public voting process kicks off April 26 with the announcement of the 40 competing historic sites. Everyone can vote up to once a day, for the same site or for a different site. On May 22, the top three public vote-getters and the grants for their preservation projects will be revealed.

Hudson River Greenway Meeting Featuring Grants

On Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 the Hudson River Valley Greenway meeting will feature presentations from various New York State Agencies on upcoming grant and funding opportunities available through New York State.

NYS Empire State Development will provide an update on the upcoming Consolidated Funding Application round. Representatives from NYS Department of Environmental Conservation- Department of State- Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation- Office of General Services- and Agriculture and Markets will provide updates on funding opportunities that their agencies have availiable or will have available.

The meeting will also feature Hudson River Valley Greenway and National Heritage Area business and project updates.

The meeting will be held March 21, 2012, at 9:30 AM at the Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home, 4079 Albany Post Road, Hyde Park, NY.

For more information contact the Greenway at 518-473-3835 or [email protected]

New-York Historical Announces Fellowships

The New-York Historical Society has announced five fellowship recipients for the 2012-2013 academic year. New-York Historical offers fellowships to scholars dedicated to understanding and promoting American history. Basing their work on New-York Historical’s museum and library collections of more than 350,000 books, three million manuscripts, and collections of maps, photographs, prints, art objects and ephemera documenting the history of America from the perspective of New York, these scholars extend and enrich their previous work to develop new publications that illuminate complex issues of the past.

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow

Kevin Butterfield, currently Assistant Professor of Classics and Letters at the University of Oklahoma, is the 2012-2013 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow. Butterfield received a Ph.D. in History in 2010 from Washington University in St. Louis. He is an active member of his profession who has published articles and reviews in the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, and Common-Place, as well as the New York Times and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He has been a Gilder Lehrman Fellow at the New-York Historical Society (2006) and has won numerous fellowships and awards. His research project, an expansion of his dissertation, is entitled “Membership in America: Law and Voluntary Association in the Early Republic.”

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowships

Andrew C. Lipman, Assistant Professor of History, Syracuse University, received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, in 2010. Lipman, who will develop his dissertation, “The Saltwater Frontier: Indians and the Colonization of Long Island Sound,” while in residence, has also published in the journals William and Mary Quarterly and Early American Studies. An experienced tour guide in Philadelphia, he has also reviewed books for scholarly journals and taken part in professional activities in his field.

Robin Cheyne Vandome is currently a Lecturer in American Intellectual and Cultural History in the Department of American and Canadian Studies, the University of Nottingham, U.K. He received a Ph.D. in the Faculty of History, Cambridge University in 2005 and has been a doctoral exchange student the Boston University. His 2012-2013 project at the New-York Historical Society will be the conversion of his dissertation into a book manuscript, provisionally entitled The Romance of Knowledge: American Endeavors in the Natural and Human Sciences, 1850-1900. An intellectual history of the development of attitudes toward science in the late nineteenth century, the work will draw on the resources of the New-York Historical Society’s Patricia D. Klingenstein Library in a variety of fields.

Bernard & Irene Schwartz Fellowships

Dael A. Norwood, Ph.D. Candidate in History, Princeton University, expects his degree in the spring of 2012. His dissertation, “Trading in Liberty: The Politics of the American China Trade, c. 1784-1862” investigates the relationship between trade with China and its impact on the politics of slavery, states’ rights, commerce and global relations. His work at the New-York Historical Society will draw heavily on the resources of the Naval History Society collection and the papers of Gustavus Fox, as well as family papers, logbooks, correspondence, and printed materials from the early nineteenth-century. Mr. Norwood has made many scholarly presentations and comes with strong recommendations from his dissertation advisers.

