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November 27, 2006

Intern Blog: Kali Roy

The M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives is fortunate to have undergraduate and graduate students working on a variety of projects including arranging and describing collections, conducting research related to our collections, and many other initiatives. Here is another posting from one of these students, University at Albany graduate student Kali Roy.

My name is Kali Roy and I am a graduate student in the Information Science Program at the University at Albany, SUNY. I also work as a student assistant in the University at Albany’s M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives. In general, I aid David Mitchell (Curator pro bono of the Miriam Snow Mathes Historical Children’s Collection) with collection maintenance. This collection maintenance can involve seemingly mundane tasks such as shelving, searching Minerva and OCLC for copies of books for the collection, and providing preservation housing for the collection artifacts, such as phase boxes, portfolios and enclosures. The reason I use the word seemingly is that while I am in the process of performing these necessary tasks to keep the collection neat, orderly, and significant, I am also gaining knowledge about how a special collections department works, and about how the history of children’s literature has evolved over time. This results in giving the tasks a positive complexity with learning that is two fold. Past and present children’s literature is one of my all time favorite interests; this job has provided me with great resources for learning about past and present authors, artists, publishers, and stories that continue to inspire those working in the field of children’s literature. As a student assistant, I have also learned to be flexible and open to all avenues of learning and experience.

Over the summer of 2006, I was asked to create an exhibit to be displayed in the Department of Special Collections and Archives’ Foyer for a short time. This resulted in my idea for the “Secret Lives of Toys and Their Friends� exhibit which was on display for about two months this year. This was only one of my great experiences here. I love handling the artifacts themselves, and my favorite part of the job is working in the Preservation Lab where I get to create safe enclosures for the books and/or periodicals and also get to indulge in amazing opportunities like making a book from scratch. I enjoy the varied tasks I am asked to work on and I also enjoy my co workers here in in the Department of Special Collections and Archives. I hope to continue as a student assistant here throughout my entire graduate school tenure.

November 16, 2006

Thanksgiving Holiday Hours

The week of November 20th the Grenander Department will be open Monday-Wednesday and Friday from 9a.m.-5p.m. The Grenander Department will not be open the evenings of November 21st-22nd and will be closed on Thursday, November 23rd.

The Department's complete hours can be found here.

November 3, 2006

"Ask Geoff" Column Debuts in UAlbany Magazine

The Fall 2006 issue of UAlbany Magazine includes the new column "Ask Geoff" from University Archivist Geoffrey Williams. In the first column "Ask Geoff" answers questions about the number of names the University at Albany has had over its history, what a normal school is, and whether the downtown campus was the school's first location.

Update: The latest issue of UAlbany Magazine is now online.

Geoff Williams is a graduate of Colby College and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and joined the faculty of the University at Albany as University Archivist in 1987. Additional information about the University Archives is available online and by asking Geoff!

Geoff will be responding to questions alumni, students, and friends pose about the University at Albany. To submit a question for "Ask Geoff," e-mail gwilliams@uamail.albany.edu.

November 2, 2006

Acquisition of the Papers of Ronald B. Stafford

The M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives is pleased to announce the acquisition of the papers of Ronald B. Stafford. Stafford represented the North Country for a 37-year State Senate career which included membership on several committees. He ended his career as chairman of the powerful Finance Committee. Stafford, a Republican, was the first chairman of the Senate’s Higher Education Committee. During his Senate career, he chaired the Senate Finance Committee, Higher Education Committee, Codes Committee, and the Judiciary Committee. In 1974, as Chairman of the Senate’s Higher Education Committee he helped shape and create the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), a landmark program that opened access to college for New Yorkers who would otherwise have been unable to afford opportunities in higher education. He was a protector of the environment through his involvement in Adirondack Park affairs. Stafford was instrumental in bringing the 1980 Olympic Winter Games to Lake Placid, and in 1974 was appointed chairman of the New York State 1980 Olympic Winter Games Commission. He remained a leading figure in the Senate and in New York State politics throughout his career and until his death in 2005.

Stafford's papers are part of the Department's New York State Modern Political Archive. The complete press release is available at the University Libraries' News and Events blog.

November 1, 2006

Subject Guides: Schenectady and Rensselaer

Subject guides for manuscript collections and record groups related to Schenectady, New York and Rensselaer County, New York are now available. The Grenander Department's Subject Guides bring together collections from each of the distinctive manuscript and archival collections - the Archives of Public Affairs and Policy, Business, Literary, and Miscellany Collection, German and Jewish Intellectual Émigré Collection, and University Archives.

Over thirty Subject Guides are available on the Department's Website with more added on an ongoing basis. If you are interested in collections related to a topic not listed on the Subject Guide page, contact a member of the Department's staff for assistance.

Manuscript collections and record groups in the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives are arranged in a number of ways on our Website including by topical subject heading, collecting area, and alphabetically. There is a brief description of each manuscript collection or record group and, when available, a link to a finding aid (an in-depth description and inventory) for each collection. For reference queries or information about subjects not listed here, please contact the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives reference staff or (518) 437-3935.

Intern Blog: CSEA Intern Devin Lander

The M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives is fortunate to have undergraduate and graduate students working on a variety of projects including arranging and describing collections, conducting research related to our collections, and many other initiatives. Here University at Albany graduate student Devin Lander writes about his ongoing project.

My name is Devin Lander and I am a graduate student in the Public History Program at the University at Albany, SUNY. I have been fortunate enough to have been accepted to work with the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) collection at the University at Albany's M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives. Thus far I have been working on uploading CSEA photographs to the University at Albany Libraries' Digital Collections database, assigning them numbers, and adding all of the pertinent information to allow access to the collection via the web. Some of the interesting photographs that I have worked on so far include a series taken in the wake of the past summer's floods throughout New York State. The CSEA has taken an active role in helping both its members and non-members who were directly affected by the flooding. There are many compelling images of work being done to repair the massive amount of damage that was brought about by the floods. Another interesting series of photos that I have worked on is a collection of 1950s and 60s era photographs from the New York State Office of Mental Hygiene's Annual Reports. This series has several striking images of mental health practices from a time period when the modern idea of psychiatric therapy was in its initial stages. Some of the period captions are especially interesting when compared to the modern terminology that is used to describe the mentally ill. I will also be digitizing much of the CSEA's microfilm collection as well as working with their paper collection. Although I have only just begun to scratch the surface of the work to be done with this collection, I am very excited to be a part of this project.