Friday, December 16, 2016

Finians Rainbow

Jamie Beers-Wilson asking about this, for an alum who was in it, will look for her. I think in the '50s images there are some of this play. The alum is Beverly Smock (Starling) '62.

Photos of Paul Yu

Paul Yu, former president, died recently, and I was asked for some images of him for social media. Found, scanned and sent some to them.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Social media intern

A student doing an internship on social media with Dave Tyler stopped in, she had been by before, but now is ready to set something up in Pinterest using the Betty Evershed material Lyndsey scanned. I copied the files onto her drive and talked a little about their background, and some other options for such materials.

Hartwell & Tower death dates

Former President Paul Yu died the other day, and I was asked about the death dates for Hartwell and Tower. Hartwell died in 1965 and is buried in Lakeside Cemetery in Brockport. Tower died in 1977 and is buried in Hillside Cemetery in Dundee NY.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Mornings with professors

Had emailed Dawn in Advancement when a call for speakers for this came out a while back. Just heard back, am going to speak at the 4/18 Mornings with Professors. I told her my topic would be the earlier history of the school, BCI - BSNS, a period many don't know much about, but generally seem to find quite interesting.


A new journal the history department is setting up in Digital Commons. They wanted an image of the history muse in the old stained glass windows to use as cover art. Have supplied the image to Kim.

Blanche Southcombe March '29

Jeanette asked about her dates, Blanche was an important part of alumni association for years. Blanche is one of those folks who did both high school and Normal school here, graduating from the high school department in 1926, then the Normal "intermediate" (for those planning to teach junior high,) in 1929. As an aside, Brockport and the other normals did not prepare high school teachers, it was either elementary or junior high, high school teachers trained at a teachers college like Albany, or one of the private colleges.

Update: I posted a pic of Blanche from her '26 graduation in "Remembering Brockport" on Facebook and a few minutes later her gr-grand daughter commented!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Processing - Int'l Ed

Ralph Trecartin of Int'l Ed is leaving the college, but this past summer he asked me to come over and look at a room of "stuff" he had in Morgan. It was a couple rooms, packed with many years of international education materials, things of John Perry's from his various posts in addition to int'l ed., and much else. I made some suggestions to Ralph about what to do with it all, and said that if he needed or wanted at some point, send it to me.
He did, lol, the movers came with 10 boxes of material from over there the other day. So as I can am going through them in a rough way for initial processing. Much goes into recycling bins, but some good stuff to keep, documenting the various study abroad programs and so forth.
These sorts of arrivals are not actually that infrequent, and processing is something I periodically spend a lot of time on, but for some reason don't usually post about it in here. Just doing a rough go thru of the materials Ralph sent over has occupied 5 or 6 hours so far....

Thursday, December 8, 2016

GE skillets

A local history question from a law office re the manufacture of electric skillets at the local GE plant. Tricky question, did find a 1955 article in the Brockport Republic about the beginning of manufacture of that item here, and a 1963 article commemorating the 3,000,000th skillet with the production of a special gold plated skillet! As best I could tell between local articles and posing the question on Facebook in the Remembering Brockport group, where several former employees responded, the skillet was not made here after 1983 when the plant was sold to Black & Decker, who closed it in '86. Typical rust belt story in many ways!

Monday, December 5, 2016


Have been working with Rani Gill & Caitlin Tavernia as they do 30 hour internships for their Public History class. Rani is doing some slide shows of Brockport in the '50s, learning how to scan the old negatives etc. Caitlin is getting a start on her 3 credit internship for next semester, helping me work on a complete inventory and revision of the finding aid, something very much needed.

Finished recently with Lyndsey Richards, who did a 2 credit internship this semester, focusing on student life in the WWII era, the project being grounded in the scrapbook of Betty Evershed '46. Lyndsey did extensive study of the scrapbook and relevant documents, catalogs etc., scanned the scrapbook, did a slide show of it and more. She hopes to do a Scholars Day presentation on this in the spring, something I have encouraged her to do.

Update: Spring semester I think I will have 3 students each doing a 3 credit internship...

Photos of Joe Winnick

Lauren Lieberman from KSSPE wanted pics of Winnick for an event honoring him this week. Found some various images, scanned, and sent to her.

Talk at Rotary

Gave a talk at a meeting of the Brockport Rotary this past week, seemed well received. I stressed the village origins of the college, and people seemed interested by that.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

John Perry with globe

Request from Matt Yeoman for a specific photo of John Perry who used to run International Education. It showed him with a globe, in his office. Matt had an image, but a small one, he needed a better scan to make into an 8x10. I was able to find the original 1996 negative, scanned it at 1200dpi, sent via dropbox.

Drop in - oldest building history

Student just dropped in from a class and wanted to work on a paper about the oldest building on campus. Not even sure what class it was, I was in the middle of things and never got around to asking! Anyway, shared some history of Hartwell Hall, emailed her the pdf of the 1940 Saga spread on the then new building etc.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Jeanette Banker

Had lunch with Jeanette yesterday, talked a couple hours. Folks like her, Fran, Mary Luskey and Peg Browne fought so long and steadfastly to get recognition for the college history and traditions, a lot of what we have now is due to people like them.

Old commencement programs

Query via web page from Hilton school secretary, have replied back, asking what she needs.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

FODL & Union

The library Friends group is supporting the reproduction of historic images that will be placed in the Union. Ginny Campbell and I met with Kim Haines, the Union director recently and she was very keen on the idea. So for example reproduce photos of the old Normal school Greek groups and place in the room the current groups meet in etc. Am looking now into photo reproduction costs and options.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Brockport History Forum

Connected with the student group the Brockport History Forum. They usually meet upstairs in the library on Wednesday evenings, but 11/16 they will have their meeting in the archives with me. Should be fun!

