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Edith Pilcher papers

Identifier: ARL-075

Scope and Contents

The Edith Pilcher Papers consist of research materials, correspondence, notes, writings, photographs, and other materials compiled and created during the writing of four books on Adirondack history. The collection demonstrates the process of preparing a book manuscript in the pre-internet age. For each publication extensive research was undertaken by photocopying or requesting copies of primary sources, publications, and articles. Copious notes were taken to assemble chapter outlines and fill out details on specific topics, with further information filled in by extensive correspondence and revisions. Illustrations and photographs were also similarly laborious to produce, often through making copy negatives through visits to museums or via correspondence with organizations and individuals.


  • Creation: 1790 - 2007
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1980 - 2004


Biographical / Historical

Edith Pilcher (1928-2018) was a founding member of the Adirondack Research Center (later the Adirondack Research Library) and author of four books. Her and her husband Ennis, a professor at Union College, were long-time residents of Schenectady and spent much of their time in the Adirondacks and at their cabin on Big Moose Lake. Edith was Chairman of the Adirondack Research Center from 1979-1981 and later in charge of collection development. In addition to her library duties, she wrote freelance articles and books on Adirondack history and was involved in numerous historical and conservation organizations.


5.13 Cubic Feet

4 Boxes

Language of Materials



The Edith Pilcher papers measure 5.13 cubic feet and date from 1790-2007, with the bulk of the collection falling between 1980-2004. The papers reflect her work as a freelance writer outside duties as Collection Development Chair of the Adirondack Research Library. The collection consists of research materials, correspondence, notes, photographs, and drafts of each of her four books on Adirondack History.


The collection was arranged into series based on the original order of the records as maintained by Edith Pilcher. Original folder titles were retained when possible. Each series consists of materials prepared for each publication. Materials are arranged alphabetically.

Series I. Castorland, 1793-1995.

Series II. Up the Lake Road, 1858-1987.

Series III. The Constables, 1790-1996.

Series IV. Big Moose Lake, 1849-2007.

Custodial History

On April 22, 2011, Protect the Adirondacks! placed the collection on permanent loan with Union College.

Processing Information

Processed by Matthew Golebiewski and Margaret Amodeo, fall 2018.

Guide to the Edith Pilcher Papers
Matthew Golebiewski
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Repository Details

Part of the Adirondack Research Library Repository

897 St. David's Lane
Niskayuna NY 12309