Welcome to the Friends of the New York State Library website. We are a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting the New York State Library through public education and advocacy.
Our site provides you with information on The Friends’ projects, news and events, and the ”New York State Library News” newsletter. If you are curious about The Friends organization, be sure to check out the About Us and What We Do sections.
We hope you’ll join us in our mission to strengthen library services for the people of New York State. Become a member today and help support our State Library. Also, show your support by liking us on Facebook.
-6/11/13: David Hochfelder will visit the New York State Library to discuss his well-researched and argument-driven book, The Telegraph in America, 1832-1920. Learn more in Events.
New York State Library News:
EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it! The Friends have issued the latest New York State Library News newsletter for Fall 2012. Get it now online or at the New York State Library. Take a look inside the latest issue:
-Legislators: NYSL Helps Sandy Victims: Organizations affected by Hurricane Sandy can get advice on damaged materials from New York State Library staff, the NYPL, and NYLA.
-The Gridding of Manhattan: Marguerite Holloway visits the State Library to discuss the biography of John Randel, Jr., the surveyor of Manhattan in her new book, The Measure of Manhattan.
-We Were There: World War II Rationing Collection 1942-1946: Out of the State Library’s collections come the documents and memoirs of WWII rationing. During WWII, the management of price control and rationing to ensure fair distribution of resources for American troops and citizens was at its utmost importance.
-The Challenge: With the resources of the New Netherland Research Center, author Firth Haring Fabend, writes the beautifully illustrated and well-documented book about the history of Dutch New York in New Netherland in a Nutshell. See article for ordering information.
-Shattering Myths: Dr. Jo-Ann Graham visits the State Library to discuss the African American artist of Abstract Expressionism and the misconception that the scope of their artistic ability is limited to representational style.
-A Phoenix Rises from the Ashes: One-hundred years ago, the State Library moved from the Capitol to the State Education Building on Washington Ave. after the infamous fire of 1911 torched many irreplaceable collections and left much of the library in ruins.
-A Rare Opportunity: The State Library is selling copies of two 19th century publications: Our Travels and An Artist’s View of New York in 1822. See article for ordering information.
Memorial Day is observed annually on the last Monday of May in memory of the American soldiers, who gave their lives in the protection and service of the United States. Originally, Memorial Day was called Decoration Day following the years of the Civil War and was observed in memory of fallen Union and Confederate soldiers. On May 5, 1868, Major General John Logan, head of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), an organization of veteran Union soldiers, proclaimed Decoration Day to be observed on May 30th in his General Order No. 1. What’s more, historians suggest that Maj. Gen. Logan chose the month of May as it is a signification of spring; a timely season for the arrival of new flowers throughout the country which could be used to decorate the gravestones of the war dead. Subsequently, the first official observance of Decoration Day occurred May 30, 1868 at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C.
During and after the Civil War, women in the North and South had decorated the gravestones of fallen soldiers with flowers, wreaths, and other decorative ornaments. Many cities in the United States have since claimed to be the founding place of which Memorial Day first took place, but multiple concurrent events actually occurred in relation to the war. Because people have decorated the gravestones of their deceased family and friends to honor their memory since ancient times, Memorial Day was designated in a similar respect. Although the question of a physical founding site is debatable, on May 5, 1966, Congress and Lyndon B. Johnson declared Waterloo, New York as the official “birthplace” for Memorial Day. Historic accounts in Waterloo indicate that one hundred years prior to this designation, a memorial event was held to honor the veterans of the Civil War.
In 1913, Union and Confederate veterans gathered for a four-day reunion at the site of the Battle at Gettysburg. The reunion occurred on the 50th anniversary of the bloodiest and most infamous battle of the Civil War. Remembrance was addressed with parades, reenactments, and speeches, one of which was delivered by President Woodrow Wilson. After the First World War, Decoration Day was observed in a manner of broader expression in order to include every American soldier who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Throughout the 20th century, Decoration Day began to be commonly referred to as Memorial Day, but the former is still used in some regions of the U.S.
In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act (UMHA) to change the original date of Memorial Day from May 30th to the last Monday of every May in order to allow for a more convenient three-day holiday weekend. Consequently, some veteran organizations, including The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), have publicly opposed the date-change, arguing that the change promotes commercialization of the holiday rather than the value of its origins. In 1971, Memorial Day was officially declared a national holiday and moved to the last Monday of May.
Visit the New York State Library M-F from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
David Hochfelder will visit the New York State Library to discuss his book, The Telegraph in America, 1832-1920:
Historian, electrical engineer, and University at Albany professor David Hochfelder will visit the New York State Library to discuss his well-researched and argument-driven book, The Telegraph in America, 1832-1920. Nineteenth-century America was introduced to a revolutionary mode of communication, the telegraph, which enabled information to travel at speeds comparable to the internet today. In his book, Hochfelder presents a complete history of the telegraph and draws on the thought-provoking relationship between technological innovation and social change. The groundbreaking technology played a major role in assisting the Union war effort during the Civil War and brought speedy information on current news and stock updates in real-time. Join the Friends of the New York State Library to learn how the telegraph has left its mark on technological and social communications in the modern age.
Date: June 11, 2013
Time: 12:15 – 1:15 pm
Location: Librarians Room on the 7th floor of the New York State Library
Registration is recommended by calling 518-474-2274 or going online to http://www.forms2.nysed.gov/nysl/trngreg.cfm
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