Update: they were a great group, 14 or 15 were here, from 8:30pm till almost 10:30. I took a different tack, had items out on chairs where they were sitting, prints of old records, photos, a beanie etc., and would say, "One of you has a funny little hat, could you hold it up?" Then we'd talk about what the hat was etc. Lots of back and forth, very enjoyable.

History racism at Brockport

Student query, referred to Stylus, C. Bruce Lee interview etc. via email. Am meeting her this evening in person to answer some questions she has.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

FLC in archives

Am hosting the Faculty Learning Community I am in this year, we'll meet in the archives tomorrow, Friday the 28th. Will be a nice chance to show this group which is focused on alumni outreach the resources the archives has.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Hartwell Society, '66 and '56 groups

Spent time this past Friday with first Class of '66, giving a talk about their time here, and then later spent over an hour with a group of '56 alum talking about the history of the college, they were very interested, we talked for well over an hour.

1959 Saga

Mike Andriatch emailed looking for one for an alum, got one and brought over to his office.

Friday, October 21, 2016

"Happiness" statues and fountain history

A student emailed about this. Sent him the .pdf of some images and a very brief history I have, suggested some times I could met him next week.

Jean Linn, Niagara CCC

New cataloger/archivist there, emailed reaching out to area archivists to get help understanding how to organize and run their archives. Have replied, will have a phone chat next week, may go out there sometime too.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Alma Mater score

Tony Dumas, Theatre & Music Studies, emailed asking if had a score other than what appears in the old Stylus' for the Alma Mater. I looked online, the score is that of Gotteschalk's "Last Hope," and found a free version, scan of an old song book. Emailed to him, and saved in the Alma Mater folder in filecity2...

GIS mapping, BCM, Zollweg

Jim Zollweg, Earth Science, contacted us at the Brockport Community Museum, I imagine after seeing my post about the group in the Daily Eagle. He asks about collaboration to do some historical mapping etc online. By a nice coincidence, I am going to a workshop on something related at NYLA in a couple weeks, this is what I emailed Jim, Allan et al:

This is the link to the project, and below the blurb: I'm not sure what Jim has in mind, but I think there are probably a wide range of options, and like Jim suggests, for a virtual museum this could be a great project.


Mapping A City: A Collaborative Project

Sponsor: PLS / RASS
Saratoga Springs celebrated its centennial as a city in 2015. To commemorate this anniversary, a group of Skidmore College faculty and students, the Saratoga Springs History Museum, the Saratoga Springs Public Library’s Local History Room, the Saratoga Springs City Historian, and the Saratoga County Historian collaborated to present an exhibit at the history museum that told the story of the city through its rich collection of historical maps. The curatorial team for this two year collaborative project will share their experience in successfully working with their community partners. The map exhibit came about because of a recognized need to create a comprehensive inventory of historic maps of Saratoga Springs located in various collections throughout the city and at the Saratoga County offices. After a number of meetings to discuss strategy, the curatorial team came up with a list of maps to be considered for the exhibit.  In the Fall 2014, Professor Jordana Dym offered a class “Mapping the Americas” that worked with the selected materials, researched Saratoga Springs’ history, and prepared the story behind the maps.  In the spring of 2015, some of the class continued with the project helping to make the exhibit come to fruition. The class also created a website for the exhibit using maps digitized as part of the project.  

Monday, October 17, 2016

Royston & Massi

Two star football players of the '50s, and Massi was on the 1957 team that was the first winning Brockport team in the modern post-WWII era. Kerry Gotham from Advancement contacted me, they're going to be here for homecoming this weekend, Kerry wanted Stylus articles of some of their games, photos too if I can find them... Lot of digging but nice to support this...

1996-97 Men's basketball team

They were NCAA "Sweet 16" contenders that year, Liz Wacienga from athletics needed a pic of the team. The folder of prints didn't have one, and needs to be sorted, but found a negative in the Jim D. books. Scanned and sent to her.

Thomas "Lefty" McIntyre and Clark Whited

Bud Meade had a question about their dates here, and whether they might have known each other as far back as WWII. Lefty was here 1962-95, Whited 1946-83, Whited was much older, from the Rochester area, and Lefty was from the Midwest as far as I know.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Greek organizations

   Student who is interning this fall with Greek life emailed asking about history etc. of Greek life on campus. Replied that it is a complicated topic, there was an active Greek life here c1856-1936, then nothing for many years. Found a Stylus article from October 1977 re Greek organizations being accepted back on campus. (All this is in reference to "social" Greek letter groups, not honor societies and similar groups. Those have a different history.)

   Hartwell essentially banned social Greek groups in the late 1930s. There were a few sporadic attempts to bring them back, but they never got far. At some point SUNY apparently had a ban on such groups, although it isn't clear to me how that worked, since I believe some SUNY campuses had Greek groups, like Arethusa, which had actually started here, going all along. Anyway, there certainly was a revival of Greek life in the '70s. The student is coming to see me in a couple weeks.

Update: meet with student this afternoon, 10/27. Talked with him for about an hour, showed him some Greek life items from the collections...

Reunions: '66 & '56

Bookscanner was down for a month or more, so had to set up a jury rigged scanner, camera on a stand, used that to scan a lot of material that folks of '66 had picked out. Now working on the slide show for them, and the talk for the Hartwell luncheon.

That same day am going to speak to Class of '56 who are gathering and would like to hear about the history of the school since their time here, so am prepping for that as well.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Mary Kay Maslanka '02

Goal keeper, women's soccer. Now assistant coach, Joan Schokow asked for images of her playing. Managed to find two nice shots, emailed to Joan.

