Photographs of the
New York State College for Teachers
Albany, New York
ca. 1916-1918

PRI1659

Quantity: 22 black-and-white photographs; various sizes
Access: Open for research.  Library does not own photonegatives.
Restrictions: White cotton gloves must be worn when handling photographs. Library does not own copyright. Images may only be reproduced for individual research.
Acquisition: Accessioned September 1975
Processed By: James Summa, Senior Librarian, Manuscripts and Special Collections, 2006

Printable Version (PDF, 31 KB)pdf icon

View catalog record

Historical Note:

The New York State College for Teachers at Albany, New York, was a precursor of the State University of New York at Albany (SUNYA). The institution dates back to 1844 when a "Normal School" was founded in Albany to train teachers for a rapidly growing population. For nearly 50 years, the school provided a two-year education to students from across the state.

By 1890, the evolving school system in New York required a new approach to teacher training. The Normal School gradually made changes: a four-year program, new curricula, new faculty, and new standards for student enrollment. In 1914, the institution officially became known as the New York State College for Teachers.

The College for Teachers focused exclusively on training secondary school teachers within the context of a liberal arts curriculum. By 1962, the college had earned national distinction. In that same year, the State University of New York system of higher education underwent a rapid expansion in response to rising needs. The college joined the system as one of four university centers and became a broad-based public research institution.

The university and its antecedents have been situated at various locations in the City of Albany since it began in 1844. First, the Normal School was located in the heart of the city at 115-121 State Street, in a building formerly used as a railroad depot. Next it moved to a new facility constructed in 1849 at the corner of Lodge and Howard streets.  In 1885, the college moved to a newly constructed building on Willett Street, opposite Washington Park. This building was almost completely destroyed by fire in January 1906. Replacement structures were opened in the fall of 1909 on the new campus site situated on Western Avenue. These buildings, now known as Draper, Hawley, and Husted halls, are still in use as part of the "downtown" campus. In 1962, Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller and other dignitaries broke ground on the site of the former Albany Country Club, commencing construction of the multi-building complex designed by Edward Durell Stone, which is currently the main campus of what is now known as the University at Albany.  

Further information regarding the history of the University at Albany can be found in Kendall Birr, A Tradition of Excellence: The Sesquicentennial History of the University at Albany, State University of New York, 1844 to 1994 (Virginia Beach, Va.: Donning Company, 1994), and William Marshall French and Florence Smith French, College of the Empire State, A Centennial History of the New York State College for Teachers at Albany [Albany?, 1944].

Scope Note:

This is a collection of interior and exterior views of the New York State College for Teachers in Albany, New York, including those of students, faculty and alumni, showing the skills men and women were taught to prepare them to teach.

Item List:


Item Description
1 View of the front of the three main buildings of the College for Teachers on Western Avenue taken from an elevation from across the street showing a fenced-in park in the foreground. Views of the buildings are partially obscured by trees. These buildings were opened in the fall of 1909. The central building contained offices and classrooms, with science building to the left, and auditorium and gymnasium to the right. In 1929, the buildings were named Husted, Draper, and Hawley (left to right) and today are part of the downtown campus. (12.5 x 21 cm.)
2 Distant raised view from the front left side of the College for Teachers buildings on Western Avenue; image in an oval. 13 x 8 cm.; mount (10.5 x 15 cm.)
3 Interior view of the college auditorium looking from the left towards the stage; seats are wood with iron grillwork; several wooden chairs and a piano are on the stage. (15.5 x 21 cm.)
4 Group shot of the faculty standing on the front steps of a college building. Penciled on back: "Faculty, State College for Teachers" and "January 7, 1916." (9.5 x 14.5 cm.)
5 Women students exercising in the college gymnasium. (15 x 20 cm.)
6 Students sitting on wooden chairs at wooden tables in a room full of bookcases, which appears to be the college library; Lights without shades hang from the ceiling. Penned on back: "The College Reading Room" (14.5 x 21 cm.)
7 Students working at chemistry lab tables. Penned on back: "The Chemistry Laboratory." See also Item 13. (15 x 20.5 cm.)
8 Students taking notes; each student sits at an individual desk in a classroom. Penciled on back: "Costume Design." Stamped in back: "Return to DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION, New York State COLLEGE FOR TEACHERS." (14.5 x 20 cm.)
9 Women students working at lab tables on which are standing several bottles. Penciled on back: "Microbiology and Sanitation." Stamped in back: "Return to DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION, New York State COLLEGE FOR TEACHERS." (14.5 x 19.5 cm.)
10 Women students sewing; they are sitting on wooden chairs at wooden tables. Penciled on back: "Millinery." Stamped in back: "DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION, New York State COLLEGE FOR TEACHERS." (15 x 20 cm.)
11 Women students dressed in white, wearing white aprons and white hats. They are preparing food while standing at wooden work stations. Penciled on back: "Experimental cookery." Stamped in back: "Return to DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION, New York State COLLEGE FOR TEACHERS." (14. x 19.5 cm.)
12 Women students working at various dress-making tasks as they sit and stand at wooden tables; dressmaking forms in background. Penciled on back: "Dressmaking." Stamped in back: "Return to DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION, New York State COLLEGE FOR TEACHERS." (12 x 20.5 cm.)
13 Same view as Item 7, only photograph is faded. Penciled on back: "Food chemistry & analysis." Stamped in back: "Return to DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION, New York State COLLEGE FOR TEACHERS." (15.5 x 20.5 cm.)
14 Women students ironing at ironing boards and doing other tasks related to doing laundry; wicker laundry basket sits on one of the tables. Penciled on back: "Laundry." Stamped in back: "Return to DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION, New York State COLLEGE FOR TEACHERS." (14.5 x 20 cm.)
15 Men students working with equipment in a wood shop. Penciled on back: "Wood shop." Stamped in back: "Return to DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION, New York State COLLEGE FOR TEACHERS." (16 x 21.5 cm.)
16 Men students working with foundry tools. Penciled on back: "Foundry work given in [George H.] Thatcher’s Foundry." Stamped in back: "Return to DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION, New York State COLLEGE FOR TEACHERS." (14 x 21 cm.)
17 Men students working with blacksmith-style tool-making equipment. Penciled on back: "Tool making and heat instruments of steel." Stamped in back: "Return to DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION, New York State COLLEGE FOR TEACHERS." (14 x 21 cm.)
18 Men students working with machine shop equipment. Penciled on back: "Machine Shop." Stamped in back: "Return to DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION, New York State COLLEGE FOR TEACHERS." (14 x 21 cm.)
19 Men students working with machine shop equipment. [Different image from Item 18] Penciled on back: "Machine Opperating [sic] Laboratory." Stamped in back: "Return to DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION, New York State COLLEGE FOR TEACHERS." (14 x 21 cm.)
20 Group of formally dressed women sitting on and standing in front of a brick wall in front of the college buildings. A group of men in suits are gathered on the right. Penned on back: "Meeting of Alumni"; original label, which is crossed out, reads "The Alumni Scene." (12.5 x 17.5 cm.; mount 16 x 20.5
21 Men and women dressed in costume for a performance of The Taming of the Shrew. Penciled on back: "The Class in Dramatics. 'The Taming of the Shrew.'" (oval 12 x 20 cm.; mount 13.5 x 20.5 cm.)
22 Team portrait of 15 women dressed in dark bloomers, white blouses with dark ties; on basketball is the date 1918. Penciled on back: "Basketball Team." (13 x 16.5 cm.)
Last Updated: October 28, 2013