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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.

 

Current News:

-Programs: April 25, author, Jeffrey T. Sammons discusses his new book, Harlem’s Rattlers and the Great War: The Undaunted 369th Regiment and the African American Quest for Equality. June 19, Russell Shorto, author of The Island at the Center of the World and Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City, talks about Dutch cultural heritage from Amsterdam and its influence on Albany, New York. Learn more in Events.

-Press Releases: The Friends program “Bobsledding: An Albany Invention” has made it into Friday’s issue of the Capital Region’s popular and highly circulating newspaper, The Times Union! Read it here to learn more about the history of bobsledding in Albany. And, if you’re still eager to learn even more about Albany’s claim to the popular winter sport, check out All Over Albany’s blog on this topic.

Couldn’t make it to the program? No problem at all, the Friends recorded it for all the members, friends, and interested parties who couldn’t make it. Enjoy!

Christopher Lindsay speaks at the Fort Orange Club on February 8th about his research on bobsledding in Albany:

2014 Bobsled C Lindsay from Friends of the NY State Library on Vimeo.

 

-Catch it while you can: 7th Floor Exhibits
The New York State Library presents Cookbooksthe latest exhibit in the glass cases on the 7th floor. The exhibit draws 19th and 20th century cookbooks out of the State Library’s diverse collections.

-New State Library Hours: Now in effect, the New York State Library opens Mon – Sat from 9:30 – 5; closed Sundays.

- New York State Library News:
EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it! The Friends have issued the latest New York State Library News newsletter for Winter 2014. Get it online or at the New York State Library today. Take a peek inside the latest issue: Winter 2014 Newsletter

-Legislators: Seeking Legislative Intent: Want to know more about reasons for or against enactment of a law? The State Library offers many outstanding guides to researching legislative history. Find out more in the latest newsletter.

-Online Exhibit Features Governor Sultzer’s Impeachment: The papers of Irving G. Vann shed light on the impeachment of Governor William Sulzer.

-Success Story: In 2010, the State Library launched Broadband@ your library, a plan to enable public libraries throughout the state to increase staff training and digital leiteracy in economically distressed communities with high unemployment levels.

-Albany’s hilly Streets Cradle of Bobsledding: Bobsledding was a craze on the streets in Albany long before it debuted in Switzerland, according to historian and bobsled expert, Christopher Lindsay.

-SUNY Canton’s Library Wins Shubert Award: The Southworth Library Learning Commons at SUNY Canton won the 2013 Shubert Library Excellence Award.

-Be a Friend: Support the Library by becoming a member of the Friends of the New York State Library today!

-Hello Teens: Need an idea for a project? Enjoy reading? Like to knit? These are a few of the many informative announcements posted on The Teen NY Facebook page, a year round resource for teens and adults who work with them.

-A Treasure Trove of 19th Century History: The State Library’s microfilm collection of the William H. Seward Papers reveal that his greatest achievement was the purchase of Alaska and much more about the life and times of the lawyer from Auburn.

 

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The 1939 New York World’s Fair

Image Source: NYSL - Manuscripts and Special Collections

Image Source: NYSL – Manuscripts and Special Collections

The New York World’s Fair (NYWF) opened its gates to the community on April 30, 1939 at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, New York, NY. It was the second biggest American world’s fair next to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904, commonly known as the St. Louis World’s Fair, and highly regarded as one of the most historical expositions in U.S. history in scope of size, cost, attendance, publicity, and the number of international participants and exhibitors. Nearly 45 million attendees visited the fair from its opening day until October of 1940 to gaze upon the various exhibitions of over 60 participating countries around the world.

Before the Second World War and during the midst of the Great Depression, a group of businessmen from New York City met to discuss the prospects of building an exposition that would serve to turn the economy around and lift American morale. Therefore, the New York World’s Fair Corporation (NYWFC) was organized with former chief of police, Grover Whalen, as the elected president of the committee. Between 1935 and 1939, the fair was underway. While Whalen viewed the fair as an opportunity for corporations to exhibit their products, the science community had hoped that the fair could assist in popularizing the role of science in modern society given that the theme of the fair was founded on the slogan, “Building the World of Tomorrow.” Nevertheless, exhibitors showcased science through commercial gadgetry rather than research development.

The date of the fair was purposely planned to open on the anniversary of President George Washington’s first inauguration 150 years ago. Despite the fact that some pavilions and exhibits were not ready for public viewing, the fair opened on a hot Sunday of April 30th without delay, drawing in 206,000 visitors. Whalen welcomed the public with warm and welcoming words, “We invite the people of all the world to mingle in friendship and security, and to contemplate the marvels that can be wrought when the genius and labor of man unite to make this a better world in which to live.”

Image Source: NYSL - Manuscripts and Special Collections

Image Source: NYSL – Manuscripts and Special Collections

Visitors entered into 1,216 acres of geometric landscaping, extravagant water fountains and foliage features, futuristic architecture, contemporary and classical artwork, and a multitude of lighting accents strategically laid out to bring the focal attention to the monumental structures, the Trylon, Perisphere, and Helicline located in the Theme Center. Here, the structures were constructed at the meeting point where the fair’s zones came together, including the Transportation Zone, the Communications and Business Zone, the Food Zone, the Government Zone and so on.

After the Second World War waged in Europe the following year, the committee of the NYWFC changed the enriching theme of the fair from “Building the World of Tomorrow” to the political statement, “For Peace and Freedom.” The fair remained open for two successful seasons, introducing new products in electronics including the air conditioner; advertising new technologies in automotive vehicles, including popular car manufacturers, Ford and Chrysler; and presenting the modern innovations and historical artifacts from countries around the world.

In late 1940, the committee removed Whalen as president in favor of banker, Harvey Gibson, to overlook and sustain budgetary control. Although the fair generated nearly $48 million in revenue, the NYWFC lost out in its investment of over $65 million, causing the corporation to declare bankruptcy.

Want to know more about the 1939 New York World’s Fair? Find the sources you need and more at the New York State Library.

 

 

 

Visit the New York State Library Mon-Sat from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Current Events:

 

Henry Johnson—Hero of Harlem’s Rattlers:  The Man and the Legend

Harlem Rattlers

Jeffrey T. Sammons, coauthor of the new book Harlem’s Rattlers and the Great War: The Undaunted 369th Regiment and the African American Quest for Equality, discusses the glorious military exploits and bleak post-World War I existence of Albany’s Henry Johnson.

When: Friday, April 25, 2014 @ 5:30 p.m.

Where: Huxley Theater, 1st floor Cultural Education Center, Empire State Plaza, Albany

Sponsored by the New York State Library
Cosponsored by the Friends of the New York State Library
Free and open to the public

 

 

 

 

From Amsterdam to Albany:  An Address by Russell Shorto
Russell-ShortoRussell Shorto, author of The Island at the Center of the World and Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City, as well as other acclaimed works, talks about Dutch cultural heritage from Amsterdam and its influence on Albany, New York.

Details will be announced on the Friends of the New York State Library’s website as they become available.

When: Thursday, June 19, 2014 @ 6:00 p.m.

Where: Huxley Theater, 1st floor Cultural Education Center, Empire State Plaza, Albany

Sponsored by the Friends of the New York State Library
Cosponsor: New York State Library
Free and open to the public

 

 

 

 

Extras:

Just for you, here’s a throwback program from yesteryears at the New York State Library. Glenn Hankle Speaks at the New York State Library in April 2012:
 

 

Don’t Forget!

SAVE THE DATE for the latest events provided by the Friends of the New York State Library.

 
 

While you’re here . . .

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