Huntington Memorial Library saves and collects many items of local history and genealogy interest. These are items that we believe will have the most research value for our patrons. One of the most used sections of our New York Room collection is area publications, including newspapers, newsletters, and magazines. Take an armchair tour with me this week as we visit some of our very popular items.
Mrs. Dean’s Scrapbooks
Mrs. Dean spent a good portion of her life clipping birth, marriage, and death announcements from the local papers and gluing them into old ledgers. These Birth, Marriage, and Death announcements span the years 1897 to 1951. Over the years, some of our patrons have been able to find elusive information about their relatives that they hadn’t been able to locate anywhere else. These notebooks are like gold mines - a wealth of information. Every time I touch those notebooks, I wonder what Mrs. Dean must have been like. She so carefully compiled all these clippings. What was she thinking? Did she know these people? Why did she decide to do this? The sheer amount of clippings overwhelms me. It would have been a pleasure to meet her and discuss her passion.
Walton Reporter, Republican Express, Mirror Express Scrapbooks
These scrapbooks contain birth, marriage, and death announcements ranging from the 1940s to 1970s in Delaware county communities. Much like Mrs. Dean’s, the clippings were cut from newspapers and pasted into scrapbooks over the years. It’s interesting to see how the fashions change over the years in the wedding clippings.
Oneonta Daily Star
Our local newspaper has a long history and our copies of the paper are on microfilm. The span of dates begins in 1890 and continues right to the present. Highly used, these papers are invaluable to researchers, authors, students, and others searching for specific stories. Through the years authors have used the microfilm for historical checking of facts for novels and non-fiction books, sports stories, family stories, and so many more. A couple of individuals wrote scripts for movies while others checked weather facts for court cases. The types of research individuals do for different projects is always interesting.
Another local newspaper available to patrons on microfilm is the Herald, and it covers the years 1853 to 1946. The style of writing and types of coverage differs so much from today’s papers. At times you feel like you’re standing inside someone’s house or neighborhood spying on all the activities. You get a true taste of life as it was lived during those years.
Ed Moore Newspaper Column Scrapbooks
Ed Moore was a very well-known Oneonta resident and history buff. He had a newspaper column that talked about history of the area and wrote from 1960 to 1974. All of his columns have been collected and combined into scrapbooks, which we have indexed. If you want to know what Oneonta was like during those years and even before, Ed will make you feel as if you are sitting with him for a fireside chat on days of yore. Very popular for finding out what businesses and buildings were when.
Mark Simonson Newspaper Columns
Local native Mark Simonson is the City historian and has written two columns a week for The Daily Star for years. His columns have been made into scrapbooks and we have the complete run from 1999 to present. Always interesting, Mark uncovers historical stories of our area and writes about many different topics which include places, people, buildings, and more.
A newcomer on the scene, Hometown Oneonta is a weekly newspaper which began in 2008. We have the complete run of weeklies on microfilm and their good news stories are provided for free to all Oneonta mailing addresses.
Upstate Life & Kaatskill Life
These two magazines highlight the people and businesses of our area with an eye toward the tourist. It shows the many different businesses and talents of the area’s residents and it very often talks about a business you may not have known of previously. Good for people looking to explore the are and try new products. We have most of these issues.
Pride of Oneonta
This publication is put forth by the Future of Oneonta Foundation and features businesses or people of our area. We have many back issues which provide another source on local history for researchers.
Library Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.
Marie Bruni is director of Huntington Memorial Library in Oneonta. Her column appears in the community section of The Daily Star every Thursday. Her columns can be found online at www.thedailystar.com/librarycorner.