Tales of the Chesapeake

Authored by Kate Yelland

Image of a first edition copy of George Alfred Townsend’s Tales of the Chesapeake, a collection of short stories and poems about the Maryland shore. Published in 1880.

Tales of the Chesapeake by George Alfred Townsend is a 138-year-old collection of stories and poems about the Delaware and Maryland shores. At the age of thirty-five, Townsend, or GATH as he often used as a penname, wrote Talesafter re-visiting the Eastern Shore where he spent time as a child. The book contains tales of the rural waterfront communities along the Chesapeake Bay (Wiebe 2014). The red, cloth-bound volume is one of just a few works for which GATH is still remembered.  Continue reading

L’Archivio del Commissariato Generale dell’Emigrazione (Part II)

Authored by Michael Tomaselli

Figure 1 “Archive of the General Commission of Immigration (Part 2) and the General Directorate of Foreign Italians” – Finding Aid, Center of Migration Studies of New York, CMS.034

The Commissariato Generale dell’Emigratione (General Commission of Immigration) was founded on the 10th of January 1901(“Storiadigitale Zanichelli Percorso Site,” n.d.). The goal, in conjunction with the Direzione Generale degli Italiani all’Estero (General Directorate of Foreign Italians was to regulate the transmission of ideas into the country that might destabilize the regime and to protect citizens abroad. With Italian Unification ending in 1870, the Italian regime had to use every possible way to control its citizens in this nebulous time. Italy saw the world changing. Connections were being made faster than neurons firing. However, Italy saw the misfires as well. Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels wrote The Communist Manifesto in 1884, ending with the line, “Workers of the World, Unite,” while witnessing the wildfire of social revolutions and reforms take shape across Europe(Marx, Engels, and Toews 1999, 96). Regimes fell, splintered, and reformed; and Italy was determined not to succumb. In order to do this, the government tried to barricade against the rising tide of the social agenda. Continue reading

The Second Anniversary Banquet Commemorating the Enactment of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952

Authored by Laura A. Andrews

Program for the “Second Anniversary Banquet” commemorating the McCarran-Walter Act which honored newly naturalized Issei -American citizens of Washington D.C.

On Sunday, June 27, 1954 the Japanese American Citizens League in Washington D.C., held a banquet honoring newly naturalized Issei citizens. The event was held at the Sheraton Park hotel and commemorated the second anniversary of the Immigration and Nationality act of 1952. Better known as the McCarran-Walter act, the night featured speeches by its authors, Pat McCarran and Frances Walter.On the surface, this program may look like an ordinary event. However, in the context of its time, this banquet honoring these new American citizens was quite significant. The journey to this point, for those honored at this event was not an easy one, as the Japanese overcame many hardships to become American citizens. Continue reading

Queering Archives: Why it is Important to Include LGBT Items in Archives

Authored by Audrey Shults

Queering Fanfiction Event Poster from Marymount Manhattan College

This artifact is a copy of a poster advertising for an April of 2017 event discussing Queering Fanfiction, or taking media and putting an LGBT spin on it, usually so that two previously heterosexual characters enter a homosexual relationship. The event was hosted by Marymount Manhattan College’s (MMC) Gender and Sexuality Studies Club which, in addition to being a club, is a minor offered by the college. This aligns with MMC’s mission to help students “develop an awareness of social, political, cultural, and ethical issues in the belief that this awareness will lead to concern for, participation in, and improvement of society” (Marymount Manhattan College, n.d.). Because homosexuality has only recently begun to lose its stigma, there are few items from the LGBT community in MMC’s archives, save for the past decade or so. Continue reading

Traditions and Interpretations: Religion and its Position on College Campuses

Authored by Clare Harris

Poster from event at Marymount Manhattan College

October 11: President Jud Shaver and Rabbi Hiat discuss “The Sacrifice of Isaac” (Genesis 22) in Jewish and Christian Tradition [Flyer advertising for student event surrounding religious debate and discussion.] (October 11, 2012).

