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November 03, 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.

October 18, 2006

Images now available at Flickr

The Department has created an account over at Flickr for sharing images from current events and programs. All images from the Department's collections that are available in digital form will continue to be available only in the University at Albany Libraries' Digital Collections database, so if you are looking for images from your commencement in 1975 you won't find them at the Flickr page.

August 29, 2006

Redesigned Website

The Department of Special Collections and Archives' website has undergone a gradual redesign in recent months. A few things you may have noticed:
>>Individual pages have been redesigned in an effort to make them easier to navigate by adding menus.
>>The finding aids were given a new Department logo graphic.
>>The Department's second level pages (everything other than finding aids, exhibits, and the Department's index page) also have a new logo featuring images from our collections.

The Department's website will continue to change and we welcome your input and suggestions.

August 14, 2006

Department Awarded Grant

The M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives is one of nine institutions in New York State to receive a grant from the New York State Archives' Documentary Heritage Program for 2006-2007. The award of over $12,000 will be used to arrange and describe records related to environmental affairs including the collections of New York Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides and Lou Ismay.

Louis Ismay was a member of the Department of Fine Arts at the State University of New York at Albany (as the University at Albany, SUNY was then known). However, this collection documents his work with the Environmental Studies Program in general and the Environmental Forum class in particular. The collection also documents organizations such as the Protect Your Environment Club. New York Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (NYCAP) was formed as a non-profit citizens' organization committed to reducing hazardous chemical pesticide use through education and advocacy. The issues that NYCAP championed included: safe pest control for schools, hospitals, and public places; reducing work exposure to chemicals; farm worker protection; prevention of groundwater pollution; environmentally sound farming; and strict regulation of pesticides. NYCAP also sought to provide leadership on these issues to other organizations such as parent teacher associations, labor unions, and general environmental groups.

The Department of Special Collections and Archives has been building its collections in the area of conservation and environmental affairs since 2001 and now holds the records of over 50 organiations and individuals. A complete list of collections held by the Department in this subject area is available at http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/conservation.htm. The records of the New York Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides and Lous Ismay will be available to the public in Spring 2007.

August 10, 2006

New Labor History Resources Available Online

Over 1,000 publications and 4,000 photographs from the records of the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), United University Professions, and IUE-CWA (International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers) Local 301 were recently made available online.

The digitization of the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) newsletters was begun with the support of CSEA with issues of The Civil Service Leader from the years 1946-1947 and 1950-1953 currently available in PDF format through the finding aid for the collection, which is available at http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/findaids/apap015.htm. The digitization of the CSEA’s newsletters is an ongoing project and eventually issues from 1944-1989 of The Civil Service Leader and its successor The Public Sector will be available online. Also, over 700 images documenting labor from the early 20th century to the present from the records of CSEA are also available online. A link to the CSEA images in the University at Albany Libraries’ Digital Collections database is also available at http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/findaids/apap015.htm. The Civil Service Employees Association, Inc., or CSEA, is the largest public employees' union in New York State with over 260,000 members. CSEA began in Albany, New York, in 1910 as a collective effort by a handful of state employees to earn better wages and working conditions.

Over 4,000 images from the records of United University Professions (UUP) are also available online thanks to the support of UUP. A link to the UUP images in the University at Albany Libraries’ Digital Collections database is available at http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/findaids/apap039.htm. UUP was created in 1973 and is the union representing more than 32,000 academic and professional faculty on 29 State University of New York campuses, plus System Administration, Empire State College, and the New York State Theatre Institute. UUP’s records in the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives total over 160 cubic feet.

IUE-CWA Local 301's publications for 1939-1962 are now available in PDF format through the finding aid for the collection available at http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/findaids/apap023.htm. Local 301 has been representing workers at General Electric’s Schenectady facility since 1936. The newspaper is the only consistent source for information prior to the 1960s and provides background for any history of Local 301. Local 301’s publications from 1962-1990 as well as 7 reels of microfilm, 32 audio and video recordings, and over 10 cubic feet of records are available in the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives

A complete list of collections related to Labor is available at http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/labor.htm while the subject guide for Business and Industry is available at http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/business.htm.

August 09, 2006

Capital Punishment Clemency Petitions Digitized

The Capital Punishment Clemency Petitions Collection has been digitized and links to PDF files of the petitions are available from the finding aid for the collection at http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/findaids/apap214.htm.

Unlike judicial proceedings, claims raised in clemency petitions are free of procedural defaults that can mask error, unfairness, or irrationality in a given death sentence. Petitions thus can reveal what the sentencing authority may not have known because of attorney error, prosecutorial misconduct, newly discovered evidence, or other reasons. As part of his work with The Constitution Project, William J. Bowers established the Capital Punishment Clemency Petitions Collection Collection at the National Death Penalty Archive in the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives. This collection comprises approximately 150 clemency petitions in death penalty cases, from almost two dozens jurisdictions. It is the initial installment in a collection that attempts to gather all death penalty clemency petitions filed in the United States during the modern era of capital punishment.

The University Libraries’ M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives is collaborating with the Capital Punishment Research Initiative of the School of Criminal Justice to maintain and grow the National Death Penalty Archive (NDPA). Additional information about the NDPA and a complete list of collections is available at http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/ndpa.htm.