Grant Supports Mobile Archive to Document Diversity

A new grant will allow SUNY Cortland Memorial Library’s Archives and Special Collections and the Cortland County Historical Society to partner in documenting the local community.

The goal is to remember the histories of people from marginalized and underserved populations on the campus and throughout greater Cortland.

The $7,000 grant, from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), will fund a project called “The People’s Record: Using a mobile archive to document and preserve Cortland’s diverse stories.”

Memorial Library’s Archives and Special Collections and the Cortland County Historical Society will host a series of pop-up archive sites on and off campus to begin documenting and recording the memories of people from these populations. Community members will have the opportunity to bring in materials for donation or to have those materials scanned into the digital archives and retain ownership of the originals. Materials may include photographs, family histories, scrapbooks or any other type of document.

Pop-up archive events will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 15 in Memorial Library and are scheduled once per month through the spring semester. Individuals may also schedule alternate virtual or private sessions.

Pop-up events for Spring 2022 include:
Tuesday, Feb. 15: Memorial Library, tables near Bookmark Café, 2 to 6 p.m.
Tuesday, March 15: Cortland Free Library, 32 Church St., Cortland, 3 to 7 p.m.
Tuesday, April 19: BRU 64, 64 Main St., Cortland, private room, 3 to 7 p.m.

Organizers intend the project to be an inclusive opportunity for all participants to record meaningful conversations, preserve memories and give the community a public voice in the historical record. Stories may relate to family history, occupations, social justice, education or COVID-19, among many possible topics.

The project will be led by Jeremy Pekarek, SUNY Cortland’s archivist and instructional services librarian, and Tabitha Scoville, director of the Cortland County Historical Society. SUNY Cortland history majors MacKenzie Guernsey and Caleb Blaise are working as interns and will receive assistance on interview planning and implementation from Associate Professor Evan Faulkenbury.

Pekarek shared a quote from historian Howard Zinn, which appeared in the Midwestern Archivist in 1977, on the importance of documenting history from marginalized and underserved communities.

“We learn most about the rich, not the poor,” Zinn wrote. “The successful, not the failures; the old, not the young; the politically active, not the politically alienated; men, not women; white, not black; free people rather than prisoners; civilians rather than soldiers; officers, rather than enlisted men.”

Scanned materials and interviews will be preserved through SUNY Cortland’s Digital Commons and New York Heritage, an online portal for learning about the people, places and events that made New York state.

The project is sponsored by the Cortland County Historical Society, SUNY Cortland Memorial Library, South Central Regional Library Council and the university’s Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee (CICC).

For more information, contact Pekarek or Scoville.

Participants are reminded to follow all COVID-19 safety policies on the SUNY Cortland campus, including wearing face coverings at all times while indoors. Details are available on the COVID-19 Safety Information page.

This article appeared in the Bulletin Online Newsletter on 02/08/2022

Library Resources during COVID-19

Looking for Resources during COVID-19? Thinking about returning materials that you have borrowed from Memorial Library or through Interlibrary Loan?

Before you you do anything, check out our LibGuide –

Here you can find information on Library Resources; Research Help; Archives; Teaching Materials Center; Testing Center; Digital New York Times, Wall Street Journal & Chronicle of Higher Education; Holds & Checked out Books; Interlibrary Loan Availability; Recommended Library Materials; Freely Available Videos; Temporarily Available Resources; and COVID-19.

Search Student Newspapers from 1925-2017 through the College Archives

The SUNY Cortland College Archives recently digitized the Co-No Press (1925-1942) and the Dragon Chronicle (2013-2017). These two Cortland newspapers will add to the collection of other digitized newspaper already available to you which include the Hilltop Press (1942-1971), Press (1971-1990), and the Dragon Chronicle (1990-2013). Researchers may now search newspapers from 1925-2017 using keywords and dates. All of these newspapers freely exist on NYS Historic Newspapers and Digital Commons@Cortland. This recent digitization project was funded through the 2019 Digitization Grant awarded to Memorial Library from the South-Central Regional Library Council.

You can always view the College Archives Research Guide for additional information as well.

THANKS for Attending: The Education of Henry S. Randall: Founding President of the Cortland Normal School (1868-1876)

For those of you who attended, Alumnus Rick Schieffelin’s Presentation on Wednesday, thanks for coming out. We learned a lot about about the founding President of the Cortland Normal School.

Opening slide with Henry Randall photo Slide with Henry Randall & Normal School  photos Rick Scieffelin and Sesquecentenial Slide Rick Scieffelin speaking

The Education of Henry S. Randall: Founding President of the Cortland Normal School (1868-1876)
A Sesquicentennial Presentation by Richard Schieffelin

Wednesday, April 10, 20019
6-7:30 PM
Brockway Hall’s Jacobus Lounge

Henry S. Randall was the founding president of the board of overseers of the Cortland Normal School and held that position from 1868 through his death in 1876. His tenure put the school on very solid footing. His significance and contributions are certainly highlights of the long history of the school that became SUNY Cortland. This Presentation will offer historical context to the college’s founding and call attention to the wide ranging contributions that Randall, a citizen of Cortland, made to education in the nineteenth century, contributions that went well beyond the town and county, to the state and national communities.

The presenter, Richard (Rick) Schieffelin, Class of ’75, has intimate connections to the Cortland community dating to the nineteenth century. He was born in Cortland, grew up in Syracuse, returned to Cortland for college, and then attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison for graduate study in American history. From Madison he moved to Northern VA and spent thirty-three years in the aerospace industry. He retired early to devote himself full-time to completing a biography of Henry S. Randall. While continuing his archival research he has shared preliminary findings and interpretations with a number of Cortland audiences. In 2016, he lectured to several Cortland and Syracuse groups on “The Jefferson-Hemings Controversy and Henry S. Randall: The Making of a Family Defense.” And between February 2016 and August 2017 he authored a series of five short articles on Randall in The Bulletin of the Cortland County Historical Society. Rick has one daughter and three grandchildren. He lives in VA with his wife, Josie.

More information from “The Bulletin”: