NYSHA Research Library to Open Exhibit on the Bicentennial of Cooperstown

Publication Date: 
July 2007
Press Release Contact: 

COOPERSTOWN, NY, July 18, 2007—An exhibit celebrating the bicentennial of the incorporation of the Village of Cooperstown in 1807 will open on July 19th at the New York State Historical Association Research Library. The exhibit, Cooperstown, 1807-2007, in Images and Documents, features maps, historical photography, ephemera, County records and manuscripts drawn from the library’s permanent collection that offer insight into Cooperstown’s history.

The exhibit includes maps of the village from 1811, 1853 and 1868, which illustrate changes in the village over time, such as differences in streets and street names, construction of and changes in buildings, and locations of landmarks and historic sites. The exhibit also contains historical photographs of Cooperstown from several vantage points, which enables us to visually compare Cooperstown of the past to the village we know today.

The documents on display are Cooperstown publications from 1807, the year of Cooperstown’s incorporation including the Otsego Herald, Cooperstown’s first newspaper, and Phinney’s Almanac, a popular publication in the area of the time. Some manuscripts from a recently donated Otsego County collection show activity at the county seat in 1807.

A highlight of the exhibit is three panels on Cooperstown’s history entitled, “Cooperstown Incorporated: 200 Years of Village Life.” Created by students of the Cooperstown Graduate Program, these panels feature images and historical information on Cooperstown for the years 1807,1907, and 2007.

Cooperstown was founded in 1786 when William Cooper first came to the area from Burlington, N.J. Cooper moved to his tract of land in 1787 and eventually brought his family from New Jersey to Cooperstown, including his son James, who later became a well-known novelist. Cooperstown became the county seat when Otsego County was formed in 1791. It was incorporated as the Village of Otsego in 1807 and was reincorporated as Cooperstown in 1812. Because of Otsego Lake and the rural setting, Cooperstown gradually became well known as a summer resort and vacation spot. The museums of The New York State Historical Association – the Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum – and The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum contribute to Cooperstown’s being a cultural center and tourist attraction.

The exhibit is open to the general public during regular library hours: Monday through Friday, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturdays in July, from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm. For more information on the exhibit or the Research Library, please call (607) 547-1470.

About the New York State Historical Association
The New York State Historical Association is committed to engaging and connecting a broad public audience to New York State’s unique cultural heritage through exhibitions, extensive library collections, statewide educational programs, and publications that provoke, delight, and inspire. Founded in 1899, NYSHA is a private, non-profit, membership-based, educational and cultural institution dedicated to preserving, collecting, and interpreting art and historical artifacts significant to New York State’s rich history and American culture. The Association’s remarkable collections, showcased in the Fenimore Art Museum, comprise some of the best examples of American landscape, history, and genre paintings including seminal works by Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Cole, William Sidney Mount and Benjamin West; the renowned Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art, a masterpiece collection of more than 800 art objects, representing a broad scope of North American cultures; and one of the nation’s most comprehensive and significant folk art collections. NYSHA’s Research Library holdings include over 90,000 volumes on American, New York State, and local history. For more information on the Association, the Fenimore Art Museum, the Research Library, or Membership, please call (607) 547-1400 or visit www.nysha.org. The Association’s mailing address is P.O. Box 800, 5798 State Hwy. 80, Lake Rd., Cooperstown, NY 13326

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For more information or images, please contact:
Christine Liggio/Public Relations Office
New York State Historical Association
Fenimore Art Museum/The Farmers’ Museum
Phone: (607) 547-1472/E-mail: cliggio@nysha.org

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