A New Way To Preserve, and Learn From, History
We here at GVSHP work hard to honor, celebrate, and perhaps most importantly learn from our history. There were uplifting triumphs and disappointing setbacks, incredible progress and devastating losses, tremendous innovations and inexplicable reversals. This may be more important to remember today than ever.
We now have a new tool as we seek to access and understand that history. Issues of The Villager newspaper published between 1959 and 1999 have been added to the searchable electronic database, New York State Historic Newspapers (NYSHN). For those of you, like me, who have previously relied on looking through microfilm and suffering the inevitable “research headache” and “microfilm eye strain,” this is a most welcome development.
This project has been spearheaded by Corinne Neary, senior librarian at Jefferson Market Library. Because The Villager lost most of their archives in Hurricane Sandy, Jefferson Market was the only place where past issues of The Villager were available, via microfilm. Corinne has overseen the digitization of the newspaper, with issues dating back to 1933 when the paper started, and this project was financed by a grant from NYPL funded by the Charles Revson Foundation. Through a partnership with New York State Historic Newspapers (NYSHN), the issues between April, 1959 and April, 1999 are now available in that searchable database and Corinne and NYSHN are in the process of making the rest of the issues available in this database. In the meantime, many of the issues between 1933 and 1959 are available on the NYPL Digital Collections website. However, these are not searchable like the issues on NYS Historic Newspapers.
A search of “Preservation Commission” between 1964 and 1969 yielded 42 pages from The Villager during those years which provides insight into the beginning days of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission and the then new Landmarks Law’s impact on the Village. Check out this front page from 1969:
NYSHN also offers a feature where you can browse front pages from each year which can lead to hours of procrastination and distraction from more pressing matters. So get online, learn more about our history and enjoy this wonderful resource.