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Archives & Special Collections
New York State Geographical Association Records


Donor: Dr. Katheryne Whittemore Estate, via Dr. Theodore Kury, Chairman, Geography and Planning Department, Buffalo State College.
Date of Acquisition: 1987. Processed: 1987; reprocessed 2006.
Size of Collection: 1 box; .5 linear ft.

Historical Background

The New York State Geographical Association Collection was donated to Buffalo State College by the estate of Dr. Katheryne T. Whittemore. Dr. Whittemore (1899-1981) was an instructor and administrator at the College for thirty-seven years, serving specifically as a professor of geography from 1925-1962 and having been appointed to the newly-created post of director of the Division of Arts and Sciences in 1957. She was an active member of the New York State Geographical Association, of which she often assumed a leadership role in its meetings.

The New York State Geographical Association (NYSGA) first met in 1935, beginning as an informal organization of interested geographers, educators and students, with open membership. The stated "original purpose of the group was to promote research in the geography of New York State" (from folder 1-11). The NYSGA developed ties with state educational systems as well as the New York State Department of Education. Papers presented at the annual meetings highlighted the organization's scope and purpose, including scholarly and research topics and roundtables on local and state geography, settlement, conservation, soils, land utilization, water supply, weather, climate, economic geography, impressions of teaching through the world and travelogues. The collection reflects the academic interests and the socio-political atmosphere of the 1930s through the 1940s. Notably, no meetings were held during the War Years of 1943-1946.

The New York State Geographical Association remains an active organization; information that post-dates this collection as well as other data on NYSGA can be found at

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Contents and Inventory

The New York State Geographical Association Collections includes correspondence; meeting minutes, organizational data and papers presented; photographs; and miscellanea from its meetings between 1935 and 1947 as well as historical information and material relating to NYSGA's association with other organizations, such as the New York State Association of Teachers Colleges and Normal School Faculties, Geography Group, and the New York State Department of Education. Notably, several of Dr. Katheryne Whittemore's original papers are included; and additional data, interviews and reminiscences of hers are available in the Archives' administrative and biographical files. All NYSGA collection material dates 1935-1947.

Box 1:

