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Archives & Special Collections

History of the Alden Room

The Alden Room is named in honor of Jessica Alden, our College's very first librarian.  Ms. Alden attended Oneonta Normal School and graduated in 1906.  After completing the library course at Simmons College and then teaching in Massachusetts and California, Ms. Alden returned to Oneonta Normal School in 1912 when she joined the staff of 26 faculty.

Photograph of Jessica Alden

Jessica Alden

The Alden Room itself is original to our current Milne Library, which was completed in 1974.  

Front doors of the Alden Room

Front doors of the Alden Room shortly after construction of the library in 1974


Picture of the Alden Room with display on a desk

One of the many beautiful displays by Martha Chambers


Picture of the Alden Room, furniture, and book shelves

The original furniture, carpet, and layout of the Alden Room

The Alden Room Today

What began as collections scattered among four rooms on three different floors, the Special Collections have now been brought all together into the Alden Room and the adjacent environmentally-controlled storage annex. 

 View of the Alden Room with chairs and tables

Above is the recently rearranged Alden Room, which provides not only a presentation space and reading areas, but also cozy nooks where visitors can peruse items from the collection.  

Below is a working lantern slide projector along with a few slides from the 16,000+ lantern slide collection.  

Photo of a lantern slide projector and slides, with bookshelves and chairs in the background