Credit: Marist College Archives and Special Collections

Special Projects

Hudson River Valley Digital Library and Portal Site The backbone of the HRVI is the Hudson River Valley Digital Library , an interactive, electronic repository of information related to the valley's cultural, historical, and natural environment, which helps define the river valley's distinct cultural history and identity. The Digital Library contains resources and records of use to educators, historians, students, regional planners, local government officials, and the general public. The interactive nature of the Digital Library enables it to serve as a regional information exchange among academic institutions, government agencies, and environmental organizations. In addition to the above audiences, the Hudson River Valley Digital Library is available to cultural and historical tourists from all over the world who are planning to visit the Valley.

The Digital Library includes sessions designed for each of the above audiences so that information can be accessed, analyzed, and discussed in an on-line environment. Multimedia presentations using video and audio streaming feature scholars, political figures, and prominent valley leaders. These segments are combined with digital versions of important historical records to help convey the history and culture of the Hudson River Valley. In addition, educational materials and electronic learning modules aimed at primary and secondary educators and students include lesson plans.

The Portal Site directs those seeking information on the region to an entrance point that provides vetted information on valuable material concerning the Hudson River Valley. Information-seekers are directed to quality sources, organized thematically for multiple users, through a high-powered search engine. The goal is to direct these users (via links and searches) to the best available information on the region and county. Site content includes multimedia presentations using video and audio streaming.

Conferences and Symposia

Since the spring of 2002, the Hudson River Valley Institute has sponsored an annual Lecture in Hudson River Valley History supported by an endowment from the Charlotte Cuneen-Hackett Charitable Trust. A prominent scholar of the Valley's rich heritage and culture delivers each lecture. These lectures are recorded and made available in digital formats for access via the Hudson River Valley Digital Library. In partnership with The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Mr. Richard Brookhiser inaugurated the program with his lecture on "Rediscovering George Washington" on June 12, 2002.

Promotion of the 225th Anniversary of the American Revolution

In partnership with the National Park Service and the HRVNHA, the Institute is leading the effort in New York to promote the 225th Anniversary of the American Revolution. The motto is "Lighting Freedom's Flame." The Digital Library and Portal Site serves as the hub for the celebration and promotes the region as a destination for heritage tourists. The Institute is working with the Brigade of the American Revolution, Living History Education Foundation, and the National Maritime Historical Society to use living history by re-enactors in encampments and aboard period ships to educate the public. The calendar of events features events relating to the 225th Anniversary of the American Revolution.

The Hudson River Valley Institute is working in partnership with Heritage New York and the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area to conduct a statewide inventory of American Revolutionary sites as a 225th Anniversary of the American Revolution project. Students are conducting research on the sites in the Hudson River Valley and have developed an electronic, prototype guidebooks that include travel information to promote cultural tourism. In addition, the Institute assisted with the interpretation of the Fort Montgomery Battle Site, which was opened to the public on 6 October 2002.

Each year through 2008, the Institute will organize and promote Patriots' Weekend, which will focus on a significant historical event relating to the Revolutionary War in the Hudson Valley 225 years ago. Re-enactments, public-oriented historical lectures by nationally known historians, and ceremonies honoring those who fought for America's independence will be the Weekend's key features.

College-Level Studies:

Working collaboratively with school districts throughout the Hudson River Valley region, the HRVI develops curricula on the Hudson River Valley's history that is consistent with New York State and national education standards. As part of professional development initiatives, special topic seminars are designed for the region's teachers. In conjunction with these seminars, web-based reading modules and electronic discussion rooms are available for classroom use. Developed by Marist's history and education faculty, the curricula will comprise local historical resources, lesson plans, and learning outcomes, all delivered electronically via the innovative Hudson River Valley Digital Library.

The present undergraduate curriculum in Hudson Valley Regional Studies at Marist includes the History & Culture of the Hudson River Valley, Architecture & History of the Hudson River Valley, and Hudson Valley Literature.