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Special Collections

This area contains 200 manuscript collections, comprising nearly 1800 linear feet of material, plus a number of individual manuscript items. Each of these collections is described in brief on ODYsseus the Libraries’ online catalog. Additionally, many have detailed finding aids, searchable here. Others will be added to this list as they are completed. If you find you have questions about the collections after you have read the catalog entries or finding aids, please contact us.

Paul Doty, Interim Librarian for Special Collections & University Archives Voice: (315) 229-5483 e-mail:

Paul Haggett, Assistant to the Archivist Voice: (315) 229-5956 e-mail:

  • Collection Number: 79
    Collection Length: 0.50ft
    Period: 1939 to 1948
    Manuscript called Through Soviet Russia from Moscow to its Limit

    Charles Henry Tuck was born April 21, 1881 in Lisbon, New York. Was educated in the Lisbon schools and graduated from Cornell University in 1906. He became the first Director of Extension Teaching at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences - Cornell University. In 1915 he went to China and worked for an agricultural development company. In 1917 the US government sent him to Siberia as head of a special State Department commission to study agricultural conditions among Russian peasants. He married Ethel Pinder in September 1921.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS79fa_0.pdf
  • Collection Number: 11
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period: 1818 to 1855
    Early lot map of the Town of LeRay, Jefferson County

    In 1803, Joseph Child moved to the North Country from Pennsylvania with his three sons, Daniel, Samuel, and Moses as the first wave of settlers in the town of LeRay. With them came Moses Moon (Middletown, Pennsylvania) and his son James. Together, they explored the area and purchased lots. When the Moons returned to Pennsylvania, they reported to their friends that this was good land, and a company was formed to make extensive further purchases in the area.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS11fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 115
    Collection Length: 0.25ft

    Late 19th century [?] manuscript of children's Christmas stories signed by L. Fidelia Woolley Gillette and Florence L. Gillette.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS115fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 12
    Collection Length: 3.25ft
    Period: 1801 to 1870

    Christopher Ripley came to Northern New York about 1827 from Ohio and established the C. Ripley and Company in Ogdensburg which lasted three years. He then took employment with Molson Davies and Company in Montreal (Commission Merchants) as their agent obtaining consignments for wheat, flour, beef and pork in the State of Ohio. In 1836 Ripley purchased Matildaville (now Colton) from George Parish. Ripley was unable to resell the land and spent his remaining years trying to recoup his losses. Ripley attended West Point and became a Major-General during the Civil War.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS12fa_0.pdf
  • Collection Number: 85
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period: 1864 to 1865
    Civil War diary of an unknown soldier

    Civil War diary of an unknown soldier. The diary covers August 1, 1864 - May 31, 1865.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS85fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 199
    Collection Length: 1.25ft
    Period: 1880 to 1930
    Photograph of Clara Cable, about 1884.

    Clara E. Cable was born in Hannibal, NY in 1864. She was a resident of the Fulton, New York area and a teacher in country schools of that part of Oswego County for about 15 years from the 1880s until the early part of the 1900s.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon mss199fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 60
    Collection Length: 91.00ft
    Period: 1820 to 1967
    The Clark Family of Ogdensburg

    The Clark family has North Country roots that go back to Edwin Clark, who settled in the then village of Ogdensburgh in 1820.  His wife, Sarah Hasbrouck Clark, was the daughter of Louis Hasbrouck, one of the founders of the village and the first clerk of St.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS60fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 103
    Collection Length: 0.50ft
    Period: 1806
    Clinton County ephemera from the collection

    Clinton County is the most northern of the Champlain Valley counties and became a county March 7, 1788. Clinton County is bordered on the north by Canada, on the south by Essex County, on the east by Lake Champlain, and on the west by Franklin County. The county has approximately 21 towns and villages with the county seat in Plattsburgh. This collection consists of exhibition catalogues, photo booklet of Lake Champlain, several articles and brochures and a map of French and English grants on Lake Champlain.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS103fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 127
    Collection Length: 1.50ft
    Period: 1989 to 1991
    Current magazine article on low-altitude flights by the U. S. Air Force

    COLAF was a social action group formed by private citizens in St Lawrence County, NY in January of 1989 in response to proposals made by the Strategic Air Command (SAC) to use the airspace above St. Lawrence County as a Low Altitude Flight training grounds. The plan was for B-52 bombers and FB-111 fighter-bombers to cross the Adirondacks and enter St. Lawrence Country at altitudes as low as 500 feet above ground level. The purpose of COLAF was "to educate the citizens of St.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS127fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 195
    Collection Length: 1.75ft
    Period: 1943 to 1952
    Portrait of Jennie and Robert Cocco

    Nicholas A. (Nick) Cocco, Robert M. Cocco and Americo P. (Paul or Amy) Cocco were three brothers from Philadelphia, NY in Jefferson County who all served in the U.S. Army in World War II. Their mother was Jennie Cocco. Nick served in the Signal Corps and is stationed in Texas and Maryland until serving in Germany. He mentions combat but most of his service is as a musician. Robert served in an ordinance company and trained at Fort Knox, Ky. before shipping overseas. Paul also served in an ordinance company.


