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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: 133
    Collection Length: 0.50ft
    Period: 1862 to 1867
    Camp of the 16th Regiment, New York State Volunteers list of clothing, camp and garrison equippage

    The 16th New York Infantry regiment consisted of 1247 men from three counties in Northern New York State. These included companies A, B, F, G, H, and K from St. Lawrence County, C, D, and E from Clinton County, and I from Franklin County. The regiment would serve two years in the United States Army and was mustered in on May 15, 1861, in Albany, NY. The majority of the 16th infantry was mustered out on May 14, 1863. One hundred and twenty-six members of the regiment were assigned to the 121st New York Regiment to complete their service. This collection consists of two series.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS133fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 121
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period: 1875
    Photograph of an 1875 diary of an unknown person in Canton, New York.

    Personal diary kept by unidentified student/teacher in Canton area of St. Lawrence County, N.Y. in 1875.

  • Collection Number: 90
    Collection Length: 1.00ft
    Period: 1980
    1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics logo

    This collection consists of transcripts and tapes of an oral history project documenting the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY. Interviews are mostly with North Country individuals involved with the local organization of the games. Project headed by Jonathan Rossie, SLU History Department.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS90fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 130
    Collection Length: 10.25ft
    Period: 1975 to 1980
    Protesters holding anti-765kv power line signs

    The North Country Defense Committee and the coalition Upstate People for Safe Energy Technology (UPSET) were the most prominent groups that opposed the implementation of the 765 kV power line by the New York State Power Authority. For a five-year period, between 1975 and 1980, these two groups and some 20 others fought the construction of a 150 mile high voltage power line in Northern New York State. In addition to the power line controversy, a priority of the NCDC was to inform the public of the possibility of the construction of a nuclear power plant in Upstate New York.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS130fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 89
    Collection Length: 1.50ft
    Period: 1895 to 1910
    Photograph outside of a house from the A. L. Jameson Collection

    The collection consists of 136 glass plate negatives taken between 1895-1910 by Jameson of Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence County, N.Y. The negatives depict families and scenes in the Ogdensburg-Black Lake area.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS89fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 156
    Collection Length: 2.00ft
    Period: 1800 to 1991
    Bust of Abraham Lincoln

    Dorothy Hall, a retired New York Telephone Employee, was an avid collector of Abraham Lincoln memorabilia. Featured in the Watertown Daily Times, Hall recounted her love of building her collection with her husband Kenneth Hall. Mr. Hall died in 1972 and Mrs. Hall continued her journey of collecting Lincoln and Civil War related ephemera, dedicating and entire room in her Copenhagen, NY home to Lincoln. Dorothy passed away in 1992 leaving her books and collectables relating to Abraham Lincoln to St Lawrence University.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS156fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 32
    Collection Length: 5.00ft
    Period: 1848
    Photo of Mt. McIntyre and Colden Camp by Seneca Ray Stoddard

    The Adirondack Collection consists of ephemera, promotional literature, maps, magazines, commercial photo albums, picture books, Seneca Ray Stoddard photographs, and 2 groups of unidentified photographs. Also included are the records of Citizens to Save the Adirondack Park, from 1975-1982.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS32fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 29
    Collection Length: 3.60ft
    Period: 1963 to 1983
    Man paddling a canoe with a dead moose in the front

    The Adirondack Park Agency was created July 1, 1971 by executive law article twenty-seven program bill #102. The purpose of the APA was to insure conservation, protection, preservation, development and use of the scenic, historic, ecological and natural resources of the Adirondack Park. Collection consists of the papers of George Davis who served as Wildlife Ecologist for the Temporary Study Commission on the future of the Adirondacks. Mr.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS29fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 213
    Collection Length: 6.00ft
    Period: 1960 to 2010
    Adirondack chairs on a deck with a lake and mountains in the background


    Finding Aid: PDF icon mss213fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 189
    Collection Length: 2.50ft
    Period: 1974 to 2013
    Counseling & Education for Akwesasne: A Multicutural Perspective

    This collection contains information about the contemporary issues of the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory. There are a variety of pamphlets, informational packets, articles, newsletters, newspapers and handouts all with information that pertains to the Mohawk reservation. The issues these resources cover span from environmental initiatives to public school education to the annual powwow.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon mss_189_fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 154
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period: 1985 to 2010
    To and from the Gulf of Maine:  Alan Casline

    Alan Casline graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1973 and received his PhD from SUNY Albany. He established Rootdrinker Institute in 1973 and began publishing Rootdrinker magazine in 1975. He has championed local culture, art, music, poetry, organics, and a "back to the land" philosophy through the Rootdrinker Institute and Benevolent Bird Press, as well as through talks, lectures, concerts and other events.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS154fa_1.pdf
  • Collection Number: 4
    Collection Length: 1.00ft
    Period: 1903 to 1969
    A St. Lawrence University song written in 1908 by Alexander Black

