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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: 48
    Collection Length: 2.70ft
    Period: 1845 to 1928
    Construction of the Norwood Pulp Mill about 1900

    Orrin E. Martin was born December 22, 1847 in Westville, Franklin County, New York. He was the son of Hollis and Selina Martin. He married Mary J. Butler on February 15, 1876 and had three children; Arthur H., Hollis W., and Edith L. During his life he owned and operated a pulp mill near Norwood. In 1877, he and his father operated a wagon hub business in Norwood and in 1880 he moved to Ogdensburg and established a hub business of his own. In 1910 he and his sons established the Martin Pulp and Paper Company in Norwood of which he was president at the time of his death on February 8, 1923.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS48fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 153
    Collection Length:
    Period: 1968
    Voice is stilled, the people mourn

    Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist minister and an iconic figure in the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 60s. Beginning with the 1955 as a leader of the Mongomery, Alabama bus boycott and culminating with his assassination in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968, Dr. King was both a figurehead and a foot soldier in the struggle for equal rights for black Americans. His most famous speech was his "I Have a Dream" speech, given before hundreds of thousands of marchers on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

  • Collection Number: 161
    Collection Length: 3.00ft
    Period: 1810 to 1985

    Mary H. Smallman (1919-2009) was daughter of Doris Jones Hadlock (1896-2000) and Perry Hadlock (1899-1983). Well known for her preservation work in the history of northern New York, she served as St. Lawrence County Historian from 1965 to 1981. Mary was also the town historian for the Town of Hermon, NY. After her first marriage ended in 1951, Mary lived with her parents in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and later moved to Ogdensburg, NY in 1960. Along with her late husband Walter, Mary dedicated her life to genealogical research.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS161fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 218
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period: 1915 to 1922
    Portrait of Gladys Gray as a college student


    Finding Aid: PDF icon mss218fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 98
    Collection Length: 28.00ft
    Period: 1849 to 1996
    Portrait of the Mayhew family

    Karl M. Mayhew Jr. was proprietor of Mayhew Wholesale Candy and Tobacco Company in Canton for many years. He was born in Ridgetown, Ontario, moved to Canton as a young boy, graduated from Canton High School in 1934 and St. Lawrence University in 1938. During World War II Mayhew served with the 95th Division, serving in France, Germany and England. Following the war, Mr. Mayhew joined his father’s candy and tobacco business. He married Bette Limpert Mayhew in 1946. He died in 1994. While in business, Mr.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS98fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 27
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period: 1868 to 1875
    Photograph of the Merrill L. Howard diaries

    Diaries of M. L. Howard of Pierrepont, St. Lawrence County, N.Y. The collection consists of two diaries about farm life and logging in St. Lawrence County during the latter half of the nineteenth century.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS27fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 183
    Collection Length: 6.00ft
    Period: 1968 to 1975
    Diorama depicting Vietcong soldiers torturing two U.S. prisoners

    Michael D. Cousino was born in Gouverneur, New York in 1947.  He served in the U.S. Marine Corps’ I Corps in Northern Vietnam from 1968 to ’69, when he was wounded in battle.  After his discharge from the service and stints in physical rehabilitation, Cousino lived in the southern U.S.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS 183fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 97
    Collection Length:
    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS97fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 191
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period: 1861 to 1864

    Lewis Murray of Morley in St. Lawrence County, was a soldier for the Union during the Civil War. He served as an orderly in Company K 6th, New York Calvary. His entries start in December of 1861 and end in January of 1864.

    The booklet is a 25 page document summarizing Lewis Murray’s time in the 6th NYS Calvary.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon mss191fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 75
    Collection Length: 0.40ft
    Period: 1862 to 1945
    The Thundering Herd, Eighth Armored Division

    This unprocessed collection consists of primarily the correspondence between William Murray to his wife Beatrice (Fulton of New York City) during World War II. Also included is a Civil War Diary of a Lewis Murray, miscellaneous items (dog tags, military buttons, bracelet, etc) of William and Mary's as well as a notebook William kept while in the Armored Force School, and material while he was in Officer Candidate School in Fort Knox, Kentucky. St. Lawrence University received this collection from Roger Duvall, heir of Murray family, of Ogdensburg, New York in April, 1998.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS75fa_0.pdf
  • Collection Number: 47
    Collection Length: 0.40ft
    Period: 1952 to 1970
    Photographs from the Nathaniel Burwash Collection