    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS 195fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 138
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period: 1863 to 1864

    Columbus Huntly was a resident of Potsdam, NY who enlisted in the United States Army November 21, 1861. Huntly held the position of private in the 92nd New York State Infantry. He participated in the battle of Fort Anderson (March 13-15, 1863) and was stationed there during the following months. The 92nd Infantry was organized at Potsdam, N.Y., and mustered in January 1, 1862. They then left state for Washington, D.C., March 5, 1862 and participated in many battles such as the Battle of Williamsburg, the Battle of Fort Anderson, and the Battle of Fair Oaks.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS138fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 165
    Collection Length: 11.85ft
    Period: 1999 to 2010

    Community Energy Services was registered with the New York State Department of State in August of 2000 following a series of meetings led by the St. Lawrence County Planning Office.

    From 2001 to 2010, CES sought to reduce energy usage in North Country buildings and lower energy costs for residents, homeowners and public entities, with an emphasis on low to moderate income households.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS165fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 198
    Collection Length: 3.00ft
    Period: 1890 to 1950
    Postcard of Utowana House, Blue Mountain Lake, NY

    The modern picture postcard phenomena begins in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Officially licensed postcards cost one cent to mail while unlicensed private cards required two cents, the same as a first-class letter in a sealed envelope. The popularity of postcards increased dramatically in 1898 when the U.S. Congress authorized lowering the postage rate to one cent. These early postcards required that the address and stamp be on one entire side of the card, while the other side could contain an image and a space for a handwritten message by the sender.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon mss198fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 96
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period: 1867 to 1960
    Advertisement for Dr. Morse's Indian Root Pills

    The Comstock Patent Medicine Company was located in Morristown, St. Lawrence County, N.Y. The collection consists of a printed history of the company by Robert B. Shaw, four metal plates used to print labels for the medicines, and a container of pills sold by a competitor of the company.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS96fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 41
    Collection Length: 0.50ft
    Period: 1601 to 1957

    Courtland Smithers was born March 20, 1881 in Oswegatchie and moved to Heuvelton with his family in 1888 where he remained for the rest of his life. He worked in the family grocery and bakery store. In later years he went into the coal business, the poultry business and finally a prominent milk dairy farmer from 1916-1946. He was instrumental in starting Poultry Shows and Cattle Shows in the area. He married in 1902. Mr. Smithers was crippled by rheumatism for many years and turned to writing genealogies of many local families and a book "History of Heuvelton and Vicinity".

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS41fa_0.pdf
  • Collection Number: 31
    Collection Length: 0.50ft
    Period: 1814 to 1970
    Advertisement for the Cranberry Lake Inn

    Cranberry Lake is part of the network of lakes and ponds, connected by streams and canoe-carry trails, which stretch across the central and western plateau of the Adirondacks known as the Lake Region. Cranberry is the third largest body of water in the Adirondack Park; it was nearly doubled in size by the completion of a dam in the spring of 1867. Cranberry Lake region is known for its hunting, fishing, logging and summer camps. This collection was donated by Atwood Manley and consists of his research files and correspondence on the region.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS31fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 139
    Collection Length: 0.75ft
    Period: 1862 to 1867
    Transcript of a letter from Julius Crossman to his wife while in Fairfax Hospital, March 1863

    Julius and Marcus Crossman were residents of Pierrepont, NY during the outbreak of the Civil War. Both men enlisted on Aug. 29, 1862 into the 142nd Regiment of the New York State Volunteer Army. Both brothers were stationed all over the state of Virginia during their duty, along with other men from Pierrepont. Julius died of typhoid fever in 1863 while in military service. This collection consists of 62 original letters, most of which have typed transcripts. The letters date from 1862 through 1867. Julius, Marcus, or Matilda Crossman wrote the majority of the letters to one another.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS139fa_1.pdf
  • Collection Number: 177
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Sample of Cuneiform writing

    Cuneiform is one of the earliest forms of writing, appearing in the Middle East around 3000 BCE. Symbols were impressed into clay tablets using a stylus. Many forms of cuneiform were developed by a number of cultures over approximately three millennia, until other forms of writing came into use.

