Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A name for the archives!

After many years of being without a name, the archives of the college have finally received one. Through the extraordinarily generous planned gift of alumna and retired staff Virginia Campbell the archives has been named the "Rose Archives." The archives, the archivist, and the history and traditions of the college are most grateful!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

NYC, June 1958

This image was recently discovered in the archives, and on the negative sleeve is written "Campus School trip to NYC, June 1958." It must have been an exciting trip for the lucky kids who went! If anyone has any memories of that trip they would care to share that would be great, please comment here or contact the college archives.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Early Campus Security Officer

A cache of photographs from the 1960s and 1970s recently was discovered in the Allen building and brought to the archives. Among the many interesting images was this 1967 portrait shot of Robert Coleman, a campus security officer as they were known then. This is the earliest known such photo of one of our officers.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Before the PC, before the typewriter...

They wrote everything by hand, everything. Minutes of meetings, correspondance, student registration records, all of it was written out by hand in ledgers and binders. For example here is a page from the 1869 registration book. These massive volumes are leather bound and about 11x17" on a side. Notice that in addition to people's names and so forth, they listed their "religious persuasion!" (Click on the image to view in a larger size.)

The first typewritten records appear in the 1890s and it wasn't till some years later that records were generally all typewritten. Many years later of course PCs and word processing came along, but that's another story!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Brockport Sorority of Yesteryear

The archives recently received some materials from a local family, and among the items was this photograph. It is a group shot of the members of the Alpha Delta sorority seated on the steps of the old Normal School and is dated 1896. There was an active Greek culture at Brockport from the 1870s up into the 1930s.

Alpha Delta and the other societies each had a room of their own in the building. In those days things were less structured, and they did many things that would be done today by BSG. For example they worked together to bring popular and prominent speakers to Brockport, they held debate contests, staged plays and held dances.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Boating on McCargo Lake, Fancher Campus

The photo here is not dated, nor the young women in the rowboat identified, perhaps somewhere in the early 1970s would be right. They are out on McCargo Lake, at the Fancher Campus. This was a property that the college owned, located a few miles west in Orleans County. The college had owned a camp in the Adirondacks, Camp Totem, but it was quite a drive up there, and in the early 1960s they sold that property and bought the Fancher site. A lodge was built, a pool and other amenities, and it was a popular recreational spot for the college community. It also hosted conferences, summer theater productions, McCargo Lake was used for water research studies, and an arboretum was developed there as well. In the 1980s the uses of the property had diminished, the cost of maintaining it had grown, and the property was closed and sold.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Look Ma, no mouse!

An early shot of a tired computer programmer at Brockport in the 1970s; no mouse, no screen, just a keyboard and a printout...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Early Brockport Football

The earliest reports of a Brockport football team are from 1889. It was a popular sport, but in the WWI era with widespread concerns about the number of injuries and even deaths in collegiate football, and a growing shortage of male students here at Brockport to play, the team was discontinued as of 1915. After WWII, with a great increase of students, including more men to play, and changes to the game having made it safer, the sport was reinstated. Bob Boozer was the coach for the team, which first played in the fall of 1947.

The newly revived team played on a field in between the village middle school and what is now Special Olympics Stadium. Pictured here is a player from the early days of Brockport football after WWII, Ed Burke, '51.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Professor Burlingame's Cubical Blocks

Herman Burlingame was a professor at Brockport Normal School from 1868 - 1891. He was in charge of mathematical instruction, and also served as librarian for a number of years. One interesting product of his time here was the set of blocks that he designed and sold to aid in the instruction of doing cube roots. Such sets were common in the 19th century, as a way of helping visualize the process with the use of the blocks.

Shown here is a set of Professor Burlingame's "Cubical Blocks" which are part of the collections of the Alumni House.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Grateful Dead

In November 1981 Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead played in the Tuttle North gymn. It came up today when a researcher working on an encyclopedia of places where the Grateful Dead played contacted the archives about this event. A scan of the 11/11/1981 Stylus article and an image of Tuttle North were emailed back to him; the image here is from that Stylus article. You never know where Brockport's history will take you!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cannioto '36, First Masters Degree Recipient!

   Alexander Cannioto '36, pictured here, was the first person to be awarded a Masters degree at Brockport, receiving the Masters in Education in January 1950. He was a 1936 graduate of the old Brockport Normal School, which then was a three year program giving a license to teach, but not a bachelors degree. He finished the work for a bachelors and received that in 1945. At the time he received his masters degree, he was teaching in the East Rochester school district. This is a great example of the rapid changes happening in Brockport in that era, when within a few years the school had gone from being a Normal school to a Teachers College granting the bachelors to giving masters degrees starting in 1950.

