The New York State Museum, State Library, and State Archives will celebrate New York State History Month in November with a variety of free public programs for children, families and adults.
A model of the first statue in New York City’s Central Park that honors and depicts women will be on display in the State Museum’s West Corridor beginning Tuesday, November 6.
Two temporary exhibitions exploring New York’s history will open on November 10 at the State Museum: Enterprising Waters: New York’s Erie Canal; and The Historic Woodstock Art Colony: The Arthur A. Anderson Collection.
Take a daycation…the following free programs related to New York State history are offered at the Cultural Education Center, 222 Madison Avenue, Albany:
The Return of Cornplanter’s Tomahawk
Sunday, November 4 | 1:00 p.m.
In 1792 a beautiful pipe tomahawk was gifted to the great Seneca leader Cornplanter by George Washington and became part of the Museum’s collections in 1850. After being stolen for nearly 70 years, the pipe tomahawk returned to the State Museum in June 2018 thanks to the generosity of an anonymous collector. Learn about the remarkable history of this pipe tomahawk and the beginnings of the Museum’s ethnology collections with Dr. Gwendolyn Saul, curator of ethnography.
Walking Tour of Local History & Genealogy Resources at the State Library
Thursday, November 8 at 3:00 p.m. & Saturday, November 17 at 11:00 a.m.
The New York State Library is a treasure chest of resources for those tracing their family histories. Join a tour highlighting published genealogies, local histories, church records, Daughters of the American Revolution records, United States and New York State Census records, newspapers on microfilm, city directories and more. Space is limited; registration is required. Register by calling 518-474-2274.
Reception and Tour of The Historic Woodstock Art Colony: The Arthur A. Anderson Collection Exhibition
Saturday, November 10 | 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Celebrate the opening of The Historic Woodstock Art Colony: The Arthur A. Anderson Collection. The reception begins at 1:00 p.m. with light refreshments, followed by an exhibition tour at 2:00 p.m. led by curator Karen Quinn.
“Remembering New York’s Colonial Past through Archaeology, History and Art” Presentation and Discussion
Sunday, November 11 | 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Enjoy a presentation and panel discussion with William Starna, professor emeritus of anthropology at SUNY Oneonta; Paul Huey, retired senior archeologist at the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; and Albany artist Len Tantillo, who will each provide a perspective on how New York’s colonial past has been studied, interpreted, and remembered.
Readings of America’s Founding Documents and Talk with Alexander Heffner
Tuesday, November 13 | 7:00 p.m.
A diverse range of community members, from political leaders to elementary school children, will take the stage to read memorable lines from America’s founding documents. At 7:30 p.m., enjoy a talk by Alexander Heffner, host of the PBS talk show, The Open Mind, and co-author of the 2018 revised version of A Documentary History of the United States. This program is organized by the New York State Writers Institute.
Staged Reading of “Possessing Harriet”
Thursday, November 15 | 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
This program is one of the opening programs for Researching New York Conference organized by SUNY Albany. The cast of “Possessing Harriet” will perform a full reading of the play, followed by a Q&A session.
In 1839, Harriet Powell, a young, mixed-race, enslaved woman slips away from a hotel in Syracuse, New York, and escapes from the Southerner who owns her. With the aid of a mysterious free black man named Thomas Leonard, Harriet finds temporary safe harbor in an attic room at the home of impassioned abolitionist Gerrit Smith. With the slave catchers in pursuit, Harriet spends the hours before her nighttime departure on the dangerous journey to Canada in the company of Smith’s young cousin Elizabeth Cady, an outspoken advocate for women’s equality. Confronted with new and difficult ideas about race, identity, and equality, and with confusion, fear, and desperation multiplying, Harriet is forced to the precipice of radical self-re-imagination and a reckoning with the heartrending cost of freedom.
Tour of Enterprising Waters: New York’s Erie Canal
Saturday, November 17 | 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Guided by a museum educator, come tread the rich history of the Erie Canal through the Museum’s exhibition, Enterprising Waters: New York’s Erie Canal.
Brain Food for the Curious: Early Watercraft in the Northeast
Tuesday, November 20 | 12:10 p.m.
Boatbuilding and water-borne travel have a long history in the Americas, pre-dating the arrival of European explorers by millennia. Join archaeologist Dr. Daria Merwin for a look at the archaeological and historical evidence of early watercraft in the Northeast. This program includes a 20-minute talk followed by a Q&A period; Bring your lunch.
Thanksgiving with Tom the Turkey
Saturday, November 24 | 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Enjoy fun crafts, games, storytelling and much more with your favorite animals found in New York State
Historical Newspapers Online at the State Library
Wednesday, November 28 | 3:30 p.m.
Learn about the online databases available at the State Library that contain full-text historical newspapers. Discover how to find and access New York State digital newspapers freely available online. Space is limited; registration is required. Register by calling 518-474-2274.
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