Digital Collections

Charlotte Perkins Gilman Papers
Fifty two letters from writer, reformer, and artist Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) to her close friend Martha Luther Lane (1862-1948) written between 1882 and 1889. The letters, some of which are illustrated, address work, marriage, motherhood and depression. The collection also includes images of 15 trade cards Gilman designed.
Christopher Lasch Papers
One of the most important intellectuals and social critics in postwar America, Christopher Lasch was also a historian and well-respected teacher who left an indelible imprint on the life of the University of Rochester. He taught at the school for nearly twenty-five years, contributing immeasurably to the national reputation of its history department. The Christopher Lasch collection consists of over seventy boxes of Lasch's papers, including eleven boxes of general correspondence; thirty-five boxes of manuscripts, typescripts, notes, and correspondence relating to Lasch's major publications and speaking engagements; eleven boxes of academic lecture notes; four boxes of student files with correspondence and related material; and seven boxes of early typescripts, manuscripts and notes.
Edwin Booth (1833-1893)
Edwin Booth (1833-1893) was the son of Junius Brutus Booth (1796-1852), an English actor who emigrated to the United States in 1821. He was the older brother of John Wilkes Booth, himself a successful actor who gained notoriety as the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln. Edwin Booth was born on the Booth farm near Bel Air Maryland. He was educated in the local private schools and also accompanied his father on theatrical tours from the age of thirteen. He made his theatrical debut in 1849 in Boston in a small part in Richard III, and in the two years following played juvenile parts in his father's productions. He accompanied his father to California in July 1852, where they acted in San Francisco and Sacramento under the Management of Junius Brutus Booth Jr. The elder J.B. Booth started to return to Maryland, but died on the way. Edwin Booth stayed in the west and toured the mining towns and acted in his brother's company in San Francisco. He stayed in California until 1856, interrupted by a tour of Australia in 1854. After he returned east, he toured the south, acted in Boston and New York, and toured again in the west and south. Edwin Booth married Mary Devlin in 1860. In 1861 they sailed to England, where he appeared in London, Liverpool and Manchester in rather unsuccessful engagements. Their daughter, Edwina was born on December 9, 1861. They returned to New York where Booth acted at the Winter Garden until his wife's sudden death in February 1863. He temporarily retired from the stage, returning to undertake the management of the Winter Garden in September 1863. Booth's management of the Winter Garden was interrupted by his brother's assassination of Lincoln in April 1865. He returned to it in January 1866, but the theatre burned in March 1867. To replace the Winter Garden, he built Booth's Theatre in New York, which opened February 3, 1869. The financial panic of 1873-74 forced him to withdraw in 1873 and in 1874 he became bankrupt. For the rest of his career he toured the United States, the British Isles and Europe without having a permanent theatre home. In June 1869, he married his leading lady, Mary McVicker. She retired from the stage and delivered their son, Edgar who died soon afterwards on July 3, 1870. Mary McVickar contracted tuberculosis and died \in 1881. Booth's final performance was in Hamlet, April 4, 1891 in Brooklyn. He died June 7, 1893. The collection consists of 54 letters written by Edwin Booth to John E. Russell during the years 1864 to 1881, concerning acting, theatre critics, Booth's theatre and family and social matters. John Russell was a theatre critic and journalist, who appears to have written for the New York Sun as well as other papers. He lived in Leicester, Massachusetts, but appears to have been in New Orleans in 1870.
Ellwanger and Barry Horticultural Prints
Horticulture prints and drawings produced by printers in Rochester, NY, and by printers elsewhere in the United States, England, and Europe.
Hayes-Coleman Family Papers
The Hayes-Coleman Family Papers includes correspondence, documents, diaries, physician's "visiting books," household accounts, photographs, and memorabilia of various members of the Hayes-Coleman family of Canandaigua, New York. They are primarily concerned with the Canandaigua area, but they include, either in the original or in transcript, diaries and letters relating to Frederick Maryland, Brooklyn New York, ranch life in Colorado, and the life of an art student in Paris in 1890. The digitized volumes includes two diaries from Augustus Graham Coleman., [Item title, item date], Hayes-Coleman Family Papers, A.H42, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation; River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester.
