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Archives & Special Collections

History & Mission

New York State Senator Senator John J. Marchi donated his papers, documenting his half-century career, to the College of Staten Island in 1999. The donation of this collection led to the creation of Archives & Special Collections within the Department of the Library. Archives & Special Collections officially opened in October 2000.

In support of the College of Staten Island’s goal to support faculty research and involve Students as partners in research, the Archives & Special Collections unit of the CSI Library collects, preserves, and makes available to researchers primary and secondary materials that document the history of the College of Staten Island and of Staten Island.

  • The Archives’ focus is the history of the College and includes records of the activities of the administration, academic departments, faculty, staff, students and related organizations of the College of Staten Island and its predecessor institutions.
  • The Special Collections concentrates on the history of Staten Island political culture and public policy discourse, especially in the period since consolidation with New York City in 1898.

In addition to building a collection of primary and secondary source materials and providing research access, the unit has a strong commitment to further the College’s goal to foster and enhance faculty commitment to effective teaching and learning.

  • Students are trained to use primary source materials on an individual basis and, through activities and lectures, in the classroom setting.
  • The unit partners with faculty members to create assignments using primary source materials and to tailor presentations to specific classes.
  • Interns from CSI and area library and history graduate school programs learn the philosophy and methods of archival practice through readings, discussions, and supervised work projects.

Consistent with the College’s goal to extend the benefits of CSI to the larger community, the unit is active in establishing ties to organizations and individuals on Staten Island and throughout the metropolitan area.

  • Cooperative projects with other Staten Island historical repositories are developed to share knowledge of archival and library practice and technology to promote preservation and access to Staten Island materials.
  • Programs, including lectures and roundtable discussions, are sponsored each semester.
  • An exhibition program highlighting collection materials and sharing Staten Island research includes both physical exhibitions and virtual Web based exhibits.