Diversity and inclusion are topics that matter and surround us everyday. With the rapid change of laws and opinions on what should and should not be allowed, there is a growing need for safe spaces where people, specifically students, can go and speak freely about their convictions. Students on college campuses today are experiencing many different changes in their lives. One type of identity that could change is a student’s religious preferences. Students have diversity in different aspects, religiosity not only differs between students but also takes unique positions in their lives (Cooper, Howard-Hamilton, and Cuyjet 2011, 372). Students may look to new leaders in their lives for other religious opinions in an attempt to mold themselves into someone new.

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Solidarity in Advocacy: The American Jewish Committee on 1980s Immigration Reform Legislation

Authored by Mizuho Hashimoto

A copy of the American Jewish Committee (AJC)’s Statement on current immigration policy, stapled together with the business card of Gary E. Rubin, then-director of AJC’s Center on Immigration and Acculturation.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) has a long history of advocating for social justice and human rights, spanning from 1906 to the present day (American Jewish Committee, n.d.). Set upon the backdrop of 1986’s immigration reform bill, this document in the Garner J. Cline Collection at the Center for Migration Studies is a statement by the AJC arguing against a cap on immigration that would affect family reunification, as well as advocating for the admission of refugees (American Jewish Committee 1984). This Simpson-Mazzoli Bill – which ultimately passed in 1986 – was brought into existence with the intention of reducing illegal immigration, for example by penalizing businesses that knowingly employed undocumented people (Plumer 2013). However, this bill was criticized by those such as Congressman Edward Roybal, who argued that it would be discriminatory against Latino communities (History, Art and Archives, n.d.). In the document we can see the AJC advocating for Roybal’s version of the bill, which eliminated employer sanctions and introduced more generous means for undocumented people to naturalize (Montejano 1999).

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History of a Holocaust Survivor: The Life of Steve Berger

History of a Holocaust Survivor: The Life of Steve Berger

History of a Holocaust Survivor: The Life of Steve Berger

Authored by Ashley Walker

Steve Berger, Holocaust Survivor, on the division between races in the United States today.

Steve Berger is a Holocaust survivor that was born and raised in Debrecen, Hungary. In the year 1941, Jews comprised 7.3 percent of the population (Shoah Resource Center n.d.). Growing up as a Jew in Hungary, Berger has always been aware of Antisemitism. The Jewish population was separated from the rest of the population through the numerus clausus. In fact, as Berger points out, Hungary was the first country after WWI to institute the numerus clauses in universities (Berger 2017). The numerus clauses were passed, “limiting the number of Jews in institutions of higher education” (Kenez 2001).  Additionally, Jewish men were removed from the Hungarian army, instead pushed into the labor services. This further separated the Jewish people from the remainder of the population.

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MOBILIZING COHERENT COMMUNITY RESPONSES TO CHANGING IMMIGRATION POLICIES: Multimedia from the Center for Migration Studies

Authored by Katrina Ehrnman-Newton

Image shows a view from above of a table with a panel of speakers and a seated audience. Watermarked with Center for Migration Studies logo.

Screenshot of the panel’s proceedings during this day of the conference.

This video is part of a three day proceedings from June 7-9, 2017 by several groups coming together to discuss their actions and emerging strategies to face the increasing hostility and illegal action being taken against immigrants and others under the emerging Trump presidency. The event was hosted by the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS), Cabrini Center for Immigrant Legal Assistance of Catholic Charities of Galveston-Houston, the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative, and the South Texas College of Law Houston (Center for Migrations Studies 2017).  Continue reading

The History of The Mamaroneck Public Library

Authored by Angelia Ferrara

Image of Construction of Mamaroneck Public Library. Nightingale. “Progress Photo of The Mamaroneck Library” – June 15 1927

Image of the Construction of The Mamaroneck Library

The image that is seen here is one of several images that were found undocumented in the archives of the Mamaroneck Public Library. This image, along with the others, will be incorporated into a presentation about the history and the building of The Mamaroneck Public Library and community center that will be posted on their website. This image (circa 1927) shows the construction of the original Mamaroneck Public Library on Prospect Avenue, which was completed by September, 1927. At the time, there were almost 7,000 books in the library. By 1966,a new wing was added, to include the current reading and reference rooms and children’s library (Fulcher 1947). Soon after, The Emelin Theatre and a lower level expansion were added. By 1987, a wing was added to allow The Emelin Theatre to move, and become a separate entity. In both 2008 and 2011, further expansions brought the library to its current size, almost twice its original size. It hosts an amazing 124,000 items, 83,000 of which are books (History of The Mamaroneck Public Library n.d.). It still serves as a major contributor to Mamaroneck as a cultural and community center, keeping the dream from back in the early 1900’s of a resource for all of the citizens of Mamaroneck alive.