Isabella Beecher Hooker
The University of Rochester’s Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation is well known for our in-depth holdings relating to women’s suffrage. And it is through our national and international reputation in this collecting area that our collections continue to grow. The acquisition of the Isabella Beecher Hooker archive exemplifies the beauty of knowing and sharing our strengths, and becoming, in the hearts and minds of others, the place where certain collections belong. The story of the cache of letters and other materials found in a barn in Connecticut is something that archivists and special collections librarians dream about. Because we have built our collections documenting women’s suffrage over many decades, and have that reputation in the community, it was natural that those materials come to our collections as well. The Isabella Beecher Hooker materials that we added to our collections, which already included other Isabella and John Hooker materials, was announced and publicized beginning in March of 2017. These materials represent new insights, new information, and new stories relating to the day-to-day struggles of women like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and many others who worked tirelessly on this issue. The collection captures aspects of the movement at a particularly complex and turbulent time, from around 1869-1880. Isabella Beecher Hooker was a fascinating and important activist both in Connecticut and on the national front. Her story is less known than others like Stanton and Anthony, but her role as a central mediator, coordinator, and leader has always been clear, and now is open to further exploration through this new acquisition. The items included here are a selection of this new trove of suffrage materials – letters and documents that help to further tell the story of the tireless, complex, fraught, and sometimes fruitless efforts to gain voting rights for women in the United States. The discovery of these manuscripts reminds us, too, that there are still important historical materials out there – whether it be in a barn, or an attic, or right under our noses – and that it takes an aware and engaged community to recognize and share these materials with archival repositories. Preserving, documenting, and making accessible the “stuff” of history is a beautiful partnership. We should all consider ourselves deputies in preserving our shared cultural heritage.
John McGraw Civil War Letters
John McGraw was born in Ontario, Canada in 1835 to Irish parents. His family then moved to Western New York to work on the Erie Canal. He worked as a stonecutter and lived on Reynolds Street in the 8th Ward of Rochester, NY. He was a private in the Union Army during the US Civil War, serving in Company E of the 140th NY Volunteer Infantry. Though newspaper clippings refer to McGraw as a "conscript who volunteered", later writings refer to him as being drafted. John and his wife Mary had six children, two of whom died while he was serving in the Civil War. He was discharged from the Army with a paralyzed arm in 1865, and returned home to his wife and daughter, dying ten years later in 1875. Most of what we know about John McGraw comes from this collection of letters he wrote to Mary from the battlefields of Virginia to hospitals in Philadelphia and Maryland.
Kenneth B. Keating Collection
Kenneth B. Keating (1900-1975) was a lawyer, a congressman (Republican, 40th New York District) from 1947 to 1959, a senator from New York State from 1959 to 1965, an associate justice of the New York Court of Appeals from 1966 to 1969, an ambassador to India from 1969 to 1972, and an ambassador to Israel from 1973 to 1975. Included in this collection are recorded interviews and written transcripts from Keating's television programs, Let's Look at Congress and Senator Keating Reports where Keating interviewed noted political figures., [Item title, item date], Kenneth Barnard Keating Papers, A.K25, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester.
King Family Papers
The King Family Papers document the lives of Bradford King, and his broth Moses, as well as Moses’s daughters, Ella and Ada. The collection includes the diaries of Bradford King, the son of Gideon King who settled near Rochester in 1797. The diaries cover the period from June, 1811 to April, 1874. Much of the correspondence consists of letters written between the two daughters of Moses B. King, Ella G. King and Ada M. King. For a time Ella and Ada King operated the King Seminary for Young Ladies and Children in Rochester. When the school closed, Ella King went west and taught in an Indian school in South Dakota. Ada remained in Rochester where she tutored high school and college students., [Item title, item date], King Family Papers, A.K52, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation; River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester.
