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01 May 2019

Our Library Collections: New York

One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo highlighting some of our holdings at the Library in Oakland. For a fuller listing of our books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog in WorldCat.

A typical page from the Holland Society book
Our New York collection of hard-copy books occupies 36 shelves in our library – much more than I could possibly hope to cover in one blog post, so you need to come to the library to see for yourself what treasures we possess. At present this is just a small portion of the resources available for New York at CGS. If you checked our online catalog you would learn that we have 1778 print books, 1352 articles, 129 journal magazines and 69 maps for New York. By comparison, we have 2107 print books for California, 430 journal magazines and 232 maps!

Our books begin with twenty-eight volumes of Het Hollandsch Genootschap, translated on the following page as The First Annual Dinner of The Holland Society of New-York, Hotel Brunswick, January 8, 1886. The book is a collection of the speeches given at the society’s meetings. It was donated to CGS by Henry P. Phillips. The Holland Society looks like a great organization – the menu for the dinner meeting is shown on the opening page. Each course is paired with a different wine and the meal concluded with Cigares et Tabac.
Menu for the Holland Society
dinner meeting

Our New York section includes four shelves of New York Genealogical and Biographical Record starting with volume 39 published in 1908 and continuing to current editions. These volumes are well indexed.

Nancy Servin, a native New Yorker and long-time, Genie Award-winning volunteer sent me a tip regarding a set of books that I should feature for New York. We have four volumes of Index to Marriages and Deaths in the New York Herald from 1835-1876. Nancy said, “This is a great resource to use if your ancestors’ marriages or deaths did not make the New York Times, which started listing them in 1851. Since the New York Herald is not digitized for this entire period, this index makes marriage and death announcements much more accessible. The index provides you with the date of the event and refers you to the date and issue of the newspaper.”

Nancy also shared, “Now that there are newspaper websites available, the articles may be found faster and with less expense online. A Microfilm of the Herald is also held at the library on the UC Berkeley campus.” Some issues can be accessed at the Library of Congress website (free) and through databases available at our library, such as Newspaper Archive.
One of four volumes of
Marriages and Deaths of
New York 1835-1855

A glance at Tree Talks caused me to exclaim, “Wow, a book about trees of New York.” But then I noticed how many volumes we have and I quickly realized these were not botanical references. Tree Talks is the name of the Central New York Genealogical Society journal and of course are about a different kind of tree – family trees. Our set includes volumes published between 1998–2013. 

We have many more source books for New York that cover a wide breadth of information - history, genealogy, county books and more. Come see for yourself.

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