The Need for Public Libraries in New York

Before the mid 1800’s, most substantial libraries in the state of New York were privately owned, built by religious organizations, or located in major cities such as Manhattan (The New York Public Library), White Plains, or Albany (The New York State Library). Local municipalities and public schools did not have the funding or the resources for books and materials for use by the general public. Exposure to books, music, art and other cultural and educational materials was limited for people who did not have the resources to access them. Over time, the idea that library resources should be made available free of charge to the general public took hold. People with means began to donate funds and books to help build public libraries (History of NY Public Library, n.d.).

The Village “Not Fit to Live in Without a Library”

The Village of Mamaroneck is one of the older villages in Westchester County. Purchased in 1661, it quickly was established as a trading post for smugglers who were trying to evade the harsh import penalties of the British Crown. While still small in population, and considered “the country” for those who lived in Manhattan, Mamaroneck began to become more concerned with the quality of life of its residents (Lippsett 1997). In 1922, resident Charles M. Baxter would begin his campaign to build a public library in Mamaroneck. Armed with the slogan “Mamaroneck is not a fit place to live in until it has a Library,” and a dedication to the people of Mamaroneck, Baxter would eventually see his dream of a public library come to fruition (LoGiudice 1995).

The building of a “Community Center”

It soon became obvious that the community of Mamaroneck wanted to build a center for their community. A small, store front building on West Post Road was quickly established with private funding and donated resources. Donations as small as fifty cents to thousands of dollars poured in. Baxter soon approached the Hegeman Estate (of the late John Rogers Hegeman of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company) and secured the sizable donation of forty thousand dollars to build the Mamaroneck Public Library on Prospect Avenue. Again, donations large and small from various sources poured in, allowing for the purchase of the property, the design of the architecture, and the building of the Library itself. The slogan “A book given to the Library is a gift to everyone who uses the library” netted thousands of donations of funds and books from citizens of all ages (Fulcher 1947). The new library was becoming a reality. Over time, this Library would serve as a Red Cross Headquarters, supply distribution center, emergency shelter, teen center, and a trusted resource for up-to-date, accurate community information, for people of all walks of life.

 

References

Fulcher, William. 1947. The Story of A Dream: The Mamaroneck Free Library: Town of Mamaroneck Publisher.

“History |.” n.d. Accessed March 10, 2018. https://www.nypl.org/help/about-nypl/history.

“History |.” n.d. Accessed March 10, 2018. http://www.mamaronecklibrary.org/history-3/.

Lippsett, Paula B. 1997. Mamaroneck Town: A History of “The Gathering Place”, 1661-1997. Mamaroneck, NY: Town of Mamaroneck Publisher.

LoGiudice, Mary P. 1995. Celebration: Village of Mamaroneck Centennial, 1895-1995. Mamaroneck, NY: Printcraft.

 

Selah Hulse Land Deed

Authored by Nicole Castellano

Selah Hulse Land Deed to Benjamin Flyde. Two page deed written in 1775.

Selah Hulse Land Deed (April 28, 1775), Brookhaven Land Transaction Between Selah Hulse and Benjamin Flyde, Courtesy Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries

Selah Hulse (abt. 1715-1775 or abt. 1757-date unknown) is the owner of the piece of land in Brookhaven, Suffolk County that is being signed away in this land deed, which was written on April 28, 1775. This land was originally owned by Ebenezer Hulse (Hoff 2001, 10), who may be directly related to Selah Hulse, possibly being his father or his uncle (Deitz and Lythgoe 2011). Selah Hulse is giving this land to a man named Benjamin Flyde, who, during the time of the Revolutionary War, was a loyalist (Hull, Hoffer, and Allen 2018). While Selah Hulse himself is not mentioned to be involved with the American Revolution in any way, what is interesting about this land deed is that, while Benjamin Flyde is a loyalist, it is signed by two people who are related to the Culper Spy Ring, which is George Washington’s group of spies that would inform on the British (Bigelow 2018, 2). Continue reading