Catherine McNeur expects to receive her Ph.D. from Yale University in the summer of 2012. Her background in urban design and architecture studies, the subject of her undergraduate major at New York University has contributed to her current work, “The ‘Swinish Multitude’ and Fashionable Promenades: Battles over Public Space in New York City, 1815-1865.” By exploring how the struggle to define public spaces in the city during a period of rapid expansion affected the lives and livelihoods of New Yorkers, McNeur hopes to demonstrate how the decisions made during these years had an impact on subsequent urban planning and city life. Her work will draw on the resources of the Children’s Aid Society, the papers of John Randel, Jr., and documents relating to the development of the Croton Aqueduct and Central Park as well as related materials. McNeur has published in the Journal of Urban History, Louisiana History, and Common-place and has acted as a teaching fellow at Yale.

Fellowship positions at the New-York Historical Society are made possible by the generous support of Bernard & Irene Schwartz, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. All fellows receive research stipends while in residency- Bernard & Irene Schwartz Fellows each teach two courses at The New School during their year as resident scholars.

New Netherland: Kenney Award Applications Due

The New Netherland Institute is the recipient of an annual grant from the Alice P. Kenney Memorial Trust Fund. This grant enables the Institute to award an annual prize of $1,000 to an individual or group which has made a significant contribution to colonial Dutch studies and/or has encouraged understanding of the significance of the Dutch colonial experience in North America by research, teaching, writing, speaking, or in other ways. Reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed. Persons or groups to be considered for this award can be involved in any pursuit of any aspect of Dutch colonial life in North America. Emphasis is on those activities which reach a broad, popular audience in the same way that Alice P. Kenney’s activities did.

Criteria for Nominations:

* Candidates for the award can be nominated by members of the New Netherland Institute, by historical organizations, or by the general public.

* Nominations should be in the form of a nominating letter or statement (1-2 pages long)detailing how the nominator became aware of the nominee, which of the nominee’s activities led to the nomination, how those activities qualify for the award, and what the perceived impact is of the nominee’s activities.

* Nominations may also include illustrative materials which demonstrate the nominee’s activities such as maps, brochures, photographs of exhibits.

* Nominations may also include up to three one-page letters of support from other persons.

* Three copies of all material must be submitted.

Selection Criteria:

* The winner shall be selected by a four-person committee consisting of the Director of the New Netherland Project, two members of the New Netherland Institute and a representative of the Alice P. Kenney Memorial Trust Fund.

* The committee shall consider (1) if the nominee qualifies for the award, (2) how significant the nominee’s contributions are, (3) how large the audience is, (4) how great the chances are for continued influence, and (5) whether the materials are historically accurate and based on the most recent primary and secondary research.

Send nominations by April 4, 2012 to:

The Alice P. Kenney Award Selection Committee
New Netherland Institute
P.O.Box 2536, Empire State Plaza Station
Albany, NY 12220-0536

E-mail: [email protected]

Documentary Heritage Program Grant Apps Due

The 2012-2013 Documentary Heritage Program (DHP) Grant Guidelines are now available. The Documentary Heritage Program is a statewide program established by law to provide financial support and guidance to not-for-profit organizations that hold, collect and make available New York’s historical records. Funding is available to support sound archival administration, and for projects that relate to groups and topics traditionally under-represented in New York’s historical record.

The New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) 2012-2013 appropriation for DHP is $461,000. This includes $369,000 for regional services and $92,000 for DHP Grants. DHP Grant Project Types include: Documentation and Arrangement & Description. DHP is administered by the New York State Archives, a unit of the New York State Education Department.

The guidelines may be obtained by emailing the New York State Archives at [email protected] or by visiting the State Archives website.

Applications for Archival Documentation and Arrangement & Description projects will be considered. Postmark deadline is Thursday, March 1, 2012 for projects to be carried out from July 1, 2012-June 30, 2013.

Preserve New York Grants Available

Applications are now available to eligible municipalities and not-for-profit organizations to compete for funds through Preserve New York, a grant program of the Preservation League of New York State and the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).

A total of $83,674 is available for historic structure reports, historic landscape reports and cultural resource surveys. Grants are likely to range between $3,000 and $10,000 each. The application deadline is May 7, 2012.

