A grant from a regional foundation has helped make some collections at the New York State Historical Association easier to access.
NYSHA’s Research Library recently completed a large cataloging project with grant funding from the Community Foundation of South Central New York, Johnson City. The $7,500 grant enabled the library to process and catalog eight major collections, making them findable and available for public use.
In observation of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, the library selected six manuscript collections pertaining to the war and made those available to researchers. Funds from the grant paid for the collections to be housed in acid-free containers, with folders labeled, and catalog records placed in the online catalog. Historians, researchers and the public may view the catalog on the NYSHA’s website, pathfinder.nysha.org. The collections may be viewed in person by appointment between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. The library is also open many Saturdays during the school year.
The collections recently cataloged include:
• The Otsego County Civil War Military Collection, 1862-1867: Records pertaining to the enrollment and drafting of men for the 39th and 41st Regiments of the New York State Militia.
• The George Yates Papers: Documents of the 251st Regiment of Infantry of New York State Militia from the vicinity of Butternuts, Gilbertsville, and New Lisbon; papers of the 154th New York Infantry Regiment.
• Civil War Envelopes Collection: Unused envelopes and patriotic covers produced during the U.S. Civil War.
• Robert Wales Civil War Scrapbook of Items relating to the U.S. Civil War: Contains a list of battles in which the 76th New York State Volunteer Regiment participated.
• Civil War Collection, 1861-1865: Letters and other papers of soldiers, copies of war letters and diaries, scrapbooks, and autograph albums and photographs.
The grant from the Community Foundation of South Central New York also allowed two other major collections to be cataloged.
The John H. I. Browere Papers, 1806-1941, contains correspondence about the busts created by Browere from life masks of famous Americans, such as John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Dolley Madison.
The John J. Burger New York State Railroad Collection contains documents, photographs, and postcards of railroads, concentrating in particular on the Otsego and Mohawk Valley Electric Railroad that ran from Oneonta to Herkimer collected by Burger.
The Research Library is open to visitors and researchers year-round. It is located on state Route 80, north of Cooperstown, next to the Fenimore Art Museum. Visit library.nysha.org or call 547-1470 for more information.