Fascinating Brooklyn stories from our local history archivists.

Brooklyn Connections is the education outreach program in the Brooklyn Collection. It focuses on cultivating 21st Century learning skills in students and supporting teachers on the incorporation of archives materials into curricula. This blog post is part of a series from the Brooklyn Connections team, sharing skills and ideas for using archives primary source material in the classroom. We’ve already talked about how much we love maps and atlases when we’re teaching with primary sources; this blog post looks at how we can use those in the English classroom by examining a lesson on the...

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Before "BROOKLYN BEFORE"

Posted in Brooklynology by Guest Blogger-Larry Racioppo on Dec 10, 2018

Our current exhibition "Larry Racioppo: A Retrospective" highlights the work of photographer Larry Racioppo, a native Brooklynite who has documented the borough of Brooklyn (and New York City) for over 40 years. It includes photographs from his collection, and features many of his Brooklyn-based photo projects such as Brooklyn Churches, Theatres, Coney Island and Prospect Park, as well as photographs and photographic equipment, books, ephemera and archival material from his storied career. His latest book "Brooklyn Before" shows the vitality of his native Brooklyn, stretching from historic...

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Teaching with Primary Sources: Avoiding Plagiarism

Posted in Brooklynology by Jen Hoyer on Nov 15, 2018

Brooklyn Connections is the education outreach program in the Brooklyn Collection. It focuses on cultivating 21st Century learning skills in students and supporting teachers on the incorporation of archives materials into curricula. This blog post is part of a series from the Brooklyn Connections team, sharing skills and ideas for using archives primary source material in the classroom. Using primary sources in the classroom shows us that we can access history through many different formats as long as we are grounded in historical thinking. When we’re using primary sources in the classroom...

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Seeking Tsuneko Tokuyasu

Posted in Brooklynology by Diana Bowers-Smith on Oct 30, 2018

Here at the Brooklyn Collection, one of our biggest collections is the records of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper. The eagle statue from the newspaper's downtown building has perched in the lobby of Central Library for over 20 years on long-term loan from the Brooklyn Historical Society, and you might have heard that due to a post on this very blog, the eagle was recently made a permanent gift to the library, where it will nest in perpetuity. In addition to the eagle sculpture, we hold clippings and other materials from the Eagle offices, including over 200,000 photographs from their "...

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Brooklyn Connections is the education outreach program in the Brooklyn Collection. It focuses on cultivating 21st Century learning skills in students and supporting teachers on the incorporation of archives materials into curricula. This blog post is part of a series from the Brooklyn Connections team, sharing skills and ideas for using archives primary source material in the classroom.  The ability to identify and analyze claims and counterclaims is key for students of all ages. Primary sources give us a terrific opportunity to identify claims and counterclaims of various voices...

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The Faces of Halloween

Posted in Brooklynology by June on Oct 12, 2018

October ushers in one of the most celebrated of Autumn holidays, Halloween - that historical mash-up of Celtic culture, popular culture, Christianity, pagan folk-lore, superstition, and Horror.  In the Brooklyn Collection we have photographers that have captured the many aspects of this holiday, from the humorous to the mysterious, and from the gory, to the adorable. Lev Dodin  Lev Dodin's work is distinguished by his composition and use of vibrant saturated colors.  His demonic hobgoblins contrast vividly with the green and blue background, and his...

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Teaching with Primary Sources: Citing our Sources

Posted in Brooklynology by Jen Hoyer on Sep 19, 2018

Brooklyn Connections is the education outreach program in the Brooklyn Collection. It focuses on cultivating 21st Century learning skills in students and supporting teachers on the incorporation of archives materials into curricula. This blog post is part of a series from the Brooklyn Connections team, sharing skills and ideas for using archives primary source material in the classroom. Using primary sources in the classroom shows us that we can access history through many different formats as long as we are grounded in historical thinking. Whether we’re using primary or sources in the...

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Housing in Brooklyn

Posted in Brooklynology by Jen Hoyer on Sep 11, 2018

Brooklyn Connections is the education outreach program in the Brooklyn Collection. It focuses on cultivating 21st Century learning skills in students and supporting teachers on the incorporation of archives materials into curricula. As part of our work, we create Primary Source Packets to help students and teachers access primary source material from the Brooklyn Collection about local history topics. Each Packet contains one secondary source which provides a general introduction to the topic, followed by at least ten primary sources accompanied by document based questions. For the start...

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The Bridge: a book report

Posted in Brooklynology by Ashirah Newton on Aug 31, 2018

In the summer of 2018, Brooklyn Connections was delighted to have two of our student alumni join us as interns. Over the course of seven weeks, these interns learned about archival research and chose a topic of their interest to dig into in the Brooklyn Collection. They assembled their findings, and we're excited to share one of them with you on the Brooklynology blog! Intern Ashirah Newton chose to learn about the Brooklyn Bridge, and her research included a book report on a new book in our collection: The Bridge by Peter J. Tomasi, illustrated by Sara DuVall. The following...

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Processing Found Material: The Martha Gayle Collection

Posted in Brooklynology by Natiba Guy-Clement and Demar Ludford on Aug 2, 2018

Archives acquire materials in a myriad number of ways; it could be through outright purchases, materials bequeathed by planned giving or estates; or donations from collectors who’ve run out of space, time or energy to continue their pursuits. There are those other times when people find material that they deem not useful to them but of enough sentimental or historical value that makes throwing items in the trash not an option. The Martha Gayle Collection falls into the latter category. Donated by George Camarda in 2016; it documents the life of a Caribbean immigrant Martha Gayle and...

