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One of the Brooklyn Historical Society’s current exhibitions, “Inventing Brooklyn: People, Places, Progress,” traces the forces that transformed the area from its Native American origins to its present state as a thriving metropolis. That exhibit reflects the society as a whole, which was founded in 1863 to celebrate Brooklyn’s history and evolution. The museum also houses exhibits that extend beyond pure history, such as “Say Cheese! Portraits to Pics,” a record of family portraiture that includes vintage daguerreotypes, detailed Etch-a-Sketches from the 1960's, and modern digital snapshots.
To complement the exhibits, the society also runs the Othmer library, a nationally recognized research library with archives of local photography, manuscripts, and oral histories from more than 300 narrators, many of which focus on specific themes such as Brooklyn Navy Yard Workers or the Williamsburg Giglio Festival. The society’s staff also takes their expertise out into the community to helm walking tours that criss-cross the borough, host off-site exhibits, and work extensively in local schools.
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