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Archives & Special Collections

Collections Overview

The CSI Archives & Special Collections collects, preserves, and makes available primary and secondary materials that document the history of Staten Island and the College of Staten Island. The following is an overview of collections held by the Archives & Special Collections; in-depth descriptions and abstracts of collections can be found in the descriptions of specific collections or in the Research Assistance section of the website.

College Archives

The Archives focuses on nationally significant aspects of the history of the College, its predecessors (Staten Island Community College and Richmond College), faculty research, and alumni accomplishment. Current collections and initiatives include: The CSI Women’s Studies Program and the merger of Richmond College and the Staten Island Community College.

Local History

Printed materials in all formats (directories, pamphlets, broadsides, maps, and photographs) relevant to understanding the history of Staten Island are collected. We also collect archival materials selectively with an emphasis on Staten Island political history, public policy issues (especially transportation and the environmental history), and grassroots civic organizations. A sample of collection focuses are below. Please follow the Collections and Finding Aids heading to see a complete list.

  • Environmental History: Materials document changes to the environment and the preservation efforts of individuals and groups. Collections include: the Fresh Kills Landfill Collection, the Freshwater Wetlands Appeals Board Collection, the Bradford M. Greene Collection, the Protectors of Pine Oak Woods Collection, and the Waterfront Watch Collection.
  • Local Fiction: To be included in this collection of printed items, a work must, at least in part, be set on Staten Island. When authors' papers are available, they are collected as part of the Staten Island Manuscripts Collection. A notable example is the Theodora DuBois Papers.
  • Political History: We actively collect the papers of officeholders and political organizations. Collections include: the papers of Senator John J. Marchi, Assemblyman Eric N. Vitaliano, and Assemblywoman Elizabeth A. Connelly. The topics of Staten Island secession and the closure of Fresh Kills Landfill are thoroughly documented in the papers of former officeholders.
  • Willowbrook State School: The campus of The College of Staten Island is on the site of the former Willowbrook State School and we collect materials documenting 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 closure of the school, as well as secondary source materials that analyze the legal significance of the Willowbrook Consent Judgment and its role in the history of the group home movement.