Monday, October 10, 2016

BSG archives

Met with a student from BSG, and Becky Bird, at the BSG offices. Went and looked at their back files. This came up before but the student I had spoken with had misunderstood what they actually have. It is more manageable than I had thought, there are 4-5 shelves of binders, BSG board minutes etc. going back to the '70s. I said I would be glad to house them here, made suggestions re digitizing them, something they asked about...

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Tunnels under campus, civil defense

Student reporter from Stylus looking into stories about tunnels under campus and civil defense shelters. Said didn't know much about tunnels, nothing actually, contact Rick Lair et al in Facilities. For civil defense searched and found a bunch of articles in old Stylus, sent one, gave link to

Monday, October 3, 2016

David Catlin '67

Friend of his was here looking for articles from the Stylus from Catlin's baseball days at the college. Showed how to use, found some articles, he was quite a ball player! Explained how he can bring up the .pdf, download etc. He was happy to learn all that, he's going to download, print out, frame, for Catlin to share with his son...

Friday, September 30, 2016

Margaret Bruton

A professor at a college in TX messaged Mia while she was on the desk re a Margaret Bruton who was thought to have attended a "finishing school" in the 1860s in the area. I did a little research and replied as follows:

Hi, your message asking about a Margaret Bruton came to me. I checked my records, and there is no one that I see surnamed Bruton in the lists of our predecessors, the Collegiate Institute or Normal school. In a search of the local paper in, an 1864 mention did pop up of a Christopher Bruton being a sergeant in “Capt. Edwards Company,” he was listed as 22 years old, and from Riga NY. That makes me wonder if perhaps your Margaret Bruton might have been from Riga, and attended the Riga Academy. That institution is long closed, but the building still stands as private residence:



You might try contacting Ron Belczak, he is the Churchville Village Village and Riga Town Historian:

Sriram Bakshi

Taught theater, 1970-2000. He is in hospice now and I was contacted for some biographical info, picture etc., for a Daily Eagle post and a planned tree planting in his honor. Found bio info, but no pic, he was a quiet, self-effacing man, not one to be in the camera! Supplied what I could, and luckily they found a nice photo courtesy of the Seymour Library where he was on the board.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Writers Forum History

John Follaco called, said had been talking to a D&C reporter re WF, it's upcoming 50th... He wanted to know if I could talk to the reporter re its history. Said yes, reporter called, discussed with him on phone, got his email, sent some docs re the early days, a photo of Greg Fitz Gerald etc., and will send more later when off the reference desk.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

First article for "The Post"

Sent Valerie Dimono an article about homecoming for the inaugural issue of The Post, and she emailed back to say it looked good, and also that she appreciated all the images I sent her.

Hartwell Society - '66

Been held up working on the '66 reunion. Book scanner PC was messed up, took a couple weeks before IT/helpdesk sent Rob over. He recloned PC etc., but then with the move I couldn't locate my driver cd, then he got hold of someone to send it to him, but unfortunately Rob was in an accident and so will have to make do with using a camera to do some of the work.

Anyway, will work on that, and am giving the luncheon talk again this year.

Scans for Chris Norment

Helped a student assistant of Chris' to scan a box of slides of his to use in power points etc.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Valerie Dimino

She did an internship with Mary Jo G. in archives in 2009, and is now on staff, marketing, and in charge of the new publication "The Port," the successor to the Kaleidoscope. She came over and spent an hour here learning about the archives, what it has, what I can do to help with projects etc.

Athletics requests

Need info/pics for two different people. First is Ron Vosberg '97, wrestling. This will be a little tricky, since wrestlers don't have #s, and Jim's photos aren't generally labeled... That's for us, our hall of fame, the other is for a school district that wants to honor a grad of theirs who was a soccer player here, Gary Miller '57.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

MM House presentations

Am working with a small group at Morgan Manning house to set up presentations for this coming year. I am doing one in the spring on Seymour & Morgan and their part in the reaper revolution. Contacted Sarah Cedeno about doing one, and she is interested, in the history of the old Seymour House where the village offices, and the museum she directs, are located. Also am supplying information to Chris Albrecht re Mary Jane Holmes for a friend of his who is going to talk about her.

"Little libraries"

Ginny Campbell of our Friends group had the idea of acquiring a "little library," a small box or unit that people can place books in, and withdraw, in a casual and fun sort of way. There have become quite popular in many settings, and often the box is a decorated sort of thing, and FODL agreed to support it.

She contacted Gordy Fox '66 at my suggestion and I spent some time to assemble images and details about Hartwell Hall and Alumni House, which he was thinking could serve as possible models. I also included a couple images of the old Normal complex, and he actually was quite taken by that, and is now planning a scale model of that building!

More to work on, including questions of placement etc.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

REOC history

Kim Hayward, Rochester EOC, inquiring about their early history. Some good questions, need to do some digging!

Women bicyclists

Margay Blackman, working with Stacey Kirby re new mural/signs for RR overpass, wanting vintage images of women bicyclists. All I could find off hand were the images from the c1948 recruitment brochure, scanned and sent those. Also offered alternate images etc.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Marcus Slade - football

Played football here in 1986-87, #46. Wanted info on games etc. Shared the Stylus online with him, will look for some photos.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

1995 Saga

A member of the class of '95 emailed today, asking why there wasn't one on the Digital Commons site. I explained that while yes there had been one done that year, somehow we never got any here in the library, and it must have been a limited run, since none turned up for many years. Just this year one did though, and this fall I plan to scan and add it.

Alvin Landy

Bud Meade, looking for photo of him. He was Social Work, chair at one point, 1974-85. Will search Jim D. photos etc.

