Library and Research
In response to the serious public heath situation related to COVID-19, the Adirondack Experience has temporarily closed its offices. Moving forward staff members will be working remotely. Your research questions and image reproduction requests are still welcomed! Please contact our Library Director or leave a message at (518) 352-7311 x108.
Access to our collection is limited at this time, but many of our resources are available online. The websites below host a wealth of Adirondacks-related material from our institution and other repositories throughout the state.
Our Past Perfect site
Our New York Heritage digital collections pages
NYS Historic Newspapers
Kelly Adirondack Center at Union College has its own resources and maintains a great list of other sites with historical Adirondack material.
NY State Archives Digital Collections
NY State Library Digital Collections
Hathi Trust – full-text digital copies of old books. A good place to look for NY State reports (like Verplanck Colvin’s surveys) and public domain titles.
New York Public Library Digital Collections (especially maps!)
Library of Congress Digital Collections
- Photos and prints
- Chronicling America (newspapers)
- Historic building surveys
The Adirondack Experience Library is the largest, most comprehensive repository of books, ephemera, manuscripts, maps and government documents relating to the history of the Adirondack region. The library-of-record for the Adirondack Park, it collects, preserves, and organizes all forms of information related to the region, and shares that information with genealogists, writers, historians, students, and anyone with an interest in the Adirondacks.
The library has 230 audio recordings of oral histories, music, and radio programs that capture many under-documented aspects of life in the Adirondacks.
The library’s collection of books includes nearly 11,000 volumes about the Adirondacks, New York State history, environmental conservation, and outdoor recreation. It holds an extensive collection of 19th and 20th century guidebooks to the Adirondack region and houses a substantial group of documents produced by agencies of New York State and the Federal Government. The library also collects books related to American art history, small craft, and horse-drawn vehicles.
The Adirondack Experience Library owns over 1200 cataloged collections of manuscript material consisting of records produced by individuals, businesses, institutions, and organizations. The manuscript collection documents the interaction between the everyday lives of humans and the environment in the Adirondack Park.
The library owns a large, valuable, and fascinating collection of historical maps, atlases, and gazetteers covering the Adirondack region and northern New York State. Among them are rare examples of 18th, 19th, and 20th century published and manuscript maps that illustrate the historical exploration and development of resources, transportation, and recreation in the Adirondacks.
The library has over 100 periodical and newspaper titles published in the Adirondack North Country during the 19th and 20th centuries stored on microfilm. The library also maintains an extensive collection of United States Census Bureau records, manuscript collections, and dissertations on microfilm.
The library has collected more than 400 19th and 20th century serial titles, including conservation or environmental journals produced by many organizations that played a role — or had an interest in — the Adirondack Park. A sizeable portion of the serial collection consists of outdoor magazines devoted to hiking, hunting and fishing. The library also maintains a substantial collection of serials covering the areas of art history and New York State history.
The Experience library maintains a Vertical File collection of nearly 15,000 pieces of ephemera related to the Adirondacks. The information in the files covers such diverse topics as small boats, acid rain, Adirondack resorts, railroads and steamboats, the Adirondack Park Agency, camps and summer homes, and the lives of individuals of note in the history of the region.