Tina Lesem joins Institute team

The Jacob Leisler Institute welcomes Tina Lesem to our team. Tina, who has a background in architectural and historic preservation, is volunteering as time permits to help organize, catalog, and aid in the conservation of the Institute’s growing collections. Her first undertaking is cataloging and organizing of the Institute’s map collection. We are so very fortunate to have Tina working with us.

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Noted Library and Archival Conservationist Jeff Rigby joins Leisler Institute Board of Trustees.

The Jacob Leisler Institute is very pleased to announce that Jeff Rigby, AIC, noted library and archival conservationist, has accepted our invitation to join the Institute’s Board of Trustees. Mr. Rigby began his career with a four-year apprenticeship at the Newberry Library in Chicago. Since leaving the Newberry, he has had a distinguished career preserving documents for numerous library and archival collections including the Brooklyn Museum, Ellis Island National Park, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park NY, Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Museum of Modern Art, New York County Clerk’s Office, and the New York Stock Exchange, to mention only a few. His expertise in devising collection maintenance strategies and grant application and procurement is a valuable addition to the Institute’s future direction. As he writes, “My treatments deal with permanence and durability, and in all my work, I strive to protect the integrity of archival objects.”

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Acquisition of Dr. Eric Nooter’s files

The Jacob Leisler Institute is proud to announce that it has acquired the files of the late Dr. Eric Nooter (1950-2000). These papers relating to New Netherland and colonial New York richly enhance the Institute’s holdings.

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Welcome Spring 2017 Student Intern Riley Denaker

Jacob Leisler Institute Spring intern, Riley Denaker, began her internship at the Institute on Thursday, January 26. Ms. Denaker, who comes via SUNY-New Paltz, will be interning on Thursdays during the Spring 2017 semester for school credit. She is currently pursuing degrees in the French language and early American history.

Ms. Denaker is the Institute’s second student intern. The Institute is working on expanding our intern program to enable more students to learn archival, research, and documentary editing techniques. This is particularly important as higher learning institutions face possible cutbacks in government support in these areas.

We welcome Riley to our team.

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Message from Leisler Institute President Dr. Firth Fabend

January 3, 2017

Dear Friends of the Jacob Leisler Institute,

Greetings as we start a New Year and our third year as a growing and viable organization dedicated to the study of early New York history.

It has been a busy year for Institute Director Dr. David Voorhees and me and the Executive Committee in general as we moved forward to make the Institute better known and better financed.

To this end, we have developed a new brochure, which you should be seeing soon, concentrating on the early New York history aspects of the Institute rather than solely on Jacob Leisler himself.

This is in line with the Board’s stated desire to emphasize and broadcast the uniqueness of our collection, which is endlessly rich in varied topics from the slave trade to the whaling industry, to lumber milling, the sugar industry, and the trade in European manufactured goods. We should also mention the rum industry and developments in sanitation, as well as spousal abuse (topics usually avoided by the historians and genealogists of the past), and we should not forget the infamous Claverack Giant, interest in whom spiked academic research into paleontology. Early New York history from 1674 to around 1774 has been largely ignored by historians in the past, but we aim to change that.

Along with the new brochure will go an updated membership form in which the public can join in various categories (Friend, Sponsor, Benefactor, the Leisler Circle, or Corporate) for amounts ranging from $25 to $1000.

We initiated a successful internship with a student from New Paltz and another who will join us this year. They are indispensable to the minutiae of running the Institute.

We were distressed to learn this Fall that our trustee Kees-Jan Waterman had a medical emergency that required him to take a back seat for a while, but he is now on the mend and will return to help with the essential fundraising aspects of our responsibilities soon. Charlie Zabriskie has been very generous in his support, moral and financial, throughout the year, and we are most appreciative.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year, and I look forward to your continued interest and your participation, as well as to our Annual Meeting and Luncheon in August, date and place to be arranged.