Examples of eligible projects include: historic structure reports for cultural institutions and public buildings- historic landscape reports for municipal parks- and cultural resource surveys of downtowns and residential neighborhoods.

In 2012, the Preservation League especially encourages projects that advance the preservation of neighborhoods and downtowns that qualify for the NYS Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit- identify and protect buildings and cultural landscapes at risk due to technological, transportation and energy developments- and continue the use of historic public buildings for cultural, interpretive and artistic purpose.

For Preserve New York Grant Program guidelines, visit the League’s website at www.preservenys.org. Prospective applicants should contact the Preservation League to discuss their projects and to request an application form.

The Preservation League of New York State is a private, not-for-profit organization that works to protect and enhance the Empire State’s historic buildings, landscapes and neighborhoods. The Preserve New York Grant Program is made possible through funding from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Organizations and municipalities receiving grant awards in 2011 were: Albany County: Delaware Avenue Neighborhood Association- Cattaraugus County: Randolph Area Community Development Corporation- Chautauqua County: Fenton History Center- Chemung County: Near Westside Neighborhood Association, Inc.- Erie County (2): Preservation Buffalo Niagara- Hamlin Park Community and Taxpayers Association, Inc.- Essex County: Town of Crown Point- Kings County: Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus (FROGG)- Monroe County: The South Wedge Planning Committee, Inc.- Montgomery County (2): City of Amsterdam- Village of Fort Plain- Sullivan County: Roscoe-Rockland Chamber of Commerce- Tompkins County: City of Ithaca Planning & Development Department- Wayne County: Cracker Box Palace, Inc.- Wyoming County: Warsaw Historical Society.

Finger Lakes Museum Exceeds Fundraising Goal

The Finger Lakes Museum’s board president, John Adamski, has announced that the organization has surpassed its Founders Campaign goal of raising $1 million by December 31st.

The total includes pledges that are still being paid and in­kind contributions for legal and other pro­bono professional services, which the museum would have otherwise had to pay for. The fund is currently $12,000 over the goal.

The Founders Campaign was launched and initially funded by the museum’s board of trustees in July 2010. The first major boosts came as grants from the Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation, the Fred L. Emerson Foundation, the James P. Gordon Charitable Trust and the Rochester Area Community Foundation, which totaled $120,000.

Adamski said that some larger private donations ranged between $500 and $50,000 but “most contributions were $100 grassroots gifts from individuals and families.” Every donor’s name will be permanently inscribed on the Founders Wall in the main museum building when it opens in Keuka Lake State Park.

Last December, The Finger Lakes Museum was awarded $2.3 million in New York State economic development grants as one of 10 Finger Lakes Region Economic Development Council ­recommended transformational projects. Those funds will be used to convert the Branchport Elementary School, which the museum purchased a year ago, into The Finger Lakes Research &
Education Center.

That part of the project is shovel-­ready and will serve as the museum’s operations center and a place where regional academic institutions can collaborate in the study of issues like water quality, invasive species, and sustainability. It will become a permanent adjunct facility to the museum and serve as a center for local and area community gatherings as well.

Adamski said that an annual fund drive to support the day-­to­-day operation of the project is being planned to replace the Founders Campaign and that an announcement is forthcoming. He is also looking for sponsors for the museum’s 2012 educational program, which is being developed to tell the stories of grape­-growing and wine­-making in the Finger Lakes Region.

Anyone who may be interested in becoming a sponsor can contact him at [email protected]

CCNY Early-Career Historians Win NEH Awards

Dr. Gregory Downs, associate professor of history, and Dr. Emily Greble, assistant professor of history at The City College of New York are recipients of faculty research awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The grants, announced by NEH December 9, will support book projects currently in development.

“The NEH fellowships are extremely competitive- only eight percent of applicants are successful. To have two early-career faculty members in the same department come up winners is remarkable,” said Dr. Geraldine Murphy, acting dean of humanities and the arts at CCNY, in congratulating them.

