Kathy Hayes Collection of Norman Rosten and Richard Rosenblum literature, 1968-1995

Call number: 2014.008

Extent: 0.5 linear feet in one manuscript box

The collection is composed of Brooklyn-related literature which was collected by Kathy Hayes. Included in the collection are four children’s book by Richard Rosenblum and four books by Norman Rosten. Additionally, the collection includes four manuscripts by Rosten, as well as his obituary (New York Newsday).

Richard Rosenblum (circa 1928-) was an American author and illustrator. He was born in Brooklyn (N.Y.), around 1928, and later graduated from Cooper Union. He was an author and illustrator of several children’s books, many of which documented the Jewish experience in 20th century Brooklyn.

Norman Rosten (1913-1995) was an American poet, playwright, and novelist. He was born on January 1, 1913, in New York City and was raised in Hurleyville, NY. He graduated from Brooklyn College (1931-1935), New York University (1936), and the University of Michigan (1937-1938), where he won the Avery Hopwood Award for his drama and poetry. He returned to New York in 1939, and was named a winner in the Yale Series of Younger Poets in 1940. In 1941, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. His work was published and performed from the 1940s to the 1980s. His poetry was published in The New Yorker, and his play, “Mister Johnson,” opened on Broadway in 1956. As a longtime resident of Brooklyn, the borough was prominently featured in his later work. In 1979, he was named poet laureate of Brooklyn. He was married to Hedda Rosten from 1938, until her death in 1984. He died in Brooklyn on March 7, 1995

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  • Brooklyn Dodgers (Baseball team).
  • Hayes, Kathy
  • Rosenblum, Richard
  • Rosten, Norman, 1914-1995


  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
  • Brooklyn Bridge (New York, N.Y.)
  • Coney Island (New York, N.Y.)


  • American literature — New York (State) — Kings County
  • American poetry — New York (State) — Kings County
  • Authors, American — New York (State) — Kings County
  • Baseball — New York (State) — Kings County
  • Jews — New York (State) — Kings County
  • Sexuality & culture

Types of materials:

  • Books
  • Children’s books
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Typescripts


The Origins Of Brooklyn Bridge Park, 1986-1988

by Scott M. Hand and Otis Pratt Pearsall

This is the story of the pivotal first three years along the timeline to Brooklyn Bridge Park  in which the Brooklyn Heights Association (BHA) halted the Port Authority’s drive, supported by the City, to auction Piers 1-6 to private developers for a massive housing development of 3,000,000 square feet (2,600 units) destructive of the world famous views, and proposed instead a succession of two scenarios for a Park extending from Atlantic Avenue to the Brooklyn Bridge–years which culminated (after a series of 10 meetings/hearings) on December 14, 1988 in Community Board 2’s unanimous 31-0 repudiation of the Port Authority’s plan and embrace of the Association’s concept of “Harbor Park”. It explains the circumstances which prompted the authors, Scott M. Hand and Otis Pratt Pearsall, to initiate organization of the Coalition for Harbor Park (renamed the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition, now the Conservancy), and it asks whether, absent the doctrinaire no-housing policy which prompted their resignations as Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, of the BHA Piers Committee, the Park might have happened well short of the additional quarter century the community was made to wait.

The project was suggested by the announcement of plans to publish a history of Brooklyn Bridge Park and the apparent need, after the lapse of 25 years, for a frank, first-hand account by two of the leading participants.

Researchers and writers interested in referencing or quoting from this monograph are welcome to do so, as long as their use of the material includes the following credit line:
From The Origins Of Brooklyn Bridge Park, 1986-1988 by Scott M. Hand and Otis Pratt Pearsall, a monograph published in 2014, on the Brooklyn Historical Society catablog.

If a direct quote is used, the page number from the monograph should be cited. The credit line must appear in close proximity to the reference,  or in a special section devoted to credits.

A chronological compilation of source documents will be made available for the use of researchers in the Society’s Othmer Library during regular research hours.

The monograph will also be available on the website of the Brooklyn Heights Association.

Link to monograph

Link to monograph’s Index

Edna Huntington papers and photographs, 1905-1965

Call Number: ARC.044

Extent: 3.15 linear feet in three manuscript boxes, one phase box, and one oversize folder

The Edna Huntington papers and photographs, dated 1905 to 1965, are organized into three series: Brooklyn Research,  Personal Papers, and  Photographs. While  Brooklyn Research gives a focused view of Huntington’s work as a librarian,  Personal Papers provides a broader perspective on her career and its impact, as well as her education, her hobbies, and travels during her career.  Photographs complements travel journals in the  Personal Papers series with black-and-white prints and negatives of Huntington’s vacations with her travel companion, Stella Kline.

