Local Historic Audio Recordings at SUNY Plattsburgh

Soundscriber Recorder

A Soundscriber Recorder was an early recording device. One like this was used by Marjorie Lansing Porter, historian for Clinton and Essex counties, to record many of the recordings in this collection. (Credit: New York History)

SUNY Plattsburgh’s Feinberg Library’s Special Collections has recently gained hundreds of local historic audio recordings! The source of these recordings span across Clinton, Essex, and Franklin Counties, and give us insight into the history and heritage of that large region.

Recordings include Adirondack Folk Music and oral histories, including some given by local residents born prior to the American Civil War (New York History).

Many of the recorded songs deal with mining, lumbering, Adirondack folk tales, and other subjects, as well as traditional Irish and French folk music handed down through generations. The Porter Oral History Interviews cover many topics of historical interest in Clinton and Essex Counties, such as ferry boats, Redford glass, mining, and lumbering. (New York History)

How to Gain Access to These Recordings

According to a statement released to the press “copyright restrictions require that researchers visit Special Collections during open hours to listen to any of these recordings.” The recordings are available as mp3 files on a new Audio Station computer kiosk. (New York History)

Special Collections is located on the ground floor of SUNY Plattsburgh’s Feinberg Library. You must follow the Special Collections Reading Room Guidelines when visiting. The area is not on the library’s schedule and is open for limited hours.

During the summer schedule (beginning May 18), the Feinberg Special Collections will be open on Mondays and Tuesdays, from 1 pm – 4 pm, and on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, from 10 am – noon and 1 pm – 4 pm. Saturday appointments can be arranged with the Special Collections Librarian. See the full Special Collections schedule here.

For more information, contact Debra Kimok, Special Collections Librarian at debra.kimok@plattsburgh.edu or call 518-564-5206.

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