If you want to know more about the man, the wonder of Google books, which presents us with his “Annals,” also presents us with a brief biographical sketch.
It’s not possible to be interested in Albany history and not to owe a debt of gratitude to Joel Munsell. He was a Massachusetts native who came to Albany in 1827 and established himself as a printer and publisher. In 1850 he began the publication of his “Annals of Albany,” which along with numerous other publications preserved the history of this ancient city at it was known in the mid-19th century. We happened upon his tombstone in Albany Rural Cemetery today while out for a bike ride. It’s been 131 years since his passing, and yet he is one of the authors I read the most. That seems accomplishment enough.