Shipyards, dry docks, and machine shops. The place with the IKEA and the Fairway. Home of the fabled wild dogs on Beard St. and the abandoned grain elevator. Former home of the Dell's Maraschino Factory and the Snapple Factory. A Brooklyn neighborhood with a "small town" feel, cobbled streets, and limited public transit. It's possible that no other section of the borough has been so readily defined by single facets of its complex character. A waterfront community with deep maritime and industrial roots, Red Hook—like many neighborhoods in Brooklyn—is in flux. This is vividly borne out...

Aerial view of Red Hook with black line indicating planned site of Brooklyn-Battery Bridge

Brooklyn Connections is the education outreach program in the Brooklyn Collection, focused 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. As part of our work, we create freely available Primary Source Packets to help students and teachers access primary source material from the Brooklyn Collection about local history topics. Brooklynites love...

image of oyster workers

Brooklyn Connections is the education outreach program in the Brooklyn Collection, focused 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. As part of our work, we create freely available Primary Source Packets to help students and teachers access primary source material from the Brooklyn Collection about local history topics. As summer...


A visitor to the Brooklyn Collection archive this summer will notice an eye-catching display in our exhibition case. Stepping closer, they’ll learn about the Dreamland fire in Coney Island, read political cartoons about the Verrazzano Bridge, and even see a replica of the Farragut Houses public housing project. The visitor will more than likely learn something new about Brooklyn’s history from this exhibition by local researches. They may be surprised to learn that all of these researchers are students. Brooklyn Connections was awarded this year's Archival Innovator Award from The...


At Brooklyn Connections we are all about student research, and so we’re always excited to find historic examples of this in the Brooklyn Collection. One item in particular gives a glimpse into the impact student research has had on our borough. NYPIRG, the New York Public Interest Research Group, was founded in the 1970s as an issues-focused student activist group. Within seven years of its inception it was based on thirteen campuses across the state and counted over 100,000 dues-paying members. Students were able to receive academic credit for engaging in research on NYPIRG projects...


According to Wikipedia, Coney Island’s first Mermaid Parade took place in 1983, and it is now the largest art parade in the United States, attracting over 3,000 participants and hundreds of thousands of spectators. Hours before the Parade’s start, the audience begins lining up behind police barricades along Surf Avenue. Spectators and costumed participants ride the subway to the recently renovated Stillwell Avenue stop. Stillwell Avenue subway station, 2015 Mermaid on the subway, 2015 Coney Island USA, founded by Dick Zigun, sponsors the parade annually on or near...


  Brooklyn Collection. Editor’s note: New evidence has come to light to definitively identify our dapper statuette in the Brooklyn Collection. I am still delighted he came to us to provoke a deep dive into the fascinating life of Henry Reed Stiles but he is an altogether different author, William Makepeace Thackeray. We extend thanks to Joshua J. Friedman for discovering excellent examples of other statuettes from the same mold. Our example has the name burnished off but others, for example this one at the Boston Athenaeum, have a clear label. Some time ago, a small...


Brooklyn Connections is the education outreach program in the Brooklyn Collection, focused 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. As part of our work, we create freely available Primary Source Packets to help students and teachers access primary source material from the Brooklyn Collection about local history topics. Every year in...


They say you can’t go home again. But for a garbage barge called Mobro 4000, after months of sailing through much of the Northern Hemisphere and capturing the attention of the world, home was the only place it could go.   The Mobro 4000 docks in Brooklyn, Newsday, 1987                                  The saga of the “world’s best-known garbage scow” touched the borders of several countries. Yet at its heart, it is a New York story. Using contemporary local news sources from 1987...


Brooklyn Connections is the education outreach program in the Brooklyn Collection, focused 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. As part of our work, we create freely available Primary Source Packets to help students and teachers access primary source material from the Brooklyn Collection about local history topics. Brooklyn is all...


Our guest blogger Larry Racioppo is a lifelong Brooklynite and photographer who has documented Brooklyn and New York City for over 40 years. The Brooklyn Collection holds a collection of Racioppo's work and recently hosted a retrospective exhibition devoted to his career in conjunction with the release of his book Brooklyn Before. Racioppo was raised in a Catholic Italian-American family and has been documenting Good Friday ceremonies since 1974. Here, he shares some of that work and muses on Catholic iconography and community in general. We did not have art in our home. But we did have an...


Brooklyn Connections is the education outreach program in the Brooklyn Collection, focused 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. 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...


Since Brooklyn's inception it's residents have been employed in an array of occupations tailored to the needs of their growing community. In addition to addresses the early City Directories listed each resident's occupation as well, providing a unique opportunity to examine the labor needs of Brooklyn in the 19th century.  Coopers, rope-makers, doctors, teachers, laborers, sailors and many others played a crucial role in the daily life of early Brooklyn.  Looking through a directory by hand for every wheelwright, or blacksmith is an ardous, and labor intensive job...


For this Women’s History Month, Brooklyn Collection is spreading awareness about Dr. Mary M. Crawford, a woman who radically altered how the world viewed female doctors during the early 1900s. Not only did Doctor Crawford serve abroad during World War I as the only female doctor in the American Hospital in Paris but she was also the first female ambulance surgeon in Brooklyn who later became chief surgeon of the Williamsburg hospital.   Dr. Crawford at her graduation from Cornell Medical School. Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn Collection    To...


Brooklyn Connections is the education outreach program in the Brooklyn Collection, focused 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. 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...


In honor of our current exhibit Empire Skate: The Birthplace of Roller Disco, I decided to look into some older roller skating history in Brooklyn. The sport of roller derby has seen a surge of women's teams and leagues emerge nationwide since its 21st-century revival in Austin, Texas in 2001. It was introduced to a wider audience with the release in 2009 of the feature film Whip It, which starred Ellen Page and was Drew Barrymore's directorial debut. What contemporary fans of the sport may not know is that its first heyday of mainstream popularity started in New York City in 1948, and...


Brooklyn Connections is the education outreach program in the Brooklyn Collection, focused 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. 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...


In 2013 the Brooklyn Collection acquired several boxes of Brooklyn Dodgers memorabilia from Al Todres, a lifelong collector. Todres certainly wasn’t the only one actively collecting Brooklyn Dodgers material nearly 60 years after the team was transferred to Los Angeles. Why does a baseball team that left Brooklyn in the middle of the last century still inspire so much loyalty and curiosity? Every collector has a different answer, and it certainly goes beyond statistics and player performance. The team that would become the Dodgers played in Eastern Park when Brooklyn was still an independent...


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...


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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