“Our department has undergone significant growth because The City College administration made a commitment to bring in energetic scholars and teachers,” said Professor Downs, who serves as department chair. “We’ve hired eight new faculty members in nine years and we are seeing that faith pay off.”

“We seem to have become a hotbed of new and innovative scholarship,” added Professor Greble. “We see the product of this intellectually stimulating environment in so many areas of departmental life, from the number of students we have been placing in top doctoral programs to the rigorous publication record of our faculty, to the winning of top academic fellowships like the NEH and the Rome Prize.”

Four Class of 2011 history majors are now in PhD programs at Yale University, Princeton University and University of Michigan. Associate Professor of History Barbara Ann Naddeo received the Rome Prize in 2010 for her scholarship on the city of Naples, Italy. Assistant Professor of History Adrienne Petty is conducting an oral history project on African-American farm owners in the South in collaboration with Professor Mark Schultz of Lewis University supported by an NEH award.

Professor Downs’ project, “The Ends of War: American Reconstruction and the Problems of Occupation,” examines the transition from Civil War to Reconstruction and asks why former slaves, loyal whites, Freedmen’s Bureau agents and northern emigres became disillusioned. The problems emanated not as much from free-labor ideology or racism as from a sharp reduction of military force in the region, which resulted in a power vacuum, he contends.

At the end of the Civil War, the U.S. government, fearing budget deficits, demobilized at such a rapid pace that within 18 months only 12,000 troops remained in the former Confederacy. As the military withdrew from different areas, hundreds of small wars broke out between former Confederates and organized freedmen.

Professor Downs attributes the situation to a naive belief among elected officials in Washington that they could expand voting rights in the South at the same time that the federal government was reducing its presence there to cut the budget. “What was needed was not an expansion of democracy, but an expansion of enforcement,” he says. “Both sides figured out that violence was the logical conclusion. By the time they had mobilized it was too late for the government to act.”

The project grows out of an earlier monograph, “Declarations of Independence: The Long Reconstruction of Popular Politics in the South, 1860 – 1908,” published in 2011 by University of North Carolina Press. However, Professor Downs says his thinking has been influenced by recent U.S. experience with occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Seeing how difficult it is to change social power, create new lines of authority and disrupt societies makes me wonder why we were so confident we could do it in the post-war South. Rights need enforceability to make them real,” he adds, pointing to the intervention by federal troops in the Little Rock Central High School in 1957 as an example.

Professor Greble’s project, “Islam and the European Nation-State: Balkan Muslims between Mosque and State, 1908 – 1949,” examines how South Slavic Muslims adapted to six significant political shifts over a 41-year period. In each instance new governments sought – in their own way – to limit, secularize and shape Muslim institutions as the region went from Ottoman to Habsburg control, to liberal nation-states, to authoritarian monarchs, to fascist regimes and to socialist regimes.

Her initial research suggests Muslims proactively adapted the norms and customs of their faith to define Islam in their own terms. Additionally, they sought to become part of the international community of Muslims to confront being dispossessed of property, Sharia law, institutional autonomy and the right to define Islam.

To assert their influence, some Muslims formed political parties and cultural societies that promoted Muslim cultural agendas. More conservative members of the community sought to strengthen and protect local Muslim networks through codification of Sharia law and Islamic society. Others engaged in clandestine activities such as underground madrassas.

Much of Professor Greble’s research will examine the changing role of Sharia courts. Under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, these were codified and given jurisdiction over Muslim socio-religious affairs, such as marriage, divorce and inheritance. Muslim parts of the Balkans, particularly Yugoslavia, retained this legal autonomy between the two world wars and during Nazi and fascist occupation, but lost it after communists came to power and shut down the Sharia courts in 1946.

Humanities Council Irene Grant Deadline Extended

In the wake of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, cultural organizations throughout New York State experienced damage due to extensive flooding. With support from the National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman’s Emergency Fund, the New York Council for the Humanities has awarded 27 grants totaling over $26,000 to help affected groups. These grants are to be utilized by organizations to defray salary costs for staff members’ work associated with storm clean-up and recovery. A full list of grantees is available online.

