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Ezra R. Andrews papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0021

Scope and Contents

The Ezra R. Andrews papers consist of an assortment of documents related to Andrews's involvement with the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI), now known as the Rochester Institute of Technology. The collection includes administrative documents such as annual reports and correspondence, as well as financial documents related to the university. In addition to operational documents such as balance sheets for various departments, invoices, and budget materials, these financial documents include plans to establish a permanent fund for the Institute. To this end, the collection contains appeals to citizens, as well as correspondence from individuals such as George Eastman and W. S. Kimball.

The collection also includes various pieces of ephemera from RAMI, such as lecture tickets, fliers and handbills, brochures, and pamphlets, along with newspaper clippings.

In addition to the material directly related to RAMI, the collection includes several documents from the Pratt Institute such as course circulars and endowment statistics. There are also materials related to Andrews's involvement in several charitable organizations in the area (e.g. Rochester Orphan Asylum). These documents consist mostly of correspondence and financial records.


  • Creation: 1883-1919


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Ezra Randall Andrews (1828-1900) was born on March 16, 1828 in Gates (now Rochester), NY to Randall and Avis (née Mason) Andrews. After working as a press feeder, Andrews became an apprentice at the Rochester Democrat in April 1846. By 1852 he had left the newspaper to join the firm Smith & Benton, and then bought-out Smith's portion to form Benton & Andrews in 1857. He remained at the firm until 1870, when he opened his own printing establishment.

Andrews was an active member of the Rochester community. He served as alderman for the Third Ward for four years and was president of the Common Council. He was elected to the Board of Trustees for numerous organizations including the First Baptist Church, the New York Baptist Union for Ministerial Education, the Western House of Refuge, the Rochester Orphan Asylum, the Mechanics Savings Bank, and the Western New York Institution for Deaf Mutes. In addition, Andrews helped organize the Campbell's Creek Coal Company and the United Typothetae of America, a professional organization for printers.

In 1885, the Mechanics Institute of Rochester was established to educate individuals entering the technical and industrial fields. From its inception, Andrews served as one of the trustees of the Institute. In 1890, he sat on a committee to arrange the merger of the Mechanics Institute with the Rochester Athenaeum, another educational institution in the Rochester area. When the consolidation was finalized in 1891, Andrews became the first president of the Board of Directors for the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI), today known as the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). He held this position until June 5, 1899.

Andrews married Betsy Lucelia Rider (1830-1902) of Vermont in 1860 with whom he had two daughters: Clara Louise and Kate Rider. His wife was also involved in RAMI, serving as the first president of the Domestic Science Department.

Andrews died on August 13, 1900.


2.6 Linear Feet (2 lid boxes)




Papers of Ezra Andrews, president of the Board of Directors for the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute from 1891-1899. The collection includes administrative and financial documents related to the Institute, as well as correspondence, ephemera, and clippings. The collection also contains materials related to Andrews work with several charities, specifically the Rochester Orphan Asylum.


This collection is currently unprocessed. Materials are contained in two boxes.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Most of the collection was a gift from Andrews's grandson, Ezra A. Hale, donated in 1950.

A copy of a variant edition of The Marie Antoinette (playbill) was given to the RIT Archive Collections by Andrea Reithmayr on 19 September 2008.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in November 2011.

Ezra R. Andrews papers
RIT Archives
Lara Nicosia
22 November 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • December 2020: multilevel description added from inventory by Gigi Ye

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA