Only the most recent five History Room Program announcements are shown here. Go to History Room Programs Archive for complete listings.
Ted Hilscher, Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia-Greene Community College, will show and discuss fifty historic photographs of buildings that were torn down during urban renewal in Hudson during this in-person local history talk. Hilscher will also facilitate a discussion of the legacy of urban renewal in our city. Anyone with recollections of the impacted areas of the city prior to urban renewal is encouraged to attend, as well as those who wish to talk about those areas following urban renewal and how Hudson and its residents were impacted.
Urban renewal transformed Front Street and the blocks between Columbia and State Street, west of Second Street. Franklin Square, Chapel Street, Fleet Street and Market Place were erased from the network of city streets. Approximately 176 buildings in all were demolished, requiring the relocation of about 850 people. Demolition and the subsequent new construction took place between 1970 and 1972.
The photographs in this talk have been made available for the first time since they were taken through a collaborative effort by the late Arthur Koweek, longtime Hudson Planning Commission Chair, and the Columbia-Greene Community College Library.
In addition to his professorship at Columbia-Greene Community College, Ted Hilscher is a graduate of Hudson High School, has a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from Fordham, a Master’s in US History from SUNY Albany, a Law Degree from Albany Law School, and a law practice with his wife in Catskill.
Visit “See What’s New at the History Room” on our History Room website to see what we are up to this summer! Learn about our special archiving project and our open hours and availability by appointment to explore our archived collections and other resources with History Room Coordinator Brenda Shufelt, Reference Library Paul Costa, or Volunteer Researchers John Craig and Jim Hoon.
Also, on this website are samples from our image collections, finding aids from our archived collections, links to recordings of our local history programs and History Room on Zoom series as well as information on local history organizations and online resources. And, finally, visit our Online Shop for cool gifts for friends and family (or yourself!)
Listen to recorded stories from Hudson-area residents while enjoying a banana split side-by-side with fellow community members. Oral histories shared will include recorded stories from Oral History Summer School’s Community Library of Voice and Sound, the library’s oral history collection, and the Black Legacy Association of Columbia County collection.
Date/Time: Sunday, July 24, 1 – 4pm
Location: In person, Hudson Hall sidewalk
Registration: All are welcome. Reservations are optional. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 518-828-1792 x101.
This special event is presented in collaboration with Oral History Summer School and in partnership with Hudson Hall, and is made possible in part with support from the Fund for Columbia County of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Accelerating Promising Practices for Small Libraries grant. To learn more about IMLS, visit www.imls.gov.
Library and Leisler Institute Talk on Indigenous Slavery in Colonial New York and New Jersey (Thursday, June 9)
Join us and the Jacob Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History for a talk by Linford Fisher titled The Persistence of Indigenous Enslavement in Dutch and English New York and New Jersey. Indigenous peoples played important roles in the histories of Dutch colonialism and the colonies that later became New York and New Jersey. This public talk delves into one aspect of these histories and interactions, namely, the enslavement (and, at times, transshipment) of local Indigenous populations. Drawing upon colonial records and newspaper ads, Fisher argues that enslaved Indigenous people were present in these places far longer than we might expect and in ways that suggest a more diverse enslaved and unfree labor force than we have previously imagined.
Date/Time: Thursday, June 9, 6-7:30pm
Location: Virtual via Zoom
Registration: For Zoom link, click here.
The Jacob Leisler Library Lectures are made partially possible through the generous support of the Van Dyke Family Foundation and Hudson River Bank and Trust.
Linford D. Fisher is an Associate Professor of History at Brown University. He is the author of The Indian Great Awakening: Religion and the Shaping of Native Cultures in Early America (2012) and the co-author of Decoding Roger Williams: The Lost Essay of Rhode Island’s Founding Father (2014). Fisher is the Principal Investigator of a digital project titled Stolen Relations: Recovering Stories of Indigenous Enslavement in the Americas, which is a community-centered, collaborative project that seeks to broaden our understanding of Indigenous experiences of settler colonialism and its legacies through the lens of slavery and servitude. Fisher is the author of more than a dozen articles, book chapters, and essays on a diverse array of topics. He is currently finishing a book-length project, tentatively titled America Enslaved: Native Slavery in the English Caribbean and the United States, on Native American enslavement in English colonies in North America and the Caribbean and, later, in the United States, between Columbus and the American Civil War.