While many of the grant recipients took preventive measures, the flooding still damaged the interior and exterior of buildings, as well as papers, books, furniture and technology. The basements and first floors of many buildings filled with water, mud and debris. Staff and volunteers have spent countless hours on clean up and remediation. The Council’s Hurricane Recovery Grants have helped organizations cover some of these additional staff hours, which average 77 hours per site.

For organizations still seeking support, the Council has extended the deadline for these grants until December 31, 2011 to ensure that these resources are made available to as many affected program partners as possible. Information and grant guidelines can be found online.

Photo: Material discarded from the basement at the Tioga County Council on the Arts.

Collaboration Nets Tech Funds for Adk Libraries

A grand total of $95,000 has been granted to the Chazy Public Library and the Plattsburgh Public Library, thanks to a collaboration organized to help Adirondack libraries win state funding for technological upgrades.

The Charles R. Wood Foundation, the Lake Placid Education Foundation and the Adirondack Community Trust (ACT), worked together to support the expanding role of libraries in the Adirondack region.

Libraries exist to serve the public. In difficult economic times, they are a particularly valuable community resource, available to all residents regardless of economic status. “Our libraries are now called upon to support technological literacy and skills development,” said Bobby Wages, President of the Board of the Charles R. Wood Foundation. “That means they need electronic hardware and software, and librarians need to know how to use it and teach others to use it.”

”In May, ACT convened a meeting of the region’s library systems, the state’s library system, and these two regionally-focused foundations to explore the changing roles of libraries and what we could do to help,” said Cali Brooks, ACT Executive Director. As a result of the meeting, the Charles R. Wood Foundation and the Lake Placid Education Foundation offered funding for libraries already seeking funding for technological upgrades through the Public Library Construction Grant Program of New York State Public Library. The New York State Public Library had opened a $14 million competitive grant to regional library systems for a range building renovation projects. In order to qualify for a grant, a library would have to supply at least 50 percent of the funds that would be matched through the Public Library Construction Grant Program.

Working in partnership with the Clinton, Franklin and Essex County Library System, ACT reached out to libraries all over these counties to encourage them to apply for funds and offer assistance. Once a library’s technology project application was approved for the Public Library grant program, the Charles R. Wood and Lake Placid Education Foundations matched each other’s grants to qualify each library to receive the funds.

&#8220Our goal is to strengthen the technological capacities of the Adirondack North Country libraries to make them even more vital community centers of initiative,&#8221 said Fred Calder, President of the Lake Placid Education Foundation. &#8220We are committed to helping these libraries gather funds through matching grants and to do so in collaboration with the Charles R. Wood Foundation and others whenever possible.&#8221

“Since ACT’s inception, we have considered libraries important community partners. We manage 12 library endowment funds and have made over $500,000 in grants to support Adirondack libraries,” Cali Brooks reported.

The Chazy Public Library is converting a former physician’s office building into a technologically sophisticated, rural public library. Grant funds will be used to transform the basement into a Community Room for multimedia applications and training/retraining for life skills. Many Chazy residents rely on the services of the public library to fulfill technological, academic, and leisure needs. With the new Community Room, the public will have access to state-of-the-art multimedia equipment for job-preparedness workshop presentations, special training sessions, tutoring by Literacy Volunteers, and more.

The Plattsburgh Public Library is the central library of the Clinton, Essex, Franklin County Library System, better known as CEF. It provides online reference help to residents throughout the three-county region. Grant funds will be used to create a private computer interviewing cubical in the public computer room for video and interviewing by residents searching for jobs. In recent years, Plattsburgh Public Library has become increasingly involved in literacy and skills development initiatives. The Library also provides a career center, where job seekers use technology and learn computer skills to obtain gainful employment. The computer interviewing cubical will enhance support to those patrons.

Photo: Kelly Sexton, Local History Librarian, and David Robinson, Library Page at the Plattsburgh Public Library.