NYS Archives Hackman Research Residency Program

The Archives Partnership Trust and the New York State Archives have announced the availability of awards for applicants to pursue research using the New York State Archives.

The Larry J. Hackman Research Residency program is intended to support product-related research in such areas as history, law, public policy, geography, and culture by covering research expenses. Award amounts range from $100 to $4,500. The deadline for receipt of application materials is January 15, 2013.

Academic and public historians, graduate students, independent researchers and writers, and primary and secondary school teachers are encouraged to apply. Projects involving alternative uses of the State Archives, such as background research for multimedia projects, exhibits, documentary films, and historical novels, are eligible. The topic or area of study must draw, at least in part, on the holdings of the New York State Archives.

Information on the 2013 Larry J. Hackman Research Residency Program is available on-line at www.nysarchivestrust.org or by contacting the Archives Partnership Trust, Cultural Education Center, Suite 9C49, Albany, New York 12230- (518) 473-7091- hackmanres@mail.nysed.gov.

AJ Schenkman: The Hasbrouck Ledger

One of the problems in researching the life of Colonel Jonathan Hasbrouck is that there are so few primary sources written by him left to us. We are fortunate that at least one of the treasures that give us a peek into his life, one of his account ledgers, has been preserved. It is a rich source for a researcher of not only Hasbrouck, but of others from his time period as well.

Colonel Jonathan Hasbrouck was born in 1722 in Ulster County just outside of New Paltz, New York. He later relocated in 1749 to what would become Newburgh, where his mother Elsie Schoonmaker purchased 99 acres of land.
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Civil War Legal Issues Conference Planned

A conference entitled &#8220Civil War on Trial-Legal Issues That Divided A Nation&#8221 will feature a three-day program over June 7-9, 2012, include some of the foremost Civil War and Constitutional scholars in the nation on the subjects of the Civil War and the law, and will look at this iconic period in American history in a way unique from virtually all other conferences nationwide. The conference is being chaired by nationally prominent Civil War scholars Paul Finkelman and Harold Holzer.

The conference will be held on the campus of Albany Law School in Albany, New York from June 7-9, 2012. For more information on the conference agenda and registration, go to www.nysarchivestrust.org or call (518) 473-7091.

The New York State Archives Partnership Trust and the Government Law Center at Albany Law School, in cooperation with the Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York, the New York State Bar Association, and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation are organizing the conference. Principal financial support has been provided by History Channel and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation.

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 dhs@mail.nysed.gov 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.

Caro Wins Empire State Archives and History Award

Robert Caro, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his biographies of Robert Moses and Lyndon B. Johnson, will receive the 2011 Empire State Archives and History Award on Monday, December 5, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. in the Egg, Empire State Plaza, downtown Albany. As part of the program, Caro will be interviewed by noted Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer. Tickets are $10 and may be obtained from The Egg Box Office at (518) 473-1845. The event is sponsored by the New York State Archives Partnership Trust, The History Channel, the Times Union, and the New York State Writers Institute.

The New York State Archives Partnership Trust will host an evening of conversation between Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Robert Caro and noted Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer. Known for his interest in the nature of power in American democracy, Caro will be awarded the 2011 Empire State Archives and History Award of the Archives Partnership Trust.

Caro’s first book was The Power Broker (1974), a landmark, Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of New York City urban planner Robert Moses. Eminent American journalist Theodore H. White called it, &#8220A masterpiece of American reporting&#8230- an elegantly written and enthralling work of art.&#8221 Leading political reporter David Halberstam proclaimed it, &#8220Surely the greatest book ever written about a city.&#8221 The New York magazine reviewer called The Power Broker, &#8220The most absorbing, detailed, instructive, provocative book ever published about the making and raping of modern New York City and environs and the man who did it&#8230-. A monumental work, a political biography and political history of the first magnitude.&#8221

For the past three decades, Caro’s writing has been devoted to a prize-winning series of books on the life and career of Lyndon B. Johnson, including The Path to Power (1982), Means of Ascent (1990), and Master of the Senate (2002), which earned Caro a second Pulitzer Prize. The final LBJ volume, tentatively titled The Presidency, is currently a work in progress. Writing in the New York Times, Jill Abramson called the first three volumes, &#8220A panoramic study,&#8221 and said, &#8220Combining the best techniques of investigative reporting with majestic storytelling ability, Caro has created a vivid, revelatory institutional history as well as a rich hologram of Johnson’s character.&#8221 Writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, Steve Neal called, Master of the Senate, &#8220Probably the best book ever written about the U.S. Senate. A terrific study of power politics.&#8221

Other honors received by Caro include the National Book Critics Circle Award (twice), and the National Book Award, the Francis Parkman Prize (awarded by the Society of American Historians to the book that &#8220best exemplifies the union of the historian and the artist&#8221), the H.L. Mencken Award, and an award in literature and a gold medal in biography from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. In 2010, Caro received the National Humanities Award from President Obama.

