The People’s Record of Cortland County
The People’s Record of Cortland County is a local community-archiving project created by the Cortland County Historical Society and the Archives & Special Collections at SUNY Cortland. This collaborative partnership was funded by the Federal American Rescue Plan (APRA) funds allocated to the New York State Library by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and supported by the South-Central Regional Library Council (SCRLC).
Through a series of pop-up archive events in the spring of 2022, the two institutions actively engaged with community members in order to document and preserve their stories/items. The purpose of this project was to provide a documented outlet for historically marginalized and underserved populations who play a pivotal role within the community. The series of pop-up events invited potential donors to share their story (on-site) by sitting for an interview or providing us with materials to scan for them. It is important to note this project was not exclusive, but rather an inclusive opportunity to broaden the historical/social record of County residents. While some materials range a bit beyond the initial scope of this project, many of the donations detail community/college activism, and LGBTQIA, BIPOC, veteran, older-adults, and foreign-born stories. Some of the scrapbooks recall local abolitionists efforts, women’s rights, and guest speakers who came to Cortland such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In addition, some of the materials cover the Musical Legacy of SUNY Cortland, daily/rural life in Cortland County, religion, and higher education. The collection details a diverse range of activities and voices relating to local history.
Scope of Collection
This collection includes 14-audio recordings (oral history interviews) and 8-scrapbooks relating to the history of Cortland County and the State University of New York College at Cortland.