Friday, October 8, 2010

Evacuation Day's Comin' Soon! Will There Be Cake?

Today’s mail brought my author’s copies of New York Archives magazine, the quarterly publication of the New York State Archives Partnership Trust (NYSAPT).  This issue (Fall 2010 – Volume 10, Number) has a particularly striking cover, portraying General George Washington returning to the City of New York on 23 November 1783 after the departure of the British.

The cover illustrates Jennifer Steenshorne’s article on the New York City holiday known as “Evacuation Day” that commemorated this event. Since it’s the feature article, you can read it online here (and also examine the cover close-up).

There are also articles on an early trip along the Erie Canal by two famous scientist/educators (Amos Eaton and Asa Fitch), historic criminal case files in Westchester County, Governor’s Island, Soujourner Truth, the scientist Charles P. Steinmetz, and for the aging flower-children readers – Woodstock 1969. Each one is a great read, contains valuable information and draws heavily on archival sources.  After all, what else would you expect from a magazine with “archives” in its name?

My genealogy article, titled “Brave New World” is on pages 34-35. In it, I discuss how archival repositories and the genealogical communities worldwide are embracing what’s known as “Web 2.0” technologies to make things better and easier for all researchers.  I point out some interesting “crowd-sourcing” projects being done in Brooklyn and in Europe, focus on the building of “researcher wikis” and comment on the variety of blogs, Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts that are popping up in the archival world.

No, you can’t read all of it online.  It’s a real, honest-to-goodness, print-and-ink magazine, sent to every member of the NYS Archives Partnership Trust. You only get to read the lead article for free.

Of course, to get your very own copy of New York Archives, you should consider becoming a member of the NYS Archives Partnership Trust. For $35.00, you’ll get all four issues of the magazine every year and a whole lot more.  There are discounts to events, discounts in the online gift shop, discounts from some major NYS university presses, and more.  Here’s the info about membership.

Perhaps you live too far from New York to take frequent advantage of the event discounts, et cetera.  Don’t despair! When you get your membership card from the NYS Archives Partnership Trust, you’ll discover that you’ve also become a Time Traveler, and that your membership card will get you all kinds of discounts, freebies and other goodies much closer to home.

For more information about the Time Travelers reciprocal benefit program, check out the details here – the Time Travelers site maintained on the Missouri History Museum’s website.   There are 270 institutions and locations in 41 states that participate in the Time Travelers program.  Poke around and see how much you might save simply by signing up for membership with the NYS Archives Partnership Trust.

And lest you’re thinking –oh sure, Mel gets a cut or commission… not true.  I’m under contract, and produce “works for hire”.  I get paid exactly the same whether the magazine has 10 readers or 10,000 readers. And my per-article contract amount has been exactly the same since (ahem) 2005.

In fact, through your membership, you help make the research world just a little bit better for everyone.  To see what the Partnership Trust does with your dough, check out the details here.

Oh yeah, if you’re really into instant gratification, you can call and get a membership over the phone.  (You can call the NYSAPT office at (518)-473-7091, Mondays – Fridays, 9 – 5)

By the way, mention my name when you call to become a member.

It won’t get you anything special, but it will get the person on the other end of the phone thinking, “Who the hell is he??”

(Sometimes, I just like messing with people’s heads…)

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