Flocks of Kittens and Litters of Chicks at the New York Archives Conference

Chuck Henry - August 1st, 2016


Kelly Huggins presenting.

Ms. Huggins presenting her paper at the New York Archives Conference, Jun 10, 2016.

Picture of John Hammond and Kelly Huggins

Ms. Huggins receiving her award from John Hammond, director at the Northern New York Library Network.



In June, the winner of the Empire State Writing Competition, Kelli L. Huggins, presented research used in her paper – Flocks of Kittens and Litters of Chicks: Interspecies Adoption in New York, 1880-1920 – at the New York State Archives Conference in Plattsburgh, NY. In her presentation, Ms. Huggins drew a link between expressions and anxiety about human adoption and what some 19th century citizens were observing in animals. Moreover, Ms. Huggins talked about how the “morality” of animals illustrated kindness and care in their human counterparts.

In addition to the one thousand dollar prize, Ms. Huggins was presented a certificate from the director of the Northern New York Library Network, John Hammond. Ms. Huggins winning entry was judged for depth and quality of scholarship, originality of topic and treatment, and use of digital services as research resources.

Kelli Huggins works as the Education Coordinator at the Chemung County Historical Society in Elmira, NY since 2013.  She earned a Master’s Degree in History and a Museum Studies Certificate from the University of Delaware. Ms. Huggins also researches and writes on the history of human-animal interactions and agricultural history and has a special fondness for quirky topics in cultural history.

The Empire State Writing Competition was established to encourage original research and publication around cultural, social, and political topics of New York history utilizing the digital collections developed by the Empire State Library Network: NYS Historic Newspapers and New York Heritage Digital Collections, as well as by use of New York’s many other scholarly resources.

The Empire State Writing Competition is sponsored by the Empire State Library Network and the New York Archives Conference.

wyandotte hen

Daddy's Bedtime Story - How Mrs. Cat Saved Her Kittens

Reddy the Cat and Two Unidentified Guinea Pigs

Reddy the Cat and Two Unidentified Guinea Pigs, New-York Historical Society

More Reddy the Cat and the guinea pigs.

New York State Resources for World War I

Chuck Henry - July 13th, 2016

For the past few years, many websites, publications and cultural institutions have been observing the 100th anniversary of the events of World War I. Some of the most notable include the First World War Centenary by the IWM (Imperial War Museums), and the United States World War One Centenary Commission.

But local resources are also available, which educators and librarians can use to highlight New York’s involvement in these events.

Let’s start with New York Heritage. With an advanced search, we can find items that have been categorized within the subject of “World War 1914 – 1918.” This is the official subject heading from the Library of Congress. Start by entering that term in the search box at the top of the page, and then click the option for an advanced search. Now we’re going to restrict this to an exact phrase search within the Subject field:


This takes us to a page with over 300 results. Many of these are from the “Camp Upton Postcards” collection from the Longwood Public Library, which documents the daily lives of the soldiers and civilians serving on Camp Upton, New York.



Onto New York State Historic Newspapers, the repository of digitized newspapers. Clicking on the Search page, I can limit my results to the dates of the war.

nyshnwwi b


If you are just looking for daily life during those times, that may be all you want to search for. But to find articles that specifically mention the war, do a phrase search for “great war.” Since it wasn’t known as World War I until later, you want to search for the name that was in use at that time.

You can further refine the search by selecting counties. Click to select one county or hold down the CTRL button and select multiple. I limited my search to the 6 counties of Western New York, and now have over 200 results.

For example, we have the Cattaraugus Republican from May 24, 1917, which features an advertisement encouraging people to buy war bonds from the Salamanca Trust Company. You can even export the page as a PNG or PDF file for easy viewing or printing.


If you want to move beyond local resources, there’s even more available. A page of World War I Education Resources has been created by the United States World War One Centennial Commission, the National WWI Museum and Memorial, along with multiple partner organizations. Here you’ll find links to a number of educational materials, which you can filter by grade level and subtopic.