The interpretive works listed below are the best and most frequently seen publications on the people of colonial Albany and their world. They are referenced throughout The People of Colonial Albany Live Here Website. This listing identifies and describes these traditional resources. Books are listed alphabetically by author or by title when no author is sppecified. Descriptive annotations follow the formal citation.
Albany Architecture, edited by Diana S. Waite (Albany: Mt. Ida Press, 1993), 278 pages, glossary, illustrations, maps, index.
Albany Chronicles, or more fully, Albany Chronicles: a history of the city arranged chronologically, from the earliest settlement to the present time; illustrated with many historical pictures of rarity and reproductions of the Robert C. Pruyn collection of the mayors of Albany, owned by the Albany institute and historical and art society, compiled by Cuyler Reynolds (Albany, 1906), 528 pages, glossary, illustrations, maps, index.
Albany Institute of History & Art: 200 Years of Collecting, edited by Tammis K. Groft and Mary Alice Mackay (New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1998), 332 pages, catalogue notes, color illustrations, index.
This beautifully presented, illustrated history of the Albany Institute dating to its eighteenth-century origins is, in some ways, an illustrated history of Albany's material culture. However impressive, this work also demonstrates the limitations of even first-rate museum expositions in telling the story of the founding and growth of an important early American community.
Albany's First Church: And It's Role in the Growth of the City, by Robert S. Alexander (Albany, 1988), 312 total pages, illus, biblio, notes, index.
Albany Silver, 1652-1825, by Norman S. Rice (Albany: Albany Institute of History and Art, 1964), 81 pages.
A Beautiful and Fruitful Place: Selected Rensselaerswijck Seminar Papers, edited by Nancy A. M. Zeller (Albany, 1991), 382 total pages, illus, biblio, notes, index.
Ezra Ames of Albany: Portrait Painter, Craftsman, Royal Arch Mason, Banker, 1768-1836, by Theodore Bolton and Irwin F. Cortelyou (New York, 1955), 398 total pages, notes, bibliography, index, illustrations, appendices.
Before Albany: An Archaeology of Native-Dutch Relations in the Capital Region, 1600-1664, by James A. Bradley (Albany, 2006), New York State Museum Bulletin 509. xvii, 230 total pages, illus, notes, index.
Beverwijck: A Dutch Village on the American Frontier, 1652-1664, by Janny Venema (Albany, 2003), 528 total pages, illus., notes, appendices, glossary, bibliog., indexes!
Death of a Notary: Conquest and Change in Colonial New York, by Donna Merwick (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1999), 281 total pages, illus, notes, biblio, index.
Government by the People: The Dongan Charter and the
Birth of Participatory Democracy in the City of Albany, by Stefan
Bielinski (Albany, 1986), 64 pages, illus.
History of the County of Albany, N. Y., from 1609 to 1886, compiled by George Rogers Howell and Jonathan Tenney and "assisted by local writers" (New York, 1886).
The Gansevoorts of Albany: Dutch Patricians in the Upper Hudson Valley, by Alice P. Kenney (Syracuse, 1969), 322 total pages, illus, biblio, index.
Holland on the Hudson: An Economic and Social History of Dutch New York, by Oliver A. Rink (Ithaca, 1986), 284 total pages, illus, footnotes, biblio, index.
The basic book on New Netherland. Sensitive to earlier works and recommended above the others.
Images of America: Albany, compiled by Don Rittner (Charleston, SC, 2000), 128 total pages.
Landlord and Tenant in Colonial New York: Manorial Society, 1664-1775 , by Sung Bok Kim (Chapel Hill, NC, 1978), 456 total pages, illustations, notes, index.
Landmarks of Albany County, by Amasa J. Parker (Syracuse, 1897), 975 total pages, illustations, index. A two-part compilation of local lore on places and people. The second section is a biographical directory.
Albany: Capital City on the Hudson, by John J. Mc Eneny (reprinted: Sun Valley, CA, 1998).
First published in 1981, this well-illustrated but sketchy work is the first comprehensive history of the city to appear in more than fifty years. It is indexed and has a useful bibliography.
