Behind The Scenes

Category Archives: Library

Unpublished Jupiter Hammon Poem Discovered at N-YHS

April is National Poetry Month, so what better time to share our exciting news! Independent Scholar Claire Bellerjeau made a miraculous discovery in the New-York Historical Society’s collections; she uncovered an unpublished poem likely written by Jupiter Hammon, the first published African American author in America. Hammon, who lived his entire life as an enslaved […]


The 1970 Women’s March for Equality in NYC

To kick-off our celebration of Women’s Herstory Month, let’s travel back to the groovy days of 1970. Pervasive inequality pushed the Second-wave Feminist Movement forward into the next decade. Its Founding Mothers, including Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem established the National Organization for Women (NOW), a centralized force for change. NOW sponsored the Women’s Strike […]

Why We Love The Chelsea Hotel

The Chelsea Hotel, in its majestic Victorian Gothic building at 222 West 23rd Street, has been a staple in many New Yorkers lives. When I was a kid, I’d look at guitars with my dad at Chelsea Guitars right underneath the hotel, and peek in the lobby. Built in 1885, the hotel (first build at […]

Beach Scenes From New York’s Past

Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, which means it’s officially beach season! The New York City parks department maintains 14 miles of beaches, which New Yorkers have been using to cool themselves from the city heat (or enjoy some amusement park rides) for many years. Many of these beach scenes are from almost 100 years […]

The Speech That Won Lincoln New York

On February 27, 1860, Abraham Lincoln stood before a crowd at Cooper Union on 8th Street in New York City, attempting to convince a strongly Democratic city that he, a Republican, deserved the presidency. Until then he was thought of mostly as a country lawyer, but his speech at Cooper Union let New York Republicans […]

Woolworth’s May Be Gone, But We Still Have The Woolworth Building

On February 22, 1878, F. W. Woolworth opened the first Woolworth store in Utica, New York. That store failed, but he reopened in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and began one of the most successful chain businesses in America. As a kid, I remember our local Woolworth’s as a one-stop shop, with everything from halloween costumes to alarm […]

How New Yorkers Got Their Cultural Fixes

New York has long been known as a center of the arts, with many spaces dedicated to music, dance, and other performances. Many have stood strong for decades, while others are almost forgotten. Below are a few places where New Yorkers enjoyed the arts. Tell us, where do you get your cultural kicks? Carnegie Hall’s […]

N-YHS Acquires Jacob Riis’s Copy of ‘How the Other Half Lives,’ With Author’s Annotations

The New-York Historical Society has acquired a first edition of Jacob Riis’s How the Other Half Lives, heavily annotated by the author with pages scrawled with moral indignation towards slumlords, asides about tenement residents, and copyedits. It was donated by Ted Gup, who recently wrote a New York Times op-ed on his purchase of the volume and the […]

Photos: New York Is A Winter Wonderland, No Matter The Year

New York is a magical place in the winter—just look at the snow outside right now! From the holiday decorations to ice skating in Central Park, there’s always something fun to do in the winter, even if it’s just watching the snowflakes fall outside your window. Below are some of our favorite images of the city […]

Happy Birthday, John Jay!

Today in 1745, founding father John Jay was born in New York City. He was a lawyer, a diplomat, the president of the Continental Congress, second Governor of New York, and the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He was also the author of five of the Federalist Papers, which were written […]