Schuyler C. Townson Research Library

Researching early industries in Rochester? Trying to identify pieces in your grandmother's china collection? Want to know what that butterfly is? Looking for information about Iroquois lifeways? Try the RMSC Schuyler C. Townson Research Library. With our large collection of books, periodicals, pamphlets, manuscripts, and audiovisual materials, the Schuyler C. Townson Library is an excellent information resource center.

The RMSC also has various books, exhibition guides, catalogues, special publications, research records and miscellaneous publications for sale. Please click here to view a listing of publications available from the RMSC Collections and Research Publishing Program.

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The library's holdings reflect the strengths of the museum's collections. Thus, materials relating to Iroquois studies, early Euro-American technology, Rochester businesses, fashion and costume, museology, and collections care are particularly numerous, and in some cases, unique. The library collections also include large numbers of maps, local prints, and postal and greeting cards from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The Stone Photograph Collection is one of the most important resources housed in the RMSC Library. Consisting of some 14,000 images, the collection represents the professional work of Albert and Daniel Stone, newspaper photographers for the Rochester Herald and the Democrat and Chronicle from 1904 to 1936. Prints of each photograph and an indexed finding aid are available.

These and other classic Rochester images are now available through an online database that provides instant access to images showcasing Rochester and the surrounding community from the early 1800's through present day. Click here to visit the Rochester Images site.


Highlights of the collection include:

A 1790 copy of the 1788 original Deed of Conveyance/Treaty for the Phelps and Gorham purchase of 2.5 million acres of land in western New York from the SenecasThe area's most complete collection of early area almanacs
Nineteenth- and early twentieth-century personal diariesOne of the largest Victorian valentine collections in the nation
A rare 1880 lithograph bird's-eye view of RochesterNumerous sets of family papers, including those of Rochester-native Seth Green
Business archives of the Rochester Button Company and other Rochester firmsArchitectural drawings by several local architects
The complete broadcast tapes of WHEC TV news from the late 1950s through the 1960sThe institutional papers of important museum leaders Arthur C. Parker and Stephen Thomas

Although the Research Library does not circulate its materials, we do provide telephone and mail service for quick reference questions; and we will be happy to make an appointment with you to discuss your particular research needs.

The library is located on the second floor of the museum building on the RMSC's East Avenue campus and is open 9:30am-12 noon and 1:00-4:30pm, Tuesday through Friday. For further information or to make an appointment to use the library's resources, please call us at
585-271-4552, X-315, during working hours.