Report of Regents Cultural Education Committee to The Board of Regents
Your Committee on Cultural Education Committee had its scheduled meeting on December 12, 2016. Regent Roger Tilles, Chair of the Cultural Education Committee, submitted the following written report. In attendance were committee members: Regent Tilles, Chair, Regent Cottrell, Regent Chin and Regent Ouderkirk. Regents in addition to CE Committee Members, in attendance were: Chancellor Rosa, Vice Chancellor Brown, Regent Tallon, Regent Norwood, Regent Mead and Regent Hakanson as well as Executive Deputy Commissioner Berlin.
ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION
Chair’s Remarks: Regent Tilles welcomed everyone and indicated that due to the late start of the meeting, the presentations would be abbreviated.
New York’s Constitutions
State Archivist Tom Ruller reported on a recent exhibition featuring New York and Federal constitutional documents. Ruller explained that the State Archives holds and preserves New York’s four State constitutions, including the first state constitution, which was adopted on April 20, 1777 at the height of the Revolutionary War. In addition, the State Archives holds and preserves the copy of the United States Constitution that was adopted in 1788 at Poughkeepsie, New York along with the minutes of the convention where the document was debated and finally adopted. These iconic materials were placed on public display from November 8 to November 27, 2016. Ruller reviewed the exhibit and associated programs that helped educate the public and students about New York’s constitutional history and reported on tentative plans to mark April 20, 2017 to celebrate the State’s origination day.
State Library 200th Anniversary in 2018
Bernard Margolis, State Librarian, Elizabeth Duncan, Principal Librarian and Patricia Jordan shared with the committee a small sample of collection highlights that will be used as part of the celebration of the State Library’s 200th anniversary in 2018. Margolis reviewed several items, including a 17th century Dutch document from the Van Rensselaer Manor Papers, several World War I posters and letters from Frederick Douglass. Among the celebratory projects are reviews of the Library’s top 50 special/unique collections that will form the basis for on-line exhibits and a series of descriptive cards featuring collection highlights. In addition, they shared the Library’s copy of a leaf from a Gutenberg bible, which was donated to the library, with members of the committee.