The Merchants of Albany, New York, 1686-1760, by David A. Armour (New York, 1986), 275 total pages, chapter notes, bibliography. This transcription is taken from Armour's doctoral dissertation at Northwestern University in 1965.
This work still stands as the best study of early Albany's most important enterprise. From the beginning, it testified to the potential of a focused inquiry into the foundations of this early American community. The Colonial Albany Project owes a great debt to David Armour's pioneering work!
Mohawk Frontier: The Dutch Community of Schenectady, New York, 1661-1710, by Thomas E. Burke, Jr. (Ithaca, 1991), 252 total pages, footnotes, maps and tables, biblio, index.
An indispensible community study providing unparalleled windows on settlement, economic networks, and the perils of frontier life. Because the early history of Schenectady is so closely related to that of Albany, this work has informed the progress of the Colonial Albany Social History Project since Tom Burke first brought his new doctoral dissertation, great energy, and foresight to the project office more than twenty years ago!
Annals of Albany, presented by Joel Munsell in ten volumes and published 1850-59.
The most basic compendius resource for early Albany history also includes many interpretive works. We plan to present some of those items on this website. Each volume is indexed.
Collections on the History of Albany, also presented by Joel Munsell (4 volumes - published 1865-71).
A continuation of the same types of materials presented in Munsell's Annals.
The History of the City of Albany, New York from the Discovery of the Great River in 1524, by Verrazzano, to the Present Time, by Arthur J. Weise (Albany, 1884), 520 total pages, illus (engraved plates), apps, index.
A readable but value-laden narrative based on what must have been a deep understanding of Albany's past. The author appears to have learned from many of the basic resources we use today. Despite its verbage, it is a must-read for serious students of early Albany history. Online via Google Books.
The Mohicans and their Land, 1609-1730, by Shirley W. Dunn (Fleischmanns, NY, 1994), and her The Mohican World, 1680-1750 (Fleischmanns, NY, 2000). The most comprehensive and most accessible of Dunn's substantial and long term work.
Philip Schuyler and the American Revolution in New York, 1733-1777, by Don R. Gerlach (Lincoln, NE, 1964), and his Proud Patriot: Philip Schuyler and the War of Independence, 1775-1783 (Syracuse, 1987).
Remembrance of Patria: Dutch Arts and Culture in Colonial America, 1609-1776, by Roderic H. Blackburn, Ruth Piwonka, and other writers (Albany, 1988), 318 pages, preface, introduction, forward, color plates, illustrations, bibliography, notes, index.
Visions of New York State: The Historical Paintings of L. F. Tantillo, by L. F. Tantillo (Wapppingers Falls, NY, 1996), 138 pages, intro, forward, color plates, illus., index.
Another beautifully illustrated exhibition catalogue featuring historical essays including "From Outpost to Entrepot: The Birth of Urban Albany," by Stefan Bielinski. The exhibition, entitled "Visions of New York State," is viewable online.
Memoirs of Eilardus Westerlo, Pastor of the Dutch Reformed Protestant Church in Albany, NY (1760-90) translated and edited by Robert A. Nabourn (Amsterdam, Holland, 2011), 274tp,intro, illus, bibliog, indexes.
The manuscript that became An Abridgment of the Indian Affairs Contained in Four Folio Volumes, Transacted in the Colony of New York, from the year 1678 to the year 1751, was compiled by Peter Wraxall in 1754.
"Merchant and Redcoat: The Papers of John Gordon Macomb, July 1757 to June 1760,", by Joseph F. Meany, Jr (Doctoral Dissertation, Fordham University, 1990).
"Silent Partners: The Economic Life of Women on the Frontier of Colonial New York," by Aileen Button Agnew (Doctoral Dissertation, University of New Hampshire, 1998), 336 total pages, footnotes, tables and figures, bibliography.
“The Policy of Albany and English Westward Expansion,” by Arthur H. Buffington, Mississippi Valley Historical Review volume 4 (March 1922), pp. 327-366. Online June 30, 2002 by Dinsmore Documentation.
"The Role of Wampum Production at the Albany Almshouse," by Elizabeth S. Pena, International Journal of Historical Archaeology, Vol. 5:2, (June 2001). Available via Springerlink.
first posted 06/06/01; last revised 8/22/14