Access to Historical Documents Broadened by Grant to NYSHA Library

Press Release Contact: 

Todd Kenyon, Marketing and Public Relations
New York State Historical Association
Fenimore Art Museum / The Farmers’ Museum
Phone: (607) 547-1472 / E-mail: pr@nysha.org

Account books, ledgers, letters, and diaries from New York State farm families provide a unique window into life in the 1800s. Many of these historical documents, in the collection of the New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown, N.Y., are now findable and available for public use. A generous grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, New York, N.Y., was used to process and catalog these New York State agricultural records.

Staff at NYSHA’s Research Library recently completed the large cataloging project with the $13,000 grant funding. The records are now readily available to scholars, local historians, and the general public interested in our state’s history. In addition, the historical materials will be used by the staff of The Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown, N.Y., in understanding our agricultural past as they portray it to the public.

The records processed and cataloged during this project come from 16 counties around the state:

Eastern New York

  • Hegeman Family agricultural account book, 1854-1871, Schenectady County
  • Samuel Witt ledger, 1850-1860, describes sales of grain, flour, and butter from his Richmondville, Schoharie County farm

Central New York

  • Stephen Abbey papers, 1804-1857, relating to his farm in New Lisbon, Otsego County
  • J. Hawley Benedict letters, 1865-1874, discussing work on his Sherburne, Chenango County farm
  • Minne Bodey farm diary, 1914-1916, Fort Plain, Montgomery County
  • Rensselaer Brayton farm account book, 1877-1888, Herkimer County
  • Cheese factory records, 1845-1867, Oneida County
  • Perkins Clark account book, 1862-1883, Fort Plain, Montgomery County
  • William Crumb farm account book, 1913-1917, Madison County
  • Joseph Glass account book, 1893, Onondaga County
  • Thomas Harrison agricultural account book, 1881-1889, Town of Winfield, Herkimer County
  • Burton Hoyt farm account books, 1913-1957, Town of Otego, Otsego County
  • A Madison County farm ledger, 1887-1906, discussing sales of grain and meal
  • William Page farm ledger, 1817-1857, Oneida County
  • J.T. Reynolds farm diaries, 1867-1896, Madison County
  • Caroline Stanton farm account book, 1883-1909, Herkimer County

Western New York

  • Frank Cole farm journals, 1896-1897, Yates County
  • William Fenton Family Papers, 1834-1952, diaries, letters, and account book detailing farming in Cattaraugus County
  • Frank Ingraham diaries and accounts of a farmer in Ontario County
  • W. G. Markham cattle stock register, 1863-1865, Monroe County
  • Joseph Owen farm diary, 1864-1870, Oswego County
  • Rugg and Baker family diaries, 1879-1924, farmers of Wyoming County
  • Winfield I. Scott farm diary, 1893-1897, Allegany County
  • Isaac Van Nostrand farm account book, 1842-1861, Allegany County

Help from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation in making these historic materials available is much appreciated. Historians and researchers may learn of the unique manuscript holdings of the New York State Historical Association by consulting its online catalog Pathfinder on the Association’s website, pathfinder.nysha.org

The public may view these collections by making an appointment to visit the Research Library’s Special Collections Department during its weekday hours 10 am–5 pm. The Library is also open many Saturday afternoons during the school year.

The Research Library is open to visitors and researchers year-round. Its collections include over 90,000 books and bound periodicals, manuscripts, newspapers, and photographs. Holdings on New York’s state and local history, agricultural history, 19th century life, art, and family history are particularly well represented.

The library is located on State Route 80, north of Cooperstown, next to the Fenimore Art Museum. Visit library.nysha.org or call (607) 547-1470 for more information.

Press Release Category: 
Recent Announcements
Publication Date: 
March 2014
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