News & Events


“The Musical Dossenbachs in Europe, 1911–1912 (Rochester History Author Spotlight),” Saturday, December 2, 2023

Kate Gleason Auditorium, Rochester Public Library, 115 South Avenue, Rochester, NY 14604

“Rochester and the Mid-Sized American City in the 21st Century: A Conference and a Conversation,” Friday, April 21, 2023

Kate Gleason Auditorium, Rochester Public Library, 115 South Avenue, Rochester, NY 14604


Call for Papers: Forum on Blake McKelvey in honor of the 80th Anniversary of the Publication Rochester: The Water-Power City, 1812–1854.

The editors of Rochester History, a peer reviewed journal published both in print and online, invite contributions to a forum reflecting on the significance of Blake McKelvey (1903–2000) as an innovative city historian, scholar of urban history, and public history practitioner. The special issue will be published to coincide with the 80th anniversary of McKelvey’s first major book, Rochester: The Water-Power City, 1812–1854 (Harvard University Press), which was the first of four volumes in his magisterial history of Rochester’s rise from frontier settlement to technological powerhouse. Through his research, writing, and editorial work, McKelvey helped define the field of urban history in the United States as well as the role of city historian in Cold War America.

In this forum, we invite critical reappraisals of McKelvey’s work and reflections on his influence on the field of urban history, the practice of public history, and the role of city historians in addressing the various needs of multiple audiences. We also welcome papers addressing new work in areas McKelvey examined throughout his career, from the Erie Canal and Rochester’s economic rise to urban immigration, reform, and politics.

Proposals of roughly 250 words must be submitted by May 15th. Final submissions from accepted essays will  be due September 1, 2024. Final submissions will be approximately 2,500 words.

Please submit proposals to:

How does history shape our understanding of a mid-sized city like Rochester?Connections with Evan Dawson on WXXI, April 10, 2023