    The collection consists of photographs of African pottery making, post cards of African Art, broadsides and articles on the American Artist Leonard Baskin.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS47fa_0.pdf
  • Collection Number: 171
    Collection Length: 0.40ft
    Period: 1979 to 1990
    Natural Farmer's Cooperative of the St. Lawrence Valley

    The Natural Farmers Association (later, Co-operative) of the St. Lawrence Valley formed in late 1977 as the result of a number of organizational meetings among small farmers, gardeners and homesteaders in St. Lawrence County. The group’s aims were to foster and promote natural, organic and alternative farming, to promote a local food economy and act as a support system to small rural farmers and homesteaders. Almost immediately it became apparent that a major focus of the group would be direct marketing of local produce.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon Mss171fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 33
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period: 1933 to 1938
    A variety of propoganda from the Nazi Literature Collection

    The collection was donated to St. Lawrence University library by Dr. Mary Saleski, a member of the Modern Languages Department. The common word "Nazi" is a contraction of the German word Nationalsozialismus, or National Socialism, a political movement that emerged after W.W.I. The party was founded in 1920 and led almost from the outset by Adolph Hitler. In 1933 the party gained control of the German state and established a dictatorship, embarking on a program of domestic reconstruction and foreign conquest that culminated in W.W.II.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS33fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 21
    Collection Length: 1.00ft
    Period: 1787 to 1928
    Transcript of New York and Ontario Power Company hearings from 1918

    William S. Connolly of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, was president of the New York and Ontario Power Company. The company applied in 1918 to the International Joint Commission for approval for "...the obstruction of the waters of the St. Lawrence River at Waddington, N.Y." Connolly was also a manager of the Bank of Montreal for 40 years (1890-1930) and spent most of his earnings to gain control of the land in the area that he believed to be, because it was the narrowest part of the river, the logical spot for a power dam. The dam was never built in this location.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS21fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 28
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period: 1797 to 1803

    These documents, written in French, concern land transactions in Castorland, N.Y.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS28fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 30
    Collection Length: 5.25ft
    Period: 1867 to 1932
    Newspaper photo of Edward J. Noble in his gyroplane in 1938

    The Noble family was from Gouverneur, New York (St. Lawrence County). Harvey H. Noble and Edna Wood Noble had three children: Katherine L. Noble, Robert N. Noble and Edward J. Noble (born August 8, 1882). Harvey ran a coal, wood and building supply business and served as an agent for the Rome and Watertown Railroad,. Robert attended Purdue University and studied engineering and Edward attended Yale. Katherine taught school in Weedsport and married Alger Conger.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS30fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 167
    Collection Length: 0.40ft
    Period: 1897 to 2011
    The Rushton canoe Punkie

    The North Country is that region of New York State north of the Mohawk and south of the St. Lawrence Rivers, east of Lake Ontario and west of Lake Champlain. It includes the Adirondack Park, the Tug Hill Plateau, the Thousand Islands, and the St. Lawrence River Valley. Within this area are over 2700 lakes, dozens of rivers, and thousands of ponds, streams and brooks. From the earliest times of human habitation boats have played an important role in the history, early settlement, and later development of this region.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon mss167 fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 122
    Collection Length: 4.25ft
    Period: 1895 to 1925
    An image from the North Country Glass Plate Negative collection

    The collection consists of glass plate negatives by unknown photographer(s) depicting people, places, and activities in the North Country (NY) between 1895-1925. Series 1 divided into groups and individuals (most unidentified). Series 2 consists of activities such as: children's games, dramatic groups, bicycling, boating and social gatherings. Series 3 consists of interiors and exteriors of homes - most unidentified.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS122fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 70
    Collection Length:
    Period: 1853
    1880s map of the village of Canton

    Maps relating to the North Country, NY. The collection consists of, but not limited to, maps of St. Lawrence, Franklin, Jefferson and Lewis Counties ; St. Lawrence River, St. Regis Mohawk Reservation, Ogdensburg, Macombs Purchase, Adirondack Mountains, and New York State railroads.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS70fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 151
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period: 1852 to 1970
    Newspaper account of an early 1900s murder in Franklin County

    This collection contains newspaper clippings, photocopies of news articles and other accounts of various murders committed in the North Country. Folders are organized alphabetically by the victim's last name.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS151fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 214
    Collection Length: 1.00ft
    Period: 1860 to 1920
    Carte de Visite photographs of baby Willie Gale and Sherman Jenison


