Tioga Point Museum
From the September 1985 Monthly Report
In Athens, at the Tioga Point Museum, we were shown an exquisite collection of rare books, illuminated manuscripts, velvet and leather bindings, gilt-edged books with gold clasps, and hand-painted Mother-of Pearl miniatures inlaid in book covers and end papers – it was magnificent!
Partial JOURNAL ENTRY
Wednesday, September 25, 1985
Up by 6:00 am. Ate breakfast Towanda Motel. Headed north to Athens [Pa.] to visit the Spalding Memorial Library.
Arrived at the Library at 8:22 am. Mrs. Tidlow, Librarian, came early to let us in – thank goodness she did – there was so much to do!
Cataloged 17 different Bradford Co. titles, LDRed one and cataloged 9 other titles. Most of their holdings consisted of the Athens Gleaner.
We had to take the old, ratty bound volumes and single issues off old wooden shelves and walk thru to another room where we could spread out on a table. We certainly got our exercise!
Left by 12:30pm and went t Pumpernickels for lunch. Then headed to the Tioga Point Museum.
The Museum was on the 2nd floor of Spalding Memorial Library.
We had to wait till 2 pm to get in – Mrs. Jackson wouldn’t be there till then.
2 pm arrived – met Mrs. Jackson and set out to catalog the Museum’s holdings.
There were many, many locked drawers of newspapers and about 6 sections under display cases full of papers.
It turned out to be more than we ever thought. PLUS the amount of time we allowed was too short.
An assistant to Mrs. Jackson, Cindy, helped to locate newspapers – she was conferring with a listing compiled in 1936. With her help we found many titles (Bradford Co. and others).
Worked quickly to record as many as we could – we knew our time was limited. Worked until 5:30 pm and still had about 1 hr. worth of work to go.
Talked Mrs. Jackson into meeting us at 7:00 to finish up.
Beck and I decided when we would come back to photocopy the holdings lists of each envelope since these remaining titles were New England and N.Y. titles.
Left Museum at 5:30 pm – decided to travel to Sayre to quickly record the Library’s holdings. Arrived at Sayre Public Library at 5:40 pm – 20 mins till closing.
Quickly recorded holdings – didn’t have much (bound vols. only). Left by 6:00 pm.
Went and had dinner and then headed back to Tioga Point Museum by 7:00 pm.
Beck had noticed she was running out of LDRs – so decided to photocopy some while photocopying the New England and N.Y. holdings lists.
Finished by 7:30 pm. Mrs. Jackson wanted to show us around the Museum. Showed us the RARE BOOKS they had. You wouldn’t believe what they had!!!
Beautifully bound volumes!! Also had autographs and other treasures.
[It seems a local collector wanted to have these treasures locally available for students in the area to see them, thinking many would never get to a large city or museum. Inside the locked cases were beautifully preserved gilt-edged volumes with illuminated manuscripts. Precious miniatures inlaid in the book covers, hand-painted on Mother-of-Pearl. Many of the volumes were closed with gold clasps. Mrs. Jackson proudly showed us the amazing collection].
I wondered how many people know these are here??
We left Tioga Point at 8:30 pm. Dead tired!!
Letter to Mrs. Jackson from Becky, following site visit:
T H E P E N N S Y L V A N I A S T A T E U N I V E R S I T Y
THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES
UNIVERSITY PARK, PENNSYLVANIA 16802
October 8, 1985
Mrs. Louisa Jackson
Tioga Point Museum
Athens, Pa. 18810
Dear Mrs. Jackson:
Sue and I would like to thank you for all your help during our recent visit to catalog your newspapers. We had a tremendously successful tour of Bradford County and found 81 or the 109 newspapers known to have been published there. During our five-day stay we visited 20 different institutions and private collectors in 12 towns across the county.
It was so kind of you to assist us at a time when I now things are very difficult for you. We especially appreciated your returning that evening to let us finish our work.
Needless to say, the highlight of our entire trip was the time we spent looking over the exquisite illustrated manuscripts and other beautifully bound rare books in the Museum. To say they are magnificent is an understatement. It was thoughtful of you to show them to us.
As promised, enclosed is our list of titles we found in Bradford County, as well as those we still need to find.
Please extend to Cindy our warmest thanks for all the help she provided in locating the various newspaper collections.
We have certainly had many productive trips on our site visits to the counties covered so far, thanks to the cooperation and good will of people like yourself. When all the data is finally collected and entered into the database, it will be possible for researchers, scholars and others to identify and locate any existing newspaper published in the United States from its earliest beginnings. We appreciate your being a part of the National Newspaper Project.
It was a pleasure meeting you. Again, thank you for your help.
Rebecca A. Wilson
PSU Project Librarian