Camp Totem

Very interesting, heard from a Sharon Warner Rossi, who said she had seen my Daily Eagle post from earlier this year about Camp Totem being for sale and inquiring about it. She had been a camper there (local children went there as campers, somewhat like they attended the campus school...) and then her parents apparently purchased the camp after the college sold it in the early 1960s.

I sent her the Nash history of the camp and a few photos, and asked about her family connection, if her parents had run it as a camp or...? I told her the only thing I'd ever heard about the camp after the college let go of it was that c2010 an alum who had been a student counselor there in the old days went up to have a look at it, and found a reclusive fellow living there and the camp in poor condition. It came up for sale last year, but looking just now it is listed as "off-market."

Friday, August 19, 2016

Class of 1966

Met with Betty Northrup and some other members of the Class of 1966. They are gearing up to do the memory book etc. for their 50th anniversary. Shared archival resources with them, the yearbooks, catalogs, Stylus etc. They spent a couple hours on an initial go through, marked a lot of things they want scanned...

1866 grad photo

Dave Tyler saw the post I put in on this for the Daily Eagle, asked for a smaller image to use on social media, resized and sent him.

Hoover - CSEA history

Ed Hoover, who is head of CSEA local, looking for further info and pictures on early CSEA days, staff here. He said he had checked with Albany and they have 1950 as the start date for the local here, which was interesting. Scanned some things and found info for him, got interrupted because of scanner probs, will get back to it next week.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Photo from Brockport Post

Someone called, asking about getting the original photo for something published in the Brockport Post. All we have is the mic of the newspaper. The BP is closed, and I said I doubt Wolfe Papers has an archive of those photos. Probably were taken by free lancers, and they never had the originals. But gave her contact info...

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Vernon Molefe

Had an email about Vernon Molefe, a South African man who was a student here c1988-92. The person who contacted me is researching his life.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Sara L. Smith, 1866

Great find at Emily Knapp Museum, photo of Sara L. Smith, BCI Class of 1866! Rare find, have it at the archives now to scan, and am researching her in Brockport Republic etc.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Clarendon people 1830s

Local history/genealogy researcher called. Discussed NY Historic Newspapers, other sources in Orleans County etc. Gave him my email, said I would send him some more links, ideas via email, e.g. that Pioneer Reminiscences is in google books I think.

Monday, July 25, 2016

1940s 8mm film footage

Chuck Edwards, retired anthropology prof I know, contacted me re a fellow he knows, Kermit Mercer '71, has 8mm films of the college in the 1940s; also the canal. He wants to lend, if we want to borrow to digitize. I'll need to talk to MJO about the $.

Baseball in '60s

An alum who played baseball in the 1960s contacted looking for articles etc. from when he played here. Will retrieve from Stylus etc.

The college and the canal

Beau Willis, wants to seek a grant to enhance the property the college shares on the canal with the village, wants info on the links between the college and the Erie Canal. I need to prepare something re Hiel Brockway, the impact of the canal on higher education...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Kammi Reynolds

Photo request for this hall of famer from Mike Andriatch. It's time consuming: she was described as a field hockey player c1988-91. So checked yearbooks, but for that period they are hit and miss for pictures. Looked her up in athletics field hockey files, found her #, then searched Dusen negative books, in 1989 fall found some, scanned, and sent.

College land transactions

Beau Willis, they are trying to reconstruct the college land sales and transfers of the 1990s, when the property across Redman Rd was sold/given to the town, and some property along the canal changed hands too. Some digging to do here...

Update: several hours of digging, here is my response to Beau and others.

    Hi, I can't find anything in detail, but here is what I find so far, digging through the Stylus, Statements, President's staff minutes etc.


1992: the Stylus noted April 1992 that the "Field House" on the Redman Rd. property was ordered closed by the state as unsafe.

1993: the Stylus noted in April 1993 that there were local softball leagues playing on the college property on Redman Rd.


1993: in October 1993 a Stylus article made reference to the new Brockport mayor, Mary Ann Thorpe, and "controversy" over the land behind Tower Fine Arts.


1994: in November 1994 a Stylus article reported that negotiations were going on between the Sweden Town board and the college regarding the property on the west side of Redman Rd. According to the article if the state declared the land surplus then it could be given to another government agency, town etc., or if not given, then could be sold to private parties.


1994: Presidents Staff, 1/19/1994, the village rejected the college's offer for the land north of Tower.


1995: the Presidents Staff minutes for 5/8/1995 note that Assemblyman Nesbitt was working on an agreement with the village regarding the land along the canal.


2000: a Brockport Post article entitled "Town may revive field house" noted that the Town of Sweden had been given 156 acres (presumably on the west side of Redman Rd.) by the state.


   I don't have Presidents Staff meeting minutes for 1997-1999, and can't find anything more on these transactions. Clearly they went on for a number of years in the 1990s, but seem to have been settled by around 2000.


College land transactions

Beau Willis, they are trying to reconstruct the college land sales and transfers of the 1990s, when the property across Redman Rd was sold/given to the town, and some property along the canal changed hands too. Some digging to do here...

Update: several hours of digging, here is my response to Beau and others.

    Hi, I can't find anything in detail, but here is what I find so far, digging through the Stylus, Statements, President's staff minutes etc.


1992: the Stylus noted April 1992 that the "Field House" on the Redman Rd. property was ordered closed by the state as unsafe.


1993: the Stylus noted in April 1993 that there were local softball leagues playing on the college property on Redman Rd.


1993: in October 1993 a Stylus article made reference to the new Brockport mayor, Mary Ann Thorpe, and "controversy" over the land behind Tower Fine Arts.


