Brooklyn

Brooklyn Public Library Announces Launch Of Center For Brooklyn History

October 2 2020

Brooklyn, NY –Brooklyn Public Library’s (BPL) President and CEO, Linda E. Johnson, and Brooklyn Historical Society’s (BHS) former President, Deborah Schwartz, introduced immediately that the establishments have been mixed, creating BPL’s Center for Brooklyn History (CBH), which will likely be dwelling to essentially the most expansive assortment of Brooklyn historical past on the planet. The new Center is housed on the landmarked Pierrepont Street constructing that was dwelling to BHS for practically 140 years and extends the gathering and programming all through the Library’s 59-branch system. The Center will democratize entry to Brooklyn’s historical past and be devoted to increasing and diversifying illustration of the historical past of the borough by unifying assets and experience, and broadening attain and affect all through Brooklyn and past.

“The Center for Brooklyn History will democratize an astounding archive of our collective past, help us understand our present, and shape our city’s future,” mentioned Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda E. Johnson. “Brooklyn Historical Society’s collection will now be free and accessible to Brooklyn Public Library’s cardholders in every neighborhood across our borough. Programs and exhibitions will bring it to life throughout our 59 branches, and empower Brooklynites to contribute to their own historical record, so that future students, scholars, and curious citizens will know the diversity and dynamism of our city across time.”

“By joining with Brooklyn Public Library to form the Center for Brooklyn History, the archives and programming that scholars, students, and researchers expect from Brooklyn Historical Society will be extended across every neighborhood in the borough, creating greatly increased opportunities to educate visitors about Brooklyn’s important history and its relevance to each of them,” mentioned former president of Brooklyn Historical Society, Deborah Schwartz. “Not only will the Center offer access to the most significant and inclusive collection of Brooklyn artifacts, manuscripts, materials, and oral histories, it will also draw upon the diverse voices and perspectives of Brooklynites to contribute to the many narratives that have made Brooklyn what it is today.”

Heather Malin, who beforehand served as BHS’ Chief Operating Officer, will function Director of the Center for Brooklyn History and can report back to BPL’s Chief Librarian, Nick Higgins. Natiba Guy-Clement, who has overseen BPL’s Brooklyn Collection, will change into the Center’s Assistant Director, Collections and Public Service. Deborah Schwartz, who shepherded BHS for 15 years, will act as a guide through the transition.

“BHS is one of Brooklyn’s treasured institutions, beloved by generations of Brooklynites seeking a connection to the past. BPL is the best possible partner for BHS to extend its collections and programs to every neighborhood in the borough,” famous former Chairman of the BHS Board, James Rossman, who will function a member of Center for Brooklyn History Committee.

This fall, the Center for Brooklyn History will broaden the organizations’ digital public program choices and launch new digital choices, present entry to the mixed digital archives, and proceed rising the collections, together with each establishments’ collections of oral histories, paperwork, and artifacts associated to Brooklynites’ experiences throughout COVID. The applications will embody the continuation of a few of BHS’s award-winning programming whereas additionally including extra choices derived from the mixed assets of the Library. During the following months, because the Center is closed for in-person visits as a consequence of COVID, the BPL and BHS groups will start transferring BPL’s Brooklyn Collection to the Pierrepont constructing, getting ready to reopen in 2021 to students, researchers, college students, and the general public, all freed from cost, with the mixed collections united and providers together with in-person programming, reveals, and entry to the archives. In addition, the constructing itself will change into extra publicly accessible, with areas for studying and finding out, and expanded hours of operation. BHS’ DUMBO location, which has been closed as a consequence of COVID since March, is not going to be reopened.

Wes Jackson, a former BHS Trustee who will be a part of the BPL Board, feedback, “The new Center will empower the combined efforts of BPL and BHS to reach the entire community in a way that has long been the vison and work of BHS. This work is even more important as duel challenges of COVID and the renewed calls for social justice await us.”

BPL as an establishment, and the Center for Brooklyn History as part of it, are devoted to offering welcoming areas the place all can be taught, discover, and interact with particular person and shared experiences that strengthen the material of group and promote civic engagement. In an effort to broaden its attain even additional, digitization of the mixed assortment will likely be an ongoing precedence for the Center for Brooklyn History.

Founded in 1863, Brooklyn Historical Society served as a cultural hub for dialogue and group outreach and a pacesetter in increasing the narrative of Brooklyn’s historical past for students, college students, and the general public. The Center for Brooklyn History will proceed that mission beneath the auspices of BPL, one of many largest library programs within the nation and a pacesetter in redefining the function of libraries within the Twenty first century by means of groundbreaking work to deal with the wants and points which can be very important to the communities it serves.

Support for the strategic assessment associated to combining the establishments got here from the New York Merger and Collaboration Fund (NYMAC), an initiative designed to encourage and help programmatic alliances, mergers, joint-ventures, and different sorts of formal, long-term collaborations between nonprofits serving New York City.

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About Brooklyn Public Library
Brooklyn Public Library is likely one of the nation’s largest library programs and amongst New York City’s most democratic establishments. As a pacesetter in creating trendy Twenty first-century libraries, we offer assets to help private development, foster civic literacy, and strengthen the material of group among the many greater than 2.6 million people who name Brooklyn dwelling. We present practically 65,000 free applications a 12 months with writers, thinkers, artists, and educators from across the nook and around the globe. And we give patrons hundreds of thousands of alternatives to take pleasure in one in every of life’s biggest satisfactions: the enjoyment of a great ebook.


This press launch was produced by the Brooklyn Public Library. The views expressed are the writer’s personal.

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