Penfield Library Archives and Special Collections Department is at the heart of teaching and learning at SUNY Oswego. The College Archives was established to preserve, maintain and foster an appreciation of the history and enduring value of SUNY Oswego. The Archives is comprised of historical records and documents of administrators, Departments, faculty, staff and students. Special Collections' local history collection includes material that focuses on the historical, political and cultural heritage of Oswego County or the surrounding Central New York region.
Papers of SUNY Oswego Philosophy Department faculty member Dr. Warren Steinkraus, a professor of religion and philosophy from 1964 to 1987. The papers reflect the varied and wide-ranging interests of Dr. Steinkraus. They include originals and copies of his prolific writings: essays, books, book chapters, editorials, letters to the editors, reports, correspondence, conference papers and speeches, and journal articles.
The family papers consist primarily of surveying notes generated by, or collected by, various members of the Babcock and Foster families of Oswego County, New York. The bulk of material can be attributed to A.H. Foster, who surveyed Williamstown and Amboy between [1930 and 1870]. The collection also includes field notes, maps, deeds, and mortgages from various surveyors and residents of Oswego County.
A majority of the correspondence reflects the personal and military activities of George Bowker and the 89th New York Infantry Regiment during the War of the Rebellion. The 89th fought in the Eastern theater of the war, and Bowker mentions the siege of Suffolk [April-May 1862] and the bombardment of Fort Sumter [August 1863]. Included in the collection are the letters of Clara Bowker dating from 1897 to 1898.
Under Foster Brown's leadership, the number of students and the physical campus greatly expanded. Brown’s administration saw the opening of Lakeside residence and dining halls, notable academic buildings and Lee Hall’s physical plant (to power the expanding campus) that all lay the foundation for even more growth to come. Brown led the way to the addition of robust liberal arts programs at Oswego to broaden beyond the initial (but still important) teacher preparation focus.
The collection consists of material dealing with the histories of fire making, the production of matches, match companies and biographies of their founders, and of the Diamond Match Company. The most important items held in the collection are Brown’s correspondence and notes regarding research on numerous American match companies from their early origins to the 1970’s.
The collection contains correspondence, financial and legal records, plus miscellaneous materials generated by the Burt and Noyes families. It includes genealogical records of both families and personal letters. The most significant letters are from William Curtis Noyes, a New York City attorney, and James Van Cleve, a Lake Ontario ship captain who discusses Champlain’s 1615 expedition against the Onondaga Indians and La Salle’s explorations in western and central New York.
The collection consists of weekly letters, college diaries and miscellaneous ephemera from Charles F. Burt and his son C. Willard Burt. The more significant items within the collection are the weekly letters from Charles to his parents from DeWitt, Michigan (1870s), and the correspondence from C. Willard while he trained and served in the United States Army during the First World War (1917-1918).