NYC Records & Information Services

Municipal Library Notes - October 2021


Spotlight on School Health and Hygiene

by Christine Bruzzese, Director, Municipal Library

Health and hygiene in schools have become important concerns during the current pandemic as schools reopen. The Municipal Library collection contains some historical materials on related topics.

From the Department of Health Reprint series, an article by Dr. S. Josephine Baker, Director of the Bureau of Child Hygiene. "Classroom Ventilation and Respiratory Diseases among School Children" was published in February 1918. The studies conducted appear to conclude that fresh air ventilation with open windows is better than mechanical ventilation with closed windows and children were less likely to contract respiratory illnesses. Here are some related statistics.

Table showing an analysis of the effect of temperature upon respiratory sickness, 1916-1917.

Table from Dr. Baker’s article on classroom ventilation.

School Health News was published by the Bureau of Public Health Education at the Department of Health from 1915 to 1925. Here is part of an article from January 1921 with information for teachers about infectious diseases in children.

1921 article in School Health News about diphtheria, one of the most important contagious diseases for children.

Article for teachers about the seriousness of diphtheria.

Moving forward to 2006, Back to School: School-Based Services and Admission Requirements, from the City Health Information series published by NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, discusses some of DOHMH's preventive health services for schoolchildren. Some excerpts are featured here.

Bulletins describing how to interpret skin test results for tuberculosis and the immunization requirements for students in schools from daycare through high school. Image of Immunization requirement document, small children looking at the camera.

Interpretation of test results for Tuberculosis and immunization requirements.

Table of immunization requirements for school-age children.

The Library's Vertical Files Collections: Clips on Crime and the Aged

by Pauline Toole, Commissioner

One of the most interesting collections at the agency are the Vertical Files (VF) in the Municipal Library. Consisting of eleven five-drawer single cabinets and 3 five-drawer double cabinets containing folders, the files run from A-Z. Each folder contains news releases, government publications, newspaper, and magazine clippings about a particular topic.

Library Notes is adding a feature to its monthly newsletter;each month we will share information about one folder from this collection.

The top drawer of the very first cabinet is labeled NYC Aged-NYC Art 1922-1964 and the first folder within that drawer is titled VF NYC-Aged (Crime). It is followed by six additional folders with the same main title VF NYC Aged but with different subtitles: Financial Aid, Housing, Nursing Homes, Private Agency, Social Services Program, Statistics.

The folder consists of two sets of testimony from the Department for the Aging staff. The first, presented to the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Aging in November 1981, covers the topic of elder abuse. The second from February 1982 is testimony on crime and the elderly delivered to the State Senate Committee on Aging which held a hearing on Problems of Crime and the Elderly. The next item is titled;The Facts About Crime and the Elderly in New York City in The Last Year; which ran in the Police Officers Journal in May 1978.

Next is a flyer issued by Harrison J. Goldin, former Comptroller of the City, in 1988, titled;Elder Abuse; which includes the estimate that 4% of the elderly population were victims of abuse.

A pamphlet explaining elder abuse and the signs of the abuse.

Next is a 1992 Newsday story, "Taking it Out on Mom" which reports on a weekly meeting of a support group for women in the Bronx who were abused by their children. In February 1998, The Daily News reported on a "Safe Corridors" program in which police officers shuttled seniors to appointments or shopping in a police van in order to prevent robberies. Back to Newsday again, with an October 1998 story about the groundbreaking for the City's first elder abuse shelter. After then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani cut funding for the shelter, the New York State Assembly stepped in to fund the program.

A now-defunct free, weekly newspaper, Manhattan Spirit is represented by a clip that reproduced a media release on the Safe Corridor program from the Department for the Aging. Newsday published a story in August 1998 on elderly shoplifters. And finally, there is a 2001 story from The Daily News detailing how the real estate fortune amassed by an elderly woman was substantially reduced due to attorney overbilling.

This sampling from one folder illustrates the diversity of information about a single topic.

Neighborhood Stories goes to school!

by Elena Abou Mrad, Neighborhood Stories Project Coordinator

We are happy to announce that Neighborhood Stories, the oral history project at DORIS, has expanded to include New York City students. Starting this fall, Neighborhood Stories is collaborating with Beyond Identity at The City College of New York and the Urban Assembly School for Green Careers to collect more oral histories to preserve at the Municipal Archives.

The students will interview members of their community and learn about oral history techniques, New York City history, and the work of the NYC Department of Records and Information Services. We are looking forward to hearing these stories!

Are you a long-time NYC resident? Or have you moved here recently and are learning all about your new neighborhood? We want to hear your story.

The interviews are conducted on Zoom or via phone and can be scheduled at any time that is most convenient for you. Follow this link to sign up for an oral history interview with Neighborhood Stories:

Go Purple on October 21 to bring awareness to the fight against domestic violence

by Pauline Toole, Commissioner

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and we are inviting you to join us in recognizing NYC Go Purple Day on Thursday, October 21st, an annual day of action held in collaboration with the Mayor's Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV) and community advocates.

Domestic violence (DV) occurs in every part of our city, among people of all races, cultures, religions, and income levels. It can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, or sexual orientation. While domestic violence is considered one of the most under-reported crimes, in 2020 there were 233,006 domestic violence incident reports filed by the NYPD - an average of almost 640 a day. In 2020, there were 93,235 calls to New York City's 24-hour Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-621-HOPE (4673), which were up almost 15 percent from 2019. And the NYC Hope website of survivor resources had over 118,000 visits - an average of 325 visits a day.

On October 21st we will raise awareness about DV and mark NYC Go Purple Day by sharing the resources and services available to survivors throughout New York City; and by lighting in purple local buildings and landmarks including City Hall, the David Dinkins Municipal Building, 1 World Trade Center, the Bank of America Tower, 4 Times Square, Gracie Mansion, the Parachute Jump (Coney Island), the Arsenal in Central Park, the Bronx County Courthouse, Brooklyn Borough Hall, Queens Borough Hall, and Staten Island Borough Hall. Supporters will wear purple to bring awareness to this problem.

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