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Brian Jennings's blog

April 2015 Local History Newsletter

There are many interesting programs related to Local History at the New City Library in April.  James Cassetta will be discussing his new book on Pearl River on Tuesday April 14th at 7PM.   Larry Kigler will show us 125 years of Rockland County history with the help of extensive postcard collection on Tuesday April 28th at 7PM in an illustrated lecture.   Local history newsletterLearn more about these programs and other activities related to local history in the latest edition of our local history newsletter.  Sign up for regular emails related to local history collections and programs here: https://madmimi.com/signups/122327/join.

February 2015 Local History E-newsletter

The February 2015 Local History Newsletter is now online.  Click on the image to read about what's happening in local history at the New City Library.  Sign up for the local history email newsletter here: https://madmimi.com/signups/122327/join

Growing up on the Icy Hudson

Jerry Donnellan tells a story about growing up on the Hudson River in Nyack and playing on the icy river.   We will be holding a Listening program later this Spring where we will play this clip and others from residents who talk about growing up in Rockland County.   If you are interested in being interviewed or becoming a volunteer interviewer, call local history librarian Brian Jennings at 845-634-4997 ext. 127 or email him at bjennings@rcls.org

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Local History December 2014 Newsletter

We have a new local history email list to keep you apprised of new programming and resources related to local history.  We just released our first issue which you can read online here.   The highlights of this month’s newsletter Local History December 2014 Newsletterare a lecture in January 27th about the Civil War in Rockland County, a new display on the lost hamlet of Sandyfield curated by members of the Historical Society of the Palisades Interstate Park Region and the announcement that an Outreach grant from the Ramapo Catskill Library System will help us continue collecting oral history interviews and create programs from these audio interviews.   Sign up for the local history email list here: 

Veterans Day Story

It's Veterans Day and the New City Library is open regular hours.  While you enjoy the day, listen to the Rockland County Director of Veterans Affairs Jerry Donnellan's oral history interview on HRVH or the short story below from that interview.

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Old Rockland County in Autumn and Oral Histories at the New City Library

In September we collected 13 oral histories from long time residents of Rockland County thanks in part to a grant from the Library Association of Rockland County.  We now have a web page devoted to our new oral histories where you can start to listen to some clips.  Check it out at http://newcitylibrary.org/oralhistory.  For October we are highlighting a story from Tom Schassler of Stony Point.  Tom visited me my first day working in the Rockland Room to do some research for one of his historic preservation efforts up in Stony Point.  This story from Tom is a perfect one for Autumn.

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The Cube at the New City Library

Get a sneak peek from one of our interviews from this past weekend on Soundcloud Picture a ten-foot stainless steel cube, balancing on its edge. The surrounding area are mirrored in the metallic sides of this beautiful piece of modern sculpture. Suddenly the door opens to reveal a comfortable, soundproof recording booth. Welcome to The Cube.

The Civil War and Clarkstown

We have a small exhibit in the library about Clarkstown and the Civil War through the end of November.  You can find it in the exhibit case past the DVDs heading toward the Rockland Room.   There is also an online exhibit with more information at http://rocklandroom.omeka.net/exhibits/show/civilwar.  Highlights include the story of General Louis Blenker who owned a farm in New City, a look at brothers who served in the Civil War from Clarkstown, and some information about African American veterans buried at Mt. Moor Cemetery which is surrounded by the Palisades Center Mall.
General Louis Blenker

Personal Digital Archiving

Last Friday I hosted an introductory class on the topic of Personal Digital Archiving.  The Library of Congress has been the leader in this burgeoning movement, so we started by watching a film by them which I am embedding below. As the use of technology for taking photographs, videos, etc. becomes more prevalent, it is important to begin to think seriously about how we will save and preserve those "born digital" memories.  In addition, many people who came to the class were interested in scanning their photographs and creating new digital images.  We discussed both of these scenarios and outlined the basic 4 steps to consider when beginning a personal digital archiving project:
1. Identify what you want to save
2. Decide what is most important to save
3. Organize your collection
4. Backup copies in different places

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Historypin and Local History Online

On July 29th at 2pm I will be offering the second of a series of classes discussing the vast and ever-increasing local history resources available to the public online.  You can view the prezi for this course online here.   We will discuss local newspapers online, photographs and postcards, Ancestry.com, and what's coming soon.  One particularly interesting site I have been working with is Historypin, this site (and the accompanying app) allows you to pin images to a Google Map.  I used it to pin a photo of each of the Historic markers in Clarkstown to a map.   Learn more on July 29th.

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