    Finding Aid: PDF icon mss214fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 45
    Collection Length: 2.50ft
    Period: 1839
    Share certificate from the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg Railroad Company

    The North Country Railroad collection is an on-going collection of materials relating to railroads in the North Country of New York. It was acquired over many years by gift and purchase from a number of sources. The collection consists of stock certificates and bonds, photographs, broadsides, timetables, and business papers and ledgers of railroad companies.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS45fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 144
    Collection Length: 2.00ft
    Period: 1933 to 1968
    Cover of American Nudist Leader Magazine, April 1955

    An extensive collection of magazines that explore all aspects of nudism including philosophy, lifestyles, camps, and societal issues. Titles include American Sunbather, American Nudist, American Nudist Leader, Nudism Today, Sunbathing Annual, Sunbathing Review, Sun Love, and a number of foreign titles. The collection was donated to St. Lawrence by William Hull of Canton in 2006

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS144fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 143
    Collection Length: 2.00ft
    Period: 1798 to 1890
    Letter from Oliver Seymour Phelps collection

    Oliver Seymour Phelps (1816-1902) was the son of Oliver Phelps (1779-1851) who was a leader in the Welland and Erie Canal Projects. Oliver S. married Hester Anne Dexter (1816) of Lockport who died in 1848. Later he married Eliza Rebecca Lawton (1831-1888) also of Lockport, New York. Phelps then relocated with his family to St Catharines, Ontario where he had a brief political career. Later, he returned to the United States where he controlled a large part of the shipments of grain along the Erie Canal.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS143fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 206
    Collection Length: 0.50ft
    Period: 1957 to 1959
    Ceremony celebrating completion of the Moses-Saunders Power Project

    Norbert S.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon mss206fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 84
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period: 1864 to 1865
    Letter from the Orson Leroy Reynolds correspondence from 1864

    Orson Reyonlds of Bombay, Franklin County, New York, enlisted in the 6th New York Heavy Artillery. The collection consists of 25 letters written to his wife

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS84fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 87
    Collection Length: 500.00ft
    Period: 1874 to 1962
    Owen D. Young pictured with Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    Owen D. Young was born on October 27, 1874 in VanHornesville, New York, educated at St. Lawrence University and Boston University. He died July 11, 1962 in St. Augustine and is buried in VanHornesville, New York . The Young collection documents five decades of national and international business and political history, including the post World War I reparation period which saw Young as the key figure in the Dawes Plan of 1924 and the Young Plan of 1929 with its provisions for the still existing Bank of International Settlements.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS87fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 5
    Collection Length: 38.00ft
    Period: 1807 to 1816
    Images of David Parish and Joseph Rosseel

    David Parish arrived in America (Philadelphia) in 1805 from Antwerp. In 1807 Gouverneur Morris, a family friend, told Parish of the property in northern New York that was for sale. In 1807, with Joseph Rosseel as his land agent, he began purchasing land in St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties. Parish with Rosseel's help proceeded to make Ogdensburg into a main forwarding station on the St. Lawrence River and built sawmills, gristmills and help set up farmers and businesses in the area. He developed the iron and lead industry, opened shipping trade on the St.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS5fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 42
    Collection Length: 8.75ft
    Period: 1929 to 1951
    Cover of Parrish Wells book Dangerous Journeys 1757

    Parrish Wells was born November 12, 1890 in Johnstown, New York. He was educated at the University of Rochester and graduated as a Civil Engineer. Mr. Wells worked as a hydraulic engineer in Rochester, New York and in 1946 he moved his family to Plattsburgh, New York where he remained until just before his death in October 1963. He had for many years a great interest in the French and Indian War and did research all over the state.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS42fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 74
    Collection Length: 3.75ft
    Period: 1948 to 1990
    Uneven Ground book cover

    Paul Fletcher Jamieson was born on August 8, 1903 in Iowa. He was educated at Drake University, Columbia University and taught English at St. Lawrence University from 1929 to 1965 when he retired. Jamieson, a crusader for the opening of the Adirondack waterways for recreational use, has been involved in hiking, canoeing, showshoeing and camping in the Adirondacks for over 50 years. He is an acknowledged expert on the Adirondacks and a member of the Adirondack Forty-Sixers by virtue of climbing all peaks of 4000 feet and more.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS74fa.pdf