NYHIST-L Archives

March 1999


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
"Daniel H. Weiskotten" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 25 Mar 1999 19:39:01 -0500
text/plain (50 lines)
Nancy McNicol wrote:
"Is anyone on this list familiar with a 4 volume set of books entitled The
Documentary History of the State of New York by E.B. O'Callaghan published
by Weed, Parsons & Co. , Albany, 1850?  It appears to be a compilation of
primary source material beginning (I believe) in the 1600's.  If you know
of the books, do you know if this is mostly information that can be
elsewhere obtained (in more recent publications).  My main question is, is
it a worthwhile purchase?"

The 4 volume set of O'Callaghan's DHNY is a wonderful source and can be
found in many older and larger libraries, but has its severe plusses and
minuses.  Many of the documents he used are transcribed in the his massive
_Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York_ (aka
NYCD), and despite the materials he had at hand, it should be considered as
a fledgling history that later historians formulated better ideas upon.  It
has some grand history of its own and is a must for any serious scholar
(thus I shelled out $250 for my intact set - many have had the maps
removed, so be careful!).
        The NYCD series (13 or so volumes) are equally wonderful as near-primary
sources for documents that were lost in the 1911 Capitol fire or which are
buried in the archives of the British Public Record Office, or in obscure
collections in France, the Netherlands, etc.  Many problems are seen in the
NYCD transcripts (comparison with Leder's _Livingston Indian Records_ will
show this) and it must always be used with caution.  Despite its flaws it
remains one of the greatest sources for Colonial history that will be
unparalleled for years to come.
        A similar project that transcribes documents and publishes additional
colonial manuscripts is the wonderful and on-going New Netherlands Project

        By the way, I have been meaning to ask ... I have volumes 1-11 of the NYCD
- does any one have an idea where I can get the rest of the set??????  (is
ti just Vol.s 12 & 13, or where there more?)

        And, while I am on-line, let me announce that I have finally landed a
really nice JOB with the Library of Virginia's Digital Library Program!
(http://www.vsla.edu/lva/digital.html)  I volunteered for a while with the
Library's _Dictionary of Virginia Biography_ project and that very quickly
led to an offer for a part-time (still 40 hrs and well paid) spot with DLP.
 I just started this week, but I think I can get used to the brand new
spacious building, top of the line computers and support equipment, as well
as many NY sources to keep me happy when I get tired of working with the
usual glass plate negatives and WPA history inventory files!  (sorry to
make my friends at the NYSL, M, & A jealous!)

Best to all up north!
Dan W.