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New York State Freedom Train collection

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-0081

Scope and Contents

Newspaper articles in the scrapbook document New Yorker's reactions to the New York State Freedom Train as it traveled from city to town. The typewritten diary of the train's stops indicates date and time of arrival and departure, identifies dignitaries who visited the train, and provides a count of the number of adults and children who visited each day.


  • 1949-1950


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The New York State Freedom Train Collection is open for research.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Historical Note

Carrying eighty-nine pivotal historical documents, the New York State Freedom Train was a traveling exhibit celebrating freedom of speech that visited towns and cities throughout New York from January 26, 1949 until February 1, 1950. The documents exhibited highlighted the suffrage, political, education, and labor movements. It included items such as George Washington's farewell address, Abraham Lincoln's preliminary draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, and even a portrait of Amelia Bloomer wearing her infamous pants. During the dedication ceremonies, Governor Thomas E. Dewey spoke about what the Freedom Train meant for all New Yorkers.

The Freedom Train symbolizes our unbreakable determination not only to keep our freedom but also to use it to make a better civilization, a civilization in which we go steadily forward to realize the ideals and aspirations inspired in us...

The New York State Freedom Train Commission was chaired by Gerald H. Salisbury, but the idea was partially conceived by Charles F. Gosnell, New York State Librarian and Assistant State Commissioner of Education, in an attempt to raise public awareness of New York State history and library use. The exhibit was so successful it later helped to establish the state's regional research library system.

1 Prom, Christopher J. "Charles Frances Gosnell (1909-1993)" Dictionary of American Library Biography (second supplement) edited by Donald G. Davis, Jr. Libraries Unlimited. 2003. p 110


.2 Linear Feet (1 half manuscript box, 1 volume (61 x 49 cm))


Collection includes a scrapbook with newspaper articles from a variety of local newspapers in New York State chronicling the visit of the New York State Freedom Train in their communities. Also included are a typewritten diary documenting the train's stops (about 90 leaves) and a group photograph with President Harry S. Truman.


This collection is arranged in a single series.

Acquisition Information

Accessioned in the University Archives as 03-713 in 2003.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Related Resources

New York State Freedom Train Commission. Official document book: New York State Freedom Train. Albany, New York, 1949.

Processing Information

Collection processed by John Edens, December 2003.


Finding Aid for the New York State Freedom Train collection
Finding aid prepared by John Edens, December 2003 and updated by Jessica Tanny in June 2008.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)