Milne Marks Erie Canal 200th Anniversary with Traveling Exhibit

Photo of “Flight of five” locks, in Lockport. (Image from the New York State Archives
“Flight of five” locks, in Lockport. (Image from the New York State Archives)

In 1817 (two hundred years ago!), construction of the Erie Canal began. Milne Library is celebrating this anniversary by hosting a traveling exhibit, “Two Hundred Years on the Erie Canal, 1817-2017,” throughout November on the main floor of the library near the main staircase.

The story of the canal’s historic significance and impact is told on four panels labeled Yankee Ingenuity, Moving Ideas, Canal Culture, and Dreamers & Builders.

The archival images used in the exhibit were selected from the Empire State Library Network’s New York Heritage digital collections and the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Several copies of the exhibit, which is sponsored by a Humanities New York Action Grant, are traveling to libraries across the state through July 2018.

Stop by and learn how the Erie Canal was built, the brilliant people behind its construction, its role as an “information superhighway,” and how its presence affected the everyday folks living and working on or near it.  And while you’re at it, browse the bookshelves next to the panels to see some of the variety of canal-related materials held by Milne Library. All are welcome to come and help us celebrate the birth and life of this iconic landmark.

(Written by Catherine Henry, Special Collection intern, with Liz Argentieri, Special Collections Librarian)