Tag: Archives and Records

Frederick Douglass, Seen Up Close

In 2006, the historian David Blight had just given a talk about Frederick Douglass in Savannah, Ga., when he was introduced to Walter Evans, a retired surgeon and collector. Dr. Evans invited him to stop by the house and see his Douglass collection. Dr. Blight was cautiously intrigued. But later, as Dr. Evans began laying […]

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Music From the Death Camps: Alive and Being Readied for a New Home

For months, Francesco Lotoro was forced to stay in his home, quarantined by a virus that ravaged his country, Italy, and slowed a project he has been working on since 2014. His dream is to build a study center to house an archive of concentration camp music from World War II, a trove he has […]

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2 Sentenced to House Arrest in Long-Running Scheme to Steal Rare Books

A former archivist and a bookstore owner who were accused of stealing about 300 rare books and other artifacts from Pittsburgh’s central library — items that would cost more than $8 million to replace — were each sentenced Friday to several years of house arrest, prosecutors said. The former archivist, Gregory Priore, who oversaw a […]

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How Crowdsourcing Aided a Push to Preserve the Histories of Nazi Victims

While the coronavirus pandemic has painfully upended lives and businesses around the world, the lockdowns it caused are providing a unique boost for one group’s effort to help heal a generations-old wound: Nazi atrocities. As the virus prompted lockdowns across Europe, the director of the Arolsen Archives — the world’s largest devoted to the victims of […]

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The Mrs. Files

The Mrs. Files looks at history through a contemporary lens to see what the honorific “Mrs.” means to women and their identity. About two years ago, when we started going through the millions of photos in The New York Times archives for the Past Tense archival storytelling project, we noticed something puzzling. In one of […]

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Laurie Anderson and Michael Stipe on Music, Art and New Chapters

At 72, no one would fault Laurie Anderson, the avant-garde multimedia icon — an inventor, performance artist, musician, writer, filmmaker, painter and more — for being nostalgic. She is best known for her 1981 surprise hit song, “O Superman,” a visionary tirade against American imperialism, built on looped vocal effects that seemed to predict the […]

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Now Is the Time to Ask Your Loved Ones About Their Lives

Today we are faced with a pandemic that plays to our worst, most basic human fears: uncertainty, mortality, loneliness. Perhaps most devastating of all is the combination of all three — the terrifying prospect that we might die alone, without the embrace of a loved one, with words left unsaid. These feelings and fears are […]

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Jill Lepore’s New Podcast Is a Murder Mystery: Who Killed Truth?

In 1919, a woman was found dead in a park in a small town in Vermont. She had been bound and gagged and stripped naked except for her gray-blue stockings. Her glasses were caught in her hair. The investigation and trial that followed became rich fodder for the newspapers. But for the historian Jill Lepore, […]

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For the New York Public Library, Martha Graham Is the Missing Link

“Why don’t we have Martha?” When Linda Murray became the curator of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts in 2015, that was her No. 1 question. She meant Martha Graham, though in dance circles — and even beyond — this choreographer, who transformed modern American art, […]

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Senate Office Says It Can’t Release Records Biden Requested

On Friday, as he forcefully denied an allegation of sexual assault made against him by a former Senate aide, Joseph R. Biden Jr. called on the National Archives to release any complaint related to the accusation. But the National Archives immediately responded that any such personnel records would not be under its control but would […]

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3,000 Interviews. 50 Years. Listen to the History of American Music.

In 1968, Vivian Perlis, a research librarian at Yale, knew that she needed to talk to Julian Myrick. A man who had spent his life in the insurance business was not the most likely of musicological sources. But Myrick’s business partner had not only been significant in the field of life insurance, but was also […]

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A Lot Has Changed in 50 Years, Off Paris Stages and On

PARIS — Theater rarely pauses to mull over its past. What happens when the curtain rises next is the main preoccupation of stage artists and critics. Keeping up with the huge number of productions on offer is usually a Sisyphean task, leaving little room for historical perspective. Yet with theaters currently shut around the world, […]

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What Historians Will See When They Look Back on the Covid-19 Pandemic of 2020

Sherri Denney was in the fourth day of quarantine in her home in Springboro, Ohio, when she thought about the toll the coronavirus was taking. She sat in her recliner chair and cried as the state’s governor checked off the number of dead and sickened, knowing there would be more the next day. Overwhelmed, Ms. […]

