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NY museum gets vast collection of colonial-era artefacts

NY museum gets vast collection of colonial-era artefacts

ALBANY: More than 100,000 artefacts from one of the earliest European settlements in North America are now housed at an upstate New York museum located near where the objects were discovered more than 40 years ago.

Officials at the New York State Museum in Albany said the items include 36,000 artefacts from the 1620s Dutch settlement known as Fort Orange and more than 80,000 others from the nearby former country estate of Philip Schuyler, the father-in-law of Alexander Hamilton.

The artefacts mostly everyday objects such as coins, ceramics, tools and gun parts have been transferred to the museum from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, which had stored the items at various facilities since they were found during separate excavations conducted in the early 1970s.

The collection offers “a broad-brush outline of life in 17th century New Netherland,” the Dutch colony in North America, museum curator and historical archaeologist Michael Lucas said on Friday.

The artefacts are now stored in the downtown Albany museum that also houses the State Archives and Library, home to thousands of Colonial Dutch documents, records and books, as well as the nonprofit New Netherland Research Centre. The museum already had a large collection of Dutch artefacts from Albany and Manhattan. Bringing the larger collection to the museum puts the bulk of New York’s Colonial Dutch history under one roof, officials said.

“It’s a place where people can come to do research on a lot of different areas of New Netherland,” Lucas said.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2017

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