Archive at NYC historical society to focus on social change

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NEW YORK (AP) — The New-York Historical Society is creating a new archive which will focus on “marginalized communities and inclusive voices” in New York City over the past quarter century.

The Diamonstein-Spielvogel Institute for New York City History, Politics, and Community Activism will chronicle “important political, social, and cultural moments from the mid-1900s to the present,” the historical society announced Thursday.

“We are so grateful for the initiative and support of the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation for this new endeavor, which will help scholars and the general public to understand how political and social movements, focused on balancing individuals’ right to self-determination with their responsibility to one another, have shaped our city’s history,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, the society’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

Initial contributions to the archive will include documents on the building of the High Line in Manhattan. The archive also will include materials already available at the society, including those on Occupy Wall Street.

“The Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation is very pleased to initiate this vital enterprise,” Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, the foundation’s chair, said in a statement. “The Diamonstein-Spielvogel Institute for NYC History, Politics, and Community Activism addresses key issues in New York City. We will bring together collective memory and experiences for research and manifestations, so that present and future historians can place these multiple histories within a meaningful context.”

Diamonstein-Spielvogel, a former commissioner of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission and former chair of the New York State Council on the Arts, is contributing her own papers to the archive.

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