Multiple collections contain audio recordings, film, photographs, artwork, original maps and plans, artifacts, and other realia within them.
Among the music recordings in our holdings are Binghamton University Music Department Recitals, some of which have been digitized as part of an ongoing project.
Two large music collections that are stored in our off-site storage facility are:
Frances R. Conole Archive of Recorded Sound
The Conole Archive is an extensive collection devoted primarily to the preservation of vocal performances recorded over the last century. The archive contains over 50,000 disks and tapes, with emphasis on opera singers between 1900-1960. More than 3,000 singers are represented in 4,000 complete performances of over 400 operas. Although the collection stresses vocal music, there are also holdings of performances by major symphonic conductors and numerous recordings of the spoken word, with emphasis on the history and politics of our time. Cataloging of the Conole recordings is still in progress.
Hagan Collection of Phonograph Records
This collection of records was donated by the family of Professor Emeritus of English, John H. Hagan, who taught at Binghamton University for 27 years. Largely classical and jazz, the cataloging of this collection is ongoing.
Audio Interviews and Film Recordings
Special Collections retains original audio recordings of oral histories and other interviews as well as some film recordings. They include an extensive collection of interviews conducted by Stephen McKiernan of prominent figures of the 1960s that forms part of the Center for the Study of the 1960s and are available digitally. Another significant collection is that of the Broome County Oral History Project of interviews conducted between November 1977 and September 1978 with local residents under the supervision of the Action for Older Persons Program, which have also been digitized.
Original artwork including fine art and technical drawings are abundant throughout Special Collections. Of note are costume and set design illustrations in the Max Reinhardt Archives, Peter Wexler papers, and general theater collections. Drawings of archaeological artifacts, site maps, and plans are present in the papers of professors William Isbell and Albert Dekin. Paintings of inventor Edwin Link and University president Glenn Bartle by Keith Martin, first director of Binghamton’s Roberson Museum, as well as other original artwork and prints are sprinkled throughout our collections. The Tilly Losch Collection contains numerous sketches, sketchbooks, and over 500 paintings by the dancer/actress.
Our collections contain a number of three-dimensional objects such as theater costumes in the Max Reinhardt Archives, memorabilia in the University Archives, and items in the Mark Kulikowski Local History Collection like tokens, bottles, and a pair of Vietnam-era army boots manufactured by the Endicott-Johnson Shoe Company. The Vera Beaudin Saeedpour Kurdish Collection holds traditional clothing and adornments, musical instruments, carpets, and other artifacts.