Monday, September 11, 2017

Suggett House Museum and Kellogg Memorial Research Center

Cortland County Historical Society
Suggett House Museum and Kellogg Memorial Research Center
Address: 25 Homer Ave, Cortland, NY
Phone: (607) 756-6071

Approaching the home of the historical society on a side street in Cortland, you might be doubtful at first that you have found the right place. A Victorian house with a small sign in the front yard greets you. There is no parking lot. However, parking on the street is free and you just need to follow the signs for the correct side. Down the side street, you will find an addition on the back of the house. Here is the entrance to the society- both the museum and the research center. The door will be locked, but as the small sign reads, just press the doorbell and someone will buzz you in.

The entrance is a small hallway where it would be impossible to have a desk for a staff member or volunteer to sit at. A few years ago, there were a number of robberies of libraries and museums across New York State. The Suggett House was one of the victims. This is why the door is now locked.

Hours: Tuesday through Saturday
Gift Shop 9:30 - 5:00
(Saturday 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm)
Museum and Research Center 1:00 - 5:00PM

There is a charge for using the Research Center as follows:
Assisted research free for members and students
For non-members, $8 for first hour,
$5 for each additional hour
Research by staff is $15 per hour.
Photocopying and postage additional
(It is 25 cents per photocopy.)

Restrictions, photocopies etc.:
You are not allowed to make copies yourself. However, I found that the staff and volunteers were very quick to make copies for me and did their best to get good copies. For example, one paper I wanted a copy of had writing close to the top and bottom edges. They made me two copies (for the price of one) of the page to make sure both top and bottom weren’t at the edge of the paper and cut off on my copy.

The Research Center, although small, contains a wealth of information about early Cortland. Cemetery records and early histories are on the shelves. If you are looking for general information about New York State or New England, they have many of the standard resources you would expect to find in larger libraries as well.

One of the great things about this center, as in many of these small historical societies are their vertical files. Information about families in Cortland are filed by their surnames. Correspondence by people from many years ago is kept and can be found in these files. If they grow too large, another folder is made or a notebook created to contain all the information. These can be goldmines for secondary research if someone was doing work on your family many years ago. Also, many newspaper articles are found within these files that you might not otherwise be able to find today.

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