|Society News of Note...
2015 marks the 180th anniversary of the formation of the Zoological Institute in
the Elephant Hotel, a capital stock company arguably the most significant
development in the history of the early American circus. The Elephant Hotel was
given the designation of National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Dept. of the Interior, in
large part, because of the formation of the Institute in this building.
A menagerie ledger from our collection from that era was the foundation of an article entitled
"The Names in the Ledger: Harlequins, Horses and Howdahs" written by former Somers resident
and Society volunteer Beverly Brigandi. It appeared in the winter issue of The Westchester
Historian, the scholarly quarterly published by the Westchester County Historical Society. Beverly
also wrote an historical romance, Kicking Sawdust, based on the same ledger and dedicated it to
the Society. Such an honor..It is with great sadness, however, we report on the untimely passing
of Beverly. The planned author event will be rescheduled as a memorial to her work later this
year. Check here and our Facebook page for this, and other events, to commemorate this
important historic event.
Voices of the Hudson Valley; Bringing New Technology to Old Stories for 21st Century Audiences
Somers Historical Society was one of only five institutions in the Hudson River Valley chosen to
participate in this innovative, three-year, prototype,oral history project. The purpose of the project,
was to facilitate an institution's ability to share archival oral history interviews with wider audiences by
converting those interviews from 20th to 21st century media platforms.
The Voices project was funded by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and
Library Services (IMLS) and was awarded to
The Sound and Story Project of the Hudson Valley,
Greater Hudson Heritage Network,
Hudson River Valley Institute at Marist College
Southeastern New York Library Resources Council.
These four organizations are providing training, technical equipment and support services.
Other participants with Somers Historical Society were Hudson River Maritime Museum, New
Rochelle Public Library,
Nyack Library and Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites.
Hear Jonathan Kruk, Master Storyteller of the Hudson Valley, introduce some of our stories from the
LISTEN to the stories at any of these websites: SoundCloud,
Sound and Story Project,
RECORD your own story or listen to more stories on a new mobile phone application.
Society Receives 2014 Award of Excellence from Greater Hudson Heritage Network
Greater Hudson Heritage Network (GHHN) awarded Somers Historical Society an "Award of
Excellence" at its annual meeting held at Marist College. The award was given in the Education
category for the Society's Student Historian Program. According to the GHHN, "...The 2014 Awards
for Excellence program seeks to recognize and commend exceptional efforts among GHHN
members. Awards are made to projects that exemplify creativity and professional vision resulting in a
contribution to the preservation and interpretation of the historic scene, material culture and diversity
of the region.."
Greater Hudson Heritage Network is a regional service organization formed to advance and to
advocate the preservation and interpretation of the area’s historical, ethnic and cultural heritages.
The organization promotes professional standards of excellence and fosters cooperation among
member organizations and individuals through education, information and assistance.
Follow the Student Historians blog at somershistoricalsocietyinterns.blogspot.com.lj