   In his Normal school years Alexander had been very active. He was in the Phi Alpha Zeta fraternity, Magpies (the drama group,) Blanket Tax Committee (forerunner to the student government of today,) he was on the baseball team, managed the basketball team and was class president.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

William Lennon

William Lennon, pictured here about 1875, was a science teacher at Brockport, and later the vice-principal (i.e. vice-president) from 1869-1911. A native of Rensselaerville in Albany County, he was born in 1838, went to high school in Binghamton, and attended Genesee College in Lima NY (which later became a part of Syracuse University.)
   He was a keen meteorologist and maintained a weather station at the school for many years; thus the meteorology program of today has a long history at Brockport! He had many other scientific interests, and was mentioned in the local paper in 1901 as demonstrating "wireless telegraphy equipment." Lennon was a member of several scientific associations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Today's Lennon Hall is named after him.
   He was close to the students; in his obituary from 1913 it noted that "No interested student, no matter how backward, was refused assistance, and no teacher more thoroughly enjoyed the innocent pranks of pupils than did Professor Lennon." He maintained close ties with alumni as well. The beginnings of today's Alumni Association go back to several different groups, for example one that met in the New York City area, and another which was for those in western New York. Lennon was a regular and sought after visitor to the annual meetings of both groups.
   Just today a brief history Professor Lennon wrote of the school in 1907 was placed in our Digital Commons.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Memorial Day: "To The Boys In Service"

From the 1944 Saga yearbook. Pictured below are three of the young men on the page; you may visit the digitized version of the 1944 yearbook to see more. 

To The Boys In Service: Those were tense, exciting days when you left our class for the Armed Forces. But through your letters and occasional furlough visits, a loyal part of you has remained at B.S.T.C. You are marching, now, in uniform. Soon we who stayed behind will march in cap and gown. Together we are marching toward the inevitable victory.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Saga Yearbook: now online!

The college archives is pleased to announce that the Saga yearbook is now online through 1950. We will resume digitizing it this coming fall, and hope to be up through 1970 or more this time next year. If you would like a higher quality image of a a page or an image from one of the yearbooks contact Charlie Cowling, ccowling@brockport.edu.

Friday, May 10, 2013

More Fannie Barrier

Researcher who'd contacted me before was in today. Is prepping for a presentation at this summer NY history conference on Fannie Barrier, particularly her speech at the 1893 World Parliment of Religion. Researcher is from Seneca Falls and associated with the Women's Rights Museum there, and is interested in nominating Fannie B. for a place in the hall of fame there!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Stage XVI

Students of more recent years don't know what Stage XVI was, but many of you may remember it, perhaps even lived there. It was a student apartment style housing complex at the west end of campus. All that remains of it today is the parking lots along the railroad tracks by the playing fields. They were a distinct group of buildings with their metal exteriors, but the complex only operated a relatively brief time, from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. It was sited unfortunately in an area that was prone to water problems, and the drainage of the area wasn't well prepared. Over the years water seeping into the foundations and walls made the maintainance of the buildings difficult, and it was finally decided to close them and demolish the complex, which was done in the mid 1990s.

Here is a picture of the complex in its heyday; if any readers out there have snapshots of the complex, especially the interiors, or stories to share of it, please do contact the archivist, Charlie Cowling, ccowling@brockport.edu.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Old School Technology

We recently received back 250 images that had been digitized for us through a grant. They were made from the 4x5" negatives the archives has thousands of, and that cover approximately 1949-1965. What we had digitized was only a small sample set. Pictured here is a student posing with something contemporary students have likely never seen in person, let alone handled, a movie projector! Isn't that Brockport State jacket great too? If anyone knows who this student is, please post a comment or email Charlie Cowling at ccowling@brockport.edu.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wells Sisters in Japan

In 1960 Professor Orlo Derby wrote a piece for the Alumni News about an experience he had while teaching for a year in Tokyo. Before going he had been given contact information for two Brockport graduates who were long time residents in Japan, and after his arrival, he went to visit them. His story of meeting Florence Wells 1904, and her sister, Lillian Wells 1893, is fascinating. Think of the two sisters having gone to Japan as missionaries and teachers around the beginning of the 20th century, and then living on there for over 50 years, including throughout WWII, what a remarkable story! You can find a link to a copy of the article here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rockin' Normal Hall!

The archivist is doing some research into the "Mandolin Club" that was here ca1885 to 1910 or so. This sort of music group was very popular at the time, and played a mix of popular and classical music. As jazz and other forms of music became more popular this type of group faded away, but there are actually still a few around. Go here to see a YouTube clip of the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra! Shown here is a picture of the the Brockport Normal School Mandolin Club from the 1899 yearbook.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Shirley Chisholm spoke here...

Shirley Chisholm was a notable figure in her day. She was the first black woman elected to Congress in 1968 and was also the first major party black candidate, in the 1972 campaign. In 1983 she was the undergraduate commencement speaker at Brockport. She is shown here with then President Van De Wetering. This slide is part of a massive collection of photographs the archives is currently processing which represent 30 years of campus photographer Jim Dusen's work.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dance & Migrant Education

   Some significant new collections have been added to the college archives of late. The Department of Dance has long maintained an archives of its own, and the last two semesters has had a student working in the college archives to digitize some of this remarkable collection. Those digitized materials are now being added to the college's Digital Commons.

Another major addition to the history of the school is the transfer to the archives of 6 boxes of materials from the Migrant Education program that has been here for over forty years. It will be a significant addition to the record of diversity at the college!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Circa 1880 Calling Cards

Student calling cards 19thWe have all sorts of things in the college archives, including a few calling cards of students who attended the college in the 1880s, like those pictured here. The calling card was a widespread item among the middle and upper classes in that era. These were not business cards, but social cards. They allowed people to make themselves known to others, who then could choose to either visit and leave their own card, initiating a visit or relationship, or they could return the card, indicating that they did not wish to make the acquaintance of the person leaving the card. It might seem rather quaint, but perhaps we do something similar on FaceBook, when we send a "friend invitation" to someone else!