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College Archives plans open house

College Archives plans open house


Memorial Library will host an Open House on Wednesday, Nov. 6, for faculty, staff, students and the community to learn more about the College Archives and what this library resource has to offer. 

Members of the College Archives Steering Committee will be discussing different projects and sharing their experiences with the collections during the event from 3 to 5 p.m. in the College Archives, housed on the third floor of Memorial Library in Room B-305.

The event is free and open to the public. Students and faculty engaged in academic research, historians, local history buffs and the public are encouraged to attend. Light refreshments will be served.

SUNY Cortland’s Memorial Library has made great strides in recent years with its College Archives with both the physical archives at the library as well as developing extensive online access to historical records and images. Spearheading the effort are College Archives Steering Committee, an ad hoc committee involved with improving the archives for several years, as well as Jeremy Pekarek, College archivist and instructional services librarian, and Jennifer Kronenbitter, director of libraries.

The College Archives project collects or tracks the majority of materials relating to institutional history of SUNY Cortland. Visitors can have their questions answered about the history of the archives, its purpose, the university’s physical and digital collections, instruction, research, the role of college archivist and preserving SUNY Cortland’s institutional history.

The fast-growing collection already contains hundreds of digital images including literally thousands of sports images from the dawn of Cortland athletics, accessible to being viewed or downloaded. 

The online collections include the institution’s student newspapers and campus yearbooks, which are some of the more popular archives of interest to the campus community and visiting alumni.

Faculty in the History Department especially find the College Archives helpful in teaching. The collection also was used extensively to assist with mounting exhibits on campus during Cortland’s sesquicentennial anniversary from summer 2018 to summer 2019.

Visitors can learn about the library’s fairly new digital archive, Digital Commons@Cortland, named after a commons as a place where people can meet and share information and culture. The resource puts Cortland’s institutional history from 150 years ago right up to the present day in reach of anyone on the internet.

There are original documents and pictures that bring back to life campus student club and honorary society happenings, sports milestones and Greek life activities as well as key figures, buildings and events of university history.

Memorial Library has paid for most projects to improve the archives, including ones relating to the sesquicentennial. Recently, the library was awarded a South Central Regional Library Council Technology and Digitization Grant for $4,583 to have an outside company scan the majority of a cache of student newspapers into the College Archives, the Co-No Press from 1925 to 1942 and the Dragon Chronicle from 2013 to 2017.

“Come learn more about the College Archives to understand our commitment to creating access as well as preserving precious historical materials relating to SUNY Cortland,” Kronenbitter said.