Shirley W. Dunn, who has published two books about the Mohicans (The Mohicans and Their Land 1609-1730 and The Mohican World, 1680-1750) and has one in press, will speak on October 22nd at the Smithsonian Institution’s Heye Museum in Manhattan (a branch of the Museum of the American Indian) beginning at 6:00 pm. Her topic will be the Mohicans and the Dutch, and the she will deal with contributions of the Mohican Indians to Dutch settlement and to the Colony of Rensselaerswijck. The talk is free and open to the public.
The Rensselaerswijck Seminar, this year themed “Kiliaen van Rensselaer’s Colonie: The Beginning of European Settlement of the Upper Hudson,” will be held in the New York State Museum’s Carole Huxley Theatre October 2nd and 3rd. Scholars and historians from this country and the Netherlands will present seminar topics over the two days, giving current information about the origins and history of Rensselaerwijck, a million acres that encompassed what is now Albany, Rensselaer and Columbia counties. Admission to the seminar is $75 for both days, $50 for one day, and $25 for students.
Noted author Russell Shorto will speak on “Oh, Henry: What Has the Hudson Year Wrought?” at the opening reception of the 32nd Annual Rensselaerswijck Seminar, Thursday, Oct. 1, at 5:30 p.m. at the NYS Museum, Albany. Admission to Shorto’s talk is free.
The New Netherland Institute’s conference theme is a return to its roots as a platform for local historians to present their latest research on the only successful patroonship in New Netherland.
The members of the New Netherland Project staff will all take part. Charles T. Gehring, Ph.D., director of the project, Janny Venema, Ph.D., assistant director, and Martha D. Shattuck, Ph.D., editor, will present new information from their research specialty areas.
Shorto will also take part on a panel of authors Friday at 10:30 a.m., with other contributors to the institute’s recent publication, “Explorers, Fortunes & Love Letters: A Window on New Netherland.” Martha D. Shattuck, Ph.D., editor, will be moderator.
More detailed information and registration forms are available at the New Netherland Institute website at www.nnp.org.
Throughout the fall semester SUNY Albany will be marking the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson and Samuel de Champlain’s voyages of exploration with a series of events. The events are all free and located at four venues – UAlbany (a few locations), Albany Institute of History & Art, New York State Museum, and WAMC Performing Arts Center–The Linda.
Wed. Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m. at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center, Recital Hall
Reception and Book Signing to Follow
The Hudson: A History
Tom Lewis, Professor of English, Skidmore College Lewis will speak on his 2005 book, The Hudson: A History, a grand retelling of the river’s past featuring well-known and little-known stories of explorers, traders, soldiers, artists, politicians, writers,
Industrialists and environmental crusaders. Filmmaker Ken Burns said, “What Tom Lewis has so wonder-fully done here is willed to life one of the greatest rivers in our history, insisting that it offer up deep secrets and best stories.” In addition to authoring The Hudson and other books, Lewis has consulted on, written, and produced a number of documentary films for public television. Co-Sponsors: Archives Partnership Trust, New York State Writers Institute, and UAlbany offices of the President and Provost.
OCTOBER (State Humanities Month)
Tues. Oct. 6, 7:30 – 8:45 p.m. at the UAlbany Main Campus, University Hall
Women’s Work: Building the 19th-Century Hudson Valley Economy
Susan Ingalls Lewis, Associate Professor of History, SUNY New Paltz
Ranging from cooks, collar-workers, and canawlers to farm wives, factory operatives, and female entrepreneurs, 19th-century working women were vital to the economy of the Hudson Valley and Empire State. Lewis will discuss numerous women who might once have been labeled “exceptional” because of their occupations, but can now be recognized as typical members of 19th-century communities. Lewis teaches courses in New York State history, American women’s history, and American social and cultural history. Her publications include Unexceptional Women: Female Proprietors in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Albany, New York, 1830-1885.
