Environmental History: About the Project:

Partner Information

The Adirondack Museum

Located in Blue Mountain Lake, the Adirondack Museum is a nationally recognized institution dedicated to documenting and interpreting for the public the history of travel, recreation, and work within the Adirondack region.

The museum's Research Library collects, preserves, and makes available for research published and archival material that documents the social, economic, and natural history of the region. The Research Library also holds 65,000 photographs, 15,000 pieces of ephemera, and 230 oral history recordings that document Adirondack life and a large collection of 18th, 19th, and 20th century maps. In addition, it maintains the world's largest single collection of published works concerning the Adirondack region. Among its 600 linear feet of manuscript holdings are: personal papers of clergyman William Henry Harrison Murray (1840-1904), whose 1869 monograph Adventures in the Wilderness led to the explosive growth of Adirondack tourism; business records of the Emporium Forestry Company, the MacIntyre Iron Company, and other area businesses; organizational records of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks, the Citizens' Northway Committee, and other conservation and environmental groups.

Cornell University Libraries, Division of Rare and Manuscripts Collections

A research repository of national significance, the Division of Rare and Manuscripts Collections unit holds more than seventy million manuscripts and one million graphic images documenting a wide array of topics. The history of New York State is one of its collecting concentrations.

Among the holdings relevant to this project include: personal papers of forestry educator and federal forestry official Bernard Eduard Fernow; photographs documenting faculty and student research activities; forestry management practices including application of European forestry practices in New York; documents relating to the Cornell "Adirondack Experiment," the controversial clear cutting of land that led to the removal of the College of Forestry from Cornell; and records of the Empire State Forest Products Association and the Mid-Hudson Forest Products Cooperative.

The New York State Archives

Founded in 1971, the New York State Archives (NYSA) leads efforts, on behalf of all New Yorkers, to preserve and make accessible the recorded evidence - past, present, and future - that documents the history, governments, events and peoples of our State. Virtually every aspect and era of New York State history - including the Dutch and British colonial period; the Revolutionary War; Erie Canal and westward expansion; industrial development; labor law and programs; rise of the modern social welfare system; education and environmental affairs; World Wars I and II; and diverse communities including Native Americans, African-Americans, Latinos, and other groups - is revealed in the over 71,335 cubic feet (over 130 million documents) in over 3,677 records series. Formats include parchment, paper, still photographs, audio/videotape, maps, microform, and electronic records.

Among the records relevant to this project include: maps, photographs and documents produced by the Department of Environmental Conservation; the Adirondack Park Agency; Bureau of Real Property; and Department of State, all of which document the acquisition and management of the parks.

New York State Library, Manuscripts and Special Collections

Established in 1881, the Manuscripts and Special Collections unit acquires, preserves, and makes available for research material that documents the history of New York State from the 17 th century to the present day.

Manuscript holdings relevant to this project include: the personal papers of Franklin B. Hough (1822-1885), who spearheaded New York State and federal efforts to conserve forest land, and noted conservationist and radical journalist Robert F. Hall (1906-1993); and organizational records of the Citizens' Committee on the Preservation of the Adirondacks, the Adirondack League Club, and other conservation and environmental groups. It also holds a large number of images, including approximately 300 photographs of Adirondack camps and hotels, steamboats, tuberculosis sanitariums, and outdoor activities taken by noted conservationist and innovative photographer Seneca Ray Stoddard (1844-1917) and has a voluminous collection of published and unpublished maps produced from the 16 th century to the present day.

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, F. Franklin Moon Library, Terence J. Hoverter College Archives and Special Collections

Established in 1911 as the New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse University and incorporated into the State University of New York system in 1948, the College of Environmental Science and Forestry (CESF) is an internationally recognized center for research concerning the management of natural resources and the structure and functioning of ecosystems. The Terence J. Hoverter College Archives and Special Collections unit holds almost 300 cubic feet of manuscript material documenting the institution's operations and teaching and research activities.

Highlights from collection in this project include: recordings and transcripts of educational radio and television broadcasts (1942-1962) produced by the college's Department of Forest Extension and records, publications and ephemera documenting research activities at the college's Adirondack Ecological Center and Roosevelt Wildlife Experiment Station.

Ulster County (N.Y.) Clerk Archives

Established in 1987, the Archives arranges, preserves, and makes available to researchers the records of permanent importance created by thirty-three county government departments. A large portion of Ulster County lies within the boundaries of the Catskill Park.

Holdings of relevance to this project include: maps documenting land use; property boundaries; property seizures; effects from the construction of reservoirs and aqueducts belonging to the New York City water supply system; and transcripts and other court records concerning compensation claims for land New York City acquired through power of eminent domain.

Warren County (N.Y.) Records Storage Center and Archives

Established in 1963, the Record Storage Center and Archives arranges, preserves, and makes available for research a wide array of records of permanent importance created by the government of Warren County. Ninety percent of Warren County lies within the boundaries of the Adirondack Park. As such the records generated by the county shed light on how the government, citizens, and visitors have dealt with the management and use of the Park.

Holdings of relevance to this project include maps, photographs, and records documenting highway construction, property boundary disputes, seizure of land, land use classification, and forest fire fighting.