1994: in November 1994 a Stylus article reported that negotiations were going on between the Sweden Town board and the college regarding the property on the west side of Redman Rd. According to the article if the state declared the land surplus then it could be given to another government agency, town etc., or if not given, then could be sold to private parties.


1994: Presidents Staff, 1/19/1994, the village rejected the college's offer for the land north of Tower.


1995: the Presidents Staff minutes for 5/8/1995 note that Assemblyman Nesbitt was working on an agreement with the village regarding the land along the canal.


2000: a Brockport Post article entitled "Town may revive field house" noted that the Town of Sweden had been given 156 acres (presumably on the west side of Redman Rd.) by the state.


   I don't have Presidents Staff meeting minutes for 1997-1999, and can't find anything more on these transactions. Clearly they went on for a number of years in the 1990s, but seem to have been settled by around 2000.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Archives move

Am putting a lot of time and energy into planning the shift of the archives from the current space into the space that will open up this summer. A lot of work, but exciting to have more room for materials, and especially to have space to set up tables and get to work processing the backlog materials.

Yearbook photos

Request from a grad of 1968 looking for enhanced scans of a couple photos in '67 and '68 yearbooks. Scanned, edited and sent same.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Mary Jane Holmes

Sarah Watts, communication director emeriti, is researching MJH and called asking for information. I shared what I have digitized online in the Digital Commons, and she may be coming in at some point as well to see our collection of MJH writings.

Update: she called, and is coming in Wed at 10.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Seymour Library display

Awhile back I asked Carl Gouvia, director there, about doing a display in the new local history room. He already had a lot booked, but said it would be great to have it this summer. Went over today and set up several display cases, will bring more this week. Excellent way to connect with community.

Frank Sacheli '45

Jeanette Banker is working on a project to do with him. Class of 1945, former mayor of Brockport, hall of heritage etc. Am working on a file now, did not have one on him.

Frank Short photos

Kevin in athletics needed shots of Frank Short in his women's volleyball coaching days. After searching Jim D. negatives found some good shots in the Fall '91 binder. Scanned and sent to Kevin.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Ali photo

David M. wanted a photo of Mohammed Ali from when he was here at Special Olympics last week to commemorate his passing. Sent him an image of Ali in front of Edwards for S.O. stamp unveiling.

Green & Gold Day

Kerry Gotham, alumni affairs, stopped by asking about a date for a celebration of the school, like maybe first ever date of classes. Discussed history of school with him, showed him first minute book of 1840s etc. He liked the Sept. 1841 dates when they met to establish the Brockport Collegiate Institute.

According to Dedman and the first catalog, 1842, the first day of classes was December 1, 1841.

Stylus & BSG staff

Mike Andriatch, advancement, asking about lists of student officials in these two bodies. What I had to send him were .pdf merged files of the pages in the yearbooks where it listed members. So incomplete, and not broken down neatly as might be. A worthy intern project to take the next steps with.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Now and then

Matt Yeoman, campus photographer, looking into the possibility of doing a "now and then" feature, find old shots of the campus 25 years ago for example, retake today... Have emailed with him, I have all the old negative books, its a question of his getting here, finding things that are still around to retake today etc.

Classmate info

Member of class of 1959 had helped with other questions, asking about the address for a class mate, supplied same to her.

Inspirational quotes

Kevin Stiner from Athletics looking for inspirational quotes from figures like Huntley Parker and Bob Boozer. That's a tough one, lots of pics, bio info, but not much that has direct quotes. I do have a digitized audio file, interview with Boozer, and Kevin is going to come over today and get that (drop box isn't working today!)

Dept Computational Scence end date?

Good question from Kim Myers, connected to records in Digital Commons. A quick search leads into that grey area post print resources. The last print catalog, 2009-11, lists the department. The next catalog, the 2011-13, which is online only, does not list it. Stylus online does not have a story on it. It would have to take a possibly lengthy search through Daily Eagle etc. to determine the date. Believe it merged with Computer Science, it was a small department.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Course description

Don't get these quite as regularly as once did, but got two lately. One I was able to help, scanned music course descriptions from the 1976-78 catalog and emailed to her. The other left a phone message, couldn't quite make out the name, called the number, some charter school in the south, a phone tree, couldn't navigate through to find them...

Digital Commons Conference

Brockport is hosting the DC Great Lakes Users conference 7/29. I am giving a presentation with John Rakower from Buffalo State about how we have each presented archival collections on our DC sites. Am going to speak with him this am about the presentation.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Campus woodlots

Chris Norment from Env Sci emailed asking about the woods and land in between Commencement Dr and Redman Rd. I answered that a grad student named Kira Hansen had contacted me about that in February, but after a couple emails I never heard back.

Anyway, emailed him the 1974 Stylus article I sent her, had info on that area. Some was purchased by the college, some donated by Prof. Swartout. They were talking then about creating an environmental science center in those woods, but never happened. Also sent Chris some scans of old plat maps, Bob Hellman's contact info etc.

The Stylus article is in the buildings folder in filecity2.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Roland "Sandy" Sandberg '59

His widow, Doris (Collins '59,) contacted me telling how he had died quite young, in 1963, and she wanted to see if I had any photos etc. of him. He had played on the soccer team in college, and I did find some photos, Stylus articles, and Saga materials I could scan, edit, merge etc. to send her. She was very happy to get them and looking forward to sharing them with their adult children.

