|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?|
Archives and Special Collections are open by appointment only. To make an appointment, please contact the CSI Archives & Special Collections Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718.982.4128.
(Appointments are not available when the library is closed. See here for general library hours.)
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.
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.
Staten Island Environmental History
Materials document changes to the environment and the preservation efforts of individuals and groups.
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.
Willowbrook State School
Although documenting the administrative history of the school is 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 that discuss the legal significance of the Willowbrook Consent Decree and its role in the history of the group home movement.
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.
Materials found in OneSearch that display the location as "Special Collections 1L-216" should be requested in the Archives & Special Collections Reading Room in 1L-216 (2nd floor).
Materials found in OneSearch 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).
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.
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.
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 "Journals" tab in the search box on the Library's homepage. 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.
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.
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.
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. For a guide to Staten Island genealogical sources go to: rootsweb.