The Research Library supplements the diverse and world renowned collections at Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum. Our broad focus includes New York State with an emphasis on Otsego and nearby counties, American, and Native American history, art, and material culture. The Library’s Special Collections include rare books, manuscripts and archival collections, trade catalogs, pamphlets, broadsides, and ephemera.
Contains assorted legal instruments pertaining to the Niles and Taber families Otsego County, NY and others: Allen, Bull, Comstock, Gile, Mack, Miller, Latimer, Lyon, Heaton, Sleeper, Reed, Tickner Thayer, Thomas, and Smith.
Pictures of and information about covered bridges in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and other states of the U.S., along with Canada and Europe. Photographs include many hundreds of prints and postcards, some 525 glass lantern slides, 1300 color slides, 165 stereoscopic views, and a few glass negatives. Historical data on covered bridges includes clippings, pamphlets, articles and lists; also correspondence and notes on the subject by Richard Sanders Allen (1917-2008.) There is material on bridge builders and bridge-building techniques, and photographs and pictures of other bridges and ferryboats. Also includes postcards of covered bridges collected by Belle S. Turner and several pieces (artifacts) of actual bridges.
Correspondence of Universalist minister, Cuthbert Collingwood Gordon. The letters span 1850-1883. The bulk of the collection consists of letters from Universalist ministers and Universalist Society members in New York State and New England.
Contains images of sites of significance to the history of New York State. The images are all mounted on sturdy card stock and labeled with town, date, description, and source, if appropriate. Media include: prints; lithographs; post cards; b&w sepia-toned, and hand colored photographs; and stereoscopic view cards.
Business correspondence of George Andurs of Adams, Jefferson County, NY in his several professional capacities. Topics include instructions to Farmers Fire Insurance and Loan Company agents with notes of rates for special premiums for various occupations and goods, list of un-insurables including brimstone works, malt houses, gun powder makers, snuff mills, varnish makers, and theaters. Some letters, pertaining to the general store and debt collection businesses are jointly addressed to him and his partner, Mr. Harter. George Andrus’ 1822 post masters appointment is noted in a letter signed by the Postmaster General, J. Neigs.
Papers of Judge William Cooper, the founder of Cooperstown, and of his children, Hannah, Isaac, James Fenimore, Samuel, and William. A large part of the collection concerns the land and financial transactions conducted by Judge Cooper and his direct descendants. Of particular interest are deeds, leases, bonds, and mortgages that document his involvement in the settling of Cooperstown and Otsego County, N.Y. His papers also include correspondence, land books, and bankbooks. Isaac Cooper's papers include the contract for building his home, Edgewater. James Fenimore Cooper's papers include correspondence and fragments of literary manuscripts. The collection also contains scattered letters from a few in-laws and grandchildren of Judge Cooper, such as Susan Fenimore Cooper, as well as three photograph albums.
This collection documents the youth and young adulthood of Lucy Medora Walker, 1848-1916 of East Springfield, Otsego County, NY throughcCorrespondence from friends and family, diaries, school papers, programs, and photographs. Topics of discussion in correspondence and diaries include household chores, school, hop harvesting, and church.
This collection contains about 500 manuscript pages of Lockwood's various lectures, including some from the time of her campaign for president; newspaper clippings about her; an 1879 diploma presented to Lockwood when she was allowed to practice law before the United States Supreme Court; and an 1889 passport.
Contains a sales kit for the Wetmore, Hanes, and Sugden Company’s line of Christmas cards mounted on 27 pages of heavy, brown card stock. The colorful cards are printed with winter or religious scenes and Christmas and New Year greetings and include envelopes. Printing techniques include steel die stamped (some with mother of pearl backgrounds), metal seal steel die stamped, off-set, and color toned. One card sample is hand colored. Many envelopes, inside envelopes, and card holders are lined with printed tissue linings and some with linings designed to match the card.
This collection contains the drawings, paintings, sketches, and woodcut prints of William M. Beauchamp included in bound volumes (sketchbooks and scrapbooks) and on loose sheets. Taking landscapes with water features as his primary subject, Beauchamp captured New York State’s lakes (especially Skaneateles Lake and environs), waterways, countryside, mountains, and small towns with graphic detail.