Press Release - Grants to NYSHA Library Open Bassett and Buchanan Hardware Collections to Researchers
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (04.09.2012) - The Research Library of the New York State Historical Association was recently awarded two grants for organizinghistorical collections of Bassett Hospital and Buchanan Hardware, allowing researchers and the community greater access to these important collections.
The New York State Archives, a part of the State Education Department, awarded NYSHA $1,800 to process the records of the Buchanan Hardware Store of Richfield Springs. The State Archives, through its Documentary Heritage Program, awards grants to archives, libraries, and other institutions to process manuscriptcollections that document economic change in the 20th and 21st centuries.
The Buchanan Hardware Company collection contains the business records of Buchanan Hardware, based in Richfield Springs, Otsego County, N.Y., with branches inCooperstown, Norwich, and Sherburne, N.Y. The company originated from a tinshop set up by Scottish immigrant Robbie Buchanan in Richfield Springs in 1849. The business expanded over the years, becoming a stove and hardware store. Buchanan died in 1898 and soon after his son-in-law, Eugene A. Hinds, became the president of the company, which was incorporated as the Buchanan Hardware Company in 1899. In 1935 the company acquired the Norwich branch from Anderson Hardware Company, and in 1949 it acquired the Sherburne branch from the George W. Smith Hardware Store. In 1954 the company bought the Cooperstown branch from Charles C. Root of Root Hardware. The records in the collection cover the years 1888 to 1962, although the company continued through the late 1970s. Together with the McGown Hardware Store Records collection processedlast year, these two collections enable the New York State Historical Association to document the hardware business in central New York from the late 19th century through the mid-20th century.
The second grant, $1,000 from Bassett Healthcare Network, is for processing theMary Imogene Bassett Hospital Records and Historical Collection, the contents of which were donated to the library. The donation enabled the library to become the historical repository for Bassett.
The Bassett records and historical collection consist of selected photographs of events, building interiors and exteriors, and staff members from 1887 to 2010. The collection also contains transcripts of interviews from an oral history project on the hospital by the Bassett History Committee; hospital periodicals such as the Cupola, the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital Bulletin, and the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital Quarterly; various materials about Mary Imogene Bassett; newspaper clippings and scrapbooks; and other articles, correspondence, notes, and reports by and about the hospital. The records, donated by Bassett Healthcare Network, document the hospital’s history of providing medical care to rural central New York.
These grants from the State Archives and Bassett Healthcare enabled NYSHA Special Collections Librarian, Evan Rallis to organize the collections, add catalog records to the library’s Pathfinder online catalog, and add finding aids to the library’s website, allowing researchers greater access to the collections.
The public may view these collections by making an appointment to visit the Research Library’s Special Collections Department during its weekday hours 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The Library is also open many Saturday afternoons during the school year. For more information, visit NYSHA.org or call (607) 547-1470.
The Research Library is open to visitors and researchers year-round. Its collections include over 90,000 books and bound periodicals, manuscripts, newspapers, and photographs. Holdings on New York’s state and local history, agricultural history, 19th century life, art, and family history are particularly well represented. The library is located on State Route 80, north of Cooperstown, next to the Fenimore Art Museum. Visit library.nysha.org or call (607) 547-1470 for more information.
See our new Finding Aids
Getting to the Research Library
We are located on State Route 80, 1 mile north
of the village of Cooperstown on the west side
of Otsego Lake. (For more information, view our
Cooperstown map and detailed directions.)