Tag: National Archives at New York City
Today’s guest post was written by William B. Roka, a longtime volunteer at the National Archives in New York City. You can follow “Titantic Tuesdays” on Facebook as they post records and images in remembrance of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.
On the morning of May 1, 1915, Pier 54 on the Hudson River was awash with people, luggage, and cargo. A great transatlantic liner was readying to sail back to England. There was somewhat ominous tone to the activities: small notices about war zones had appeared in various newspapers.
The captain of this great vessel had spent the day before at the New York City offices of Hunt, Hill & Betts. He had been asked to testify by lawyers involved in the limitation of liability case related to the Titanic disaster, which was dragging into its third year.
He was asked a series of questions about the size and design of ships on the Cunard Line, the difficulty of sighting icebergs, and his reaction to iceberg warnings. These questions were important because the ship he was commanding in April 1912 was sailing only a few days behind the Titanic.
Q. Did you get reports of icebergs before you heard of the “Titanic” sinking?
A. Yes, on Sunday and Monday.
Q. Did you go south of the position where they were indicated?
A. … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on May 1, 2012, under - World War I.
Tags: Cunard Line, Hill & Betts, Hunt, lifeboats, Lusitiana, maritime disater, May 1 1915, May 7 1917, National Archives at New York City, sinking, Titanic, Torpedo, William T. Turner, world war i
Today’s post comes from Christopher Zarr of the National Archives at New York City.
At first glance, some of our records may not grab your attention.
Take for instance, two documents labeled Exhibit C and D. Exhibit C is a ticket from 1912 for excess luggage, and Exhibit D is a claim coupon to pick up one’s bags upon arrival. Compared to a Presidential speech or an act of Congress, these small items seem out of place for the National Archives.
While they might not seem too important to us, to Lucy Ridsdale this luggage ticket and coupon represented her whole life. To her, they were proof that when she boarded a steamship bound for the United States, she brought five trunks of objects that she had accumulated throughout her 50-plus years on earth.
Lucy Ridsdale was born around 1860 in Yorkshire, England. For 25 years, Lucy ran a nursing home. When she boarded a train bound for the port city of Southampton on April 10, 1912, she was prepared to live out the rest of her days in the United States. It wasn’t her first visit to the U.S., but it would be her last. Lucy had relatives in Marietta, Ohio, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and she intended to enjoy retirement with her family.
So, it is not surprising that she brought everything she owned with her. Bringing … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on March 20, 2012, under Uncategorized, Unusual documents.
Tags: Christopher Zarr, disaster, Lucy Risdale, maritime, National Archives at New York City, new york city, RMS Titanic, Titanic
I’m beginning to wonder if we even covered the Civil War at all in AP History. Before joining the National Archives, I had never heard of the Battle of the Crater, did not know that Confederate ships sailed all over the world, and had no idea that the Civil War had a draft and you could get out of it. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Did you know that the National Archives is also in New York City?
As my colleague Rob and I attempted to find the entrance on Varick Street, we weren’t too sure it was there. The Archives at New York is in a big building that houses other Federal agencies, including a detention center. We finally found the correct door, got through security, and made our way upstairs.
Staff are excited about their move to the Alexander Hamilton U. S. Customs House. It’s an accessible, welcoming space near the departure port for Ellis Island, with room for exhibits. Imagine going to Ellis Island, getting inspired about your family history, and then stopping by the Archives on your way home to do some free research at the National Archives!
But for now, you can do that at Varick Street. We met with Christopher Zarr, who gave us a tour of the classroom, exhibit space, and microfilm reading … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on July 6, 2010, under Uncategorized.
Tags: american history, AP History, archives, Civil War draft, Ellis Island, Harry Potter, J. summerfield Staples, Lincoln's substitute, NARA, national archives, National archives and records administration, National Archives at New York City, odd history, Pieces of History, prologue blog, Prologue magazine, random history, restricted, Varick Street, weird US history