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Grant number: PY-234441-16

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PY-234441-16

Queens Borough Public Library (Jamaica, NY 11432-5242)
Natalie Milbrodt (Project Director: 06/25/2015 to present)

50 Years of Integration: Personal Impacts of Demographic Changes on Shifting Neighborhoods in New York City

A project exploring the impact of demographic changes over the last 50 years in Queens and Brooklyn, New York, through digitization events, community history programs, and marquee events organized by the Queens Borough Public Library and the Brooklyn Public Library. The project would focus on six distinct neighborhoods, including Astoria, Corona, and Flushing in Queens and Bushwick, Carnarsie, and Sunset Park in Brooklyn and would ask residents, both old and new, to share personal histories, pictures, memorabilia, and artifacts. These stories and objects would be digitized in neighborhood events and made accessible both on site, at the Archives at Queen’s Library or at Brooklyn Public Library, and on local Web portals. Follow-up history programs in each of the participating neighborhoods would further explore and contextualize the archived stories and digitized materials. Two marquee events would conclude the project; researchers, scholars, and community members would present and discuss the collaborative work resulting from previous events. Through these varied programs, participants would gain a deeper, multilayered understanding of the history of their neighborhood and its residents.

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 had a profound impact on the demographic map of the US. Breaking from the immigration policies of the past, the law gave a nearly equal shot to newcomers from every part of the world and is still palpable today, especially in Queens and Brooklyn neighborhoods where it has resulted in the integration of immigrant communities that we see today. Queens Borough Public Library (AKA Queens Library) in collaboration with Brooklyn Public Library will select 6 neighborhoods that have witnessed significant demographic changes in the past 50 years. Through 12 digitization events, 6 community history programs, and 2 marquee events, intergenerational residents will be invited to digitally deposit their personal stories and artifacts and develop a deeper perspective of the history and people of their neighborhood that will further understanding and help create an inclusive, accepting environment beneficial to established residents and newcomers alike.

Project fields:
Immigration History; Public History; Urban History

Program:
Common Heritage

Division:
Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$12,000 (approved)
$12,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2016 – 5/31/2017