Libraries in New York State are celebrating the bicentennial of the groundbreaking of the Erie Canal. The Empire State Library Network, a consortium of library councils that serve the state, has partnered with the Digital Public Library of America on an exhibit, “Two Hundred Years on the Erie Canal.”
The Erie Canal is one of the most famous man-made bodies of water in the world, and is integral to the history of New York State. When the first shovel of earth was turned near Rome, New York, on July 4, 1817, no public works project of this magnitude had ever been attempted anywhere in the world. Now, two hundred years later, this exhibit takes you inside the history, influence, and culture of the canal.
Multiple copies of the exhibit are circulating at libraries across New York State, from now through Summer 2018. Each exhibit includes four posters, showing a different theme:
Dreamers & Builders – the people who researched, planned and built the canal
Canal Culture – songs, writings and art
Yankee Ingenuity – how the engineers and crews invented ways to build a canal as they worked
Moving Ideas – how the canal helped spread progressive causes like abolition and women’s suffrage
In addition, a kiosk is available that takes you to a companion online exhibit. This can be viewed from anywhere by going to https://dp.la/exhibitions