Fascinating Brooklyn stories from our local history archivists.

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...

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If You Can Make It Here, They Won't Take It Anywhere

Posted in Brooklynology by Charlie Rudoy on May 1, 2019

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...

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Teaching with Primary Sources: Bridges in Brooklyn

Posted in Brooklynology by Jen Hoyer on Apr 23, 2019

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...

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Last Suppers and Good Fridays

Posted in Brooklynology by Guest Blogger - Larry Racioppo on Apr 16, 2019

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...

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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...

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I Know What You Did Last Century

Posted in Brooklynology by June on Mar 11, 2019

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...

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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...

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Teaching with Primary Sources: Black History Month

Posted in Brooklynology by Jen Hoyer on Feb 15, 2019

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...

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The Fierce Women Skaters of Roller Derby's Heyday in Brooklyn

Posted in Brooklynology by Diana Bowers-Smith on Jan 28, 2019

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...

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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...

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The Brooklyn Dodgers

Posted in Brooklynology by Sarah Quick on Dec 28, 2018

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...

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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’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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