April 28: Tour of Dead Horse Bay (Member Exclusive)

Tour of Dead Horse Bay, Brooklyn
April 28, 2018, 11am–3pm
Admission (Members only) TBA
Become a member today!
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As a final event in conjunction with NYC Trash! Past, Present, and Future, the City Reliquary will be hosting a Member-Exclusive tour of Brooklyn’s Dead Horse Bay. Once a horse-rendering plant (hence it’s name) and, later, used as a New York landfill, the Bay offers a rich natural and cultural history. The detritus of generations can be found on its shores where, unlike most other places in New York, layers of the past are not erased.

Tour size will be limited to 25 people. 


Robin Nagle—author of Picking Up, anthropologist-in-residence for New York City’s Department of Sanitation, and professor of anthropology and environmental studies at New York University—will discuss the history of Dead Horse Bay and its significance in New York’s trash history.


11am: Meet at The City Reliquary; the museum will open one hour early so that tour attendees will be able to experience the NYC Trash! exhibit before it closes.

12pm: Passenger van to Dead Horse Bay.

1pm: Welcome and talk from Robin Nagle, anthropologist-in-residence for New York City’s Department of Sanitation.

1:45pm: Low tide. Attendees are invited to explore Dead Horse Bay on their own.

2:30pm: Passenger van back to the City Reliquary; return by 3pm.

This is a member-exclusive event. Become a member today to attend this event, and other great programming.

Collectors’ Night 2018

Collectors’ Night 2018
New York City Fire Museum, 278 Spring St., New York, NY 10013
Online admission: $10 general/$7 Reliquary and Fire Museum members
Door admission: $13 general/$10 Reliquary and Fire Museum members
Buy tickets here!
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The City Reliquary will be hosting its 13th annual Collectors’ Night on Saturday, April 14th, 2018,6pm-8pm, at the New York City Fire Museum. Join us in celebrating curious collections, displays, and ephemera!

Each year, collectors and archivists — whose acquisitions run the gamut, from loose groupings to the hyper-specific–showcase their treasures to the public and participate in rapid-fire show-n-tells. This is an opportunity to get up close with collective labors of love.

Special guest speakers will focus on municipal collections of New York City and feature:

Brian Kelley’s NYCTA project, which began as a simple collection of MetroCards taken from the ground and has since expanded to encompass Transit Authority materials, patches, pamphlets, pins, tickets, tokens, limited-edition MetroCards, and more.

Nelson Molina, a retired DSNY worker, will present on his Treasures in the Trash collection.

And a special presentation from our host, the New York Fire Museum, detailing the history and cultural heritage of the fire service of New York.


This year’s collections include:

  • Coca-Cola ephemera (David Argov)
  • Collection of photos, posters, press kits, etc. related to the 1968 Apollo 8 mission (Ben Sisto)
  • Museum of Interesting Things(Denny Daniel)
  • Elongated coins (Suzie Sims-Fletcher)
  • ID cards and corroding bottle caps (Harley Spiller)
  • Archival 16mm cartoons (Tommy Stathes)
  • Antique china, glass, bottles, and seaglass (Emily Kawasaki)
  • Chicago gang business cards from the 1960s-1990s(Brandon Johnson)
  • Collection of frog-related items (Dianna Maeurer)
  • Photo postcards from World War I (Chris Engel)
  • Shea Stadium ephemera (Jason Antos)
  • Labels and sign letters/numbers (Gail Mitchell)
  • The Wallet of Ronda J Smith – a collection of personal cards / credit cards / driver’s licenses (Ronda Smith)
  • Items created by a number of companies and entities that share that collector’s namesake (Glen Eden Einbinder)
  • Henry & Jay’s Collection Agency (Jason and Henry McLean)
  • “The Operative Owl”: a collection of primarily antique owls that function (Lesley Doyel)
  • Eiffel Tower collection (LuLu LoLo)

Beer generously provided by Brooklyn Brewery.

March 5-31: Closet Archaeology + Opening Reception

Closet Archaeology—an Accidental Time Capsule: Monday, March 5-Saturday, March 31

Ace Hotel New York
20 W. 29th St.
New York, NY 10001

A reception for the exhibition will be held on Thursday March 8 from 6-8p.

During the winter of 2015, an East Village fourth grader attending Children’s Workshop School peered into the dusty crevices beneath his classroom’s closet floorboards. He wondered what treasures might have fallen there in the 104 years since the building was constructed. His classmates took notice and joined in, poking and peeking under the boards.

Through this “closet archaeology,” an accidental time capsule —built over a century by generations of students— was excavated for the world to see. Led by their teacher, Miriam Sicherman, these junior archaeologists have unearthed love notes, spelling tests, caps from glass milk bottles, portraits of silent film stars, penny candy wrappers and more. They have evenlocated the former students, now adults, who lost these items across the decades.

The collection was first exhibited in 2017 at The City Reliquary, a not-for-profit museum and civic organization located at 370 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburgh, Brooklyn. Through permanent displays of New York City artifacts, rotating exhibits, and annual cultural events, The City Reliquary connects visitors to both the past and present of New York.

Closet Archaeology will be on display from March 5-31.