What is in Special Collections? Information Studies Resources
The M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives features several robust Information Studies resources.
One of the highlights is the Miriam Snow Mathes Historical Children's Literature Collection, which includes over 12,000 children's books and periodicals published in the 19th century and up to 1960. The central purpose of the Mathes Collection is to provide the texts of works that are generally no longer available in children's library collections today–and to make them available for historical, literary and cultural study and consultation by scholars, students, teachers, librarians and the interested public. There is an especially strong concentration on neglected and forgotten works published in the United States, 1875–1950. The Mathes Collection is named for Miriam Snow Mathes, Class of '26, who had a continuing interest in the Historical Children's Literature Collection. Within the collection, researchers will find series, adaptations and retellings of classic literature, historical fiction, biography and biographical fiction, stories depicting ethnic, racial and religious minorities, fantasy and stories of travel and people of other lands.
University at Albany records offer another source of materials for scholars in this subject area. Special Collections and Archives houses the records of the office of the director of the University Libraries and the School of Information Science and Policy. The director’s records begin in 1916, the year the first professionally trained librarian began working for the school. The bulk of the collection dates, however, from after 1962, when the school became the State University of New York at Albany and resources began to be made available to dramatically expand staffing and collections. The School of Information Science and Policy records document the administrative, curricular, and social activities of the institution from its establishment as a one year undergraduate school for librarians in 1926 through its merger with the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy as a graduate school for information professionals in 1986.
In addition, Special Collections holds the personal papers of individuals who served as librarians including the Marcia Brown Papers, Jennie D. Lindquist Papers, and Sabra W. Vought Papers.
Sample documents within all of these collections include:
- From the Miriam Snow Mathes Historical Children's Literature Collection, a first edition from the Nancy Drew mystery series; The Hidden Staircase (1930) by Carolyn Keene.
- The bound May-October 1896 issues of St. Nicholas: An Illustrated Magazine for Young Folks also from the Mathes Collection.
- Representing travel literature for children from the Mathes Collection, The Boy Travellers in South America by Thomas W. Knox (1886) describes fictional adventures of young men Fred Bronson and Fred Bassett with over 200 illustrations.
- An undated Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb, illustrated by N. M. Price from the Mathes Collection.
- A page from "The Department of Librarianship Manual" (1959-1961) from the School of Information Science and Policy Records. This page notes how only faculty and staff may use the typewriters in the department, but not the students. Students may use the department's telephone only with permission.
- A list of accessions to the library from 1926 (with notes inserted from the 1940s-1960s), including titles and prices, from the School of Information Science and Policy Records.
- A page from a 1926-1936 scrapbook from the School of Information Science and Policy Records. This page features news clippings from the 1926 State College News about the library training program at the school.
- The first page of the 1981 Annual Report of the University Libraries containing an introductory letter from then director Joseph Z. Nitecki.
This is only a sampling of what is available in Special Collections. For more information, call (518) 437-3945 or use their online contact form.
Special thanks to Jodi Boyle for compiling the information and images. All images are the property of the University at Albany Special Collections and Archives Department and may not be reused without permission from the Department.