Edna Huntington (1895-1965) attended P.S. 131 in Brooklyn and later completed Columbia University’s Home Study courses in Librarianship. She began working for the Long Island Historical Society (now the Brooklyn Historical Society) in 1926 and served as Head Librarian from 1936 to 1960. In addition to her work as a librarian, Huntington was an avid traveler. During the 1920s and 1930s, she planned a number of hiking and camping trips throughout the northeast United States and documented her excursions with photographs and detailed travel journals.


  • Librarians — New York (State) — New York
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Voyages and travels


  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) — History
  • Long Island (N.Y.) — History
  • New York (N.Y.) — Intellectual life — 20th century

Types of material:

  • Correspondence
  • Photographs
  • Research notes
  • Scrapbooks

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View Edna Huntington papers and photographs (v1974.16.1-58)

William Hubbell scrapbook, 1895 – 1902

Call Number: 1978.166

Extent: 1.0 linear feet in one scrapbook, one folder, one oversize folder, and one rolled item

The William Hubbell scrapbook spans the period 1895 to 1902 and contains discharge papers, promotion notices, newspaper articles, letters, and funeral notices of William Henry Hubbell and other members of the New York State National Guard, 47th Regiment.

The collection includes the scrapbook, one folder of loose items which were removed from the scrapbook, two oversized certificates, and one commemorative silk scarf which has been rolled for preservation purposes.The scrapbook primarily documents the 47th Regiment’s occupation of Puerto Rico after the Spanish-American War.

The folder containing loose items includes four rewards of merits issued to Hubbel’s son (also named William) at P.S. 41, which was located at Dean Street and New York Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.

William Henry Hubbell (1847-1902) was born in New York City and moved to Greenpoint in 1857. He was a warehouseman and exporter of dry goods at 14 Leonard Street in Manhattan. Hubbell resided in Brooklyn, first at 793 Greene Avenue, and later (circa 1900) at 935 St. Marks Avenue. He was a dedicated soldier in the United States Armed Forces, serving in the Spanish-American War and the Puerto Rican Expedition (1898-1899), eventually achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.


  • Hubbell, William Henry
  • New York (State). National Guard. Regiment, 47th
  • P.S. 41 (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.).


  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
  • Puerto Rico
  • United States |x Armed Forces |x Officers


  • Public schools — New York (State) — Kings County
  • Spanish-American War, 1898
  • Students — New York (State) — Kings County

Types of material:

  • Certificates
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Discharges
  • Military records
  • Rewards of merit
  • Scrapbooks

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Ruth S. Harley family papers, 1908 – 1959

Call Number: 2000.013

Extent: 0.3 Linear feet, in four folders

This collection consists of photographs, programs, and certificates relating to Ruth S. Harley’s time as a student at Erasmus Hall High School, as well as an Erasmus Hall songbook and history. Additional items include photographs of Ruth S. Harley as a student at Public School 139 and the Cortelyou School, photographs of Jeanette H. and Robert Harley, and photocopies of Walter Harley’s obituary. Items date from 1908 to 1959.

The Harley family lived at 498 Rugby Road in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Flatbush. Walter Harley (d. 1959) taught Greek and Latin at Erasmus Hall High School. His children included Jeanette H. (Harley) Huber, Robert Harley, and Ruth S. Harley, dean of women at Adelphi College.


  • Harley, Ruth S.
  • Harley family
  • Erasmus Hall High School


  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
  • Flatbush (New York, N.Y.)


  • Families — New York (State) — Kings County
  • Girls — Education — New York (State) — Kings County
  • School children — New York (State) — Kings County
  • Schools — New York (State) — Kings County

Types of material:

  • Diplomas
  • Photographs
  • Programs (documents)

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Reverend Edward Harris memoir, 1872

Call Number: 1979.006

Extent: 0.1 Linear feet, in one folder

The Reverend Edward Harris memoir, dated 1872, is a handwritten autobiographical work by Harris, a Presbyterian minister. Covering the period 1797-1872, Harris chronicles his various destinations as a minister, his motivations, family and other influences on his life choices, the manner in which he was called or assigned to various pulpits or presbyteries, his difficulties and challenges with various congregations, financial difficulties, health concerns, and his side occupations. Harris’s travels took him from Maine to North Carolina, from eastern Long Island (N.Y.) to Ohio, often repeatedly. Overall, Harris’s memoir provides insight into an itinerant ministry as a career choice, principally in the New England and Middle Atlantic states, in the nineteenth century.


