you for contacting
the Colonial Albany Social History Project
BUT . . .
Every day, a growing number of inquiries come to us via e-mail and
to the project offices by mail and phone. They fall into three general categories:
Those relating to the people of colonial
Albany and their world. Second, more general but off-topic (that is, not
early Albany city-related) historical questions - about half of the overall
volume, some even focused on New York-related matters. And finally a number
of "head-scratchers" on a variety of non historical
Inspired by healthy curiosity, most of the inquires are interesting; some
are of real value to our program; and some are more generally useful. Feedback
in all forms helps us understand how well we are serving our global audiences.
Through the "People of Colonial Albany Live Here
Website" we have a mounted a massive exposition
on the people of colonial Albany and their world. Underlying this is a parallel
exposition on how we have gone about constructing their story.
Because our principal goal is to present
all of the fruits of more than twenty years of historical research on this
website, everything else must take a back seat to producing
new and better webpages toward the end of presenting a complete picture
of early Albany based on the lives of its
diverse and elusive peoples
- all 16,000 of them! I hope that I have a few years left to achieve this
The everyday history staff of the Colonial Albany Social History Project consists of yours truly, and my dedicated assistant who serves as office manager! At the same time, I am also the only historian working on the website on a daily basis. Thus, I simply cannot respond directly to most of the volume of inquiries - even those focused on our study population,
place, and time. Responding to the inquiries would occupy all of the energies
of one person and then some! Frankly, this service situation does not appear
likely to improve in the forseeable future.
Instead, I am certain that my most efficient response is to work harder
to develop and improve webpages to reach the the largest possible audience
in the most satisfying ways. I read all e-mail and try and address your
questions within our growing and evolving website exposition. Literally
millions individuals visit our pages in the course of a year. That staggering
statistic strikes me as incredible and compels me to press onward to further
develop and improve our web exposition.
At the same time, I do feel badly that we cannot serve you more personally.
I apologize for this "blanket" response to your inquiry but have tried to
address this issue in a forthright and forthcoming way!
Please come back to the "People of Colonial Albany
Live Here Website" often. I promise some part of it will grow
and become more useful virtually every day!
Community Historian & Project Director
Puzzlements: About half of the inquiries we
receive do not relate in any direct way to our defined mission. Some are so far afield
that I truly cannot understand why they are contacting us. However, I must
point out that the "NA" proportion of the incomings
has dropped some as the website continues to grow and we learn to better
Size: By the end of 2010, the website contained
more than 3,000 separate items/html files/features (web pages) and more
than 200 images separate images.