History in a Cup: 200 Years of Coffee in Brooklyn | Episode 116

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Coffee has long been the lifeblood of the Brooklyn economy, once as a leading commodity coming into the port, and today supporting hundreds of small coffee shops and roasters. This virtual program will look at how one Brooklyn company came to dominate the importing and roasting of coffee in the 19th century, share stories of the small roasters that have survived in Brooklyn for generations, and look at the city’s every-changing coffee landscape.

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Waterfront Workers: Finding the Harkins Family with Julie Golia | Episode 88

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The waterfront has long been the epicenter of Brooklyn’s economic and cultural life, yet the stories of ordinary workers in the once-bustling piers and factories can be difficult to locate. In this program, historian Julie Golia will share how one small newspaper item – a 1873 notice of the untimely death of dockworker Michael Harkins – allowed her team of researchers at Brooklyn Historical Society to uncover generations of history along the waterfront. Julie is formerly the Vice President of Curatorial Affairs and Collections at Brooklyn Historical Society and oversaw the creation of the exhibit “Waterfront” and BHS DUMBO, and she is currently Curator of History, Social Sciences, and Government Information at The New York Public Library.

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Feeding NYC: The History of the Supermarket | Episode 64

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During the pandemic, supermarkets are the few public places that people still frequent, so this is a perfect time to look back at the history of grocery stores in America and New York City. From Piggly Wiggly to Whole Foods to Korean grocers, this virtual program will look at important moments in the evolution of food markets over the past century, including the creation of modern consumer food packaging, the rise and fall of grocery chains, and the impact of suburbanization. We will also look at how retailers have adapted to the unique challenges of operating in New York City, and how we are all adapting to shopping in a world with COVID-19. This program is presented with support from Brooklyn Historical Society.

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Uncovering Your Family Story: Genealogy 101 | Virtual Program

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Interested in learning more about your family history, or the history of your neighborhood, block, or building? Join us for this introduction to genealogy, where we will share resources and tips, and we will be answering questions if you need help with your own research. This program will be especially useful to people with family connections to New York City, but even if you don’t have any, we will share lots of free and paid resources that will help you uncover your family story wherever you live.

Did you miss this virtual program? Check out some of the resources below:

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Two Scenes of Brooklyn: 19th Century Life on the Waterfront | Episode 16

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Inside the Brooklyn Historical Society’s DUMBO exhibition space are two iconic images of the borough: Francis Guy’s 1820 painting of the small hamlet, and Currier & Ives’ 1879 lithograph of the City of Brooklyn. Led by two of our expert guides, Andrew Gustafson and Stefan Dreisbach-Williams, they will unpack the history of the people and places in these dense images and what they tell us about Brooklyn’s waterfront communities in the nineteenth century.

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Census Day: Telling Brooklyn’s Story Through the US Census | Episode 15

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April 1 is Census Day, so we’re discussing the importance of the 2020 Census, and delving into the history, from the first federal census of 1790 to the present day. First, we will speak with Kathleen Daniel, NYC Census Field Director about this year’s census and what is at stake for delivering vital services and funding to our communities. Then, we will be joined by Nalleli Guillen, historian and project manager of Brooklyn Historical Society’s Revealing Long Island History project, who will discuss how historians, genealogists, researchers, artists, and tour guides utilize this rich well of information. This session is being presented in partnership with NYC Census 2020, and with the Brooklyn Historical Society and Prospect Park Alliance, organizations which have been partners in raising awareness about the census in Brooklyn.

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What was the First Ship Built at the Brooklyn Navy Yard?

Diagram showing the lines of the sloop Peacock.

For the past two years, we have had the opportunity to work with third and fourth graders in the Brooklyn Historical Society’s CASA program. These young scholars are tasked with writing a book about a place or story important to Brooklyn’s history. In 2018, we helped students learning about Prospect Park, Green-Wood Cemetery, Greenpoint, and the Empire Stores. This year, students from PS 380 in Williamsburg took on the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The students decided to look at the Yard’s history through the lens of some of its famous ships, ArizonaMaine, and Fulton among them, but also the little-known Peacock.>> Continue reading