In advance of the program, a ticketed reception to honor Caro will be held at The Egg from 5:30-7:00 p.m. To learn more, contact Grazia Yaeger at (518) 474-1228. Proceeds will benefit the New York State Archives and Archives Partnership Trust.

New York Archives Month in New York City

Hundreds of organizations in the archives community across New York State will celebrate New York Archives Month in October with special commemorative activities across the state. New York Archives Week is an annual celebration aimed at informing the general public of the diverse array of archival materials available in New York State.

Among the many activities free and open to the public will be open houses, exhibitions, lectures, workshops and behind-the-scenes tours of archives throughout the state. These special events are designed to celebrate the importance of historical records, and to familiarize interested organizations and the public with a wealth of fascinating archival materials illuminating centuries of New York history and culture.

Among those participating in the event are local government agencies, historical societies, universities, libraries, and cultural organizations. Highlights in New York City include tours of the archives at the Museum of the City of New York, the Girl Scout National Historic Preservation Center, and the New York Transit Museum- a workshop on preserving family papers at the National Archives at New York City- and open house presentations at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc.

A complete list of Archives Week events and schedules in New York City can be found on the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York’s website. Please note that pre-registration for some events is required.

Photo: Lockport and the Erie Canal, Courtesy the NYS Archives.

State Museum, Library, Archives Closed Saturday

The New York State Museum, State Library and State Archives will be closed to the public on Saturday, September 24 due to semi-annual routine maintenance of electrical systems in the Cultural Education Center.

The Cultural Education Center is closed on Sundays. The State Museum, Library and Archives will reopen on Monday, September 26.

The State Museum, Archives and Library are part of the Office of Cultural Education (OCE) and are programs of the New York State Education Department. They are located on Madison Avenue in Albany. Admission is free. Further information can be obtained by calling (518) 474-5877 or visiting the OCE website.

NYS Archives Online Exhibit of Rare 9-11 Images

The New York State Archives, the nation’s largest repository of records of a state government, has introduced a new online exhibition entitled Ground Zero from the Air.

Based upon an archival collection of images commissioned from a private contractor by the New York State Office for Technology (NYS OFT), the website features aerial, infrared and computer generated imagery of Ground Zero, as well as photo images of recovery efforts. Also included
is a directory of related websites and New York State Government records contained within the New York State Archives related to the World Trade Center attacks and subsequent response efforts.

Principally accumulated during a series of flights that occurred between September 15 and October 22, 2001, the aerial imagery collected for NYS OFT was used to direct the efforts of first responders, identify unstable areas, pinpoint stairwells and elevator shafts, and coordinate removal of debris.

“As we consider the events of September 11, 2001 and the heroic efforts of first responders and, indeed, of many levels of local, state, and federal government in the weeks and months following the attacks, we at the New York State Archives committed ourselves to putting together an online exhibition that provided a unique look at this history event
for the 10th anniversary,” said New York State Archivist Christine W. Ward.

Ground Zero from the Air is the newest in a series of projects undertaken by the New York State Archives. Following the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, the New York State Archives was instrumental in the creation of the World Trade Center Documentation Task Force, a
multi-institution group committed to identification, collection and preservation of public and private records that chronicle the attack and its aftermath and to determine future steps necessary to insure that the historical record is as complete as possible for use by future

Ground Zero from the Air may be found on the New York State Archives webpages online.

Photo: Ground Zero seen from above. Courtesy the NYS Archives.

New Collection of Union Labels Available Online

In 1889, in response to growth in the number of labor unions, New York State passed a law offering unions an opportunity to register their labels, names, brands, or other devices with the Secretary of State. It was thought that this procedure of officially recognizing the uniqueness of each labor association or union logo would help avoid the confusion that might result from similar designs.

The law was amended in 1943 to substitute the Department of Labor as the registering agency. Hundreds of labels were registered during the period from 1901 to 1942, the time period represented by a new collection of online images hosted by the New York State Archive [link].

Most union labels were made of paper and usually fairly simple in design- a few were colorful and elaborate. One of the devices registered was a branding iron designed to literally &#8220make an impression.&#8221 However, the labels were intended to do more than just identify an association of people who made a particular product or service- all projected, explicitly or implicitly, the pride that members had in their trade, while encouraging solidarity with workers everywhere.