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John J. Vrooman Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Vrooman, John J.
Title: John J. Vrooman Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1926-1960
Quantity: 7.0 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American historian, novelist, president of the Schenectady County Historical Society (1884-1963). Correspondence, research, book manuscripts, book reviews, lectures, clippings, and photographs of New York State landmarks.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

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.

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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.

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Arrangement of the Collection

All series are arranged alphabetically.

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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


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.



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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.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MK
Date: Feb 1978
Revision history: 8 Jul 2008 - converted to EAD (MRC)

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General subject files
Oversize 1 Artwork
Box 1 Clippings
Box 1 Correspondence
Box 1 Engagements
Box 1 Hartwick College
Box 1 Legal
Box 1 Miscellaneous
Oversize 3 New York
Box 1 Research material (3 folders)
Box 1 Awards 1958 (3 items)
Oversize 2 Awards (oversize)
Box 1 Agriculture
Box 1 Cats
Box 1 Dogs
Box 1 Wild
Box 1 Business
Box 1 Churches
Box 1 Farms
Box 1 Historic buildings
Box 1 Public buildings
Box 1 Birds
Box 1 Butterflies
Box 1 Calamities
Box 1 Cemeteries
Box 1 City scenes
Box 2 Dairying
Box 2 Farm scenes
Box 2 Garden scenes
Historic scenes
Box 2 Events
Box 2 Objects
Box 2 Sites
Box 2 Industrial scenes
Box 2 Landscape scenes
Box 2 Cattle
Box 2 Horses
Box 2 Sheep
Box 2 Machinery
Box 2 Manufacturing
Box 2 Milling
Box 2 Mining
Box 2 Children
Box 2 Women
Box 2 Monuments
Box 2 Pictures copied (2 folders)
Box 2 Children
Box 2 Groups
Box 2 Men
Box 2 Women (4 folders)
Box 3 Baseball
Box 3 Bathing
Box 3 Camping
Box 3 Fishing
Box 3 Golf
Box 3 Hiking
Box 3 Horses
Box 3 Hunting
Box 3 Motoring
Box 3 Skiing
Box 3 Air
Box 3 Boats
Box 3 Railroads
Box 3 Roads and bridges
Box 3 Waterscapes
Box 3 Personal Papers
Oversize 4 Photographs (oversize)
Oversize 5 Photographs (oversize)
Box 3 Photography
Box 3 Publications, miscellaneous (4 folders)
Oversize 6 Scrapbook
Clarissa Putman of Tribes Hill 1950
Box 3 Correspondence
Box 3 Drafts, first (3 folders)
Box 4 Drafts, final (3 folders)
Box 4 Drawings
Council Fire and Cannon 1962
Box 4 Correspondence
Box 4 Drafts
Box 4 Page proofs
Forts and Firesides of the Mohawk Country 1943, 1951 (3 volumes)
Box 4 Correspondence
Box 4 Final draft 1943 (3 folders)
Box 5 Glossy pages, 2d edition 1957 (2 folders)
Box 5 Non-glossy pages 1951
Box 5 Reviews
Oversize 7 Scrapbooks (2 volumes)
The Massacre 1954
Box 5 Research
Box 5 Artwork
Box 5 First draft
Box 5 Reviews
Box 5 Summary
Oversize 8 Scrapbook
The Promised Land 1958
Box 5 Review
Box 5 Stories of Early New York 1960
Box 5 Historic sites on Long Island
Box 5 The markers speak
Box 5 Period furniture
Box 5 The promised land
Box 5 Pamphlets
Box 5 Special reports
Box 5 Stories
Box 5 Unfinished works

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