The Hudson Area Library, in partnership with Columbia Friends of the Electric Trail, presents an exhibit of the interpretative panels along the Electric Trail in Columbia and Rensselaer counties. The exhibition runs through June 30. On Thursday, May 26, 6-7:30pm Matt Kierstead, who provided the documentation and interpretive services for the Electric Trail panels, will discuss the history and conversion of this train line in his talk Trolleys, Trails and Tales: Interpreting the Empire State Trail’s Albany-Hudson Electric Trail. This program is also in person at the Community Room of the library.
The May 26 illustrated talk presents the corporate, social, and technological history of the “Albany-Hudson Fast Line” electrified high-speed interurban railway in Columbia and Rensselaer counties. It also tells the story of Hudson River Valley Greenway’s conversion of the surviving trolley line right-of-way into the Empire State Trail’s “Albany-Hudson Electric Trail” segment. Finally, Matt discusses the process of developing the trailside interpretive signage that explains the history of the railway, the communities it passed through, and historical features visible from the trail to the trail’s users.
Columbia Friends of the Electric Trail (CFET) is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization formed in 2018 to support the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail, part of the statewide 750 mile Empire State Trail. CFET has loaned Hudson Area Library the Electric Trail panels for this exhibition and will be displaying these panels at other libraries and public spaces as a means of exposing the public to the fascinating history and beauty of this portion of the Empire State Trail.
In addition to the interpretative panels, this exhibition also features images from Larry Gobrecht’s collection on the Electric Park in Kinderhook. The Electric Park was an attraction on Kinderhook Lake that was along the trolley line that ran from Albany to Hudson from 1901 to 1920. Mr. Gobrecht retired as historian in the Recreation and Historic preservation office of the New York State Office of Parks and currently serves on the board of the Friends of Taconic State Park. The Gobrecht family has generously donated the rights to the digital images of this unique collection for use by the library.
Matt Kierstead is owner/proprietor of Milestone Heritage Consulting, a Hudson Valley business providing documentation and interpretation services for historic engineering, industrial, and transportation resources for clients including government agencies, private developers, and the heritage tourism industry. His focus areas include the history and technology of bridges, mining and quarrying, metallurgy, mineral processing, power generation, canal and rail transportation, and public utilities. Mr. Kierstead has completed over three hundred projects throughout the northeastern United States including historical resource surveys, National Register of Historic Places determinations of eligibility and nominations, Historic American Buildings Survey/Engineering Record (HABS/HAER) and state-level documentations, Superfund site cleanup consultation, and public history interpretation projects.
Columbia Friends of the Electric Trail’s mission is to maintain the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail in Columbia County; promote the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail as a recreational and economic development resource, support historic and heritage education, and foster conservation values; and collaborate with other organizations to develop ancillary trails linking the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail to significant sites and other trails.
The Hudson Area Library History Room, in collaboration with the Jacob Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History, presents Spaces of Enslavement: A History of Slavery and Resistance in Dutch New York , an author talk by Andrea Mosterman. A Q & A will follow book discussion and reading by the author and there will be copies available for purchase and signing.
Date/Time: Friday, May 20, 6-7:30pm
Location: Hudson Area Library Community Room. Masks are required for attendance.
Registration: No registration is required. Seating is limited and available on a first-come basis
Spaces of Enslavement (Cornell University Press, October 2021) explores the history of slavery and resistance in Dutch New York. Through examination of homes, Dutch Reformed churches, and public spaces, the book shows how Dutch American enslavers increasingly used their dominance over these spaces to control the people they enslaved. It also explores how enslaved people resisted such control by escaping or modifying these spaces and expanding their mobility and activities within them. Close analysis of these spaces demonstrates that slavery in New York was not somehow more benign than slavery in the plantation South.
Andrea Mosterman is associate professor in Atlantic History and Joseph Tregle Professor in Early American History at the University of New Orleans. She researches slavery and the slave trade in the Dutch Atlantic world. Her book Spaces of Enslavement: A History of Slavery and Resistance in Dutch New York (Cornell University Press, October 2021) has won the 2020 Hendricks Award for best book-length manuscript relating to New Netherland and the Dutch colonial experience.
The Jacob Leisler Library Lectures are made partially possible through the generous support of the Van Dyke Family Foundation and Hudson River Bank & Trust.
In collaboration with the Jacob Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History we present Reconsidering Slavery in 17th century New Netherland – What do We Know? What Can We Learn?, a talk by Dennis J. Maika
Date/Time: Thursday, April 28, 6-7:30pm
Location: Virtual via Zoom
Registration: To register for the Zoom link click here.
