New York’s history is being preserved in not 1 musuem but in 3. Each has it’s own unique character. The first to be established was the Museum of the New-York Historical society in 1804 which also made it the first museum in the whole of the nation. This museum had a primary focus on Manhattan.
The 2nd set up was the Long Island Historical Society established in 1863 and which subsequently became the Brooklyn Historical Society and their focus is primarily on the Outer Boroughs of NYC
The 3rd to be set up was the Museum of the City Of New York, see the video, which came into being in 1923 and has a focus on later 19th Century and 20th Century NYC.
The Museum of the New-York Historical Society holds a very extensive collection of art including American Folk Art, household artifacts including George Washington’s desk from Valley Forge, lots of books, mapss prints, photographs and newspapers. Current special exhibitions include ‘Art As Activism’, posters and other materials from various political campaigns in NYC and, in a nod to July 4th, ‘LaFayette returns: NYC and the War of Independence’.
The Brooklyn Historical Society is the smallest of the museums and focuses on maps, atlases, indidivudal family histories and newspapers from Long Island and Brooklyn. It currently has an exhibtion showcasing New York’s Disability Rights Movement.
The Museum of the City of New York’s collection focuses on art, drawings, prints, photographs, costumes, furniture, and extensive collection of antique toys, ships models, books, manuscritps and an extensive theater collection focusing on Broadway. They also have some very interesting dioramas with tableaux from 19th Century NYC. Current Exhibitions include ‘Folk City ( The folk Music Revival in NYC), ‘Saving Place’ on NYC’s many Landmark places and buildings, the “Hip Hop Revolution’ in NYC and the ‘Greatest Grid” on NYC’s master plan
The Museum of the New-York Historical Society is on the corner of 77th St and Central Park West in Manhattan, the Brooklyn Historical Society is located at 128 Pierpoint St in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn and the Museum of the City Of New York is at 1220-1227 Fifth Ave btwn 103rd & 104th Sts opposite Central Park in East Harlem, Manhattan.
All 3 museums will provide you with hours of enjoyment delving into NYC’s history. While they overlap, each collection adds depth to the other 2. If you live in NYC or you’re coming for a visit, sign on to receive email notification of their exhibitions and then pick and choose between what is available so you can arraqnge to see and enjoy what is of most interest to you.