Massena Public Library hosting exhibit on history of immigration in New York

·2 min read

Jan. 9—MASSENA — The history of immigration in New York from 1650 to 1950 is the subject of a new traveling exhibit that will be up for viewing during January in the Massena Public Library's Main Reading Room.

"These are traveling exhibits and we get it through the New York Archives, but we actually have it through the Northern New York Library Network," Massena Library D irector Elaine Dunne said.

The Northern New York Library Network circulates this and other exhibits to local libraries. Ms. Dunne said Massena has had other exhibits previously, including one on the Civil War and another on the founding of New York.

The library network describes the exhibition this way:

"Immigrants built a vibrant, diverse, and modern New York state. However, the arrival of European immigrants was also incredibly disruptive. Our history bears those imprints, as well as many more positive outcomes. Immigrants have come to New York for many reasons: to escape persecution, to improve their economic outlook, and to build new lives. This exhibit focuses on historic immigration to New York state from 1650 to 1950. Our story begins with the arrival of Dutch settlers and continues through the end of the World Wars."

The exhibit consists of four retractable banners, each measuring 33 inches wide by 7 feet tall, and also has a complementary, detailed online exhibition available at

"It's full of information on immigration, so I thought it would be a good time to do it here," Ms. Dunne said.

Patrons can view the exhibit any time the library is open — from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday; 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday; 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday; and 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The library is closed Sundays.

"This is very much just a walk-through type of thing as you're there. We're not having any kind of opening or any guest speakers to talk about it or anything," Ms. Dunne said. "We're just going to put it out there, put the literature with it and encourage people to check out some books on the topic."

COVID-19 precautions will be in place, with all patrons older than 3 required to wear masks at all times. Social distancing must also be maintained while in the library.

For more information on the exhibit, visit For more information about its showing at the library, call 315-769-9914.