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 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.
Circus materials include programs, periodicals, clippings, articles, route books, broadsides / posters, and photographs. Also includes a typed account by Richard C. Ellsworth of travelling with a circus in 1902, visiting Ithaca and Elmira, New York; Williamsport, Lock Haven, DuBois, and Butler, Pennsylvania; and Wheeling, West Virginia.
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.
Consists of material relating to the Thomas P. Parker family of Lenox, Madison County, NY from 1850-1901. Primarily financial in nature, the material documents the family's involvement in the hops industry, Parker's involvement in peddling and farm machinery sales, and the personal expenses of the family. Also included is an account book of Paul Gifford, Fairhaven, MA that documents his finances in 1826. Five multicolored hop tickets marked H. R. Ingalls or Mrs. T. P. Parker can also be found here.
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.