Library Bulletin
The University of Rochester Library Bulletin was published on a regular, and later irregular, basis from 1945 until 1994. Its contributors were library staff and University of Rochester professors, as well as other scholars and researchers.
Rochester, New York Voices of LGBT History
This digital archive preserves and makes public the rich histories included in the documentary Shoulders to Stand On and the Green Thursday radio program. Created through a partnership between River Campus Libraries and Rochester's Out Alliance and supported by a grant from the National Endowment for Humanities, this project provides access to over 200 audio and video recordings that have been enhanced through transcriptions and/or closed captioning. University of Rochester graduate students cataloged, edited, and captioned the recordings. This project offers a model of how libraries and community organizations can partner to archive, preserve, and make accessible our shared cultural heritage.
The Empty Closet (1971-Current)
The Empty Closet is one of the oldest continuously published LGBT papers in the United States. It was begun at the University of Rochester by Bob Osborn and Larry Fine, the founders of the UR student group, Rochester Gay Liberation Front, and later transferred to the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley (GAGV). In 2010, the Empty Closet celebrated its 40th year of continuous publication. As it always has, the newspaper covers local, state, national and international news, as well as issues pertaining to the LGBT community. For as long as it has been published, the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections has been collecting, preserving and making available paper copies of the Empty Closet. It was from these copies that preservation microfilm of the journal was created. Funding for the microfilming was provided as part of a grant from the New York State Program for the Conservation and Preservation of Library Research Materials. The digitization of the microfilm was paid for by the Gay Alliance. Please direct questions about the content of the Empty Closet to the Editor of the Empty Closet. Please direct questions about this website to Content of the Empty Closet is held by The Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley, all rights reserved. Current issues of the Empty Closet may be found here:
University Archives
The University of Rochester Archives are located in the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation in Rush Rhees Library. The collections hold administrative papers, moving image and audio recordings, maps, architectural drawings, and photographs.
University of Rochester AIDS Education Collection
The posters represented here were given to the River Campus Libraries’ Department of Rare Books and Special Collections by Dr. Edward C. Atwater beginning in 2007. The over 8,000 AIDS education posters in the collection document efforts to educate and inform the people of over 100 countries in over 60 languages, from 1982 to the present. The collection has been a catalyst for numerous student projects by University of Rochester graduate and undergraduate students, as well as exhibitions, scholarly research, and public programming. AIDS touches individuals of all ages. Our collection includes posters aimed towards educating young children, the elderly, and everyone in between, about HIV/AIDS prevention, risks, social advocacy, and compassion for those affected. Posters, as an art form and as a medium of communication, are graphic. As long as HIV/AIDS continues to affect people of all ages around the world, the purposes for which these posters were originally created will continue to be relevant. Dr. Atwater’s gift also includes extensive ephemera and other materials, as well as documentation about how he acquired items for the collection. If you have information that you would like to share about and the opportunity to contact us to suggest translations, image tags and more, or if you have questions about the collection, please contact Jessica Lacher-Feldman, Assistant Dean and Joseph N. Lambert & Harold B. Schleifer Director of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation at
William Thomas Moncrieff Papers
The William Thomas Moncrieff Papers consists of letters written by Moncrieff. The principal correspondents are Robert William Elliston, James Winston, a business associate of Elliston's, and Charles Molloy Westmacott, proprietor and editor of The Age. The letters concern the writing and production of Moncrieff's plays, especially Giovanni in Ireland and an adaptation of Mozart's opera The Magic Flute, the selling of Moncrieff's copyrights to plays, publicity for the plays, Moncrieff's litigation with Joseph Glossop, his monetary troubles, and his relations with Elliston and Winston, the managers of Drury Lane., [Item title, item date], William Thomas Moncrieff Papers, D.15, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation; River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester.