Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Power of SUNY - the history

SUNY was formally established in 1949. In the picture here we see the presidents of the various state colleges posing for the launch of the new system. Brockport was represented by President Tower (whom Tower Fine Arts is named after, 2nd from the left, 2nd row.) It was a historic moment. Unlike many other states, which already had extensive, well established public higher education systems at that time (think Ohio State for example,) New York did not. Our state's public higher education was dominated by a network of prominent and politically powerful private colleges. The public higher education system was a weak network of small teacher training colleges and technical schools.

The 1949 launch of SUNY marked a shift towards a much more robust higher education system, and one that offered opportunity to many potential students who could not have afforded a private school education, and who perhaps would not have been accepted in the private schools of that day, which were not always welcoming of diversity.

Friday, January 14, 2011

That JFK library has nothing on us ;-)

Recently the library blog commented on the JFK Presidential Library and its massive digitization campaign. Well, maybe they do have a little something on our archives, we certainly don't have the resources they do.  Even so, college archivist Mary Jo Gigliotti and her student assistants have been working hard these last years to digitize our more significant archival holdings. Shown here is an example, the cover of the first issue of the Normalia from 1900. The Normalia was a predecessor to the Stylus, which started in 1914, and like the early Stylus it was a mix of news, literary pieces and so forth. Both the cover and the content of this title are being scanned by the college archives staff so that they will be available more widely.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"X" marks the spot

Well, OK, there isn't actually an "X" marking the spot :-) What you're looking for on this map is where it says "State Normal School," which was our official designation when this 1872 street map was drawn. See, we really have been in this location for many years, 175 actually!

We will continue to post here about the history of our school, and there will be more campus events taking place as well as the college continues its celebration of this anniversary in 2011. Please do let us know of any aspects of the college history you would like to hear more about! Place a comment here, or email ccowling@brockport.edu.

(Shown here is a portion of a "plat" map, a map which shows the properties and names of owners in a given area. You will see properties and houses on the edge of what is now all part of Hartwell Hall's lawn. We have an 1872 and a 1902 plat map book for Monroe County in our local history collections.)