Sat. Oct. 10, 12 p.m. at UAlbany Main Campus, Earth Sciences 241
Saratoga, a Battle on the Hudson that Changed the World
Warren Roberts, Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of History, UAlbany
This battle fought 25 miles above Albany has been called the most important battle of the last 1,000 years. Persuaded by the victory at Saratoga that the Americans might prevail against Britain, France joined the American Revolution. The staggering cost to France in doing so contributed to a fiscal crisis that led to the French Revolution. Thus these first two great modern revolutions were connected by the Battle of Saratoga. Roberts will consider its historical importance, discuss key players, and reflect on some of its absurd, even comic aspects. Roberts’ forthcoming book is Early Albany Stories, 1775-1825. For more on UAlbany – Community Day visit: http://www.albany.edu/ualbanyday/
Sat. Oct. 17, 2:00 – 3:15 p.m. at the Albany Institute of History & Art
The Hudson-Mohawk Region: Silicon Valley of the Nineteenth Century
P. Thomas Carroll, Executive Director, Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway
Almost two centuries before the apricot orchards of Santa Clara County turned into the fabled Silicon Valley, a network of self-conscious regional developers in the Upper Hudson made the Greater Troy area a similar mecca for technological entrepreneurs. This lecture will illustrate what they did and explain why it happened so similarly to
what occurred much later in California. Carroll is an American cultural historian who specializes in the history of science and technology. Beyond his role at the Gateway, Carroll is also Executive Director of RiverSpark, New York State’s first Heritage Area. Free admission to lecture; charge to tour galleries.
Tues. Oct. 20, 7:30 – 8:45 p.m. at the UAlbany Main Campus, University Hall
The Hudson River and America’s Transportation Revolution
David Hochfelder, Assistant Professor of History, UAlbany
This presentation will focus on the pivotal role of the Hudson River as a transportation corridor from the days of Britain and France vying for power in Colonial America to the new nation’s expansion as a commercial powerhouse through the building of the interstate highway system after World War II. Hochfelder will discuss the Hudson during the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars, the Erie Canal era, and Albany’s days as a rail center. He will also cover the importance of the Northway.
Hochfelder specializes in the history of American technology and public history.
Thurs. Oct. 22, 6:00 – 7:15 p.m. at the Albany Institute of History & Art
Albany, the River and the World
The Honorable John J. McEneny, NYS Assemblymember ( 104th Assembly District)
From fur trading to nanotechnology, Albany is a player on the world stage. Its strategic location on the upper Hudson made it a safe place for a state capital and a major gateway for commerce. McEneny will tell the story of Albany, the river, and the world through the people and power brokers who define its place in history. A fifth generation Albanian, McEneny has had a distinguished career in public service including over 16 years in the Assembly. He is a well-known teacher, speaker, and author regarding local history-related fields. His book, Albany, Capital City on the Hudson, is in its 27th year.
Tues. Oct. 27, 7:30 – 8:45 p.m. at the UAlbany Main Campus, University Hall
Dangerous Waters: Pirates and Piracy on the Hudson, 1600-1928
Gerald Zahavi, Professor of History, UAlbany
Zahavi will survey the history of piracy on the river since Henry Hudson’s exploration led to the river’s growth as a major commercial conduit for Euro-American trade. Like all such corridors, the Hudson drew its share of plunderers. As local 17th-century Albany records noted, “pirates in great numbers infest the Hudson River at its mouth
and waylay vessels on their way to Albany. . . .” Zahavi will offer glimpses into the many colorful and sometimes violent individuals who transformed the river into “dangerous waters,” even into the 20th century. Zahavi directs UAlbany’s Documentary Studies Program.
Sun. Nov. 1, 2:00 – 3:15 p.m. at the New York State Museum’s Huxley Theater
Picturing History: The Artwork of Len Tantillo
Len Tantillo, Artist
The artist’s paintings capture the dynamic life and look of the Hudson River Valley from pre-Colonial days and Dutch settlement through the era of steamboat travel and commerce. Tantillo will discuss his interpretation of the past through research and the creative process as well as his exhibition of 60 works in Hoorn, Holland for the Hudson Quadricentennial. Tantillo has been a full-time artist for 25 years, creating numerous historical and marine paintings, many focusing on the Hudson River. In 2004 he was the subject of a national public television documentary, “Hudson River Journeys.” Tantillo was commissioned in 2005 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to paint “Dutch House, 1751 (Bethlehem, NY).”
Fri. Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m. at WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio, The Linda
Once Upon The Hudson: A Quadricentennial Concert
The Hudson River Ramblers and The Barefoot Boys
Come along on a journey of words and music to discover the majestic beauty and rich history of “America’s First River.” Guided by skilled storytellers and musicians, you’ll encounter Henry Hudson and Robert Fulton, sloop skippers, canawlers, and jamcrackers. You’ll hear Native legends, colonial tunes, folk songs, sea shanties, and stories of river imps and revolutionary war battles-spanning 400 years and 300 miles of
life. The Hudson River Ramblers are master storyteller Jonathan Kruk and folk singer Rich Bala. Performing together since 1990, they transform historic material into interactive, family-friendly shows throughout NYS. Pete Seeger called their CD, Revolution on the River “a great way to learn about those bloody times!” The Barefoot Boys–Rich Bala, Tom White, and Rick White–are a folk trio specializing in traditional songs of the Hudson/Catskill region. Taconic Weekend commented on the
“timeless songs played with expertise, feeling, and a sense of humor.”
