New York
State Library News

For the People, the Government and the Libraries of New York State
Spring 2002


You can locate a quote for your speech, consult a public opinion poll about a current issue, verify a constituent's zip code, and find other useful information from the State Library's "Ready Reference" Virtual Research Library. Go to the State Library's Web site, scroll down to Virtual Research Library, and choose Ready Reference.


Members of the Friends of the New York State Library re-elected Dr. Philip B. Eppard as President of the organization at the March 26 annual meeting. Other officers elected are Vice President Zebulon S. Robbins, Jr.; Secretary Joseph F. Shubert; Treasurer Jeffrey W. Cannell; and Board of Directors members Bebe Morehead, Jane Schneider, and Katherine Storms. All terms run from April 1, 2002 through March 31, 2004.

Members of the Governing Board elected Norman S. Rice to a vacant Board of Directors term ending March 31, 2003 at their April 2 monthly meeting.


Send comments and questions about the State Library and its newsletter to Mary Redmond:


Friends Governing Board

Photo and caption: The Governing Board of the Friends from left to right, front: Bebe S. Morehead, Jane Schneider; back: Norman S. Rice, Dr. Phillip B. Eppard, Jeffrey W. Cannell, Zebulon S. Robbins, Jr., Joseph F. Shubert. Katherine Storms, not shown.

Editor's Note: As we go to press, the following actions are taking place:

Five Friends of the State Library met recently with staff of Senator Joseph Bruno, President Pro Tem of the Senate, and Senator John R. Kuhl, Jr., Chair of the Senate Education Committee. These Friends are fighting for the State Library's operating funds and for keeping this renowned institution within the State Education Department. The problems stem from the Governor's Budget. Especially disturbing is the fact that the budget provides no operating expenses for the State Library. Instead it proposes establishment of a new public benefit corporation to finance the Library (and its sister institutions, the Archives, Museum and Public Broadcasting) by increasing surcharges for recording deeds and other documents filed with the County Clerk. Since its founding in 1818, the State Library has operated successfully with State funding. Because of its ties with elementary and secondary education and with lifelong learning, indeed, because the Library is a public educational institution, it functions under the aegis of the State Education Department.

This meeting with Legislative staff is one of many efforts by the Friends Governing Board to speak out on behalf of the Library. They also released a public statement about the Library's perilous position and are encouraging people to urge restoration of State operating expenses to keep the Library going. "Reaction to the statement has been gratifying," says Dr. Philip B. Eppard, President of the Friends of the State Library. "The New York State Association of Library Boards has issued a statement along the same lines as the Friends' statement. Other organizations that have announced their opposition to the proposed institute include the New York State Association of Counties, the New York State Association of County Clerks, and the New York State School Boards Association. There is widespread concern about the proposal in the local government records community as well."

Such fiscal uncertainty for operation of the State Library is alarming. The State Library is mandated to serve the people and the government of the State. It houses materials that attest to our history and our heritage and forms the foundation of the search for truth and the freedom of expression we cherish so deeply. Now more than ever, we need to continue collection, preservation and access to these materials. For more information on how you can help, write to Friends President Philip B. Eppard, c/o School of Information Science and Policy, The University at Albany, Draper 113b, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 1222-0001; email:

Visit the State Library's Web Site

Search Excelsior, the online catalog of our holdings, and access national and regional databases. Use the State Library Web site to:

And Much More

Instructions for reaching these sites are available at:

If you don't have Web access from your computer, dial into our catalog at
(518) 474-9851 or telnet <>. For more information, call
(518) 474-0719 or e-mail:

You can also access our Web site from many public libraries.


Nancy Kathmann, Clerk in the Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL), died March 26. She was a valued member of the staff for 35 years.

"All her life Nancy uncomplainingly endured a serious heart condition, but seldom did this prevent her from achieving the many ambitious goals she set for herself," says Jane Somers, Director of TBBL. "She was an example for us all of a rare dedication and of a determination to overcome life's adversities."


Five distinguished scholars will present papers at the New Netherland Project's twenty-fifth Rensselaerswijck Seminar, Saturday, September 21. The New Netherland Project, established under sponsorship of the New York State Library and the Holland Society of New York, translates and publishes documents from the seventeenth century colony of New Netherland. The one-day conference entitled "Beverwijck: a Dutch village on the Edge of the Atlantic World," will be held at the Albany Institute of Art this year. In celebration of Beverwijck's 350th birthday, papers will focus on "April, 1652, Beverwijck's Beginnings." For registration or information call (518) 474-6067.