  • Harris, Edward


  • Clergy — Salaries, etc.
  • Clergy — New England
  • Clergy — New York (State) — Long Island
  • Presbyterian Church — Clergy
  • Presbyterians — New England
  • Presbyterians — New York (State) — Long Island

Types of material:

  • Autobiographies
  • Manuscripts (document genre)
  • Memoirs

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Mrs. Milan Hulbert collection of colonial British America and early United States of America papers, 1698-1846

Call Number: ARC.278

Extent: 2.6 Linear feet, in two flat boxes and one manuscript box.

The Hulbert collection (1698-1846) consists principally of late eighteenth century documents related to colonial British America. The collection also includes documents from the American Revolution and early national period. The collection holds papers related to the British military presence in North America, including statistical reports (i.e., returns) for troops for several months in 1760 and documents compiled by Frederick de Deimar in connection with the Corps of Hussars (1779-1781) he raised for the British during the American Revolution. Non-military matters include correspondence, chiefly from Goldsbrow Banyar, Register of Prerogative Court and deputy to George Clark, Secretary of the Colony of New York, concerning a dispute among colonial New York officials over their respective rights to collect and receive patent and other fees (1766-1770). There are papers concerning the Bahamas (1795-1796), including correspondence, principally to and from colonial agent George Chalmers, and minutes of the Legislative Council. Among the other documents in the collection are land grants and indentures, a will, court filings, and other documents from New York State, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Florida. Several of these documents still have a large wax seal tied to them.


  • Hulbert, Milan
  • Banyar, Goldsbrow
  • Chalmers, George
  • Diemar, Frederick
  • Great Britain. Army. Corps of Hussars (1779-1781)


  • Bahamas — History
  • New York (Colony)
  • New York (State) — History — Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
  • United States — History — French and Indian War, 1755-1763
  • United States — History — Revolution, 1775-1783
  • West Florida — History


  • Land titles — New York (State)
  • Land titles — South Carolina
  • Land titles — West Florida
  • Legal documents — Rhode Island
  • Legal documents — Virginia
  • Real property — New York (State)
  • Real property — South Carolina
  • Real property — West Florida

Types of material:

  • certification
  • Correspondence
  • Deeds
  • Land grants
  • Returns (military reports)

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Brooklyn Heights Synagogue Oral History

Brooklyn Heights Synagogue Oral History, 2010.

Call #: 2011.005

Extent: 12 digital audio files

In 2010, the Brooklyn Historical Society and Brooklyn Heights Synagogue partnered to collect oral history interviews with 10 members of the congregation on the occasion of the Synagogue’s 50th anniversary.

Brooklyn Heights Synagogue, a Reform synagogue on 131 Remsen Street, was founded in Brooklyn in 1960 and currently includes over 330 member units made up of families, couples, and singles who live in Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Park Slope and Fort Greene, as well as in nearby DUMBO and Lower Manhattan.

Select oral histories can be accessed onsite at Brooklyn Historical Society’s Othmer Library. Restrictions may apply. Permission to use the oral histories other than for private study, scholarship, or research requires the permission of both Brooklyn Historical Society and the narrator. For assistance, please consult library staff at library@brooklynhistory.org. Oral histories also available at Brooklyn Heights Synagogue.

Crown Heights Oral History

Crown Heights Oral History – Bridging Eastern Parkway, 1993-1994.

Call #: ArMs 1994.006

Extent: 40 audio cassettes

In 1993-1994, the Brooklyn Historical Society collected interviews with residents of the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights. Thirty-three interviews were conducted by Craig Wilder, Jill Vexler, and Aviva Segall. The subtitle, Bridging Eastern Parkway, refers to racial tensions expressed during the 1991 Crown Heights riots. Narrators are of African American, Caribbean, Jewish, Polish, and Russian descent and include members of the Lubavitch community.

Select oral histories can be accessed onsite at Brooklyn Historical Society’s Othmer Library. Restrictions may apply. Permission to use the oral histories other than for private study, scholarship, or research requires the permission of both Brooklyn Historical Society and the narrator. For assistance, please consult library staff at library@brooklynhistory.org.