Sun. Nov. 8, 2:00 – 3:15 p.m. at the New York State Museum’s Huxley Theater
The Hudson River on Film: Commerce, Nature, and the American Horizon
William Husson, Lecturer, Dept. of Communication, UAlbany
The Hudson River is well known as both a commercial waterway and an environmental treasure. Perhaps less well recognized but no less important is the river as a symbol of American values, dreams and aspirations. Husson will focus on the way in which documentary and fiction films have explored these three features of the Hudson – the
commercial, the environmental, and the symbolic. Husson’s teaching and research interests relate to visual communication, mass media effects and communication theory.
Thurs. Nov. 12, 6:00 – 7:15 p.m. at the AIbany Institute of History & Art
Ancient Peoples along the Mohicanituk
Christopher Lindner, Archaeologist in Residence, Bard College
This survey of twelve thousand years, long before Europeans arrived in the Hudson Valley, will concentrate on fishing practices as well as evidence of both hunting and the gathering of wild plants. Lindner will introduce a new outdoor exhibit on ancient use of the estuary, located on the Greenway Trail at Bard. He recently excavated large
5,000-year-old campsites at the college and the Rhinebeck town park. As Director of Bard’s Archaeology Field School, he has conducted several summer digs researching the Guinea community, an early 19th-century settlement of African-American freed and fugitive slaves in Hyde Park.
Sun. Nov. 15, 2:00 – 3:15 p.m. at the New York State Museum’s Huxley Theater
Beauty, the Boss, and the River: Planning Albany’s Riverfront, 1900-1920
John Pipkin, Distinguished Service Professor, Dept. of Geography and Planning, UAlbany
The Delaware & Hudson Building is the most visible reminder of a political struggle over Albany’s riverfront in the early 20th century. Civic pride was affronted by the visual squalor of the river basin and Boss Barnes began a modest beautification program. Engaging a wide range of stakeholders, the project grew in scope and moved from a brief flirtation with City Beautiful ideology to a recognizably modern style
of urban policy and planning. Pipkin’s research interests include American urbanism, 19th-century landscapes, geographic thought, and planning history.
Thurs. Nov. 19, 8:00 p.m. at the UAlbany Main Campus, Assembly Hall, Campus Center
Reading and Talk
Fred LeBrun, Journalist
One of the defining voices of the Times Union for more than forty years, LeBrun has served the newspaper as suburban beat reporter, city editor, arts editor, restaurant critic and metro columnist. LeBrun will talk about his “Hudson River Chronicles,” recounting an 18-day adventure downriver from Mount Marcy to New York Harbor in 1998 – an event that is still commemorated by a richly documented website
(www.timesunion.com/SPECIALREPORTS/hudsonriver/main.asp). Sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute.
Tues. Dec. 1, 7:30 – 8:45 p.m. at the UAlbany Main Campus, University Hall
Walker Evans and the Cultural Landscape of the Hudson Valley
Ray Sapirstein, Assistant Professor of History and Documentary Studies, UAlbany
The most influential art photographer of the 20th century, Evans has been identified primarily as a photographer of the U.S. South working for the Farm Security Administration during the Depression era. However, Evans made many of his earliest images as an artist in the Hudson Valley, developing a distinctive panoramic vision. Sapirstein teaches 19th- and 20th-century cultural history, visual studies, and documentary video production. He conducted the research for his talk as a fellow in
the Walker Evans Archive at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In conjunction with the celebration of the Half Moon’s original voyage in 1609, the City of Albany will hold a festival on Saturday, September 26, 2009. The replica ship Half Moon is looking for 17th century re-enactors who can help re-create the Dutch presence during this time. In addition to the Dutch re-enactors, there will also be members of the Stockbridge Munsee band of Mohicans presenting native technologies and daily life activities. [Read more…] about Replica Ship Half Moon Seeks Re-enactors
Bob Sullivan of the Schenectady Digital History Archive at the Schenectady County Public Library has announced that the organization’s obituary index has passed the 50,000-citation mark. The index includes scattered records from Schenectady newspapers before 1822, more complete coverage from 1822 to 1858, some later 1800s, 1902, 1993 to mid-1995, and Dec. 2005 to date. Some other papers from neighboring areas are also included from 2005 to date including regional papers such as the Saratogian, the Gloversville Leader-Herald and the Glens Falls Post-Star. Also available are some years of the Hamilton County News, the Business Review, the Jewish World and the Evangelist.
