NYC Records & Information Services

Municipal Library Notes - November 2018
Spotlight on Golden Anniversary of Fashion


Golden Anniversary of Fashion

By Christine Bruzzese, Supervising Librarian, Municipal Library

Seventy years ago, New York City celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its 1898 consolidation. A commemorative book was published by the Mayor's Committee for the Commemoration of the Golden Anniversary of the City of New York. It provides the reader with a comprehensive history of the garment and fashion industries in New York City and even features a glossary of terms and a question/answer section.

City of New York Golden Aniversary of Fashion.

Here are some examples of what the well-dressed gentleman wore in 1898:

City of New York Golden Aniversary of Fashion.

Ladies' millinery, 1930's and 1940's:

City of New York Golden Aniversary of Fashion. City of New York Golden Aniversary of Fashion.

Fashion has changed greatly over the years. It's always fascinating to take a look back!


Curriculum Guides

By Christine Bruzzese, Supervising Librarian, Municipal Library

The Municipal Library keeps a collection of some Board of Education Curriculum Guides, mainly from the 1950’s and 1960’s. For the researcher interested in historic school curricula, this article offers two examples.

Health Teaching in Elementary Schools was developed for teachers in 1955-56. Suggestions are given for teachers from Grades K-6 to help students learn and understand physical and mental health and hygiene. Here are photos from the section on Foods and Eating Practices.

Health Teaching in Elementary Schools Health Teaching in Elementary Schools

Health Teaching in Elementary Schools Health Teaching in Elementary Schools

  Health Teaching in Elementary Schools  

Mathematics 7th Year Part 1 was published in 1966. It includes lesson plans to be utilized by teachers and suggested procedures for using the curriculum bulletin. Here are some concepts and problems on the decimal system. It may bring back some memories.

Mathematics 7th Year Part 1 Mathematics 7th Year Part 1

Almshouse Ledger Found and Donated to Municipal Archives

By Lisa Velasquez, Agency Attorney

When Gail and Stephen Ente were cleaning out the attic of a family home, they happened across many antiques and interesting items of historical value. Some of these items were appraised and sent several states away to Swann Auction Galleries to be sold in New York City. One of the items was the admission register of the New York Alms House at Bellevue. It was listed as expecting to bring bids of $1,500.00-$2,500.00 at an auction scheduled for late April 2018.

A friend of the Municipal Archives noticed the Almshouse ledger listing in the April 12, 2018 Swann Gallery Sale Catalog of Printed and Manuscript Americana. They immediately alerted Assistant Commissioner Ken Cobb that a lost register may have surfaced and found its way into an auction listing.

The Department of Records and Information Services reached out to Swann Gallery and scheduled a meeting to view the ledger. Assistant Commissioner Cobb, Agency Attorney Lisa Velasquez and Gerry Singleton, Counsel at the New York City Law Department, all met with a Swann Gallery representative in April 2018 to view the ledger. The trio brought along one of the ledgers from the Municipal Archives’ existing Almshouse collection for comparison. As soon as the ledgers were placed side by side, it was visibly clear to all that they were from the same collection and the ledger at Swann must have once belonged to the Bellevue Hospital and the City of New York. The ledgers’ bindings and markings were very similar and the ledger column headings and details were nearly identical to those of the existing Almshouse ledgers in the Municipal Archives’ collection. Because the expected auction price was not terribly high, the Municipal Archives asked and the Swann Gallery offered, to act as an intermediary and see if the seller might pull the Almshouse Ledger from the auction and instead generously donate it to the Archives.

The owner of the Almshouse Ledger was surprised to learn that the ledger was not in the Archives collection and remembered fondly how much their family had enjoyed looking at the ledger and wondering about its origins over the course of generations. The family who owned the Ledger had lovingly taken care of it in their family home for years-far from its origin in New York City, never realizing it may have been City property.

The Ente family immediately withdrew their Ledger from the planned auction and graciously donated it the Municipal Archives. In August 2018, the ledger was reunited with the rest of the Almshouse Ledger collection. The Municipal Archives’ conservation staff has created a custom enclosure to protect the fragile ledger in storage and it has been added to the public finding aid. The ledger is now available to the public to view in person at The Municipal Archives located at 31 Chambers Street in Manhattan while it awaits digitization. After it has been digitized, the Almshouse Ledger will be made more accessible to the public online.

The New York City Department of Records and Information Services and Municipal Archives wishes to thank Gail and Stephen Ente and the entire Ente family for generously donating the Almshouse Ledger to the Municipal Archives so that the public can enjoy this genealogical treasure as much as they have!


Software Development - Agile Methodology

By Martin Batey, Project Manager and Praveen Panchal, CIO

The IT Applications/Development team at DORIS uses a software development methodology called Agile. The basic premise behind Agile is to break down a project into smaller parts and to plan development two weeks at a time. These two-week intervals are called sprints. During each sprint, the team works on the features of the project that can be completed in that timeframe. These features are taken from the backlog. This is a list of features needed to complete the project.

Another basic principle of Agile methodology is to have the project team communicate on a daily basis so that any issues can be identified and addressed without delay. This is done by holding daily standup meetings where the team meets briefly for 15 minutes to discuss progress and anything blocking the development work. The Agile team consists of the Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, the Business Owner and the Scrum Master, who manages the backlog and the standup meetings.

Following are the terminologies used within the Agile development methodology:

Backlog Development The prioritized features list, containing short descriptions of all functionality desired in the product called user stories as well as a list of acceptance criteria that describes the requirements for each feature.

Backlog Grooming When the Business Owner and the team review the user stories in the backlog to ensure the backlog contains the appropriate items, that these items are then prioritized, and the items at the top of the backlog are ready for delivery.

Sprint Planning A collaborative effort involving the Scrum Master, who facilitates the meeting, the Business Owner and the entire Agile team. The purpose is to define the work necessary to complete the user stories in the two week sprint by selecting stories from the prioritized backlog.

Daily Standups Daily 15 minute meetings are typically held in the same location and at the same time each day. Ideally, a daily sprint meeting is held in the morning, as it helps set the context for the coming day's work. This is a meeting of the entire team and is run by the Scrum Master.

Retrospectives Meetings A meeting that's held at the end of each sprint. During the retrospective, the team reflects on what happened in the sprint and identifies actions for improvement going forward. The work completed in that sprint is demonstrated for the Business Owner and other stakeholders.

DORIS Upcoming Events - November 2018
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