Browsing our collections, but uncertain where to start? Below you will find a random selection of our collections.



The Great Steamboat Race Letters

Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum

Dates of Original: c. 1870 - 1880

In 1871, facing a decline in canal traffic and revenue due to the growth of railways, the government of New York State offered a $100,000 reward to anyone who could find a replacement for animal power on the Erie Canal. Potential solutions needed to be able to move a boat laden with 200 tons of freight, at a rate for no less than 3 miles per hour, without unduly damaging the canal or its structures. Such a device or apparatus needed to be simple and durable, and be readily adaptable to the some 7,000 vessels then operating on the canal. Hundreds of letters poured in to the committee... Read more

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Nassau Fair

Nassau Free Library

Dates of Original: c. 1890 - 1910

The area that is now Rensselaer County was under British control until after the American revolution. The area became part of the Albany area in the 1790s and was named after the duke of the area, Nassau, in 1808. The Rensselaer County Agricultural and Liberal Arts Society leased land to operate a yearly fair in 1892 which led to the creation of the Nassau Fair. This annual event continued until 1944.

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Massapequa Library History Collection

Massapequa Public Library

Dates of Original: 1953-1965

On January 18th, 1953, the Massapequa Public Library opened its doors for the first time. It was a small rented storefront library located on 526 Broadway, Massapequa, at what is the current site of Broadway Pizza. The library received a generous donation of land from the Bar Harbour Shopping Centre, Inc., in 1959. The Ground Breaking Ceremony for the Bar Harbour Library Building was held in April of 1964, and dedication ceremonies were held on June 13th, 1965.

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Smith and Telfer Photographic Collection

Fenimore Art Museum

Dates of Original: c. 1860 - 1943

Washington G. Smith (1828 – 1893) and Arthur J. Telfer (1859 – 1954) spent almost one hundred years photographing people, events, and scenes in and around Cooperstown. At the time of his gift Telfer was 93 years old and was widely thought to be the oldest working photographer in the United States. Washington Smith worked with partners while he learned the daguerreotype and ambrotype processes in the 1850’s. In 1864 he bought the Willoughby Block in Cooperstown and established his own “Photographic Gallery” where he remained until his death in 1893. Telfer reluctantly joined Smith in... Read more

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