Most of the newspapers are available in the collections of the Schenectady County Public Library or the Schenectady County Historical Society. See “What Newspapers Are Included?” and “How May I Obtain Copies?” at the top of each obituary page for more information about specific dates and holding libraries.
The index can be accessed here http://www.schenectadyhistory.org/vitalrecords/
The NYS Library will offer three noontime programs in May. On Wednesday, May 13th, librarian Bill Schilling will present “Patents,” an introduction to the patenting process in the United States. On Wednesday, May 20th, local authors Frankie Bailey and Alice Green will present “Wicked Albany,” a look at the effect that the Volstead Act of 1919, which established Prohibition, had on Albany. Then on Wednesday, May 27th, architect James Comegys and engineer Benjamin Marra from the NYS Office of General Services will discuss the State’s efforts to achieve sustainable building and LEED certification in “Green Building.” All programs are free and open to the public.
Patents (Wednesday, May 13th, 12:15 – 1:45 p.m.)
In the field of invention and design, a United States patent is the grant of an exclusive property right to the inventor for a fixed period of time. This class is an introduction to the patenting process in the United States. It will cover basic concepts about patents and the statutory requirements for obtaining them. It will also include a hands-on introduction to doing a preliminary patent search on the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s web site using the U.S. patent classification system. Senior Librarian, Bill Schilling will present this program. This program will be held in the Computer Classroom on the 7th floor of the Library and registration is required. No food or drink is permitted in the room.
Wicked Albany (Wednesday, May 20th, 12:15 – 1:15 p.m)
Albany, New York, experienced massive upheaval when the Volstead Act of 1919 established Prohibition. Crime already proliferated in the capital of the Empire State, with rival political machines stooping to corruption and organized crime flexing their heavy-handed powers of persuasion. As it did nationwide, Prohibition in Albany served merely to force alcohol-related commerce underground and lawlessness and violence to the forefront of city activity. Local authors Frankie Bailey and Alice Green chronicle this evolution in Albany, relying on archival records and examining the greater social impact of the city’s moral decline. This program will be held in the Huxley Theater on the 1st floor of the Cultural Education Center.
Green Building (Wednesday, May 27th, 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.)
What does green mean in terms of building design? The attributes of green building design will be discussed by architect James Comegys and engineer Benjamin Marra from the Design and Construction group of OGS. They will describe how the OGS agency’s goal of sustainability in all state operations is reflected in building projects. Case studies of buildings for New York state agencies seeking LEED or green building certification will be presented.
Songs from the Piano Bench (Wednesday, May 27th, Noon – 2:00 PM)
Listen in while enjoying your lunch or lend your voice as singers perform a variety of songs, including popular folk, rock-and-roll, Victorian parlor, Civil War, Sesame Street, etc. Many selections are chosen from the more than 35,000 pieces of sheet music in the New York State Library Collection. Music and words are provided and instrumentalists are welcome. This session is held monthly in the 4th Floor Gallery of the State Museum. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 518-474-2274.
Friends of the New York State Library are presenting a program entitled “The Van Rensselaer Era” that features Stefan Bielinski and Charles Gehring with senior librarian Fred Bassett. The program, which unfortunately costs $35 per person, will be held this Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 1:00 p.m at the Huxley Theatre of the Cultural Education Center (Madison Avenue between Eagle and Swan Streets in Albany).
Stefan Bielinski, founder and director of the Colonial Albany Social History Project (a model community history program at the New York State Museum), will describe and depict the individual members of the Van Rensselaer family, Albany’s “First Family” within the city context for the period 1700-1860 (1:00-1:55 p.m.).
Dr. Charles Gehring, Director, New Netherland Institute and translator of New York Colonial Dutch documents, along with senior NYS Librarian Fred Bassett will display ten of the most significant of the original Dutch documents in the New York State Library’s Van Rensselaer Manor Papers collection dating from 1630 concerning Rensselaerswyck. These scholars will describe the historic importance and relevance to the people of Albany, Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene counties of the Van Rensselaer Manor and the Van Rensselaer family (2:00-3:00 p.m.).
