IS IT TRASH OR IS IT TREASURE: Lecture on Roosevelt Island

    January 12, 2016 all-day
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    Roosevelt Island
    New York, NY


    Lecture on Roosevelt Island

    Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Map of Manhattan in 1874. Credit to Library of Congress
    Map of Manhattan in 1874. Credit to Library of Congress

    (Roosevelt Island, NY, December 28, 2015) – Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and even garbage can be beautiful. To the municipality, garbage is a constant headache. To the city’s residents, it is a disagreeable nuisance. Joan H. Geismar, Ph.D., will explain how garbage is a treasure trove of information to the urban archaeologist in a lecture at the New York Public Library Branch on Roosevelt Island, on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.

    As an example, an urban archaeological site—the 175 Water Street block in lower Manhattan—invites the question: Is it Trash or is it Treasure? Literally created from 18th-century detritus, and then the repository of 18th- and 19th-century trash, the block’s debris included a merchant ship that was sunk to structure the garbage-laden landfill. The derelict hulk was the site’s most extraordinary example of urban trash, as well as its most spectacular artifact.

    Learn about the ship and the more than 350,000 less-sensational artifacts recovered from the site, as well as the research prompted by the finds in Dr. Geismar’s lecture, sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, and supported by Amalgamated Bank.

    The event is FREE and open to the public. It is the first in a series of spring lectures sponsored by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society.

    DIRECTIONS: Take the Tram at 59th Street and Second Avenue or the F train to Roosevelt Island. Take the red bus (no charge) or walk eight minutes north to 524 Main Street.

    The Roosevelt Island Historical Society promotes awareness of our Island’s unique story and pursues preservation of its landmarks and artifacts. For more information, please visit