1-1. New York State Geographical Association. First Meeting, Syracuse University, 13 April 1935. Minutes; program; papers ("The Role of Geography in State Planning," Sidman P. Poole, 7 pages; "A Series of New York State Maps," Vincent Throop, cover page only; "What the Geographer Can Offer to Solve New York State's Recreation Problem," Joseph Van Riper, 7 pages; "Lowville, an Agricultural Community of Northern New York," Mary Catherine Roberts, 10 pages; "Geographic Profils [sic]: Culture on Topographic Profiles," E.S. Merriman and J.T. Sanford, 1 page (incomplete?); "Graphic Study of Power Production in New York State," Adelbert K. Botts, 5 pages; "Current Geographical Literature," George B. Cressey, 1 page (incomplete?); "Geography in the Public Schools," Marion B. Forsythe, 6 pages; "Geography in the Curriculum for Science and the Social Studies," Warren W. Knox, 2 pages); register; news items (from Syracuse, NY, newspapers, 13-14 April 1935).
1-2. New York State Geographical Association. Second Meeting, Syracuse University, 2 May 1936. Minutes; program; papers ("New York State from the Air," Kirk H. Stone, 5 pages; "A Method of Geographic Correlation," Marion E. Spiesman, abstract only; "Air Masses and Local Weather Changes," Adelbert Botts, abstract and graph only; "The Floods from March 17-24, 1936 in the Northeastern States," E. Monroe Harwood, Jr., 9 pages; "The Cohocton Soil Conservation Project," H.W. Hobbs, 7 pages; "Agricultural Land Utilization (Land Utilization and Classification in New York State)," T.E. LaMont, 3 pages; "Some Possible Limitations of the Land Use and Land Classification 'Promotion' in Geography," O.D. von Engeln, abstract only; "Geographic Aspects of the Population Problem," Stanley D. Dodge, abstract only; "The Development of the Cultural Features on the Natural Landscape of Syracuse," Eric H. Faigle, cover page only; "Fields and Objectives of Geography," Sidman P. Poole, cover page only; "The Black River Corridor," George B. Cressey, cover page only); register; news items (Syracuse Post Standard article, "Nature Guides Man's Destiny, Thinks Taylor," 3 May 1936).
1-3. New York State Geographical Association. Third Meeting, Syracuse University, 1 May 1937. Minutes; program and committee report ("The Status of Geography in the Secondary Schools of the State of New York"); papers ("The Preparation of Relative Relief Maps," Dr. Erwin Raisz, abstract only; "Cortland, a Study in Urban Geography," Kirk Stone, cover page only; "The Industrial Geography of Lockport[,] New York," Katheryne Thomas Whittemore, 8 pages; "The Port of Buffalo: Where the Water Routes and Trucking Routes of the Automobile Carriers Meet," M. Melvina Svec, 11 pages; "The History of Maps," Dr. Erwin Raisz, abstract only); register; news items (newspaper clippings and articles, 1937); The Bulletin, volume V, number 3, produced by the Department of Geology and Geography, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, May 1937(?).
1-4. New York State Geographical Association. Fourth Meeting, Cortland Normal School, 13 November 1937. Minutes; program (including "Land Utilization and Classification in Cortland County: A Resume of the [NYSGA] Field Trip" and associated documentation); papers ("Status of Land Classification and Land Utilization Work in Cortland County and Adjacent Areas," T.E. Lamont, 9 pages; "Study of Temperature Invasions [Inversions?] in the Tully Homer Valley," W.M. Hillegas, 4 pages, handwritten notes; "Problems in the Geology of Cortland (County)," Olive Fish, 2 pages; "Changes in Types of Farming in New York [State]," R.S. Beck, 2 pages; "The Effects of Changing Lake Levels on Harbor Development at Buffalo," Katheryne Whittemore, cover page only; "A True View of the Good Earth," A.T. Root, 8 pages; "Geography and Elementary Education in New York State," J. Cayce Morrison, 2 pages; "Some Aspects of Southern Mexico," O.D. von Engeln, 3 pages; "The Geography of Northern Russia," George B. Cressey, 3 pages); register (no names listed); news items (newspaper clippings from Syracuse and Cortland, NY, newspapers, 1937).

1-5. New York State Geographical Association. Fifth Meeting, State Teachers College at Buffalo, 5 November 1938. Minutes, financial report; program, Buffalo Waterfront map and index; papers ("Changes in Population Distribution in the Canandaigua Lake Region, a Progress Report," Robert B. Simpson, 3 pages plus abstract; "Results of the State Name Test (Given) at Syracuse University," Joseph A. Russell and Eric H. Faigle, 3 pages, with 1939 article "College Geography is Fettered" by same authors (apparently a reworking of the presentation), reprinted from School and Society, 26 August 1939, v. 50, n. 1287, pp. 286-288; "The New York State Museum and Geography," Charles C. Adams, abstract only; "Present Status of Curriculum Development in the Elementary Schools," Helen Hay Heyl, 2 pages, abstract only; "Human Aspects of the Snow Storm of December 8 and 10, 1937," George Sherrie, 5 pages; "Federal Flood Control Work in Western New York," Harland C. Woods, 9 pages; "Conditions Responsible for the Local Snows at the East End of Lake Erie," Michael J. Cocuzzi, 7 pages); register; news items (newspaper clippings, 1938)

1-6. New York State Geographical Association. Sixth Meeting, Syracuse University, 23 September 1939. Minutes, list of published books and articles originally presented at previous NY[S]GA meetings; program; papers ("My Impressions of Geography in Germany," Milton George, abstract only; "My Impressions of Georgraphy in New Zealand," A.K. Botts, abstract only; "My Impressions of Georgraphy in British Columbia," Eric Faigle, abstract only; paper on International Geographical Congress in Amsterdam, by Hermine Bauschard, 8 pages; "The Relation of Geography to the Regents Investigation," Dr. Roy Price, notes for roundtable discussion, 3 pages; "The Place of Geography in Secondary and High Schools," Dr. George Cressey, paper for roundtable discussion, 3 pages); register; news items (newspaper clippings and articles, 1939).