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The Pandemic Is Not an Excuse to Exploit Writers

Authors have been hit hard by the pandemic, especially emerging writers who have books coming out in the next few months. With bookstores and libraries closed and book tours canceled, they are facing an enormous challenge in connecting with potential readers. It could be a career-destroying time for some authors, many of whom are struggling […]

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‘Emergency’ Online Library Draws Ire of Some Authors

It was initially presented as a rare and welcome sliver of good news for the literary world. Last week, Internet Archive, a nonprofit group, announced that it would drop the access restrictions for its scanned books to make them widely available to readers during the coronavirus outbreak. Calling it “a National Emergency Library to serve […]

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A Brooklyn Dodgers Fan Who Never Gave Up on Ebbets Field

Nobody ever accused Rod Kennedy Jr. of thinking too small. A Brooklyn Dodgers fan who took a beating in a Pelham, N. Y., schoolyard in the 1950s defending his team’s honor against partisans of the New York Yankees and Giants, he began making his living 35 years later by manufacturing tiny tin replicas of ballparks. […]

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After the Fire, a Chinatown Museum Sifts Through What Survived

When a fire ripped through the upper floors of the red brick building that held the archives of the Museum of Chinese in America, the staff thought that all was lost. The second floor of 70 Mulberry Street, a 130-year-old building that is a cherished cultural landmark in Chinatown, had been home to 85,000 items […]

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Six Decades After the Banana Boat, Harry Belafonte’s Archive Sails Home

When Harry Belafonte turned 93 on March 1, he celebrated with a tribute at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, which ended with a thunderous audience singalong to a riff on his star-making 1956 hit, “The Banana Boat Song,” complete with the rapper Doug E. Fresh beatboxing over its famous “Day-O!” refrain. It was a fitting […]

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Excerpts from the Sanders Files in a Russian Archive

The New York Times reviewed 89 pages of letters, telegrams and internal Soviet government documents revealing in new detail the extent of Bernie Sanders’s effort in the late 1980s to establish sister-city ties between Burlington, Vt., and a city in the Soviet Union. The documents are part of a government archive in Yaroslavl, Russia, which […]

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Zara Steiner, Historian Who Explored World War I’s Roots, Dies at 91

Zara S. Steiner, who wrote deeply researched books on the origins of World War I and the period between the world wars, adding new layers to the standard discussions of diplomacy and its shortcomings, died on Feb. 13 at her home in Cambridge, England. She was 91. Her son, David, said the cause was pneumonia. […]

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More Trouble Ahead for N.J. Commuters

Weather: Sunny, with a high in the upper 50s. Alternate-side parking: In effect until March 10 (Purim). ImageCredit…Victor J. Blue for The New York Times Those who take trains between New Jersey and New York City are no stranger to delays and cancellations: Governor Cuomo called one period of upheaval — when tracks were replaced […]

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National Archives’ Emails Show Little Debate Over Altering Photo of Women’s March

It did not take long for conspiracy theories and accusations of censorship to emerge after the National Archives and Records Administration admitted it had altered a photo of the 2017 Women’s March to hide disparaging references to President Trump. Doctoring the photo was “nothing less than Orwellian,” fumed the American Civil Liberties Union, which accused […]

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Why You May Never Learn the Truth About ICE

Last month the National Archives found itself in the middle of a firestorm after it put a doctored photograph of the Women’s March on Washington on display. Even if the photo was not part of the National Archives’ own collection, the exhibit distorted history, and David S. Ferriero, the archivist of the United States, soon […]

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Fourth Spy at Los Alamos Knew A-Bomb’s Inner Secrets

Last fall, a pair of historians revealed that yet another Soviet spy, code named Godsend, had infiltrated the Los Alamos laboratory where the world’s first atom bomb was built. But they were unable to discern the secrets he gave Moscow or the nature of his work. However, the lab recently declassified and released documents detailing […]

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National Archives Apologizes for Altering Image of 2017 Women’s March

The National Archives and Records Administration, which calls itself the country’s record keeper, apologized on Saturday for altering a photo of protesters at the 2017 Women’s March that blurred out references critical of President Trump. “We made a mistake,” began a statement the archives released on Saturday. The photo of protesters holding signs was part […]

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