Update: after I'd sent two batches of photos etc., I got the following note from Doris Collins, a nice part of this job, to be able to help like this:

Dear Mr. Cowling,
    You have been wonderful and thank you so much for all the pictures and articles you sent.  I've been sharing them with the family and they sure brought lots of happiness to all of us and to Me.  Doris

Don Nasca-Nelson

Had a surprise visitor the other day, Don Nasca Nelson, who taught in the campus school and eduction departments for many years, c1955-1995. I have photos of him shooting off Estes rockets on the lawn of Hartwell in the 1950s! He also started the Office of Sponsored Research, forerunner of todays grants and development office.

He is interested in researching the history of the campus school, and the office. I showed him some materials I have here, and have shared more via email. We had quite a long visit, and I want to get together with him again this summer to do an oral history interview.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Digital Commons vs. ContentDM

I've gotten this question 2 or 3 times now, fellow archivist/librarians, debating over whether to go with Digital Commons or ContentDM. My answer in brief is that I went with Digital Commons because it is so much easier to work with. ContentDM is quite labor intensive, you have to do things just so, per the thesaurus etc. Digital Commons does what we need to do, and does it easier... (This most recent query was from someone at University of the Pacific.)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Special Olympics Fountains

Query from admin and facilities, they're reworking the water spray set up in that fountain. It was originally a copper ring, that started to fail, they added some sprayers, which now need some work, and they are trying to ascertain the original plans. Tough question, I do not have actual plans for that or the Prometheus statue, I assume those went back to the Soviet Union with the sculptor. I might have some images that show some detail, maybe something about it in the Stylus, newsletters etc.

Update: after a lot of digging, found some photos that may help. There were two key events. First, the "Happiness..." statues and fountain were constructed, like Prometheus, the summer of '79, completed just before the Special Olympics. Then later, a senior grounds man here, William Minoia, proposed a landscaping plan that was accepted, funded by the Brockport Foundation, and dedicated in 1982. That was the paving block walk ways, the bushes, benches etc. Prior to that the statues and fountain had simply sat in a bed of grass.

Also discovered that Tsereteli is still alive, so just for fun emailed to two links for him, asking about his vision or intentions re that fountain. No answer yet...

Issue of Stylus

Brockport alum, now a grad student elsewhere, looking for the 10/3/2012 issue of the Stylus, said it wasn't online in NYS Historic Newspapers. It isn't, I checked, and that's because it isn't in the microfilm copy. I also do not have a print copy. Darn, I think I missed a couple issues that year, there were some problems with its distribution etc.

So emailed back and explained that just do not have it...

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Assist local historian

Bill Andrews, emeriti, is quite the keen local historian nowadays, and I spent a couple hours this am helping him organize a slide show for his presentation to the regional public historians group that is meeting here Saturday. In exchange he gave me 6 or 7 c1905 postcards of BSNS basketball team he got on ebay!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Stan Van Gundy 1981

Star basketball player, has had quite a sports career after, Mike Andriatch was looking for action pics of him from '77-'81. Had found some of his dad, Stan, who was a coach here, for another request a few months back, now looked for shots of the son. Took a couple hours, but searching through basketball shots in photo neg books did find a few.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

2006-07 Men's Basketball

For Coach Joe Clarke, game shots from that period. Found some in the one CD album. Took awhile, I need to consider reorganizing those photo CDs; make sure the chronology is right, by teams...?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Class ring question

Got a call from someone who found a class ring of their grandmothers in her things. Wondered about her time here. I got their email, sent link to the old alumni list, and they checked it, found out she was in the high school department here, class of 1915, Mae Baxter Rich. He emailed back to ask what that was about, and replied as follows:

She seems to have been in the “high school department” as they sometimes called it. From the late 1860s to the late 1970s, we had a campus school. It was an actual school, with children from the village, for our student teachers to learn, to try out new educational ideas etc. The grade range varied over the years, but for a long time the only high school in the village was part of our training school. The village didn’t have it’s own high school until around 1930.
   So your grandmother’s ring is a high school class ring, from when the high school was housed in the Normal school.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Grisela Fritzsching

Jamie Beers-Wilson emailed about her, looking for some bio, pics... She was an early member of Theatre dept., c1965-1990. Some info in Bud Meade updates, and found a pic in her file.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Slideshow for inauguration

Spent a number of hours searching out images, often needing to scan them, to use in a slide show for the upcoming inauguration. Spent an hour with Faith Prather this am going over the show, she had some helpful suggestions, very much liked it overall, is going to show it to the committee and get back to me with any further ideas.

Spring In, '70s reunion

Delasia Rice in alumni office, working towards a '70s reunion they're having this summer, wanted images of Spring In etc. Sent some of spring in, said have lots more of '70s, might be best if she came over and browsed thru them, see what she likes, many are not digitized yet.

Update: she came over last week, have begun today scanning some of the many slides she selected, I did some, then an student doing museum studies practicum came and showed her how to do it, so she is learning something and getting some work done.

Interesting image, 274 Holley Street, a house on the south side of Holley in back of where Dailey is now, was still standing c1977 and housed career services. I had not realized that any of those houses we acquired as the college expanded were converted into college use, had assumed they had been either demolished or moved. The house was eventually demolished and is no longer there.

Historical pics of radio station

Got this while on the ref desk this evening, replied to say will look through my files. I think on one of the external hard drives I have some scans, plus more that could be done.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Hartwell tower history, visit

A student here, an RA, emailed asking about the history of Hartwell, in particular the tower, and the possibility of going up there. Replied as follows:

Hi Penny, attached are pages from the 1940 yearbook, a description of the then new building. (There had been an older building complex; that was torn down and replaced by what later was named Hartwell Hall in the late 1930s.) The tower was a part of the building from the beginning.
   I don't know much to say about it, other than that such a tower or cupola is a stock part of the building's Georgian style architecture. The building is typical of many built in that era. There are a number of similar buildings across the state, on SUNY campuses, local high schools etc.

