COOPERSTOWN, N.Y., January 23, 2004 - “Was He a Man or a Monster: Merchandising Murder in the Nineteenth-Century American Popular Press”, an online exhibition sponsored by the New York State Historical Association (NYSHA) in Cooperstown, New York, is now available at:

This collaborative project was undertaken by staff of NYSHA’s Research Library and students from the Class of 2004 enrolled in the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Museum Studies. Each student was assigned a murderer to research from a collection of over 1,000 eighteenth and nineteenth century pamphlets in the NYSHA Research Library. The inspiration for this project was "Tell Me Not of Murder: Scenes from the Nineteenth Century Page and Opera Stage", an exhibit sponsored by the NYSHA Research Library and Glimmerglass Opera. Like the more traditional exhibit still on view in the NYSHA Research Library, “Was He a Man or a Monster?” traces the evolution of the murder genre in the American popular press from the late eighteenth century to the end of the nineteenth century.

The New York State Historical Association is a non-profit, private educational institution which was founded in 1899 in Caldwell (Lake George). The Association moved its headquarters to Ticonderoga in 1926 and to Cooperstown in 1938. During the past 100 years, the Association has preserved tens of thousands of documents, works of art, photographs, and artifacts. The Association operates Fenimore Art Museum and a Research Library in Cooperstown and sponsors statewide educational programming.


More information about the Research Library is available at on our website at:




Melissa McAfee

Research Library Director

New York State Historical Association

The Farmers' Museum

PO Box 800  Lake Road

Cooperstown, NY  13326

607 547 1473 (tel)

607 547 1405 (fax)