Adirondack Research Library

About the ARL

Many of the materials in the Adirondack Research Library are on permanent loan through the generosity of Protect the Adirondacks! Inc.

Hours of Operation

The Adirondack Research Library is open Monday-Thursday from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. We encourage you to make an appointment to view the collections.

Our Mission

The purpose of Union College’s Kelly Adirondack Center and Adirondack Research Library is to engage the campus community and the wider public with the interdisciplinary study of the Adirondacks and the complex relationships between nature and society.

History of the ARL

The Adirondack Research Center (ARC) was founded in 1979 as an unincorporated association affiliated with Union College for the purpose of fostering a better understanding of the New York State Forest Preserve, the Adirondack Mountains, and the administration of the Adirondack Park. Most notable in the collection is the history of the conservation movement in the Adirondacks. Central to its mission was the growth of a research library available to the general public containing Adirondack titles, as well as the archives of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks (AfPA). In 1985, the ARC moved its office, collections and formal affiliation from Union College to the Schenectady Museum. In 1988, the ARC merged with the AfPA, becoming the education arm of the organization. From 1989-2003, the collection again moved to rented space on Roland Place. In 1995, ARC became the Adirondack Research Library (ARL). This was after Paul Smith’s College founded the Adirondack Research Consortium, and began using the same acronym. Paul Schaefer died in the summer of 1996, leaving his lifetime accumulation of books, papers, and other records to the ARL. The AfPA purchased Schaefer’s home from his family and, in 2004, built an addition with space designed to house the ARL. In 2011, the Center for the Forest Preserve was sold to Union College and became the Kelly Adirondack Center (KAC).

Early ARL Researchers

Volunteers organize the archives of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks at the ARC in 1982, photo by V.E. Pilcher

Research Fellowships

The Kelly Adirondack Center funds two paid eight-week summer fellowships. The goal of the program is to support students doing scholarly work on the Adirondacks under the guidance of a faculty sponsor. Students are encouraged to explore topics supported by collections in the Adirondack Research Library. This range of inquiry is broad and ideally interdisciplinary. Potential subject areas include – but are not limited to – the history of environmental policy, management, or recreation in the region, Adirondack literature, or cartography.

Past subjects of study include land use and development, wilderness philosophy, Forest Ranger history, women Adirondack poets, access to healthcare in the Adirondacks, and Adirondack diversity.

For more information please contact

Contact the ARL

Do you have questions or seek more information about the collection?

Make a Research Appointment!

Visit the ARL

Learn more about our facilities and plan your visit.

Plan your visit