    I haven't been up in it in years, but can understand how you might like to go up there! I recommend you ask Rick Lair, in Facilities, about the possibility of going up there.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Artists specs, renderings of the Special Olympics fountain statues?

A campus art committee is considering doing a tile mosaic around the fountains, asked if I had artist specs etc. for the statue. My answer:

 I have lots of photos, including some of the construction of the site, but not really of the construction of the statues themselves. I have a couple art books about Tseretelli and so on, but nothing in the way of blueprints or renderings.


   The site was formerly a parking lot, then was regraded and the fountain and statues installed. The statues are copper sheeting over iron frames I believe. Please let the committee know that they are welcome to contact me directly, come over and look at what I have etc.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

1944 Scrapbook

Years ago Peg Hare Browne gave me a scrapbook the Class of 1944 did, her class, which was a sort of memory book they presented to Hartwell who was retiring that year. Wonderful book, photos of most of the students in the class, their handwritten thought to Hartwell, plus some great photos after that of the students, activities etc.

Checked with Mike A & Jamie, they sent me a list of currently surviving members, am meeting next week with the closest, Mary Thayer. Want to show her the book, get some background etc., and will try to meet with some other members too. Am also digitizing the book...

Update: met today, 4/5, with Mary Thayer '44. She lives in Brockport, had a pleasant and informative conversation about the scrapbook, the people in it, Hartwell...

Don Shilling '54

Had a question re bio info on him, was able to find some material in Stylus, Saga... NYS Historic Newspapers was real help too!

Museum Studies, community service

Had 2 students from this course doing their 10 hour community service project, now have a 3rd coming in. I spend an hour or so talking about the archives, how it is organized, what it is, about being an archivist, differences between an archives and a museum, career stuff etc. Then I try to find something they can do, which generally means filing, sorting, alphabetizing etc.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Principals & Presidents

Request to proof a list of the heads of the school 1835 to date for use in inaugural program. Proofed, made some corrections & suggestions.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Student video request

Mitchell Priebe, who has volunteered in archives a little, is in a video class and asked if he could do a short interview with me, document the archives... I said sure, and asked if I could have a copy to use for promoting the archives.

More deans of school of professions

Sandy Mullins, asking for info on 3 more faculty who were temp or interim deans of the school - would like dates, photos etc.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

President Macpherson ?

   Heidi emailed me, asking about bio on the women named on the Allen paver blocks, and also what buildings on campus are named after women, as part of preparing her inauguration speech. Prepared two documents and sent to her this am.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Scanning slides

Once in awhile a faculty member wants me to scan images for them. Tomorrow Chris Norment is coming by with some slides he needs scanned.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Gymnastics coach

Query from senior on gymnastics team looking for photos of coach and trainer for their upcoming retirements, am searching now, found some for Feeney, the coach, now looking for some of trainer.

Caribbean students association

Student from this group emailed me today re their history. I don't have much in archives, but there were a number of articles in Stylus going back to '88. Am going to meet with her soon, show how to search, Saga etc.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Peace Corps - Herb Fink

Herb Fink, Psychology emeritus, taught some courses for Peace Corps program at Brockport in late '60s. He has some materials related to the program to give me, and we'll talk about his experience with it. Meeting at his house...

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Consult - Morgan Manning House

Meeting Alicia Fink, new historian at Morgan Manning House, and Kathy Goetz, this afternoon, to examine the large local history collection assembled by Eunice Chesnut over the last 30 years and to discuss how to manage it going into the future.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Garlock Morgan family

Charlie Garlock emailed asking permission to use photo I have of some of his family at the dedication of Morgan Hall, I said of course, supplied good quality image of same.

Deans of School of Professions

Sandy Mullin, secretary for what is now School of Education and Human Development, emailed asking about dates of some earlier deans, photos of them etc. Combed through old staff directories, photos and was able to establish a time line, supply the needed photos. As a point of reference, between searching, scanning, and replying, this one question took up most of a morning... What I told Sandy follows:

Hi Sandy, a little digging shows the first mention of a “School of Social Professions in the 1980-81 staff directory. This school included the departments in the later school of professions, but also included “PACE,” which was the program for adult continuing education. I think it changed over to “School of Professions” about 1990. Sometime previous a couple units moved out, ROTC and the adult continuing education. It continued as the School of Professions until 2010 when, per the 2012 Middle States study, the college reorganized into four academic units, including The School of Education and Human Services.

As best I can tell looking at old staff directories, the order goes like this: John Phillips was Dean 1980-1990. Michael Harter was Dean 1990-1996, Diane Elliott 1996-1999, and Joe Mason 2000-2004. Attached are portrait photos I found for the three you didn’t have. Let me know if you need more help. The unit seems to originally have been the school of “Social Professions,” and changed to simply the school of Professions somewhere in the 1980s.


Have been posting in Facebook for a few months now as "brockport.archivist." Post on the "Remembering Brockport" page, and administer the FB pages for the Brockport Community Museum and the Morgan Manning House. Getting lots of views, comments, and making some interesting connections with adult children of former faculty, fielding questions re college history, info on ancestors who came here etc. Valuable way to connect with the greater community!

Genealogy requests, 2

Had 2 genealogy questions in Facebook this am, referred one to the c1920 alumni listing, the other to the Saga, both in Digital Commons, said to contact me directly if needed more help.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Departmental 50th anniversaries

Mike Andriatch asked about this topic, which has come up before. Up to the mid-60s there were a relative handful of departments, some very broad, e.g. "Science." Then in '66-67 the school as part of its expansion offered more and more electives and majors, and the bigger department groups were broken out into their constituent parts, Dance, Geology etc.