There has been a glaring gap in today’s important and critical discussion of American slavery and its legacy: an accurate understanding of the lives of enslaved people and their enslavers in the Northern colonies and how their experiences contributed to the institution of American slavery. Many Americans are surprised to learn of the existence of Northern slavery and New Yorkers may be stunned to learn that slavery was deeply entwined in their colonial and state history. The purpose of this talk is to provide a broader historical context in which to consider some of these new revelations and the questions they raise. Hopefully, a better appreciation of slavery in New Netherland will stimulate a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of American slavery.
Dennis J. Maika is Senior Historian at the New Netherland Institute. A historian of colonial New York with a Ph.D. in History from New York University, he has written numerous articles and papers and served as a consultant for a variety of local history and education projects. His recent article, “To ‘experiment with a parcel of negros’: Incentive, Collaboration, and Competition in New Amsterdam’s Slave Trade,” was a winner of NNI’s 2021 Clague and Carol Van Slyke Article Prize. He is currently working on a book about Manhattan merchants and their city government in the Dutch and English periods of seventeenth-century New York history. As a professional educator, he taught History and Psychology at the high school and college levels for several decades.
The Jacob Leisler Library Lectures are made partially possible through the generous support of the Van Dyke Family Foundation.
Photo caption: List of Purchasers of “a lot of male and female Negroes,” From a Slave Auction in Manhattan, 29 May 1664. Source: Volume X, part III, pg. 228 New York Dutch Colonial Manuscripts. 29 May 1664.
This captivating story—explored in the New-York Historical Society’s past exhibition The First Jewish Americans: Freedom and Culture in the New World—is now available as a virtual presentation. Images featured in this presentation include archival documents, maps, ritual objects, rare portraits, and the 16th-century diary—lost for 80 years—of a Mexican Jewish man persecuted for his faith. Virtual via Zoom.
Date/Time: Wednesday, March 23, 6 – 7:15pm
Registration: To register and receive the Zoom link, email email@example.com
This program is presented by the New-York Historical Society and sponsored by the Columbia County Libraries Association.
Picture: Thomas Sully. Rebecca Gratz, 1831. Oil on panel. The Rosenbach Museum and Library.
Join us for a special History Room on Zoom focused on Hudson’s relation to its eponymous river. A selection of audio and video clips from our Hudson Area Library (HAL) and the Black Legacy Association of Columbia County (BLACC) Oral History Collections, both housed at the library and soon to be available online, will be played. A panel will discuss these excerpts, photos of the river from our collection, and their own stories of how the river has impacted the residents of Hudson. Joining History Room on Zoom host and board trustee Gary Sheffer are Leo Bower, Shantytown historian, and Peter Tenerowicz, past Commodore of the Hudson Power Boat Association. Discussion and questions and answers will be interspersed throughout the evening.
Date/Time: Thursday, March 24, 6:00pm
Location: To register for the Zoom link, click here.
In 2019, the library was awarded an Accelerating Promising Practices for Small Libraries grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for a collaborative project with Oral History Summer School (OHSS) to create interplay between this collection, the BLACC oral history collection, and the 500+ life histories in the OHSS collection. This project is also supported by a grant from the Fund for Columbia County of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. Discussion and questions and answers will be interspersed throughout the evening.
History of the Black Community in Hudson: A Discussion of the Black Legacy Association of Columbia County (BLACC) Collection
Join Library Director Emily Chameides, Senior Policy Advisor of Hudson Catskill Housing Coalition Quintin Cross, and founder/executive director of Black Entrepreneur Market, Tiffany Garriga, for an evening celebrating the launch of the website dedicated to the Black Legacy Association of Columbia County (BLACC) Collection. This collection of local oral histories, images, and documents from the 1980s collected under the auspices of Columbia Opportunities has been organized, digitized, archived, and made accessible by the Hudson Area Library through a Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant. The evening will include video and audio of the oral history interviews of black residents of Hudson and the county. Discussion of the history of the black community and images from the collection will also be a part of the evening.
Date/Time: Thursday, March 3, 6pm
Location: Virtual via Zoom. Anyone needing technical assistance can view the event from our Community Room; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration: To register and receive the Zoom link click here.
Columbia Opportunities, Inc. donated the collection to the Hudson Area Library in 2018. In 2019, the library was awarded an Accelerating Promising Practices for Small Libraries grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for a collaborative project with Oral History Summer School (OHSS) to create interplay between this collection, the library’s oral history collection, and the 500+ life histories in the OHSS collection.
This project is supported by a grant from the Fund for Columbia County of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.
Only the most recent ten Adult Programs are shown here. Go to Adult Programs Archive for complete listings