Grant to NYSHA Library Broadens Access to Historical Documents

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:

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (10.03.2013) — The New York State Historical Association is pleased to announce that its Research Library has completed a large cataloging project with grant funding from the Community Foundation of South Central New York, Johnson City, N.Y.  With a grant of $7,500, the library has processed and cataloged eight major collections, making them findable and available for public use.

Observing the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, the library has made six manuscript collections pertaining to the war available to researchers.  Using grant funding, the collections are now housed in acid-free containers, folders labeled, and catalog records placed in the online catalog.  Historians, researchers, and the public may view the catalog on the NYSHA’s website

The collections recently cataloged are:

  • The Otsego County Civil War Military Collection, 1862-1867:
    Records pertaining to the enrollment and drafting of men for the 39th and 41st Regiments of the New York State Militia
  • The George Yates Papers:
    Documents of the 251st Regiment of Infantry of New York State Militia from the vicinity of Butternuts, Gilbertsville, and New Lisbon, N.Y.
  • Papers of the 154th New York Infantry Regiment
  • Civil War Envelopes Collection:
    Unused envelopes and patriotic covers produced during the U.S. Civil War
  • Robert Wales Civil War Scrapbook of Items relating to the U.S. Civil War:
    Contains a list of battles in which the 76th New York State Volunteer Regiment participated
  • Civil War Collection, 1861-1865
    Letters and other papers of soldiers, copies of war letters and diaries, scrapbooks, and autograph albums and photographs

The grant from the Community Foundation of South Central New York also allowed two other major collections to be cataloged:

  • John H. I. Browere Papers, 1806-1941:
    Correspondence about the busts created by John H.I. Browere from life masks of famous Americans, such as John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Dolley Madison
  • John J. Burger New York State Railroad Collection:
    Burger, a railroad enthusiast, spent years collecting documents, photographs, and postcards of railroads, concentrating in particular on the Otsego and Mohawk Valley Electric Railroad that ran from Oneonta to Herkimer.

NYSHA’s Special Collections Librarian, Evan Rallis, processed and cataloged the collections. NYSHA librarians have already noted that researchers have started using these collections as soon as they became available.  In particular, one researcher has been reading soldiers diaries from the Civil War Collection.  Help from the Community Foundation of South Central New York 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

The public may view these collections by making an appointment to visit the Research Library’s Special Collections Department during its weekday hours 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  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 or call (607) 547-1470 for more information.

Press Release Category: 
Recent Announcements
Publication Date: 
October 2013