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September 25, 2006

Recent Acquisitions for the National Death Penalty Archive

The National Death Penalty Archive in the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives continues to expand. Last month, over 80 cubic feet of records from Abe Bonowitz, Bill Pelke, Bill Babbitt, and Michael Mello were transferred to the Department of Special Collections and Archives. Bonowitz of Citizens United for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, Pelke of Journey of Hope...From Violence to Healing, and Charlie Lanier of the Capital Punishment Research Initiative even braved one of the hottest days of the summer in August to bring more records to UAlbany! You can read Abe's account of the trip and his encouragement to others to consider transferring their records to the National Death Penalty Archive here.

Research Room Temporarily Moved - 9/27

The Marcia Brown Research Room will be closed on Wednesday, September 27th from 7-9p.m. while a class is in session. Research assistance will be available in room 351 in the Department of Special Collections and Archives during this time.

September 22, 2006

Arnold Brecht Papers

Just in time for the anniversary of his receipt of the New School Graduate Faculty Founders Medal on September 25th, the Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives is pleased to announce that the finding aid for the papers of Arnold Brecht is now available.

Brecht was a Prussian official who was dismissed after defying Hitler in the last free speech in the German parliament. He was a professor of political science, public finance, and international law at the New School for Social Research. His principal work was Political Theory (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1959). The collection is primarily copies of original documents including letters and printed materials housed at the Bundesarchiv in Koblenz, Germany and is divided into six series: 1) Biographical and autobiographical materials, family documents, 1865-1974; 2) Correspondence, 1905-1976; 3) Writings of Arnold Brecht, 1904-1976; 4) Course and lecture notes, notes and clippings on various lecture topics, 1935-1963; 5) Writings by others, 1939-1974; and 6) Collections of materials (primarily clippings) on topics of interest. The writings of Brecht (Series 3) have been further divided into two Sub-series: 1) Full-length (book) publications, 1906-1974; and 2) Essayistic and literary writings, 1904-1976.

The papers of Arnold Brecht are part of the German and Jewish Intellectual Émigré Collection. A list of other new and revised finding aids in the Collection is also available.

The program "University in Exile: Refugee Scholars, the New School for Social Research, and the German and Jewish Intellectual Émigré Collection" will be presented on Thursday, October 12, 2006, in the Standish Room of the Science Library.

Albany’s South End: A Conversation with William Kennedy and State Assemblyman John McEneny

On Sunday, October 1st, Albany's bard, novelist William Kennedy, and local historian and State Assemblyman John McEneny will discuss the historic districts, people, and events that figure so prominently in Kennedy's work. I have heard Kennedy and McEneny speak on several occassions and both usually offer interesting as well as personal accounts of the city of Albany. The event begins at 1p.m. at the Albany Institute of History and Art and will continue with a self-guided walking tour of Albany's South End.

The Department of Special Collections and Archives is the repository of the papers of William Kennedy, which are available to the public. The Department also holds many other collections related to the history of the South End and Albany.

The event is sponsored in conjunction with Encounter UAlbany's Architecture, a year-long exploration of the built environment at the University at Albany and its surrounding community. Co-sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute, and The Center for Humanities, Arts, and TechnoSciences (CHATS).

Update: The walking tour guide is now available online from the New York State Writers Institute.

September 18, 2006

Edward E. Potter Club Celebrates 75th Anniversary

In September 1931, the Edward E. Potter Club was formed "to keep alive the friendships made in undergraduate days, to promote the interests of State College by interesting men of character in the teaching profession, to maintain a high social standard among the men at State College, to cooperate more fully with the Alumnae Association, to keep our selves educationally alert." The Club promoted high educational and behavioral standards for the young men attending the New York State College for Teachers (as the University at Albany was then known) and encouraged its members as individuals and as a group to participate in service-related activities.

The Club was named in memory of Edward E. Potter, a student killed in France during World War I.

The Edward Eldredge Potter Club Alumni Association is an active organization that continues to meet during the University at Albany's Alumni Weekend and celebrated the 75th Anniversary in 2006 with a variety of activities.

Research Room Temporarily Moved

The Marcia Brown Research Room will be closed on Tuesday, September 18th from 4-7p.m. while a class is in session. Research assistance will be available in room 351 in the Department of Special Collections and Archives during this time.

September 13, 2006

Archives of Public Affairs and Policy Finding Aids

The Department is continuously arranging and describing manuscript and archival collections and adding the finding aids and inventories that are created to the Department’s Website. Some of the finding aids from the Archives of Public Affairs and Policy added in the last month include:

Capital District Gay and Lesbian Community Council, Inc.
The records of the Capital District Gay and Lesbian Community Center include primarly publications, correspondence, news clippings, and publicity materials of this Albany-based organization. The inventory now online covers only the publications series.

