Featured Collection

The Barbara Parnass Slide Collection

The February spotlight feature for New York Heritage Digital Collections is the The Barbara Parnass Slide Collection from Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH).

In 1990, Barbara Parnass joined AARCH as a founding member of the new organization. Of her many contributions to the life and development of this non-profit community that promotes a better public understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of the Adirondacks’ unique and diverse architectural heritage, one of Ms. Parnass’s greatest contributions was the establishment of AARCH’s photographic collection. To achieve this end, she collected slides from many sources and donated many of her own photographs to form the basis of the AARCH general collection, which now numbers more than 5,000 images, a sampling of which may be found in New York Heritage Digital Collections.

The images in the Barbara Parnass Slide Collection are her own personal work, capturing the rich and diverse architectural heritage of the Adirondack region. There was very little that did not interest her as a photographer and within the collection one finds lakeside camps, cure cottages, downtown and civic buildings, gas stations, motels, and ice cream stands.

Her three decade career as a photographer led to both solo and group exhibitions throughout Northern New York. She also served as the archivist of historic photographs in the Adirondack Collection of the Saranac Lake Free Library, including the Cure Cottages Collection, again found in New York Heritage Digital Collections.

During her 30 years in the Adirondacks, Ms. Parnass was a tireless supporter of area arts, history, environmental, human service, and education causes. She was a founding member of Historic Saranac Lake, North Star Industries, and the Saranac Lake River Walk project. She served lengthy and productive terms on the boards of the Adirondack Medical Center, the Saranac Free Library, the River Walk Commission, the Essex County Adirondack Garden Club, and the College Council of the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Ms. Parnass served on the board of AARCH until her death in 2002

Adirondack Architectural Heritage is a member of the Northern New York Library Network (NNYLN)