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John J. Vrooman Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MK
Date: Feb 1978

Biographical History

John J. Vrooman (1882-1960) was an American historian and novelist, and president of the Schenectady County Historical Society. Born in Schenectady, New York, he graduated from the University of Arizona, attended Union College, and received an honorary PhD from Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York.

Vrooman held a variety of jobs across the country, including ranch management in Iowa, an investment business in Missouri and a real estate business in Mississippi. He eventually returned to Schenectady and in 1944 accepted the position of Supervisor of Historic Sites for the New York State Education Department, a job he held until 1951. After his retirement, Vrooman lectured in various venues (including the New-York Historical Society) about historic New York State, and remained active in historic studies until his death.

Vrooman wrote several works of historical fiction and non-fiction about upstate New York, including Council Fire and Cannon , a collection of stories about early New York; The Promised Land, concerning the Palatines who settled in the Schoharie valley; and Clarissa Putman of Tribes Hill, a historical novel. An accomplished amateur photographer, his pictures of historic sites illustrate many of his books, and were also used to illustrate material produced for the New York State Education Department.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The John J. Vrooman Papers consist of subject files, memorabilia, and writings.

General subject files contains artwork, clippings, correspondence, a few legal papers, photographs, research material, and assorted other topics.

The majority of Memorabilia is in fact negatives of photographs taken by Vrooman; there is also material relating to awards and a few personal papers. There is also a scrapbook.

Writings consists of drafts, reviews, correspondence, scrapbooks, and other items relating to Vrooman's books, lectures, pamphlets, reports, stories, and unfinished works.

Arrangement of the Collection

All series are arranged alphabetically.


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.

Subject Headings


Vrooman, John J. -- Archives.


Authors, American.
Historians -- United States.
Historic buildings -- New York (State)
Historic sites -- New York (State)
Novelists, American.


Mohawk River Valley (N.Y.) -- History -- Fiction.
New York (State) -- History -- Pictorial views.
New York (State) -- History.
Schenectady (N.Y.) -- History -- Fiction.

Genres and Forms

Book reviews.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts for publication.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

John J. Vrooman Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. John J. Vrooman.

Table of Contents

General subject files