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Public Library

115 South Ave
Rochester, NY 14604, US

Category: Labor Education

Used in the following map:

Rochester Labor History eMap

If you want to find out more about entries covered in this map/guide or if you wish to research other labor-related events, places or persons, you will want to consult materials at the Rochester Public Library.The Local History Division on the second floor of the Rundel Memorial Building began in 1886 as the Reynolds Reference Library, a collection of 24,000 books and periodicals housed in the Reynolds Arcade. Following Morton Reynolds’ death and with funds from his endowment the collection was maintained at his home on Spring Street after 1894 and was relocated to the Rundel building in 1936, when the City opened its first central public library. By then the collection had increased to 90,000 volumes. Today the collection of the local history division includes 30,000 volumes. In addition to publications on many aspects of local history, the collection includes old city directories (which list Rochester residents and their occupations, as well as information about businesses and fraternal organizations, including unions), plat maps (which not only show streets but detail buildings and addresses), and other important reference materials. There are also manuscript collections, clipping files, and an extensive photo archive. ( The Bausch & Lomb library building, completed in 1998, houses the Microfilm Department with such records as local newspapers. Rundel also housed the office of the Rochester City Historian. From 1948 to 1984 Blake McKelvey held this position; his four-volume study of Rochester, based largely on materials in the Library collections, pioneered American urban history and remains an important resource. In 2007 the City Historian position was eliminated.


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