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In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Society's emphasis on supporting genealogical organizations and their research drew criticism from people who wanted to see it play a greater public service role. In 1917, the May Van Rensselaer episode brought considerable public attention to the Society's failings in this area. Although some progress was made during the tenure of Alexander Wall, the $4.5 million Thompson bequest in 1934 gave the Society such freedom and independence that for nearly forty years, it was accountable to no one. During this period, the Society's investment proceeds accounted for more than 90 percent of its total annual income. Because it was receiving no government support, Society lead­ership could congratulate itself when it provided even the most minimal level of service to the public. This attitude affected officials on both sides: the Society's officers, who were proud that their institution accepted no public assistance, and city officials and the public, who came to perceive the Society as elitist and arro­gant. When the situation changed in the early 1970s and the Society could no longer live solely off its endowment income, the Society faced a very long climb to rehabilitate its reputation sufficiently to merit public attention. In fact, it was never able to make that climb; government and state support became available only because the Society was near death.

Another major factor that has adversely affected the Society's potential for re­ceiving regular government operating support has been the changing economic and political climate. As the economic environment has grown increasingly diffi­cult for nonprofit institutions generally, more of them have appealed to the city for help. The process for receiving annual support from the city's Department of Cultural Affairs depends on being included in the Cultural Institutions Group. The CIG is composed of thirty-two cultural institutions located in all five bor­oughs of the city. Because these thirty-two institutions divide up what is a greatly constrained fiscal pie, it is in their interests to prevent new members from being admitted into the group. Furthermore, because of historical patterns, institutions focused on minority issues and institutions in the outer boroughs are underrepresented in the present distribution of members. Together, these factors illustrate why it is very difficult for an institution with an elitist and exclusive reputation, located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, to qualify for new support today.

Community outreach

One way for the Society to overcome its stuffy and elitist image would be to pro­vide services to its surrounding community. There is no question that public offi­cials regard such outreach as a prerequisite for any kind of continuing support. What is fascinating is how difficult it has been for the Society to overcome its rep­utation for arrogance. The generally accepted characterization of the Society as an institution that has made no effort to attract and engage the public with its ex­hibitions and programs is simply not true. One can argue that its efforts have been unsuccessful, but one cannot assert that no such efforts have been made. Most recently, the Jackie Robinson exhibit, the "Why History?" program, and the edu­cational initiative with O'Shea Junior High are but a few examples of the Soci­ety's attempts to open its doors and thereby improve its public image.

Questions & Answers

what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
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Source:  OpenStax, The new-york historical society: lessons from one nonprofit's long struggle for survival. OpenStax CNX. Mar 28, 2008 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10518/1.1
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