To reserve seats send send $35 per person by Monday, April 20, 2009 to:
The Friends of the New York State Library
P.O. Box 2247
Empire State Plaza Station
Albany, NY 12220
Ticket will be held at the Huxley Theatre on April 23 after 12:15 p.m; Tickets at the door will be $40.
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Carol Ash has announced the opening of the “Chattanooga Colors” exhibition commemorating the 145th anniversary of the Civil War battles of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The flag exhibit will be on view in the New York State Capitol in Albany through September 2009.
“Chattanooga Colors” is the ninth installment in the New York State Battle Flag Preservation Project Capitol exhibition series, which highlights the ongoing collaboration between the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Division of Military and Naval Affairs to preserve and properly store the state’s 1,900 battle flags. Many of the 850 Civil War flags in the state’s battle flag collection incurred damage in battle. At the end of the war, the flags were furled on their staffs and placed in glass cases in the Capitol. Nearly a century and a half of poor storage subjected the flags to the harmful effects of humidity, light, gravity, and temperature variance.
The exhibit showcases six battle flags carried by volunteer regiments from throughout the State of New York that served during the battles for Chattanooga, Tennessee, and includes a small Unites States flag made by a group of women in eastern Tennessee who concealed the banner in a tea pot to prevent its capture by the Confederates. Flags carried by the 60th Infantry, 136th Infantry, 137th Infantry, 143rd Infantry, 154th Infantry and Battery I, 1st Artillery are included in the exhibit. Over 3,700 citizen soldiers followed their colors to faraway battles in Tennessee.
Each flag within “Chattanooga Colors” has been conserved and prepared for exhibition at State Parks’ Peebles Island Resource Center as part of the New York State Battle Flag Preservation Project. Since 2000, the Flag Project has conserved and properly stored over 500 flags carried into battle by New York State regiments. The New York State Military Museum in the Saratoga Springs Armory is the permanent home of New York’s battle flag collection.
The New York State Library is hosting two noontime talks in December. “From Nickelodeons to Cell Phones: A Brief History of the Motion Picture” on Wednesday, December 3rd, and “Gutters and Street Paving: Elkanah Watson, the New England Migration, and the Improvement of Albany, New York in the Early Republic” on Wednesday, December 10th.
From Nickelodeons to Cell Phones: A Brief History of the Motion Picture
Bruce G. Hallenbeck, author of the upcoming book “Comedy Horror Films: A Chronological History” and director of the independent feature film “The Drowned,” will present a freewheeling history of the movies, from the earliest silent films of Thomas Edison and others to today’s Hollywood blockbusters. The focus of the program will be on how films and filmmaking have changed and evolved over the past hundred-plus years and of how cinematic cycles come and go. A discussion of how digital filmmaking has “democratized” the process will also be included. The talk will be interspersed with numerous film clips from such classics as Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis,” Alfred Hitchcock’s “Blackmail,” and Jean Cocteau’s “Beauty and the Beast.” This program will be held in the Huxley Theater on the first floor of the Cultural Education Center.
Gutters and Street Paving: Elkanah Watson, the New England Migration, and the Improvement of Albany, New York in the Early Republic
In 1800, the culture of the New England migrants collided with the culture of Dutch Albany’s burghers, thus changing the city forever. Albany’s most vocal migrant, Elkanah Watson, settled in Albany in 1789 and criticized Albany and its Dutch citizens for their backwards ways. In attempting to make Albany a competitor in both the domestic and European trade, Watson launched many campaigns to “improve” Albany by encouraging New England-branded improvements to the city’s landscape such as street lighting, paved streets, better wharves, and proper street drainage and gutters. Elizabeth M. Covart, 2007 research resident at the New York State Library, will examine Albany’s changing public spaces in the Early Republic and the true impact that Elkanah Watson and his fellow New England migrants had on Albany and its longtime Dutch-American residents.
The Archives Partnership Trust and the New York State Archives announce the availability of awards to support research using state government records held by the Archives. The Larry J. Hackman Research Residency program is intended to encourage product-related research in such areas as history, law, public policy, geography, and culture by covering research-related expenses such as travel, lodging, meals, and copying of records. Award amounts have ranged from $100 to $4,500.
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 2009 Larry J. Hackman Research Residency Program and application forms are available online at www.nysarchivestrust.org For further information contact the Archives Partnership Trust, Cultural Education Center, Suite 9C49, Albany, New York 12230; (518) 473 7091. Applications must be postmarked by January 15, 2009.