Outing, a periodical about outdoor recreation, abounds in information about the life and times of early twentieth century sportsmen. Ads for items such as the Hupmobile, a sumptuous touring car selling for $900 punctuate stories about flyfishing, canoeing, and mountain climbing. Researchers use it frequently but the State Library's bound volume for 1911 had to be taken off the shelf because it was damaged. Dr. Clinton Brand, retired endodontist and presentday volunteer at the State Library, is bringing this wonderful sign of its time back to life. He restores damaged books.

Dr. Brand began his volunteer career at the State Library about 13 years ago. "At first I worked in Manuscripts and Special Collections," he said in a recent interview. "I helped catalog the Library's spectacular collection of World War I posters. They have a great historic significance and are a good way to show what the public was being told. They relate to matters such as making soap, growing victory gardens, and keeping quiet about troop movements. Now I work on restoration.

"I get some pretty interesting jobs," Dr. Brand continued. "Usually the books are old and deteriorated, like the bound volumes of Outing. I repair bindings, or fix the spine. Once I was assigned a new book. Someone had cut out eight pages. Luckily, we located a copy at the College of St. Rose Library. We photocopied the eight pages and incorporated them into the State Library's book."

Volunteers such as Dr. Brand have a big impact on the Library and its patrons. They enable the Library to enhance services.

"Dr. Brand's timely actions prevent further damage and ensure future access to valuable information," says James Lane, Associate Librarian for Conservation/Preservation.


Friends of the New York State Library play prominent roles in statewide advocacy for libraries. Dr. Philip B. Eppard, President of the Friends and Dean of the SUNY Albany School of Information Science and Policy, at SUNYA, gave the opening remarks at State Educaton Department Commissioner Richard Mills's Advocacy Leadership Meeting. The session was a significant step in forming a grassroots advocacy network for statewide library issues. Other Friends participating in the meeting on May 17 were Lee Stanton, Michael Esposito, and Jane Schneider.

Jeffrey W. Cannell, Treasurer of the Friends and Director of the Albany Public Library also appeared on WMHT's May 26 broadcast of New York Learns. He contributed to a discussion on the importance of libraries in education with Commissioner Mills and Ed McCormick, Former President of the New York State School Boards Association.


The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded a $580,525 grant to the New York State Newspaper Project. Headquartered in the State Library, the Project identifies, describes and preserves deteriorating newspapers all the way back to 1725 and makes them available to researchers. The grant runs from July 1, 2002 to June 30, 2004.


Join the Friends of the New York State Library. In addition to the deep satisfactions of preserving your heritage and sustaining a world renowned public research library, you can obtain special discounts at local book stores. Select:

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If there is a book you want the State Library to purchase, go to Fill out the form and return it to us. Our committee for selecting new acquisitions will review your suggestion in terms of our new Collection Development Policy and inform you of the status of your recommendation.


The recently acquired Fred Abele Transportation History Collection consists of 38 cubic feet of materials relating to trolleys, trains, train stations, buses and steamboats operating primarily in New York State. But before researchers can use these thousands of photographs, prints, postcards and other ephemera dating from 1905 to 1985, along with Mr. Abele's notes about the history of transportation, they have to be appraised, reboxed and cataloged, and finding aids must be prepared. You can see these complex behind-the-scenes procedures without even leaving your home. Go to the State Library's Web site and click on the Virtual Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the processing of The Fred Abele Transportation History Collection.


Caption: Electric trolleys trolled the streets of Albany from 1890 to 1946, as shown in this photo from the Fred Abele Transportation History Collection.

New York State Library News
New York State Library
N.Y.S. Education Department
Albany, NY 12230

State Library Hours
Monday through Friday
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For more information, call
(518) 474-5355 or e-mail


New York State Library News is produced by The Friends of the New York State Library and the New York State Library to inform New Yorkers about collections and services of their State Library.

Editor: Miriam S. Soffer

This newsletter is not published at State expense.

New York State Library News
New York State Library
N.Y.S. Education Department
Albany, NY 12230

State Library Hours
Monday through Friday
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, call (518) 474-5355 or e-mail

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Posted: July 11, 2002/mf