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Special Collections: Rochester and Monroe County Resources: Archival Material

This guide will help you navigate the Rochester and Monroe County collections in the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation (RBSCP)
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Searching for Archival Material

Archival material includes unpublished records such as letters, diaries, financial records, and photographs. Information about our archival collections may be found online in the Subject Guide to the Collections. You can also browse the A-Z list of archival collections (the link is below). Our finding aids are processed at different levels. Some include item-by-item level descriptions and others are processed at the folder or box level. 

Archival Rochester and Monroe County Collections

We actively collect in local history, with nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century manuscripts and published works relating to the city of Rochester and Monroe County. The city and county are the primary focus of our local history collections. We will continue to collect material from the surrounding counties (Cayuga, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, Wayne, and Wyoming) when the material fits with or fills a gap in our existing collections. Some of these counties are more strongly represented in our collections than others. We will seek out material from all of these areas, but especially Rochester and Monroe County that reflects the diversity of people and ideas in this area. This includes material related to the workforce in all capacities, immigrants and refugees, the financially marginalized or disenfranchised, people of color, and people indigenous to our collecting area.

There is significant overlap between this collecting area and our other collections, including Political History, Women's History, and Social Justice and Activism. This subject area also includes the records of local businesses. 

While we do have some material from Buffalo and Syracuse, we do not actively collect material from those (and other) cities. 

Links to Finding Aids

This list represents just a few of our many manuscript collections related to local history. 

Assistant Director, Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation

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Autumn Haag

Areas of Expertise

  • 19th Century Social Justice and Activism
  • Black History and Culture
  • Rochester and Monroe County History
  • Women’s History
  • Political Collections - William Henry Seward, Thurlow Weed, and Midge Costanza
Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation
Rush Rhees Library
Room 225
755 Library Road
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY 14627