1-7. New York State Geographical Association. Seventh Meeting, University of Rochester, 12 October 1940. Minutes; program, maps of Monroe County, NY, and visitors' guide to Rochester, NY; papers ("An Ecological Survey of the Natural Vegetation of Monroe County," C.C. Adams and Royal E. Shanks, abstract only; "Cobble Houses," S.A. Callisen, 1 page; outline of paper regarding social and human ecology in and around Rochester, NY, A.L. Radomski, 3 pages; "A Forestry Cooperative," Hannah G. Yager, 7 pages; "News Item: Recent Trends in Traffic of the Port of Buffalo," M. Melvina Svec, 6 pages; "Effect of the War on the Chemical Industries of the Niagara Frontier," Harriet Long, 3 pages; "The Effect of Defense Measures on North Country Businesses," Mary Catherine Roberts, 3 pages; "Far Eastern Geographic Strategy," George B. Cressey, abstract only; "Some Recent Mining Developments in Europe," Quentin D. Singewald, 7 pages); register; photos of NYSGA meeting, 1940; miscellaneous NYSGA member forms and material, 1940.

1-8. New York State Geographical Association. Eighth Meeting, Brockport Normal School, 11 October 1941. Minutes, Resolutions Committee report, report on the possible publication of geographical materials by NYSGA, report of the representative on the Board of Directors of the National Council of Geography Teachers; program; papers ("Land Form Regions of New York State," George B. Cressey, 2 pages; "Progress Report on Climactic Regions Study," M. Catherine Roberts, 3 pages; "The Water Supply of Lockport [NY]," Eleanor R. Hughes, 9 pages; "Defense Industries in New York State," Dr. Joseph A. Russell, 10 pages; "The Effects of the Merriman and Neversink Dams on the Land Use and People of the Reservoir Basins," Lewis Robertson, Edward Sackett, Fred Weiler, Robert Long and Walter Bailey, 9 pages (pages 7, 8 missing?)); register; publicity (notices of NYSGA meeting); miscellanea, including photos of NYSGA meeting (1941?), 1941 meeting information; finances and communications, including 8 page bibliography (ca. 1941?), disbursement of registration fees, 1941; "Some Geographic Impressions of Central Labrador," James S. Wishart, 11 pages in bound folder.

1-9. New York State Geographical Association. Executive Council Meeting, Syracuse, N.Y., 7 November 1942. Program and conference information; minutes of meeting; reports of committees (including representative of NYSGA to the National Council of Geography Teachers, subcommittee on New York State Geographic Research); NYS Education Department Bureau of Curriculum Development, Division of Elementary Education, "Exploring the Environment: Outline of Contents"; register of attendance; workshop and business meeting minutes, 1942.

1-10. New York State Geographical Association. Ninth Meeting, State Teachers College, Oswego, 7 November 1942. Program and conference information; notice of cancellation in favor of executive meeting at Syracuse (see folder 1-9); miscellaneous clippings, suggested activities, bibliographies, register of attendance, suggested activities for students; previous draft meeting minutes (with handwritten amendments) dating to (ca.) 15 May 1942 and typewritten finalized(?) minutes. [Note: Given the nature and disorder of this material, it is presumed that the documents date before November 1942.]

1-11. New York State Geographical Association. Historical Review, 3 May 1947. Typewritten history of NYSGA from its inception in 1935 to 1947; summary of NYSGA meetings (1935-1947); summary of meeting places, papers presented and field trips (1935-1947).

1-12. New York State Association of Teachers Colleges and Normal School Faculties, Geography Group. Chairman's Book. Correspondence, curriculum information, minutes, reports, 1927-1944.

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