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Project Continuum: Discover Central Park's Seneca Village

Project Continuum Presents a Twilight Faculty Lecture with Professor Nan Rothschild

Seneca Village was a 19th-century African-American community located in today’s Central Park until its residents were evicted so the Park could be built. Professor Rothschild will bring the Village back to life for us through documentary sources and what was revealed through her archaeological explorations.

Seneca Village was founded in the 1820s by African-Americans who wanted to live in a free and safe space, and who also needed to own land if they were to vote. Irish immigrants joined the community in the 1840s. It had 3 churches and a school, its houses were aligned with the grid, and there were more than 260 occupants in the 1850s.

Professor Rothschild, in collaboration with Cynthia Copeland and Diana Wall, conducted an archaeological exploration of Seneca Village using students from all over New York City as excavators. They formed the Seneca Village Project (now the Institute for the Exploration of Seneca Village History, Inc., or IESVH) in 1997 to bring the Village back to modern memory.

Nan Rothschild is Research Professor of Anthropology at Barnard and Director of Museum Studies at Columbia. She believes it is important to acknowledge the deep history of African-Americans and the presence of marginalized groups such as Irish immigrants, the poor and working class in the City.

Read the article
about Seneca Village published in the New York Times on July 28, 2011.

More Seneca Village news:

Gothamist: "Seneca Village Artifacts Unearthed at Big Dig in Central Park"
BET: "Archeologists Uncover Secrets of Black Village Beneath Central Park"
CNN: "'History' Unearthed in Central Park"
Columbia University News: "Columbia Archaeologist Unearths Remnants of 19th-Century Village Beneath Central Park"
The West Side Spirit: "Digging Into Central Park's Past"


RSVP TO ALUMNAE AFFAIRS AT 212.854.2005 OR alumnaeaffairs@barnard.edu.  You can also register online by clicking the Registration button at the top of the screen.

Light refreshments available at 6 pm.  Presentation beings at 6:30 pm

To enhance your experience of Professor Rothschild’s talk, we suggest you take a Seneca Village tour before September 21st. Central Park Conservancy offers a free walking tour which includes the area of Professor Rothschild’s dig. The schedule of Seneca Village tours is available at the Central Park website.
Contact Information
Alumnae Affairs
(212) 854-2005
Date & Location
Date: 9/21/2011
Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Location: Sulzberger Parlor
Third Floor, Barnard College

Alumnae Relations
3009 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

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