With best wishes to all,
Firth Fabend
Firth Haring Fabend, President

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Looking Forward to the New Year

As 2016 comes to a close, we look back with pride at the Leisler Institute’s many accomplishments during the past year. The Institute became fully operational, expanded its holdings, hosted numerous researchers, engaged our first student intern, and produced several articles and talks. None of this could have happened without the support of a great Board of Trustees and the encouragement and financial support of friends and colleagues. We look forward toward a new year of expanding horizons and joining with our fellow historical organizations in preserving the rich and varied history to which we are heir.


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Year End Appeal

Jacob Leisler Institute

2016 Year End Appeal

Building on Our Vision

At the completion of the Institute’s second full calendar year we added considerably upon the successes of our first year. The Institute continued to expand its archival holdings relating to Jacob Leisler and his world, as well as to include a wider range of materials relating to the former Dutch territory of New Netherland under English rule. This resulted in an increasing number of researchers making use of the Institute’s holdings—including scholars from Cambridge University, the University of Amsterdam, Texas A & M, and numerous local regional institutions, as well as independent scholars. In August, we acquired our first student intern, who came to us via SUNY-New Paltz. This was so successful that we plan on expanding our work with student interns. In order to more efficiently handle the Institute’s bookkeeping, the Institute employed Pattison, Koskey, Howe & Bucci, which specializes in Hudson Valley not-for-profits. We also continued to refine our website and are now seeking grants to place digital copies of the Institute’s holdings online. Recently, Institute Director David Voorhees lectured before a gathering sponsored jointly by Historic Hudson and the Columbia County Historical Society. He has as well published essays in several scholarly journals throughout the year.

Your support for our efforts to preserve, make accessible, and publish the records of the English colony of New York and its role in the larger world and in shaping modern America is deeply appreciated. To further our mission, please consider a year-end tax-deductible donation to the Jacob Leisler Institute.

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Message from Leisler Institute President Dr. Firth Fabend

January 17, 2016
Dear Friends to the Jacob Leisler Institute,

It gives me great pleasure as we start a new calendar year to look back at the Institute’s first year of existence and recall all of our accomplishments. We can be proud that, with your help, we are “off the ground and running” and looking forward to the New Year where we will, and must, continue to address our challenges and advance our mission. I should note that Board Member Ruth Piwonka’s experience with start-up processes was invaluable. We are very fortunate to have not only generous financial givers like you, but also dedicated and talented volunteers like Ruth and others.

We welcomed two new members to our Board in 2015, Charles Zabriskie Jr., Past President of The Holland Society of New York, and Kevin Hannan, a Corporate Learning Officer for the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, both of whom have already stepped up to provide sound advice and other support. And we are particularly grateful to Kees-Jan Waterman for helping us to refine our fundraising strategy. We need to put those principles into play this year!

Director Dr. David William Voorhees and I have urged all members of our Board to continue to be mindful of the Institute’s needs and to keep its best interests at heart. We hope that you, as well, our much-appreciated donors, will also continue to keep our needs in mind. In particular, we must all keep an eye out for potential members/supporters in age groups that promise future guardians of our mission will be there when needed!

I wish you all a very Happy New Year and a healthy and stable 2016 throughout.  
Yours truly,
Firth Fabend

Firth H. Fabend

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Year End Appeal

We are coming to the end of the first full calendar year for the Jacob Leisler Institute and in that time we have accomplished much to be proud of. In April the Institute received its IRS determination letter indicating that we qualify as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. In September we were notified that our application for New York State Charities Registration had gone through. The Leisler Papers Project files have been fully transferred from NYU and made accessible in its Hudson office. A user friendly website, now online, aids researchers and an increasing number of visitors using the Institute’s holdings. Institute director David Voorhees lectured at Columbia Greene College, Niagara University, and Montclair State University, as well as published essays in several scholarly journals. In the coming year, the Institute plans to expand its archival holdings and to develop its strategic goals

Your support for our efforts to preserve, make accessible, and publish the records of the English colony of New York and its role in the larger world and in shaping modern America is deeply appreciated. To further our mission, please consider a year-end tax deductible donation to the Jacob Leisler Institute. A generous benefactor has agreed to double gifts through a matching gift of up to $5,000.

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