The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) has announced the results of the first ever National Census of History Organizations, an effort to research the size and scope of the history community in the United States. [Read more…] about A First Ever National Census of History Organizations
The largest collection of publicly available New York City birth, marriage, and death records is now online and free to access.
The New York City Municipal Archives has been working to digitize the millions of birth, marriage, and death records it holds since 2013. With the project now 70% complete, 9,318,625 digitized records from the 1860s to the early 1900s are already available online.
The completely digitized collection will include records of birth (1866–1909), death (1862–1948), and marriage (1866–1949). The new vital records was released following legal efforts by Reclaim The Records, and is based on an index created by the Genealogical Federation of Long Island (GFLI) who used the microfilmed card file to create the indexes. [Read more…] about New York City Vital Records Now Online for Free
In February 2022, the New York State Archives announced that archivists had uncovered court records detailing the 1828 legal battle by Sojourner Truth to secure her enslaved son Peter’s freedom. According to archivist Jim Folts, this case was the first time in United States history that a Black woman successfully sued a White man for a family member’s freedom.
After passage of the New York State Gradual Emancipation Act in 1799, some slaveholders illegally sold enslaved Africans to Southern planters for the expanding cotton industry. When Sojourner Truth, then known as Isabella Van Wagenen, escaped from enslavement in 1826, her former “owner,” John J. Dumont of New Paltz, Ulster County, NY, sold her five-year old son Peter to Eleazer Gedney who planned to take the boy with him to England.
When this plan fell through, Eleazer Gedney sold Peter to his brother, Solomon Gedney, who resold Peter to their sister’s husband, a man named Fowler, who was a wealthy Alabama planter. [Read more…] about Documents Reveal Sojourner Truth’s Battle to Free Her Son from Slavery
The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and Greater Hudson Heritage Network (GHHN) have announced the Conservation Treatment Grant Program is now open. [Read more…] about NYC-Long Island Conservation Treatment Grants Available
Many organizations introduce their work with the words “were it not for the volunteers, we could not…” That can be justifiably said of the Adirondack Research Library (ARL), formerly part of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks (AfPA). [Read more…] about The Volunteers Behind the Adirondack Research Library
At the National Archives there are nearly 3,000 reports containing information on escape and evasion activities and training of U.S. soldiers serving in the European theater during the Second World War.
These records contain dramatic and gripping firsthand accounts of survival, including these three: [Read more…] about World War II Escape and Evasion Firsthand Accounts
Houghton Library, Harvard University’s largest rare books and manuscripts repository, is home to hundreds of thousands of materials relating to history across the world. Houghton’s collections related to Black history range from the 18th century through today, but have been difficult to find among all the other material.
During the 2020‒21 academic year however, library staff paused their other digital projects to focus on building the collection related to Black American history. The effort has made more primary sources by and about African Americans available digitally, along with a considerable amount of context. [Read more…] about Harvard Library Focuses On Improving Access To Black History Collections
During the U.S. Civil War, the Confederate Army required enslavers to loan the people they held enslaved to the military. Throughout the Confederacy from Florida to Virginia, these enslaved people served as cooks and laundresses, labored in deadly conditions to mine potassium nitrate to create gunpowder, worked in ordnance factories, and dug the extensive defensive trench networks that defended cities such as Petersburg, Virginia.
To track this extensive network of thousands of enslaved people and the pay their enslavers received for their lease, the Confederate Quartermaster Department created the record series now called the “Confederate Slave Payrolls.” [Read more…] about The Civil War Confederate Army’s Forced Labor Slave Records
In the centuries before the self-inking notary public’s stamp, U.S. government clerks and secretaries used brightly-colored silk ribbons, wax seals, and embossed paper seals attached with wafers to verify the security of important documents. [Read more…] about Historical Fasteners Letter & Document Fasteners: A Primer
Wednesday, October 13th is #AskAnArchivist Day, an annual event during which archivists take to Twitter to answer all kinds of questions — from the silly to the practical — and raise awareness of the importance of archives.
Archivists will answer inquiries via Twitter. You can submit questions by posting them on Twitter on October 13th using the hashtag #AskAnArchivist.