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The State University of New York at FredoniaReed Library

Archives & Special Collections: Local History Collections

Local History

The local history collections held by the Archives & Special Collections at Fredonia concentrate primarily on the history of the Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. Consisting largely of books, microforms, maps and atlases, photographs and several notable manuscript collections, the materials are intended to foster in our students an appreciation for the history and culture of this region by supporting curricular and scholarly needs.

With the support of a 2009 Regional Bibliographic Databases (RBDB) grant from the Western New York Library Resources Council (WNYLRC), the Archives and Special Collections digitized four historical atlases documenting Western New York, including the 1867 and 1885 Atlases of Chautauqua County (published by William Stewart and F.W. Beers, respectively), the 1869 Atlas of Cattaraugus County (D.G. Beers), and the 1866 Atlas of Wyoming and Genesee Counties (D.G. Beers). The digitized atlases can be found on the New York Heritage website and are freely accessible to the public.

Please contact the Archives & Special Collections for further assistance with these or other local history materials.

This section of the website is currently in progress. Please keep checking back for further updates.

Anna Clift Smith

Illustration from the end of Chapter XI of Van Buren Life by Anna Clift SmithAnna Clift Smith spent much of her life on Lake Erie. She traveled widely in the United States. Although she was not a native of the area, and left for several years to see the West, she loved the locale so much that she repeatedly found her way back to this sometimes wild, always beautiful, spot in Western New York. During a few months in the winter of 1904, Anna composed and illustrated a charming literary work that seems to be at times a letter, a diary, or even an adventure or romance. This handwritten manuscript, composed in colored pencil and accompanied by watercolor illustrations, is held in the Archives & Special Collections at Fredonia. Conveying the sometimes wistful, sometimes hale and hearty, world view of this paradoxical young woman, the work, Van Buren Life, is the account of Anna's daily experiences during a harsh winter on the Lake at the then tiny summer community of Van Buren Point.

As part of a digital humanities project, the work was digitized and can be viewed in its entirety here. Reed Library also holds copies of the physical book produced by the project in both its circulating collection and its non-circulating special collection.

Daniel A. Reed LibraryThe State University of New York at Fredonia • 280 Central Ave., Fredonia, NY 14063 • 716-673-3184 • Fax: 716-673-3185 •