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Adirondacks Collection

An inventoryof the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Title: Adirondacks Collection
Inclusive Dates: ca. 1838
Quantity: 3 folders (SC)
Abstract: 15 maps and plates pertaining to the Adirondacks and Genesee River. Two letters detailing research on the origins of the lithographs. Small packet of postcards with photographs of the area.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Regarding the lithographs in the collection, according to a letter (included with the collection) dated November 5, 1973 from then-curator of the Adirondack Museum William Verner, "this series was originally intended to provide illustrations for New York State Assembly Document No. 200 (1838). Copies of that...document...usually come with the plates bound in the back." However, Verner mentions having also seen sets bound alone in colored paper wrappers. Whether the prints attributed to "E. Emmons" were done originally by Professor Emmons, geologist for New York's northern district, or his son Ebenezer Emmons is unknown. The Report of E. Emmons, Geologist of the 2d Geological District of the State of New York, contains Emmons' suggestion that the high mountains of the region be called the Adirondack Group, and is the first use in print of this name applied to this region.

The lithographs were printed by John H. Bufford and according to Verner are "among the most important relative to the iconography of the Adirondack region."

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Adirondacks Collection consist of a assorted material relating to the Adirondacks area of New York. The most significant item in the collection is a set of 15 plates, most relating to the survey of northern New York undertaken by Ebenezer Emmons. Some are maps (e.g. "Map of the Tertiary of Essex County"), others are illustrations of various Adirondack locations such as "Rossie Lead Vein" and "Trap Dyke at Avalanche Lake." Also included in the collection are two letters; one of these, from Adirondack Museum Curator William Verner, gives detailed information about the history of the prints based on Verner's research at the New York Public Library.

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Arrangement of the Collection

The lithograph material is foldered separately from other material.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Emmons, Ebenezer, 1799-1863.
Bufford, John Henry, 1810-1870.


Lithography, American -- 19th century.
Lithography, American -- Specimens.
Prints, American -- 19th century.


Adirondack Mountains (N.Y.) -- History.
Adirondack Mountains (N.Y.) -- Pictorial works.

Genres and Forms

Maps (documents)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Adirondacks Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Lithographs gift of David Tatham and Cleota Reed.

Lithographs of mountain ranges, gift of William Leach, 2017.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 26 Oct 2007
Revision history: 3 June 2008 - additions, name change (MRC); 21 Jul 2021 - lithographs added (RMH)

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SC 210 Postcards
SC 210 Lithographs of Adirondack and Genesee River regions ca. 1838 - maps and illustrations; includes supporting correspondence concerning the origins of the lithographs, 1973-1974.
SC 210 Lithographs - Helderberg, Taconic, and Schoharie ranges
Gift of William Leach, 2017

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