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Germany, Prussia, 1761-1762

Germany, Prussia, 1761-1762

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Summary

The collection assembled by H. J. Vinkhuijzen (1843-1910), a Dutch physician, and presented to the Library by Mrs. Henry Draper in 1911, consists in its entirety of over 32,000 pictures, from many sources, mounted in 762 scrapbooks. (The digital presentation will ultimately include them all.) The collection is remarkably diverse, depicting costume as various as the rough wool garments of Bronze age Etruscan warriors, the robes of Ottoman Turk court officials, and the elaborate uniforms of the preening armies of 19th-century Europe, the collection's special strength. The aesthetic quality of the images varies. There are prints seemingly cut from 17th-century festival books along with 19th-century chromolithographs, original watercolor compositions of some artistic merit, crude pencil drawings, and occasional photographs. Dr. Vinkhuijzen's usual strategy was to extract plates from illustrated books and magazines. He colored some of the printed images, and when printed images were lacking, drew others by hand. Some of the unsigned watercolors found in the collection may also be by him. He arranged his collection as loose images in boxes according to his own classification system; this organization is retained for browsing the digital collection. (Mounting the plates in scrapbooks was apparently accomplished by others after Dr. Vinkhuijzen's death.) The New York Public Library comprises simultaneously a set of scholarly research collections and a network of community libraries, and its intellectual and cultural range is both global and local, while singularly attuned to New York City. That combination lends to the Library an extraordinary richness. It is special also in being historically a privately managed, nonprofit corporation with a public mission, operating with both private and public financing in a century-old, still evolving private-public partnership. Last year, over 16 million New Yorkers visited the library, and over 25 million used its website. The NYPL Digital Gallery provides free and open access to over 640,000 images digitized from the The New York Public Library's vast collections, including not just photographs but illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and more. Digital projects and partnerships at NYPL are managed by the Digital Experience Group, a 21-person team of programmers, designers and producers dedicated to expanding and enhancing all points of computer and Web-mediated interaction with the library's collections, services and staff.

In 1225, the Teutonic Knights, a military order of crusading knights, headquartered in the Kingdom of Jerusalem at Acre transferred their operations to the Baltic Sea where Order engaged in numerous armed conflicts until Order's lands came into the hands of a branch of the Hohenzollern family, who already ruled the Brandenburg. The resulting state, known as Brandenburg-Prussia, commonly known as "Prussia", consisted of geographically disconnected territories in Prussia, Brandenburg, and the Rhineland. During the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), armies repeatedly marched across the territories so Hohenzollerns had to build a powerful military to protect disconnected lands. "Prussia" developed one of the most powerful armies in Europe. Mirabeau said: "Prussia, is not a state with an army, but an army with a state." More than 20,000 Protestant refugees from Salzburg settled in thinly populated eastern Prussia. Prussia engaged in wars with Poland, Lithuania, numerous German States, Habsburg Austria, France, and Russia proving Prussia's status as one of the great powers of Europe. By 1813, Prussia could mobilize almost 300,000 soldiers. Prussian troops contributed crucially in the Battle of Waterloo - the final victory over Napoleon. Prussia invited the immigration of Protestant refugees (especially Huguenots). For protestants, Prussia was a safe haven in much the same way that the United States welcomed immigrants seeking freedom in the 19th century. Frederick the Great, the first "King of Prussia" introduced a general civil code, abolished torture and established the principle that the Crown would not interfere in matters of justice. He promoted an advanced secondary education which prepares the brightest pupils for university studies. The Prussian education system was emulated in various countries, including the United States. The first half of the 19th century saw a prolonged struggle between those who wanted a united Germany and others who wanted to maintain Germany as a patchwork of independent, monarchical states with Prussia and Austria competing for influence. In 1862 Prussian King Wilhelm I appointed Otto von Bismarck as Prime Minister. Bismarck guided Prussia through a series of wars resulting in a formation of the North German Confederation that united all German-speaking peoples, excluding Austria, which remained connected to non-German territories. On 18 January 1871, William was proclaimed "German Emperor". World War I ended Prussia’s supremacy. The abolition of the political power of the aristocracy transformed Prussia into a region strongly dominated by the left-wing of the political spectrum. Prussia lost territories and became a Land under the Weimar Republic. After the rise to power of Adolf Hitler in 1933, the Prussian constitution was set aside and the legislature abolished. World War II led to the abolition of Prussia with most the land ceded over to Poland. The German population was expelled and fled to the Western occupation zones. The number of casualties is estimated at 2 to 4 million, including those who fled during the last months of the war. 25 February 1947, Prussia was officially proclaimed to be dissolved.

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Date

1761 - 1762
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Contributors

Vinkhuijzen, Hendrik Jacobus, Collector
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Source

New York Public Library
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