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SUNY Maritime College Commencement Programs and Other Materials, 1938- Present

 Collection
Identifier: CA-RG10-0001

Scope and Contents

This collection primarly contains commencement programs, Awards Dinner programs, and invitations to the Award Dinner. Other materials include copies of commencement speaker speeches, program schedules, and college memos concerning commencement. Missing years from this collection include 1951, 2002-2003, 2015-2016, and 2018-2019.

Commencement ceremonies between 1938 to 1942 were either held in Feburary or September. By 1944, an April and January were added. In 1946 and 1947, graduation was held in October.

Most graduation ceremony programs are from the May graduation. Traditionally, SUNY Maritime College holds three ceremonies; Fall, Spring, and Summer. This varies from year to year depending on various circumstances.

Dates

  • 1938

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Appointments to examine materials must be made in advance. Please e-mail library@sunymaritime.edu for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproductions may be provided to users to support research and scholarship. However, collection use is subject to all copyright laws. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Biographical / Historical

The New York Nautical School (now SUNY Maritime College) was created in 1874 to train young men for the United States Merchant Marines. At first the school was based entirely aboard school ships, the converted sloop-of-war, St. Mary’s being the first of such ships. During the period of 1874 to 1913 the school was administered by the Board of Education of the City of New York and rated as a New York City public grammar school. During this time boys who were of grammar school-age and were able to prove that they resided or had a guardian who resided within the city limits of New York were granted admission. In addition to the typical grammar school studies (history, writing, mathematics, etc.) students of the New York Nautical School would also study various areas of seamanship including navigation, steering, sail-handling, etc. As the years progressed and sail gave way to steam engines, certain subjects were added such as marine engineering and electrical.

By the turn of the 20th century the New York Nautical School had produced a steady stream of sea officers who would go on to become leaders in their vocation. However, by the early 20th century, the St. Mary’s had become antiquated and was replaced by the Newport, a sail-steam hybrid, which in the following decades was replaced by the first of a long line of ships named the Empire State. Coinciding with this modernization was a professionalization of the curriculum, which was enhanced in 1913 due to a takeover by New York State that expanded enrollment and bolstered funding. The school now had become the preeminent institution of its kind, which was reflected in a change of name; first to the New York State Merchant Marine Academy in 1929, later to the New York State Maritime Academy in 1941. At this time it had also become clear that in order to maintain its place as the finest school for merchant marines in the country the school needed a permanent shore base and Fort Schuyler in Throggs Neck, New York was dedicated for the school's use in 1938.

Extent

0.84 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

This collection primarly contains commencement programs, Awards Dinner programs, and invitations to the Award Dinner. Other materials include copies of commencement speaker speeches, program schedules, and college memos concerning commencement. Missing years from this collection include 1951, 2002-2003, 2015-2016, and 2018-2019.

Arrangement of Materials

Materials are arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transfer documentation or deeds of gift have not been located for these items. Presumably they were transfered to the library after each commencement ceremony.

Processing Information

In 1974, in conjunction with the college’s centennial, Carol Finerman, a graduate student in the Palmer School of Library Science, was hired to organize the Maritime College archives held at the Luce Library. According to a report by Finerman, “all the items that accumulated came in separately; none were deposited as a series of records from the offices of origin.” This is not necessarily surprising given that the school did not have a land base until Fort Schuyler was dedicated in 1938, or a professional librarian on staff until 1946.

From the late 1940s through the 1970s, librarians such as Terrance Hoveter, Filomena Magavero, and Richard Corson actively solicited alumni, faculty, and staff for materials documenting the school’s early history. However, these materials remained largely unorganized until 1974, when Finerman was hired.

Because the provenance of much of the material was unclear, and the records had not been transferred from administrative units, Finerman elected to create an alphanumeric classification scheme for the collection. Within this scheme, the records pertaining to the Commencements were organized under the letter E. Container lists for these records were part of an Institutional Records inventory that eventually ballooned into a 300 page+ word document.

In 2017 the library embarked on a project to bring the college archives into the 21st century, creating a new organizational scheme and finding aids for the records in ArchivesSpace. As part of this project, the archivist re-processed the records in this collection, rehousing the materials for preservation and bringing intellectual clarity to the arrangement. Given that the provenance and original order of the materials had already been disrupted, the archivist imposed her own arrangement based on the content of the items. Proper archival description, in adherence with Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS), was also created for the first time.
Title
SUNY Maritime College Commencement Programs and Other Materials, 1936- Present
Status
In Progress
Author
Renae Rapp
Date
April 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Stephen B. Luce Library Repository

Contact:
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