Monday, October 4, 2010

October is New York Archives Month

Grandma Barnes
October is New York Archives Month and what better way for us to highlight the New York History Review’s Eleanor Barnes Library than to have a mini online gallery with old photos of the Barnes family! Thank you, Eleanor.


Friday, August 27, 2010

New Timon article published


New York History Review has just published John Timon - Buffalo’s First Bishop
: His Forgotten Struggle to Assimilate Catholics in Western New York

 by Paul E. Lubienecki online. Timon assimilated Catholics and Catholic women into the culture of western New York and established Catholicism while battling the local Protestant clergy and the Catholic hierarchy.

Mr. Lubienecki is a doctoral student of History at Case Western Reserve University. His dissertation topic is on the history and influence of the Catholic Church on the American labor movement.

The article can be found here on our website.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Brand new book from New York History Review Press

What happened on a normal day to a normal young woman in 1891? Step inside the world of 25-year-old Viola Coolbaugh as she lives her life in rural Schuyler County.

Viola writes of the happenings in Altay, New York - her housework, baking pastries for her father's store, terrible sicknesses, working at the basket factory, and making ice cream with hailstones.

To see this book and more, please visit our website.

This publication is fourth in New York History Review's
Learning From History series of printed primary source material.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

May is National Preservation Month!


Pick off all the stems, and to every quart of fruit add a quart of sugar; mix well with the sugar, then put them over a slow fire till the syrup commences to form, then put them over a hot fire and let them boil quickly for fifteen minutes, skimming it well. Put them boiling hot into stone jars, seal up tightly.

This recipe is from our reprinted 1888 cookbook Our Own Book – A Victorian Guide to Life with over 600 vintage food recipes. Make your own barn paint, indelible ink, ginger beer, shaving soap, waterproof glue, cologne, violin varnish, and more. How and when to take a bath. What to feed sheep. Answers for all of life's challenges as a Victorian person.

From our Victorian Pride line of New York State reprinted books of merit. One of our goals of NYHR is to digitally preserve and reprint rare antiquarian New York State books and make them available again to the public.
Check out this book and more on our


Friday, April 16, 2010

Excerpts form our NEW Book

MY CENTENNIAL DIARY: A Year in the Life of a Country Boy
by Earll K. Gurnee, Skaneateles, New York, 1876

published by New York History Review
available at

My Centennial Diary is the journal of 18-year-old Earll Kilbourne Gurnee of Sennett, New York - two miles from downtown Skaneateles. Earll was born on January 28, 1858 in Madison, Wisconsin, the son of Robert and Lucy Ann (Kilbourne) Gurnee. The family moved to New York in 1863 to be closer to his grandparents Caleb and Cynthia Brown on West Lake Road in Skaneateles, New York. When he was sixteen, his parents purchased a farm on Franklin Street Road. He attended the Skaneateles Academy in the 1870s.

January, Saturday 1. 1876.
The morning opened dark and foggy, but not cold. Mud from ½ to 2-feet-deep. Toward noon the weather cleared and the balance of the day was excruciatingly fine and warm. Thermometer 60 degrees throughout the day. At 12 last night the Centennial was ushered in with ringing of bells and shouting and screeching from many voices. Many business places were illuminated. A large amount of Whiskey was probably consumed as many were hilarious and a few pugilistic. In fact, I deemed it imprudent to leave the vicinity of the store for fear of violence and consequently paid O’Grimes one dollar to stay the night.

January, Sunday 2. 1876.
School commences tomorrow after a week’s vacation - which spent sawing wood. Pa plowed yesterday and I plowed day before yesterday in the big meadow.

January, Monday 3. 1876.
I went to school today – had to walk for Pa plowed. Week ago today we sawed down an elm tree which measured 100 feet up to where the longest limb was 6 inches. Through it was about 4 feet through where we sawed it off and made five logs about 12 [feet] long.

January, Tuesday 4. 1876.
Attended school today – had pretty good lessons. It has frozen up and I walked to school. The roads are dreadful rough.

January, Wednesday 5. 1876.
I sapose I must write something as I did not have any diary until several days of the new year had passed away. I have to “think up” what has passed and all I can remember is that I went to school. I went down to the schoolhouse and heard the spelling “nine” practice. [A spelling bee played in baseball terms – as in nine players on a team.] Chauncey Clark is the champion. He is also catcher. Edd went home with F which made me fearful jealous.

January, Thursday 6. 1876.
Examination commenced today. I was examined in Arithmetic the first thing in the morning. There were 8 examples all of them quite easy. I omitted two of them for want of more time. In the afternoon I was examined in Algebra – five questions and five examples was all that was given. I guess I answered all of them correct. School closed at half past two. Will Durston’s spelling nine from Willow Glen and Edd Powell’s nine from our own district meet for a spelling contest tonight. I am to be “scorer.”

January, Friday 7. 1876.
Examination continued today. I was examined in Grammar – do not believe I “passed.” I was also examined in Reading and Spelling. I was pronounced “excellent” which is next to the highest. 100 words were pronounced in Spelling. I returned two library books (one for myself and one for F. Powell) and got two more viz. Seek and Find and Palace & Cottage. Edd won the prize last night although Will’s nine made a good show. Addie Durston was “pitcher.” I scored with the aid of Charley Signor. I found it quite a job but an interesting one. Edd’s side spelled 3 words more than Will’s in eleven innings. Mr. and Mrs. Devit went up to Cream Hollar today [Cream Hollow Road, Niles, New York]. Emmett came down after them. Bought this diary today for ½ price at Wallace’s.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Celebrate Women's History Month with Ida and Lucy!

Ida Burnett was 15 years old in Logan, New York in 1880. She churned butter, milked

cows, sewed her own underwear, canned fruit, but also had time for boys and parties. Click for Ida’s book

13-year-old Lucy Potter lived her life in the small town of Taylor in Cortland County, New York in 1868. She wrote of classes, teachers, friends, boys, a new stepmother, an invalid aunt, and complained about upstate New York weather. Click for Lucy’s book


Saturday, January 23, 2010

New York History Review Press announces our newest publication!

In Their Honor - Soldiers of the Confederacy - The Elmira Prison Camp

by Diane Janowski with photographs by Allen C. Smith

Michel Fortlouis, a young Confederate soldier, weary of war, was captured by Union troops at Clinton, Louisiana, thirty miles from his home of New Roads. It was August 1864, in the last year of the War Between the States. Corporal Fortlouis was shipped north to the Union Prison Camp at Elmira, New York, where he died of pneumonia within ten days of his arrival. More than 12,000 young Southern men suffered the harsh winter at the camp. Nearly 3,000 died.

In their Honor - Soldiers of the Confederacy - The Elmira Prison Camp respectfully remembers these men and boys, and tells their stories. Research by the author has brought awareness of the soldiers’ relationships - brothers, fathers and sons, cousins and friends. Descendants of the soldiers have contributed harrowing stories of survival or despair. They were captured together. Some made it home.

In their Honor includes narratives from prisoners’ families, and a complete revised list of the Confederate dead at Woodlawn National Cemetery. Available now on our website