Perspectives on the Alumni Association’s Archival Collection
Jeffrey D. Hubbard, MD AMC 1968 and Alumni Association Board Member and Historian:
“The Albany Medical College Archives is certainly the closest connection that anyone will have to the one hundred seventy years of our alma mater. To see and handle Alden March’s office records is a unique feeling of reaching across the ages, as well as providing material for his biography in Oxford’s American National Biography. From answering a casual question about a faculty member to the material for a scholarly paper, it’s all here. The professional archivist is supported by the Alumni Association, and is a kind and patient guide, whether in person or at a distance. Visiting the Archives, I always regret not having more time to explore the treasures there. There is something for everyone!”
Thomas L. Snyder, Captain, Medical Corps, US Navy, Retired, AMC 1969, Executive Director, Society for the History of Navy Medicine and Alumni Association Board Member:
"The National Archives in Washington DC bears the motto "Past is Prologue"--our history is a guide to our future.
Albany Med has a long and interesting history that is, fortunately, preserved in the College Archives. Long hidden, tucked away in a back room somewhere, a virtual goldmine of material has recently seen the light of day, thanks to the Alumni Association, and to their newly hired Archivist Jessica Watson. Since coming aboard 1 1/2 years ago, Ms Watson has diligently worked to catalog a large volume of material--correspondence, photos, news articles, reports and the like--that date back virtually to AMC's founding in 1839. She has also undertaken to stabilize and preserve this invaluable collection--working to protect it from the ravages of time and environmental stress.
I have a special interest in the history of military medicine. Happily, Ms Watson knew of this and "tipped me off" about the existence of copious material relating to the Albany Hospital's World War I "Base Hospital Unit 33". College professors, nurses and staff served with distinction, caring for wounded and sick soldiers, during the American involvement in that War, and their story, as documented in personal letters and official reports, was made readily and easily available to my research, thanks to Jessica.
As often happens in historical research, work on one topic has led to several other searches, all efficiently supported by the Archivist.
All of this makes richer the College heritage, because it's preserved and available for all to see."