Oct. 12, 2012

College Celebrates Reopening of Milne Library’s Archives and Special Collections

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Provost Carol Long examines the first of a series of Milne Library’s Genesee Valley historical book reprints during the reopening of the library’s Archives and Special Collections area. The reprinting of rare book collections is among a variety of publishing services the library has initiated to transform scholarly communications, making such works accessible to others.

GENESEO, N.Y. -- SUNY Geneseo celebrated the reopening of the special collections area of Milne Library Oct. 11. The newly opened college Archives and Special Collections display area house rare, historical unique collections that are resources for such diverse topics as college and regional history, Henry David Thoreau and publications authored by faculty, staff and alumni.

"Geneseo Special Collections provides an engaging collection of primary and local resources, opening opportunities for research, as well as new study rooms equipped to serve as teaching and learning labs for academic and community researchers and students," said Cyril Oberlander, Milne director.

The event marked months of work by Milne staff and student assistants, who moved, sorted and compiled more than 238,000 items to make the new Geneseo Special Collections a reality.

"The opening of the Geneseo Special Collections is an innovation that is also a tribute to many of the college's values - excellence, innovation, community, service to society, and tradition," said Geneseo President Christopher C. Dahl.

Milne is also celebrating its first digital publishing venture. As part of Milne's mission to transform scholarly communications, Milne reprinted "The Recollections of 3 Rebel Prisons," by Col. G.G. Prey, a book by a Civil War Wadsworth guard who survived three prisons. It is the first in a series of Genesee Valley Historical Reprints for Milne, said Oberlander. Those who utilize the collections, he says, bring new life to local history and research with rare books.

"What is special to the collection is determined by readers," said Oberlander. "Some may see the treasure in local history, while others along the edges in paintings, detailed artistic covers, or in the international rare books."

The new area houses:
• The Genesee Valley Historical Collection - covering eight counties surrounding the Genesee River
• The College Archives Collection - history of SUNY Geneseo from 1871 to present
• The Geneseo Authors Hall - publications of Geneseo faculty, staff and alumni
• The Wadsworth Family Papers - materials from the land offices of the prominent Wadsworth family, who settled in the local area
• The Walter Harding Collection - writings by the late Walter J. Harding, the world-renowned Henry David Thoreau researcher Emeritus, on Thoreau and transcendentalism.
• The Carl Schmidt Collection - historic architectural materials
• Rare books - a variety of rare books in several languages

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David Irwin
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(585) 245-5516