Housed in an unassuming duplex just beyond the last stop on the D train in Norwood is the Bronx County Historical Society Archives, a treasure trove of ephemera from the Bronx's centuries-old history. Of course they hold a pair of old Yankee Stadium seats. There's also a dictionary from 1892, preserved locks of hair, trophies hailing from shuttered high schools, conceptual plans for an airport near Co-op City, and boxes of personal items donated by the late Jazz singer and Bronxite, Maxine Sullivan.
The Bronx County Historical Society Archives is a catch-all destination for items, from documents to photographs to the items cataloged above, that reflect and illuminate the Bronx's past. "There is an ongoing history," Angel Hernandez, the Education Coordinator at the BCHS, told us on a recent visit. He pointed to an aerial picture taken in the ’70s of a burned-out Bronx street. "This helps us learn what not to do again."
Hernandez's role at the archives echoes the BCHS's larger mission: to educate the community about the Bronx's history, largely to make sure the same things that caused the borough to fall behind do not happen again. Hernandez advocates that education about the events that shaped its past, and giving back to the borough in its present, are what will help raise it up. For his part, he's doing that.
Now, take a look into the belly of the Bronx County Historical Society Archives, where unique items, from the significant to the mundane, are stored for future generations.