Harry Bardshaw Matthews and NBC New York Reporter Tracie Strahan

Hartwick’s Matthews Discusses Genealogy on NYC Television

December 13, 2010

Through exhaustive research and the publication of several books on the topic, Hartwick College Associate Dean and Director of U.S. Pluralism Programs Harry Bradshaw Matthews has become a sought-after expert in the field of African American Genealogy. That expertise led him to board a New York City-bound train last week to tape a Christmas-morning segment for NBC New York.

Matthews appeared on the New York City airwaves from 6-7 a.m. on Christmas morning, and on the station's Web site for at least a week prior. His segment, produced by Greg Campbell and featuring reporter Tracie Strahan, is five minutes in length and contains discussion of and images from Matthews' work to trace his own lineage. It is based on the revised edition of Matthews' 2007 book African American Genealogical Research: How to Trace Your Family History.

To watch Matthews' segment, visit the station's web site.

The original version of Matthews' book was identified as one of the 24 most important books in genealogical research by Foster Stockwell in his 2004 book, A Sourcebook for Genealogical Research. In 2007, the Library of Congress selected Matthews' book for inclusion in its permanent collection. Since then, copies have been catalogued at select sites such as Cornell University, New York State Library, New York Public Library, Princeton University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, University of California at Berkeley, as well as locally at Hartwick College, New York State Historical Association Research Library, and SUNY Oneonta. Copies also are catalogued at state libraries in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, among others.

Aspects of the research are included in Matthews' 2008 publication, African American Freedom Journey in New York and Related Sites, 1823-1870: Freedom Knows No Color, which is available at numerous online sites. The topic of African American family research will be a major national focus during the 2011 Black History Month Celebrations in reaction to the theme, "African Americans and the Civil War."

Matthews is founder of the United States Colored Troops Institute for Local History & Family Research, an educational institute to promote and encourage original historical and genealogical research about the 200,000 colored men and their 7,000 white officers who comprised the U.S. Colored Troops during the American Civil War.

The Institute encourages communities of America (inclusive of the U.S., Canada, and Caribbean nations) to "find" their local USCT Institute members and to place soldiers and their families within a local historical context through educational and commemorative events.

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030