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February 27, 2007


The City College of New York Offered Through Arcadia Publishing’s Campus History Series

NEW YORK, February 27, 2007 – The City College of New York (CCNY) began in 1847 as an educational and political experiment to provide access to higher education for bright young men – and later women – from working class and immigrant families who could not afford private college. Now 160 years later, the story of America’s first municipal institution of higher education, is told in a pictorial retrospective by CCNY Archivist Sydney C. Van Nort.

“Sharing the story of this modest educational idea and how it aided students to achieve their dreams, may guide others in gaining the tools needed to achieve their goals,” said Professor Van Nort. Her 128-page book, The City College of New York, will be released today by New Hampshire-based Arcadia Publishing as part of its Campus History series.  Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States.

The City College of New York explains the history of City College from its founding by Townsend Harris, a prominent New York merchant and America’s first ambassador to Japan, to the present.  Its images not only reflect the College’s influences and changes but also its celebrations, and student life on a commuter campus.

“This book is a present to The City College on the occasion of its upcoming 160th anniversary and for 100 years of learning on the St. Nicholas Heights campus,” said Professor Van Nort. “It’s a present that I’m very delighted to give.”

The City College of New York retails for $19.99. It will be available at area bookstores, independent retailers and online merchants, or direct through Arcadia Publishing at (888) 313-2665 or Copies can also be purchased from the Office of the City College Libraries at (212) 650-7271.

About the Author

A native New Yorker who grew up on the Upper West Side, Sydney Van Nort has childhood memories of attending classical music concerts with her parents at Lewisohn Stadium, where CCNY’s North Academic Center now stands. She graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. degree in medieval studies and holds an M.A. from CCNY, ’05, in art history/museum studies and an M.L.S, specializing in archival management, from Columbia University’s School of Library Service.

Professor Van Nort joined CCNY as acting archivist and special collections librarian in 1999 and was appointed archivist in 2000. She has collaborated on 15 exhibitions presented by CCNY’s Morris Raphael Cohen Library. 

About The City College of New York

For 160 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Over 13,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Architecture, the School of Education, the Grove School of Engineering, the Center for Worker Education and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.