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Teaching with Primary Sources: Notetaking Skills

Posted in Brooklynology by Jen Hoyer on Jul 23, 2018

Brooklyn Connections is the education outreach program in the Brooklyn Collection. It focuses on cultivating 21st Century learning skills in students and supporting teachers on the incorporation of archives materials into curricula. This blog post is part of a series from the Brooklyn Connections team, sharing skills and ideas for using archives primary source material in the classroom. Using primary sources in the classroom shows us that we can access history through many different formats as long as we are grounded in historical thinking. [Children's Room at Grand Army Plaza Library...

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Brooklyn Connections is the education outreach program in the Brooklyn Collection. It focuses on cultivating 21st Century learning skills in students and supporting teachers on the incorporation of archives materials into curricula. This blog post is part of a series from the Brooklyn Connections team, sharing skills and ideas for using archives primary source material in the classroom. Using primary sources in the classroom shows us that we can access history through many different formats as long as we are grounded in historical thinking. The Brooklyn Connections team loves...

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Jen Hoyer and Julia Pelaez were thrilled to represent Brooklyn Connections at the 2018 American Library Association Annual Conference. They presented a session on fostering student engagement through local history research, which included a discussion about how local history research can spark civic engagement in students, and what tools we should equip students with so that they can succeed with their research.  The goals of this workshop were to understand how local history is a unique and relevant entry point for guiding inquiry-based learning and civic engagement; to identify,...

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A Look Back at Brooklyn's LGBTQ+ History

Posted in Brooklynology by Ally on May 25, 2018

  Happy Pride Month Brooklyn! Pride month is always tons of fun in Brooklyn. From the parades to the parties it’s a wonderful time to celebrate diversity, inclusion and visibility, the highlight of which is the Pride Parade. The Pride Parade was started in 1970 to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots which were a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the gay community to protest the police raid of the Stonewall Inn. Historically Stonewall is often seen as the start of the Gay Pride movement, a veritable phoenix rising from the ashes, but even before...

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Brooklyn Connections is the education outreach program in the Brooklyn Collection. It focuses on cultivating 21st Century learning skills in students and supporting teachers on the incorporation of archives materials into curricula. This blog post is part of a series from the Brooklyn Connections team, sharing skills and ideas for using archives primary source material in the classroom. Our big question is: How can we ask questions to help us with our research? Get Ready Asking good research questions is an important part of the research process. We love to explore how primary...

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Rambunctious Brooklyn boy falls for bridge

Posted in Brooklynology by Deborah Tint on May 3, 2018

Sunset behind the Brooklyn Bridge – Photo: Brooklyn Collection   Bill Powers - photographer, writer, theater director and filmmaker - has donated 125 of his photographs of the Brooklyn Bridge to the Brooklyn Collection chronicling his 47-year love affair with the iconic structure. To accompany those materials he also recorded an interview with BPL’s Our Streets, Our Stories oral history project about growing up in Brooklyn. His stories describe a Park Slope very different from its quiet gentility today. The Bridge as subject emerges Life Magazine, Jan. 30,...

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First Communion Pictures

Posted in Brooklynology by Guest post by Larry Racioppo on Apr 23, 2018

I’ve been photographing First Communions, one of the three Catholic Initiation Sacraments, since 1971. One of my first ‘serious’ photographs depicts my Aunt Millie and her son John standing in the rain outside our parish church. John has just made his First Communion and is proudly holding his little prayer book wide open for me. Over the years I often returned to photograph at this church St. Michael the Archangel in Sunset Park (where I had made my First Communion), and to St. John the Evangelist in South Brooklyn where I lived in the 1970’s and 80’s. Millie and John, Fourth Avenue,...

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Brooklyn Connections is the education outreach program in the Brooklyn Collection. It focuses on cultivating 21st Century learning skills in students and supporting teachers on the incorporation of archives materials into curricula. This blog post is part of a series from the Brooklyn Connections team, sharing skills and ideas for using archives primary source material in the classroom. We all spend more time online than we can probably add up (or would like to admit?!), but are we experts at finding primary sources online? Moreover, how do we teach our students to become pros at digging...

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An Ode to Brooklyn Poets

Posted in Brooklynology by Natiba Guy-Clement on Apr 4, 2018

  Array of noted literary talent (ca. 1960's)-Photo: Brooklyn Collection   Brooklyn has been the home (in some cases, adoptive or transitionary but still, home) to a myriad number of literary figures. Drawn to it by its vibrancy and multiculturalism, Brooklyn inspires most who visit, and encourages them to put down roots and become a part of its fabric. For poets it’s a natural fit, a place to spin a tale, where all you need is an imagination and a gift of prose. There are few literary figures that come to mind when you think of Brooklyn, and their...

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Brooklyn Connections is the education outreach program in the Brooklyn Collection. It focuses on cultivating 21st Century learning skills in students and supporting teachers on the incorporation of archives materials into curricula. This blog post is part of a series from the Brooklyn Connections team, sharing skills and ideas for using archives primary source material in the classroom. At Brooklyn Connections, we love to share ideas on how to develop skills for teaching and learning with primary sources. But let’s take a moment to step back and ask ourselves: what IS a primary source...

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