FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are the Hours for Archives & Special Collections? 
What is in the Book and the Manuscript Collections?
What is in the College Archives?
Where are materials located?
Why are some materials shelved on the 1st floor and others shelved on the 2nd floor?
How do I access CSI Theses in the Library?
Which Staten Island newspapers are available at CSI and which ones are indexed?
Where can I access the 1972 ABC News Special by Geraldo Rivera on the Willowbrook State School entitled, "The Last Great Disgrace"?
Is all of the material in Archives and Special Collections available to researchers?
What kinds of material are not found at CSI?

What are the hours for Archives and Special Collections?

In general, the hours are 9:00am-5:00pm, Tuesday through Friday on days the Library is open. Appointments or other arrangements can be made to meet the needs for researchers to access materials outside these hours; the Archivist should be consulted directly by the researcher. Because of staffing, it is highly recommended that you call the Archives & Special Collections to apprise staff members of your upcoming visit.

What is in the Book and Manuscript Collections?

There are six main focuses of the book and manuscript collections:

Staten Island Authors

The collection includes authors that have a long association with Staten Island and have set at least some of their works on Staten Island. Current collections and initiatives include: Theodora DuBois, John Sampson, and Paul Zindel.

Staten Island Community Organizations

Groups concerned with development, politics, transportation, and environmental issues, are of particular interest, however purely social groups that reflect distinctive aspects of life on Staten Island are also collected. Current collections and initiatives include: the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Staten Island Records

Staten Island Environmental History

Materials document changes to the environment and the preservation efforts of individuals and groups. Current collections and initiatives include: the Fresh Kills Landfill Collection and the Waterfront Watch Collection.

Staten Island History

An attempt is made to collect comprehensively printed materials in all formats (directories, pamphlets, broadsides, maps, and photographs) relevant to understanding the history of Staten Island.

Staten Island Political History

The papers of officeholders and organizations at all levels who have contributed significantly to public life on Staten Island are sought. Current collections and initiatives include: the Senator John J. Marchi Papers, the Staten Island: Vote Yes Inc. Collection, and the Charter Commission Public Hearing Transcripts Collection.

Willowbrook State School

Although the detailed administrative history of the school is considered the responsibility of the New York State Archives, CSI collects material to document the history of the Willowbrook site prior to and during its use as a state school, the experiences of the school residents and staff and the activities of parents and caregivers who brought about the closing of the school, and materials the legal significance of the Willowbrook Consent Decree and its role in the history of the group home movement. Current collections and initiatives include: the Willowbrook State School News Clipping Collection, and the Bernard Carabello Collection.

What is in the College Archives?

In general, materials document the history of the College and its predecessors (Richmond College and the Staten Island Community College). The focus is on the nationally noteworthy aspects of the College’s past and of the activities of its faculty and students. Current collections and initiatives include: The CSI Women’s Studies Program, and the merger of Richmond College and the Staten Island Community College.

The Archives contains few official/administrative records, particularly for Richmond College. Specifically, the Archives lacks records for presidents, administrators, departments and programs. There is some coverage of governing bodies for both Staten Island Community College and the College of Staten Island, including the College Council, the CSI Association and Student Government. The Archives also houses a collection of printed materials that includes catalogs, yearbooks, reports, student newspapers and other publications, and course schedules.

Where are materials located?

Materials in the CUNY + catalog that display the location as "Archives 1L-216" should be requested in the Archives & Special Collections Reading Room in 1L-216 (2nd floor).

Materials in the CUNY+ catalog that display the location as "Special Collections -- Reserves" are shelved as a reserve collection and may be accessed through the Circulation Desk on the 1st floor. These materials are restricted to in-Library use, and may be borrowed for a two-hour period with a valid CUNY ID.

Manuscript collections and materials from the College Archives should be requested in 1L-216 (2nd floor).

Why are some materials shelved on the 1st floor and others shelved on the 2nd floor?

Some materials need special protection; those materials that are fragile or would be difficult to replace are shelved in 1L-216 so their use may be more closely monitored.

How do I access CSI Theses in the Library?

CSI Theses are shelved as a reserve collection and may be accessed through the Circulation Desk on the 1st floor. These materials are restricted to in-Library use, and may be borrowed for a two-hour period with a valid CUNY ID.


Which Staten Island newspapers are available at CSI and which ones are indexed?

The New York State newspaper project is involved in identifying and microfilming newspapers published throughout New York State. They maintain a list of available Staten Island newspapers and their locations here. Some indexing of the Staten Island Advance is available through Access World News. Use the "Find Journals" tool on the Library's website. The Staten Island Advance has a clippings file arranged under broad subject headings. The files are maintained by the Librarian at the Staten Island Advance. Researchers may call 718.981.1234 with their questions/inquiries.

Where can I access the 1972 ABC News Special by Geraldo Rivera on the Willowbrook State School entitled, The Last Great Disgrace?

The Last Great Disgrace is available as an extra on the DVD version of the documentary film, “Unforgotten: Twenty-Five Years After Willowbrook." The DVD is non-circulating but may be viewed in CSI Library's Media Services (1L-201) during their operating hours of Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm. The DVD's call number is 1446 HV.

Media Services normally makes materials available only to patrons with a validated identification card from the City University of New York (CUNY). If you need to contact Media Services regarding their access policies, please call 718.982.4035.

Is all of the material in Archives and Special Collections available to researchers?

Archives and Special Collections staff tries to make as much of the collection available as possible. However, manuscript collections need to be processed before they can be made available. This is so for several reasons. Large collections would be almost impossible to use productively by a researcher until the material has been arranged and described. Furthermore, a researcher may inadvertently destroy the original order of material by replacing items in the wrong folders or boxes. In doing so, they could remove material from a context that would have helped with identification and description. Finally, some material may be confidential; making it available to researchers could violate privacy laws or simply be a disservice to the donor. During processing this material can be noted and steps taken to return the material to the donor or close it for a suitable length of time.

What kinds of material are not found at CSI?

CSI has little material of interest to genealogical researchers and is not yet the place to do extensive research on Staten Island history. The Staten Island Historical Society and The Staten Island Institute for Arts and Sciences have been collecting materials for over one hundred years. To carry out extensive research, these institutions must usually be consulted. Click here for a guide to research collections with Staten Island material. For a guide to Staten Island genealogical sources go to: rootsweb.

 

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The College of Staten Island, CUNY
Archives & Special Collections
Library, 1L-216
2800 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, New York 10314

Telephone: 718.982.4128
Fax: 718.982.4127
Email: archives@csi.cuny.edu