Based on some initial research, including an organization chart from '66 I sent Mike, I suggested that next year, 2017, would historically be appropriate to celebrate, or begin celebrating, 50 years as a comprehensive liberal arts college.

Writers Forum 50th

Been working with Kim Myers. who has a grant to work on the the WF videos. She has hired a student I recommended, Ben Cherry, who did an internship with me this past summer inventorying plaques on campus. Ben is going to do an exhaustive inventory of all WF videos.

A group is meeting in the archives this morning, English, Advancement etc., this is more than the videos, it is planning to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this effort in 2017.

Monday, February 15, 2016

D&C local history

Emily Morry, writes local history articles for D&C, wanting to use a couple images from the college history book Mary Jo Gigliotti worked on. Retrieved, resized, sent to her.

Brockport woods

Grad student in Env Sci looking to do a summer internship for them, studying the wood lot on the south west corner of campus. Sent her scans of a couple plat maps, some suggestions like the old newspapers online, maybe interviewing Hellman etc. Am setting up a time to meet her.

English Club publications

Current president of the English Club contacted me, asking about what past literary magazines for the club the archives had etc. Sent her Sharon Carpenter's finding aid, a couple images, am setting up a time she can come visit, maybe the club too.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Wanda Hendricks

Karen Logsden asked if I could introduce Wanda Hendricks, author of the Fannie Barrier biography, at this spring's luncheon, and I have said I would be honored to do so!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Fannie Barrier luncheon

Karen Logden has asked me to introduce the keynote speaker at this year's Fannie Barrier luncheon, who is going to be Wanda Hendricks, who wrote the bio of Fannie. Have said its my pleasure, which it is!

College logo, Ellsworth

Jonathan Marciszewski emailed asking about Ellsworth, history of the college logo. Sent some info on sports teams name, Ellsworth, I don't have much about logo, referred him to Richard Black, head of Design & Production, for that part.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Delta honors grads?

Had an IM from a student intern in Delta College asking about honors awards, Delta students... Tried to explain that while I have a number of years of honors programs here they don't circulate, and that the programs don't differentiate between Delta and other students. Not sure if they got it all, said will email sometime.


2 Stylus reporters stopped by, doing research for an article on BSG/OSAD relations. They spent a couple hours looking thru bound volumes of the paper, seemed to find what they wanted.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

George Burlingame

He died recently, I had gone to see him with Sue Savard about the old 1930s Costich films, Sims Pond etc., and he was very informative about all that. Sue called and said his son (or nephew?) was wondering if I had any of George's photos, but all I have is a digital shot of Sims Pond I took when visiting him, never actually borrowed any photos.

Grandmother a grad?

Caller, wondering if grandmother, born c1890, had graduated from here. Checked alumni lists that run 1867-1930, for BSNS, did not see her name. Suggested that she might have attended a term or two, but not actually graduated. Checked the transcripts I have too, and did not see her, but those are not complete I don't think.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Museum studies interns

Getting some museum studies students wanting to do a 10 hour service thing in the archives. One, Louis, has been here twice now. I spend an hour with each of them just going over what an archives is, how its organized etc. Then I find projects for them to do that will work within their timeframe. So Louis for example is organizing some photos for me, sorting them into alphabetical order, one of those things I never seem to get to.

Tara - Stylus - Boozer

Tara, who did an internship from Bruce Leslie's class last semester, came by, working on a story for the Stylus about Boozer and the restart of football in the 1940s. I scanned some pics for her, gave her some info, and also shared about the Stylus being online in NYS Historic Newspapers.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dance dept founding, major...

Grad student working on dance dept newsletter, wanting to know when was dept established, when was first degree awarded... I could tell from catalogs that the department was established 1967-68, when the school was dividing into all the now current departments, from being bigger blocs in the teachers college day. That's when major was established too. Hard to say about degrees, the commencement programs just show "BA" etc., not by department. Have to look some more.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Stylus photos

The previous question about the '71 Chicago concert prompts me to post this, regarding the Stylus photos, or lack thereof. Basically there is no real archive of Stylus photos. Whatever photos were shot were kept by the student taking them and may still be with them, but more likely they are simply long gone. I had contact for example with the student who shot a photo spread on Fancher for an early '70s Stylus article, and he said he had had the originals at one time, but long since had lost them.

Chicago concert

'70s alum inquiring about photos of the Chicago concert here, he still had his ticket from January '71. Best I had was an article in Stylus, and turned out there were a few shots in the '71 yearbook.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

More new hires

Sandy Mosher, in HR, was also looking for some material related to the college history for a program for new hires. I put together a set of 25 multiple answer questions re the school's history, and sent some photos too. For example:

Why was the college once called a “Normal” school?

A: We had been a state mental institution, but changed focus to teacher training.

B: The name refers to a particular type of teacher training institute, it granted a license to teach, but not a bachelors degree.

C: It was to distinguish us from our abnormal rivals at Geneseo.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Adams Basin history

Query from a "friend" on my "brockport.archivist" Face Book account. Am going to send a scan of 1872 plat map, some links etc.

Oneida Community etc.

A staff person, Luke Myer, is writing a book about some historic sites in NY connected with spiritual movements, e.g. the Oneida Community etc. Have made some suggestions re NY Historic Newspapers, NY Heritage etc.

Fannie Barrier pamphlet

Request to supply info, images, for a pamphlet on FB for the unveiling of a new plaque of her this spring.

Fran Moroney Whited

Spent several hours locating, scanning, and sending images etc. of Fran to Brad Schrieber for family use in her upcoming funeral arrangements.