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Coming Soon! FPM Research Library

A brief history of how the new research library came to be.

During February and March 2015, the former Mohawk-Caughnawaga Museum research library was moved from Fonda, N.Y. to the Fort Plain Museum. The Mohawk-Caughnawaga Museum was incorporated as a non-profit corporation by the State Board of Regents under New York State Education Law in 1949.

In 1994 The Mohawk-Caughnawaga Museum was consolidated with The Fort Plain Museum also a Regents Chartered non-profit since 1962. Between 1994 and 2015 the museum library remained at The Kateri Tekakwitha Shrine in Fonda, where researchers had very limited access. The new location will provide improved public access to these important scholarly resources.

The Mohawk-Caughnawaga library was assembled in the 1930s through the 1970s primarily by Father Thomas Grassmann and Edward Sheehan for the purposes of researching Colonial History and Native American lifeways. The sources were utilized for the production of museum exhibits and publications. There are more than 3,000 bound volumes, 1,000+ pamphlets and ephemera, several hundred photocopies of 17th and 18th century maps from archives in Europe and all over North America, and 30+ linear feet of manuscripts. 

The strength of the collection is in Native American studies (particularly ethnography, archaeology and material culture studies); 17th and 18th century Northeastern North American History; and Colonial geography and cartography. Many of the manuscripts have been listed by the New York State Library. Noteworthy items include a collection of Rufus Grider watercolor paintings, Samuel Ludlow Frey Papers, Utica and Schenectady Railroad maps, Robert Chambers research notes, and miscellaneous 18th and 19th century Mohawk Valley manuscripts.  

The Museum would like to thank everyone who has donated their valuable time, energy and vehicles in completing the move of the Mohawk-Caughnawaga Library. A very special Thank You goes to Micki Lieber and the Friends of Fort Plain for assembling a group of volunteers to clean not only the books and book shelves but the entire Museum too. Their enthusiasm for this project is infectious and it is great to see a new group of volunteers excited about the Museum as we are.