    The collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, and printed materials by and about Alexander Black. It also contains the papers of Edith O'Dell, including materials from the McClure Syndicate, the P.E.N. Club, the O'Dell New Service and Golden Book Magazine, as well as other business and personal correspondence and biographical material. Finally, it contains a series of letters written to Ms. O'Dell's colleague at The World, Pomeroy Burton, and a collection of the correspondence of editors of the North American Review.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS4fa_0.pdf
  • Collection Number: 135
    Collection Length: 4.25ft
    Period: 1927 to 2009
    American Association of University Women certificate of recognition

    The AAUW was founded by a group of 17 college women in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1881. During that period of time women were hindered by many barriers that prevented them from pursuing both higher education and obtaining work in specialized fields. The primary objective of AAUW was the betterment of women's lives and their personal growth and that a greater number of college-educated women would be of benefit to society in general. On May 4, 1927, the St. Lawrence County Branch of AAUW was formed in Canton, New York at the home of Mrs. Harold Bergman.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS135fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 169
    Collection Length: 0.40ft
    Period: 1936 to 1946
    Orson Welles portrait

    Universally regarded as one of the finest screen and stage directors and producers of the 20th century, George Orson Welles was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 1915. Welles made his stage debut in Ireland in 1931 and by 1933 he was touring off-Broadway.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS169fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 196
    Collection Length: 9.25ft
    Period: 1900 to 2013
    Replica Iroquois wampum belt made by Arthur Einhorn


    The Native American tribal confederacy known as the Iroquois, or Haudenosaunee consists of six tribal entities or nations, primarily located in New York State and Canada. The tribes share similar language and formed a five-member tribal affiliation before contact with Europeans. Today, the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy consists of the Mohawks, Onondagas, Senecas, Cayugas, Oneidas and the Tuscaroras, with the latter tribe joining later.


    Finding Aid: PDF icon mss196fa_1.pdf
  • Collection Number: 220
    Collection Length: 0.50ft
    Period: 1965 to 1967
    Cover to Volume 1, Number 3
    Finding Aid: PDF icon mss220fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 220
    Collection Length: 0.50ft
    Period: 1965 to 1967
    Cover to Volume 1, Number 3
    Finding Aid: PDF icon mss220fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 67
    Collection Length: 10.50ft
    Period: 1807 to 1989
    Atwood and Alice Manley

    G. Atwood Manley, author, newspaperman, raconteur and outdoorsman, was born on October 31, 1893 and died September 6, 1989 in Canton, New York. He graduated from Canton High School in 1912 and from St. Lawrence University in 1916. While a student he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity and was involved with the college newspaper. Later he became the secretary of the Alumni Association from 1917 to 1944, and an alumni trustee from 1940 to 1950.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS67fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 162
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period: 1938 to 1945
    World War Two MP's standing at attention

    Basil Watson (1919-1970) a native of Madrid, NY served in the United States Army from October of 1940 to January of 1946 in Company 2nd Battalion 358th Infantry. While in the military Basil held 3 ranks from Private, Private First Class, and Technical Sergeant. His last rank in the military was Administrative N.C.O.: Basil was assigned to a military police unit and worked in Provost Marshall Office of the 3rd Army. Mr. Watson supervised 5 men and was responsible of office handlings such as prisoner of war camps, civilian internment camps and displaced persons.

  • Collection Number: 2
    Collection Length: 0.50ft
    Period: 1861 to 1864
    Ambrotype image of Alvah Beach

    Alvah and Enos Beach of Russell, NY, and their brother-in-law David Robinson fought on the Union side in the Civil War. The collection consists chiefly of letters written by Alvah and Enos Beach of Russell, N.Y., while they were in the Union Army during the Civil War. The collection also includes two photos of Alvah Beach and some material relating to David Robinson, including letters concerning his death in the Battle of Antietam. The collection was donated to St. Lawrence University by Atwood Manley

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS2fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 44
    Collection Length: 0.40ft
    Period: 1807 to 1846
    Business records from the Benjamin Clark Collection

    Benjamin Clark settled in Malone, NY in 1815. He had three sons and one daughter; his son's names were Samuel S., Benjamin W. and Charles. Clark was the first judge of the Court of Common Pleas in 1825-1828. In 1819 he was appointed to a building committee to raise funds to build a fireproof clerks office. He also served as Superintendent of the Poor in 1830. From approximately 1826-1851 he and Jacob Wead were one of the principal merchants in Malone owning Clark & Wead, which after Wead's retirement became Benjamin Clark & Sons.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS44fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 88
    Collection Length: 13.00ft
    Period: 1902 to 1935
    Photo of a St. Lawrence University hockey game circa 1930

