The Albany Institute of History & Art Library is a non-circulating research library with collections related to the art, history, and culture of the upper Hudson Valley of New York. Collections include manuscript materials, photographs, maps, rare books, and other collections dating from the seventeenth century to the present.
Daniel Evan Button (1917-2009) was a Republican politician elected as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. After his landslide win for the 1966 election, Button once again ran and was re-elected to his seat on the House of Representatives as a representative of New York. He ran for a third term in 1970, but was ultimately defeated. This collection contains newspaper articles, letters, speeches, documents, photographs, and published works in his memory.
William Law Learned Peltz (1882-1961) was an avid collector of Albany memorabilia and a philatelist. He had a lifelong interest in postage stamps and postal history and was a founding member of the Fort Orange Stamp Club in 1926. His stamps document postal history from the pre-stamp through stamp periods. This collection includes correspondence, scrapbooks, and stamps.
The collection consists of a random grouping of ambrotypes, daguerreotypes and tintypes; all photographic techniques popular in the United States from the late 1830’s to the turn of the century (19th into 20th). Most of the collection, like the predominant subject matter of these photographic processes, are portraits. Some landscape photography was done using each of the three photographic techniques; few survive. Landscape photography would blossom with the advent of the “paper process” which, though still cumbersome by today’s standards, was much less cumbersome than the equipment and process required, even for the tintype.
James Boyd (1742-1832) and Jane MacMaster Boyd (1751-1831) arrived in Albany, New York, from Scotland in 1774. In 1796, James founded the Arch Street Brewery, which would later become the Albany Brewing Company. This collection contains correspondence, personal papers, and photographs.
Personal papers of June Laura Bjorklund Martin. Contains personal records, correspondence, vacation materials, photographs, and other personal materials created by June B. Martin. Also contains a few documents reflect her career in New York State government, including newspaper clippings or personal letters between co-workers.
St. Luke's Methodist Episcopal Church, includes records of the church which resulted when two congregations merged in 1881. The church was located on Clinton Avenue at Lexington Avenue. This collection includes record books.
The Kenmore Hotel was built in 1878 by Adam Blake, Jr. (born 1830). Blake was the son of Adam Blake, Sr., a gentleman enslaved by Stephen Van Rensselaer III until 1811. Blake’s hotel was a success, and he managed it until his death in 1881. His widow, Catherine, then managed the hotel until selling the business in 1887. In the 1940s, the Kenmore Hotel became famous for its nightclub, the Rain-bo Room, where jazz greats such as Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway once played, and gangster “Legs” Diamond was a frequent visitor. The Kenmore Hotel building was renovated into an office building in 1986; its primary tenant being the Healthcare Association of New York State. In 2019, the building was renovated into elegant apartments. This collection contains correspondence, clippings, and advertisements related to the entertainment provided by the Kenmore Hotel.