Research


New York State Education Dept. Commissioner's Office Scrapbooks of Newspaper Clippings

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
This series consists of scrapbooks of clippings from New York State newspapers related to New York State Education Department activities and various educational concerns. A group of five scrapbooks contains clippings from 1911 to 1916, pertaining to the following subjects: the Capitol fire of 1911, the construction and dedication of the State Education building in Albany, the selection of Commissioner of Education John H. Finley, and military instruction in public schools. A second group of eight binders contain clippings related to the activities of Commissioner of James E. Allen, Commissioner of Education for New York State, from 1955 to 1965. Topics documented by the clippings include school desegregation, school funding and state aid, the passage of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, New York City school governance, the expansion of the State University of New York, and school district centralization.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
4 cubic feet of textual records (13 volumes)
Inclusive Dates:
1911-1965
Series Number:
A2041
Sponsor:
This series' description was enhanced as part of the States' Impact on Federal Education Policy Project (SIFEPP), in June 2010. The New York Community Trust - Wallace Special Projects Fund provided funding for this project.

Arrangement

Arranged into two subseries: 1. General scrapbooks of newspaper clippings; 2. Commissioner James E. Allen's scrapbooks of newspaper clippings

Administrative History

In the early morning of March 29, 1911, a fire broke out in the Assembly Library within the New York State Capitol building. The fire spread to the State Library, located inside the Capitol at the time, destroying approximately 450,000 volumes and 270,000 manuscripts. Many State Education Department staff members risked their lives to save irreplaceable manuscripts, and one watchman perished in the fire. By the time the fire was put out, most of the western end of the building had been damaged or destroyed, including much of the Assembly chamber and many Senate offices. The cause of the fire was found to be faulty electrical wiring, which revived charges of graft and corruption that had plagued the construction of the Capitol building.

Dr. James Edward Allen, Jr. was appointed New York State Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York in 1955. Allen presided over a vast expansion of the New York State Education Department, in terms of both bureaucratic size and authority. In elementary and secondary education, Allen oversaw the creation of the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services, which allowed for smaller, rural school districts to partner for the provision of expanded educational programs, and fostered new programs in urban education and bilingual education.

Allen was also a strong proponent of the creation and use of data systems, research, and evaluation to improve the education process. In addition, Allen promoted the need for “de facto” school desegregation, working with the Board of Regents in 1960 on a policy statement affirming the need to desegregate schools. During his tenure, he ordered various school districts to desegregate, including the Malverne school district of Nassau County and Mt. Vernon school district.

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of scrapbooks of clippings from New York State newspapers related to New York State Education Department activities and various educational concerns. A group of five scrapbooks contains clippings from 1911 to 1916. The clippings pertain to the following subjects: the Capitol fire of 1911, the construction and dedication of the State Education building in Albany, the selection of Commissioner of Education John H. Finley, and military instruction in public schools. A second group of eight binders contain clippings related to the activities of James E. Allen, Commissioner of Education for New York State, from 1955 to 1965. Topics documented by the clippings include school desegregation, school funding and state aid, the passage of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, New York City school governance, the expansion of the State University of New York, and school district centralization.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of the material.

Related Information

Related Materials

Series B0460 Commissioner's history file, contains records selected by the office of Commissioner Allen as historically significant

Series B1506 Architectural and mechanical drawings of the State Education Building, documents the process of constructing the State Education Building.

Access Terms

Personal Name(s):
Corporate Name(s):
Geographic Name(s):
Subject(s):

Detailed Description

Subseries 1: General scrapbooks of newspaper clippings

Dates:
1911-1916
Physical Description:
Five scrapbooks

Scope and Content Note:

This subseries contains scrapbooks of clippings from New York State newspapers, particularly the New York Times, regarding events and issues related to education in New York State. The clippings pertain to the following subjects: the State Capitol fire of 1911, the construction and dedication of the State Education building in Albany, the selection of Commissioner John H. Finley, and military instruction in public schools.

Arrangement:

Chronologically

  

Dates Contents Box Volume

Accretion: 1984
1911 March-1912 October New York (State) University - Scrapbooks - v.1 (Scrapbook of Capitol Fire and Education Building items, Vol. I) 1 1
1912 October-1913 September New York (State) University - Scrapbooks - v.2 (Education Building Scrapbook, Vol. II) 1 2
1913 June-1914 October New York (State) University - Scrapbooks - v.3 (John H. Finley, Commissioner of Education, v.1) 1 3
1914 October-1916 January New York (State) University - Scrapbooks - v.4 (John H. Finley, Commissioner of Education, v.2) 1 4
1913 June-1916 April New York (State) University - Scrapbooks - Volume 5 (Clippings in re: Military Instruction in Public Schools) 1 5

Subseries 2: Commissioner James E. Allen scrapbooks of newspaper clippings

Dates:
1955-1965
Physical Description:
8 binders

Scope and Content Note:

This subseries consists of scrapbooks containing clippings from New York newspapers and occasionally other printed materials from magazines or newsletters. These clippings relate to the activities of Commissioner James E. Allen (1955-1969). These volumes were formerly part of the "James E. Allen Papers." Subjects documented in the clippings include school desegregation, school funding and state aid, the passage of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, New York City school governance, expansion of the State University of New York, school district centralization, school prayer, and vocational education.

Arrangement:

Chronologically

  

Dates Contents Box

Accretion: 1978
1955 March-1956 April Commissioner James E. Allen, Jr. - March 31, 1955-April 30, 1956 1
1956 May-December Commissioner James E. Allen, Jr. - May 1956-December 1956 1
1957 January-1958 March Commissioner James E. Allen, Jr. - January 1957-March 1958 2
1958 April-December Commissioner James E. Allen, Jr. - April 1958-December 1958 2
1959 January-1960 August Commissioner James E. Allen, Jr. - January 1959-August 1960 3
1960 September-1961 September Commissioner James E. Allen, Jr. - September 1960-September 1961 3
1961 September-1963 December Commissioner James E. Allen, Jr. - September 1961-December 1963 4
1964 January-1965 December Commissioner James E. Allen, Jr. - January 1964-December 1965 4