Wiltsie and Field families collection
Scope and Contents
The Wiltsie and Field families collection contains a variety of documents related to the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI) and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) from 1852-1967. The correspondence in the collection is between the Wiltsie and Field families and the university and dates from 1895-1967.
The collection also includes written copies of various lectures and speeches, such as Diffusion Against Centralization (1852), The Burton Holmes Lectures (1898-1899), and an address given by Charles H. Wiltsie to the Henry Lomb Society on May 9, 1934.
In addition, the collection contains university publications such as brochures, programs, handbooks, circulars, and bulletins. For instance, there is a copy of an official guide to the opening of the Eastman building (1901) and convocation programs for several years. There are also copies of different annual reports from the university and tickets and invitations to various events such as convocations and exhibitions. Additionally, the collection contains newspaper clippings related to the university and college events.
The collection also includes information related to the Wiltsie Watercolor Prize, an award given annually from 1892-1943. This portion of the collection contains correspondence about the award, a list of winners, and a blank certificate.
- Creation: 1852, 1892-1967
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open to researchers.
Biographical / Historical
Charles Hastings Wiltsie (1859-1935) was born in Pittsford, NY on January 13, 1859 to James and Emily (née Hastings) Wiltsie. After attending the Brockport State Normal School, Wiltsie entered the University of Rochester where he earned his A.B. in 1880. From 1880-1881, Wiltsie studied at the University of Göttingen and the University of Berlin. He returned to the University of Rochester and received his A.M in 1883. He was then admitted to the New York State Bar Association and began practicing law in the Rochester-area. On October 5, 1893, Wiltsie married Harriet Potter Hart (1860-1933), with whom he had one daughter, Mary Emily Wiltsie (b. 1897). Throughout his lifetime, Wiltsie was an active member of the Rochester community, serving as president of the Rochester Historical Society and on the finance committee of the Rochester Public Library, and belonging to multiple organizations in the area.
The Wiltsie family played an active role in the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI). Charles Wiltsie became interested in the Institute after traveling for six weeks in Europe with the Pratt family (of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY). Wiltsie served as a trustee for RAMI from 1892 until 1913 or 1914. During his tenure, he was chairman of the finance committee and chairman of an entertainment committee. His wife, Harriet, served on RAMI's Women's Board of Domestic Science. When Wiltsie returned from Europe in 1891, he accepted a position as president of the Rochester Lithographing Company. This interest in the visual arts led him to establish the Wiltsie Watercolor Prize, an award given annually from 1892-1943.
The Wiltsie's daughter, Mary Emily Wiltsie, married Harold Lovasso Field (1888-1966) on October 5, 1920. Like his father-in-law, Field graduated from the University of Rochester in 1910. The Field family also was involved in the RAMI community, continuing through the 1960s when it was now known as the Rochester Institute of Technology. In addition to contributing financially to the university, the Fields attended various events at the university and Emily served on the Women's Council.
1 Linear Feet (2 document boxes)
Collection of materials related to the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute and the Rochester Institute of Technology from 1852-1967. Materials belonged to the Wiltsie and Field families and include correspondence, annual reports, lectures, brochures, programs, clippings, event invitations, and development documents. The collection also includes information on the Wiltsie Watercolor Prize (1892-1943). Charles H. Wiltsie served as a trustee of the Institute from 1892-1914. His daughter Mary Emily Wiltsie Field and her husband were also active in the university.
The collection is loosely arranged in chronological order, with earlier documents being toward the front. Materials related to the Wiltsie Watercolor Prize are filed separately at the front of the collection.
Other Finding Aids
In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.
Wiltsie And Field Families Collection
Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in November 2010.
- Wiltsie and Field families collection
- RIT Archives
- Lara Nicosia
- 11 November 2010
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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- Language of description note