Support Collections and Archives

Onondaga Historical Association’s archival and object collections are at the heart of what we do. With more than a million documents, maps and photographs available to the public through the Richard and Carolyn Wright Research Center, and over 100,000 objects that support OHA’s many temporary and permanent exhibits, these collections are a priceless resource for the public. Many items are loaned to various institutions for their exhibits, including the New York State Museum, Syracuse University, and the New York State Governor’s Office, among others. Your donation to OHA supports the acquisition, cataloging, restoration, storage, and access. Help OHA preserve these treasures for generations to come.

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More about OHA’s Collections

Particular strengths of the 3-D collection are related to Onondaga County’s economic and industrial history and include typewriters, lanterns, washing equipment, candles, caskets, brewery objects, and stained glass. In 2009, OHA acquired the Syracuse China archive and historic china collection, encompassing over thirty exhibit cases featuring rare pieces from the 138 year old company. The clothing collection includes centuries of men’s, women’s & children’s garments, including the Harvey Baldwin deer hide coat decorated with Native American beadwork, dresses from the House of Worth, wedding dresses from the late 18th to 20th centuries, and many military uniforms. The archival collection boasts the General Association Document drafted by the NY colonial government in May 1775; a copy of the petition to establish Onondaga County in 1794; The centennial autograph book of the National Association of Women’s Rights from 1876; a reward poster seeking the return of Harriet Powell, an escaped slave in 1839; a full-plate daguerreotype photograph of Frederick Douglass, c. 1845, and many other locally and nationally significant civilian and military documents.