The Jacob Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History opened in 2014, when the Jacob Leisler Papers Project moved to Hudson, New York. The Jacob Leisler Papers Project had been established in 1988 under the auspices of the Department of History of New York University to collect, transcribe, translate (when necessary), and prepare for publication the public and private papers of Jacob Leisler. The project received the endorsement of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) in 1989.
Prior to the inception of the Leisler Papers Project, the history of New York under English rule was a seriously neglected topic. Although Jacob Leisler’s ill-fated 1689–1691 administration of New York is central to understanding the province’s pre-Revolutionary political, economic, and cultural life, numerous other changes also transformed the Hudson River and Mohawk valleys, Long Island, and East Jersey, including immigration, population growth, the Enlightenment, and religious movements. These developments continue to resonate in the twenty-first century.