jennifer.lemak's picture

Jennifer Lemak, Ph.D.

Chief Curator of History

Doctorate of Philosophy, American History, University at Albany, 2004
Master of Arts, Public History, University at Albany, 2000
Bachelor of Arts, History and Secondary Social Studies in Education, State University of New York College at Cortland, 1996

Professional Affiliations
New York Academy of History – Fellow (Inducted 2014)
New York State Board for Historic Preservation
University at Albany Center For Applied Historical Research, Board Member
New York State Archives Magazine, Editorial Consultant    


One of my main concentrations of ongoing research focuses on the migration of southern African Americans to New York State.  Known as the Great Migration, over one million African Americans moved to here between 1910 and 1970.  My first book entitled, Southern Life, Northern City: The History of Albany’s Rapp Road Community (SUNY Press, 2008), focused on a community that migrated to Albany from Shubuta, Mississippi and the greater migration experience in Albany.  I have also written articles on Rochester and Syracuse in regards to the Great Migration and am currently working on this period in Buffalo.  The migrants that moved to New York during the twentieth century transformed the state’s politics, economics, and culture.  


Lemak, J.A., 2007. The Empire State and the "Perculiar Institution". Legacy: The Magazine of the New York State Museum 2, 10-13.
Lemak, J.A., 2006. The Great Migration: Looking for a New Life in the State Capital. Legacy: The Magazine of the New York State Museum 2, 7.