University at Albany, SUNY Alumni Memorabilia Collection, 1845-2014
- University at Albany, SUNY
- The collection documents the day-to-day student life at the University at Albany and its predecessor institutions, including the State Normal School (1844-1890), the New York State Normal College (1890-1914), the New York State College for Teachers (1914-1959), and the State University of New York at Albany (1962-1986).
- 12.21 cubic ft. and 917 Digital Files
- English and English
- Preferred citation:
- Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, University at Albany, SUNY Alumni Memorabilia Collection, 1849-2014. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as University at Albany, SUNY Alumni Memorabilia Collection).
Access and Use
- Conditions Governing Access:
Access to this collection is unrestricted.
This page may contain links to digital objects. Access to these images and the technical capacity to download them does not imply permission for re-use. Digital objects may be used freely for personal reference use, referred to, or linked to from other web sites.
Researchers do not have permission to publish or disseminate material from these collections without permission from an archivist and/or the copyright holder.
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming to the laws of copyright. Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) and/or by the copyright or neighboring-rights laws of other nations. More information about U.S. Copyright is provided by the Copyright Office. Additionally, re-use may be restricted by terms of University Libraries gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks.
The University Archives are eager to hear from any copyright owners who are not properly identified so that appropriate information may be provided in the future.
- Scope and Content:
Items in this collection have been transferred to the Alumni Association of the University at Albany, SUNY for the past 100 years. The collection consists of autograph books, broken runs of bulletins, catalogues, and commencement exercises; the correspondence of alumni, faculty and students; newspaper clippings; photographs of alumni, faculty, students, student events and buildings; programs for student and local plays; programs of college and student events, scrap books, song books, student literary publications and yearbooks. The collection documents the day-to-day student life at the University at Albany and its predecessor institutions: the State Normal School, 1844-1890; the New York State Normal College, 1890-1914; the New York State College for Teachers, 1914-1959; the State University of New York College of Education at Albany, 1959-61; the State University of New York College at Albany, 1961-62; and the State University of New York at Albany, 1962-1986.
Though the span date of the collection is 1844 through 1991, there are few items before 1860. The nineteenth century materials consist primarily of formal portrait photographs of students and faculty; autograph books from 1860, 1861, and 1889 (autograph books were the forerunners of college yearbooks--see the University Archives Autograph Book Collection for more extensive examples of the genre); scattered commencement exercises and diplomas (see the University Archives Diploma Collection and Commencement Series for other examples); the correspondence of Anna E. Pierce, a graduate of the Class of 1884, and future Dean of Women; and the papers of Carolyn Mayhew, a graduate of the Class of 1892, and assistant school principal in New York City (including her essays and an autobiographical bookLife on A Diary Farm in the Nineteenth Century).
The twentieth century holdings of the collection are much richer, consisting, in addition to the usual commencement programs and photographs, of a variety of regalia including athletic letters from 1927; womens basketball memorabilia donated by Lorna Shafer including a list of rules of personal conduct of women athletes; candle holders used on Torch Night and Candlelight Ceremony; dance cards; felt arm bands from the classes of 1913, 1918, 1921, 1923, 1924, 1926, 1935, 1937, 1949; play programs, particularly from the period when Agnes Futterer lead theatrical programming (1918-1956), as well as programs for events held at local and New York City theaters; school pins from fraternities, sororities, and MYSKANIA (the student honorary and guardian of traditions); scrap books from members of the class of 1923, 1926, 1929, 1933, 1939, 1942, 1943, 1949; song books; student literary and humor magazines; tea pots from Syddum Hall; women's gym rompers dating from 1927 and 1937.
The collection is strongest in the period from 1920 through the mid-1950s and weakest before and after those dates. With notable exceptions, primarily scattered copies of student publications, the Alumni Memorabilia Collection contains few items from the 1960s on.
The Alumni Memorabilia Collection exists 1) to provide a repository for items which can be exhibited at Alumni Reunions, Homecoming and in the wider University community, and 2) to provide a mechanism by which the University Archives can document student life at the University and its predecessor institutions. To achieve these goals we solicit donations which are attractive, colorful and/or informative, and at the same time we collect materials which will give us insight into student life, both in and outside of classes.
University Archives plans to add new class memorabilia to this finding aid on an annual basis.
- Biographical / Historical:
The Alumni Association collected information on graduates as well as memorabilia of alumni since its founding in 1849. Unfortunately, the devastating New York State Normal College fire of January 8, 1906 destroyed those early collections as it did the portraits of early school leaders and the Alumni Memorial Window in the Willett Street Building. In consequence there are relatively few items of memorabilia in the collection from the 19th Century, and what is known about the graduates of the New York State Normal School and the New York State Normal College through 1906 is largely found in theHistorical Sketch of the State Normal School, 1884 and the Historical Sketch of the State Normal College, 1894. A hand annotated copy of the 1894 history was maintained by the Alumni Association with interleaved pages and contains updates to the names, addresses and careers of graduates of the Normal School/College (1844-1914), and subsequently the New York State College for Teachers (1914-1959) through 1918.
During the 1910s through the 1950s alumni have been particularly generous with donating their memorabilia, scrapbooks, play programs, photos of events such as Rivalry, Moving Up Day, commencements, plays, fraternities and sororities, and the general round of social life. With the advent of the 1960s there has been a significant diminution of alumni donation of memorabilia, and while many classes during the 1920s-1940s have upwards of a hundred individual items of memorabilia, very few approach that number in later years, often numbering the teens or twenties.
In 1988 the University Archives took over custodianship of the Alumni Memorabilia Collection from the Alumni Association.
- Acquisition information:
The materials in this collection were donated by alumni of the University at Albany and its predecessor institutions: the State Normal School, 1844-1890; the New York State Normal College, 1890-1914; the New York State College for Teachers, 1914-1959; the State University of New York College of Education at Albany, 1959-61; the State University of New York College at Albany, 1961-62; and the State University of New York at Albany, 1962-1986.
- Processing information:
Processed in 2014 by Jodi Boyle, Cassandra Krom, Melissa McMullen, Gregory Wiedeman, and Erik Stolarski.
- State University of New York at Albany--History
Graduation (School)--New York(State)--Albany
College student newspapers and periodicals--New York (State)--Albany
College student orientation--United States--Handbooks, manuals, etc.
College students--New York (State)--Albany
College students--Political activity--New York (State)--Albany
College students--Recreation--New York (State)--Albany
UAlbany Student Groups
- State University of New York at Albany