    Benjamin M. Kip was born August 27, 1871 in Canton, N.Y. and died October 1, 1957 in Canton. He attended Canton schools and graduated from New York Art School. From 1898 until 1948, when he retired, he was a photographer in Canton. The collection consists of glass plate negatives and various prints that belonged to Benjamin Kip, a photographer in Canton, N.Y. These negatives were used in published souvenir books of Potsdam, Canton, and Gouverneur, N.Y. in the late 1800's.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS88fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 158
    Collection Length: 7.50ft
    Period: 1987 to 2007
    Birdsfoot Farm barn

    This collection contains records and papers pertaining to Birdsfoot Farm. Box 1 contains a brief history of the beginnings of Birdsfoot from 1972-1975. Within the collection are meeting minutes, financial records, and land trust agreements (1988-2007) pertaining to the Birdsfoot community. While Birdsfoot was founded in 1972, this collection mostly documents the activities from 1987 through 2007. The disposition of records for the period 1972-1986 is currently unknown.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS158fa_0.pdf
  • Collection Number: 112
    Collection Length: 6.00ft
    Period: 1940 to 1970
    Ephemera from Romeo and Juliet

    Harold C. Bohn was a member of the English dept. at Montclair State College in the 1940's through the 1960's. Collection contains clippings, playbills and epherera related to productions of the plays of William Shakespeare. Clippings and ephemera are organized by play and the plays are alphabetized. Also includes thesis and typescript on teaching Shakespeare in secondary school.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS112fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 170
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period: 2010

    This collection consists of two 1-page narratives by two U.S. Army soldiers from A Company, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, NY following their return from deployment in Kunduz province in Afghanistan. The narratives were written in April 2011, while their deployment was from April 2010 to March 2011. The first narrative is by Spc. Jorge Maya and is type-written. The second is by Spc. Jeremiah Bostic. Both are stationed with the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS170fa_0.pdf
  • Collection Number: 14
    Collection Length: 2.00ft
    Period: 1800 to 1865
    August 1820 letter from the Brown/Kirby Fimily Papers

    Jacob Jennings Brown founded the village of Brownville NY. After outstanding service during the War of 1812, he was made general-in-chief of the army, a position he held until his death. His son-in-law Edmond Kirby also had a distinguished army career. He also was active in founding a number of businesses in and around Brownville, including the Jefferson Woolen Mill in Dexter. The collection consists of both personal and business correspondence of Jacob Jennings Brown, his son-in-law Edmond Kirby, and their families.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS14fa_0.pdf
  • Collection Number: 37
    Collection Length: 3.50ft
    Period: 1812 to 1916
    Part of a Franklin County map showing the community of Brushton

    Henry Nielson Brush was born March 12, 1810 in New York City. He was educated at Columbia College, moving to the town of Moira, Franklin County, New York where he owned two large farms, a stone grist-mill and a sawmill. He was the founder of Brush Mills, which today is called Brushton. He married Juanilla Marie de Jouve of Cuba in 1831. Henry was an active member of the Whig party and was postmaster for several years. Brush died November 2, 1872 in Brushton. This collection consists of correspondence, deeds, land contracts, financial records and their wills.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS37fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 55
    Collection Length: 0.50ft
    Period: 1837 to 1965
    Windmill Point Lighthouse in Prescott, Ontario

    The Canadian Rebellion of 1837 was a movement in Lower Canada toward establishing a French Republic on the St. Lawrence River that was led by Louis Joseph Papineau. During the same year William Lyon MacKenzie led a similar armed revolt in Upper Canada which failed, he then fled to the United States and established headquarters on Navy Island on the Canadian side of the Niagara river and tried to continue the rebellion with the aid of sympathizers from the United States.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS55fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 159
    Collection Length: 0.50ft
    Period: 1956 to 2007
    The Grand Canal Journey:  A Voyage through New York's Canal System

    Founded in Buffalo in 1956, the Canal Society is a not-for profit educational organization that brings together canal enthusiasts from across the state to learn about the history, development and ongoing activities associated with numerous New York canal systems. This collection consists of ephemeral material related to the New York State Canal system and individual canal structures.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon MSS159fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 140
    Collection Length: 13.50ft
    Period: 1874 to 1914
    The Commercial Advertiser:  An Independent Family Journal

    This collection consists of abstracted articles of the Commercial Advertiser, which began in the village of Norwood (Potsdam Junction). The paper later relocated to the village of Canton. Issues in our collection run from 1874 through 1914.

    Finding Aid: PDF icon mss140fa.pdf