Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Library and Archives tour

Bus Trip to NYS Library and Archives

Date:  20 June, 2013
Cost: $40
Departure: 9:30 am from the Desmond Hotel
Return:  About 4 pm from the Cultural Center on Madison Ave., Albany

The 2013 Palatines to America National Conference is being held in an exciting part of our country, where so much history has taken place.  Albany, New York is situated on the Hudson River, about one hundred and fifty miles north of New York City.  Henry Hudson, exploring for the Dutch and looking for a shorter route to Asia, sailed up this river in 1609 as far as the Cohoes Falls above Troy.  Soon after, trading began with the Indians and settlements were established, first on Manhattan Island and then at Fort Orange (Albany).  Early Palatines in the 1700s traveled through Albany as they sought better conditions further inland.  Later immigrants traveled by boat up the River and over Mohawk River and Erie Canal as they moved farther and farther west. 

General Burgoyne was held prisoner at General Philip Schuyler’s home in Albany after the British defeat at Saratoga in 1777.  Palatines fought in the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War.  New York played a significant role in the War of 1812.  The Albany area was a major staging area for important battles in the north with Canada during that war.  A pivotal role was played by New York in the Civil War.  As the most populous and wealthiest state at the time, it supplied the most men, money and material in the north’s struggle with the south.  A major exhibit available for viewing at the New York State Museum, which shares the Cultural Building with the State Library and Archives is “An Irrepressible Conflict – The Empire State in the Civil War.”    An immense collection of information is available to the researcher in the collections archived here in the capital city of Albany.

Our Thursday June 20 tour plans to take those participating on a narrated jaunt of downtown Albany, passing the river front where, if we are lucky, the replica of the Half Moon (Henry Hudson’s ship) and other ships may be at anchor.  The State Capital at the top of State Street and other historic places will be pointed out as we make our way to the Cultural Center.  We should arrive there by 10:30.

On the 7th floor, our group will be met by a Library staff member for a guided walking tour in groups of up to 20, of the local history and genealogical resources of the New York State Library.

Next, the whole group will take the elevator to the Archives on the 11th floor.  There, a member from the Archives will greet us and take us to a meeting room where information about the Archives will be provided by video.

Time will be available for enjoying lunch, doing personal research, exploring the magnificent museum and perhaps visiting the gift shop.  The bus to return to the Desmond will leave promptly at 4 pm.

Space for this trip is limited to 40.  If you plan to take the trip, sign up early when you register for the Palatines to America National Conference.

(Contributed by Jean Burns of the New York Chapter) 

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