  • Collection Number: 148
    Collection Length: 4.25ft
    Period: 1977 to 1993
    Logo for Current:  The Journal of North Country Action

    Current, The Journal of North Country Action was founded in 1985 as an outgrowth of local dissatisfaction with press coverage on issues of critical importance to Residents of New York State's North Country. Conceived under the umbrella of a progressive coalition group, Current evolved into an independent, non-profit publishing cooperative dedicated to providing commercial-free, reader-supported regional news and commentary on a bi-monthly basis. These records include Administrative records, Environmental and Human Rights newspaper clippings, Magazines, Scrapbooks and Videotapes.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon mss148fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 68
    Collection Length: 2.50ft
    Period: 1937 to 1957
    Striking dairy farmers in Heuvelton, New York

    Archie Wright was born July 25, 1891 in Westville, New York and died December 24, 1967 in Ogdensburg, N.Y. He attended Ogdensburg Free Academy. He served as president of the Farmers Union of the New York Milkshed from its beginnings in 1941 until his resignation on January 1, 1957. Before that he was the President of the Dairy Farmers Union of the State of N.Y. during the 1930's. Mr. Wright was the editor and publisher of the "Northeastern Union Farmer" and had a weekly radio talk show.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS68fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 102
    Collection Length: 1.00ft
    Period: 1873 to 1881
    1879 letter from the Doolittle Weeks Collection

    Lelon Ansil Doolittle was born July 22, 1853 in Russell, St. Lawrence County, NY. He was educated in Russell, St. Lawrence University Class of 1875 and at the University of Wisconsin where he studied law. Lelon died in July 1930 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Betsey (Bessie) Adams Weeks was born April 20, 1851 in Vermont, she was educated in Rutland, Vermont and St. Lawrence University Class of 1876. She married Lelon Doolittle May 4, 1880 in Wisconsin. She died April 25, 1927 in Wisconsin. The collection consists of correspondence between Lelon and Betsey from 1873 to 1881.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS102fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 113
    Collection Length: 4.50ft
    Period: 1948 to 1966
    Photograph of Douglas Black with Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Douglas M. Black was president of Doubleday and Co., publishers of Dwight D. Eisenhower's Crusade in Europe. The collection consists of correspondence covering the postwar period and largely concerns Eisenhower's publications with Doubleday. Also includes social correspondence from Mamie. Finding aid available at repository.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS113fa_0.pdf
  • Collection Number: 124
    Collection Length: 1.00ft
    Period: 1954 to 1959
    A tug boat in Snell Lock in the early days of the St. Lawrence Seaway

    Eleanor Jane Lahey Dumas (1916-1997) was employed with the Massena Observer until her marriage and later became a Watertown Daily Times Massena correspondent in the early 1940s. Mrs. Dumas covered Northern New York and Southern Ontario until her retirement in 1976. Eleanor is most noted for covering high profile events in the North Country, such as Eleanor Roosevelt's visit to St. Lawrence University in 1955 and the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Dam from 1954-1959.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS124fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 57
    Collection Length: 15.00ft
    Period: 1912 to 1974
    Photo of Dwight P. Church

    Dwight "Dippy" P. Church was born in Canton, St. Lawrence County, N.Y. in 1891 and resided there until his death in 1974. He owned and operated the $5 Photo Company for sixty years. Mr. Church was one of the first mail-order film processors and later specialized in aerial photography, photographing farms and businesses, selling the pictures to the owners. Dwight owned a successful post card business selling them in local towns, and was an active canoe racer, swimmer, gymnast, skater and hiker. The collection consists of over 13,000 negatives and some prints.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS57fa_0.pdf
  • Collection Number: 209
    Collection Length: 2.00ft
    Period: 1963 to 2000
    Poem From Jail by Ed Sanders


    Finding Aid: PDF icon mss209fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 10
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period: 1957 to 1972
    October 1957 letter from Edmund Wilson to William Fenton

    Edmund Wilson, American literary and social critic, was born in Red Bank, New Jersey in 1895. He graduated from Princeton University in 1916. In 1920 he became the managing editor of "Vanity Fair", and later was on the staffs of the "New Republic" (1926-31) and "New Yorker" (1944-48). Wilson is the author of many books of satiric verse, fiction, drama, history, literary criticism, and social commentary (see our online catalogue for our holdings of Wilson's books).

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS10fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 210
    Collection Length: 4.00ft
    Period: 1874 to 1887
    Portrait of Edward H. Neary


    Finding Aid: PDF icon mss210fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 216
    Collection Length: 5.50ft
    Period: 1888 to 1932
    Portrait of Emilie Clarkson Moore


    Finding Aid: PDF icon mss216.fa_.pdf
  • Collection Number: 104
    Collection Length: 0.50ft
    Period: 1833
    Supplement to the report on the survey of Essex County by Winslow Watson

    Essex County the second largest county in New York State, is the most mountainous of the counties and became a county March 1, 1799. Essex County is bordered on the north by Clinton and Franklin Counties, on the south by Warren County, and the east by Lake Champlain and on the west by Hamilton County. The county has approximately 25 villages and towns with the county seat in Elizabethtown. The collection consists of a 1948 Guide to County and Town officials and a 1853 New York State Agricultural Society Magazine Vol. XII - supplement to the Report on the Survey of Essex County.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS104fa_0.pdf
  • Collection Number: 120
    Collection Length: 0.50ft

    Collection of eight illuminated parchment scrolls and one illuminated parchment codex in Geez and Amharic, pertaining to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, from the late 19th or early 20th century. This collection was acquired in 1998.