Citizens Budget Commission
The Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit civic organization devoted to influencing constructive change in the finances and services of New York City and New York State government.

Steven F. Dansky
The collection includes magazines, correspondence, photographs, and unpublished writings from Steven Dansky's work with the effeminist and gay liberation movement.

Death Penalty in New York Testimony Collection
The Death Penalty in New York Testimony Collection includes testimony given to the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Codes, Assembly Standing Committee on Judiciary, and Assembly Standing Committee on Correction, on December 14, 2004, January 21 and 25, 2005, and February 8 and 11, 2005. The collection includes testimony from 137 witnesses, including officials from grass roots organizations, practicing lawyers, law professors, concerned citizens, religious leaders, former inmates, and families of victims.

Henry S. Manley
This collection contains materials related to Manley's legal career, including transcripts, briefs, testimony, and evidence from legal cases. It also includes photocopies of manuscripts, reports, publications, notes, correspondence, news clippings, photographs, blueprints, and maps. One of the strengths of this collection is the amount of material pertaining to Native Americans. Another strength is a fair amount of research material that relates to Manley's book, The Treaty of Fort Stanwix, 1784.

September 12, 2006

Who is...? Part III - Sayles Hall

In September 1941, Sayles Hall was opened as a men's dormitory with accomodations for 134 students. The dormitory also contained a billiard room, gymnasium, and dining hall. Sayles Hall had been dedicated and formally named on Alumni Weekend, June 14, 1941. Purchase of the land and the construction of the building was funded by donations to the Alumni Association, which voted to name the building for then Acting President John M. Sayles, in recognition of his many years of service to the Association.

John M. Sayles

As the long time chairman of the Alumni Association's funding arm, the Dormitory Committee of the Benevolent Association, Sayles, with Anna E. Pierce, is widely credited with successfully guiding the fund-raising campaign that purchased the land comprising Alumni Quadrangle and built the first two dormitories on the site, Pierce and Sayles Halls.

September 8, 2006

Who is...? Part II

The Dewey Graduate Library is located in Hawley Hall on the Downtown Campus of the University at Albany and has had several names during its incarnation as a library, including the Hawley Library.

Gideon Hawley

Gideon Hawley (1785-1870), is widely known as the creator of the common or public elementary schools in New York. He served as the first superintendent of the common schools in New York (1812-1821). As a member of the Regents (1842-70), Hawley is credited with helping to establish the New York State Normal School (as the University at Albany was then known). Hawley served as a member of the State Normal School’s first Executive Committee (1844-1852) which helped to win permanent state funding for the new school.

Hawley Hall was opened in September 1909 as the Auditorium, one of three buildings (with the Science and Administration Buildings) on the original Western Avenue (Downtown) Campus. The exteriors of the three original buildings were designed by Albert Randolph Ross, architect, and the interior by State Architect George Lewis Heins. The three original buildings cost a total of $366,000. On December 12, 1927 the Auditorium was named Hawley Hall. The building served as an auditorium and gymnasium until February 1933 when the first floor was opened as the College library.

To learn more about the history of Hawley Hall visit the Campus Buildings Historical Tour.

September 6, 2006

Exhibit: Edward Durell Stone and the Building of the Uptown Campus, 1961-1971

The exhibit Edward Durell Stone and the Building of the Uptown Campus, 1961-1971 is on display near the entrance of the University Library. It includes items drawn from the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives' University Archives and book collections about the Edward Durell Stone designed Uptown Campus of the University at Albany, SUNY.

The physical exhibit will be on display in the University Library through December 2006 and an expanded version will be unveiled in January 2007 in the Science Library. For questions regarding the exhibit, contact Geoffrey Williams at 437-3935 or gwilliams@uamail.albany.edu.

The Uptown Campus was constructed between 1961 and 1971 on the former rolling hills of the Albany Country Club and the first classes were held on the Academic Podium in the fall 1966. Envisioning the Podium as the center of the Academy, Stone’s result has had considerable success. From the late 1960s to today the Podium has been the favored site for political demonstrations, informal student activities, and official events such as the Candlelight Ceremony to welcome freshman, and Torch Night to celebrate seniors’ transition to Alumni/ae. Stone’s buildings can be found from New York to Chicago to San Diego and from Peru to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. They span the gamut from private homes, museums, government buildings and factories to cultural centers, hospitals, religious structures, theatres, housing and hotels. All share a similar architectural style.