Mechanics Institute Saturday Evening Lectures programs
Scope and Contents
The first program from 1906 tells of a five lecture series given by Rev. Clarence A. Barbour, D.D., a pastor of the Lake Ave. Baptist Church in Rochester, NY. The lectures on Art and Travel, held in February and March, formed a course which would be sponsored by Mechanics Institute (MI) and held in the Assembly Hall. Rev. Barbour was a worldwide traveler himself, photographing and drawing the sights he covered in his lectures, such as Holland, Paris, Switzerland, Germany and Yellowstone Park. Reverend Barbour also lectured in 1907.
In 1910-1911, illustrated travel-talks were given by Julian Mortimer Cochrane. He was considered an accomplished writer, traveler and artist. His series of lectures focused on Japan and Manchuria, where he spent time during the Russo-Japanese war as a war correspondent.
By 1912, the series of five lectures were given by experienced travelers and lecturers from the Rochester area. Each of these lectures were illustrated with more than 150 stereopticon views.
In 1914, the series was called the Mid-winter Lecture Course and was now organized by MI professor of Science J. Ernest Woodland. For the first time the lecturers were from other parts of the country, and included a sixth lecture. Still , most of the lectures were based on travel, except for the final lecture given by MI Professor J. Ernest Woodland who spoke about "Twentieth Century Science."
By 1919, the full course increased to seven lectures and cost was raised to $1.25. Each lecture was illustrated with "splendid, original lantern slides." And in 1920, the cost increased once again to $1.50 for seven lectures. By then the subjects had expanded to include other areas of interest such as, "Color Photography," and "Peace and Reconstruction in Europe." For the first time since 1906, a woman is a featured lecturer; Madam Rene Brown who had visited the "cannibals of the South Sea Islands and lived to tell the story."
With the collection is a program booklet titled "The Frederick Monsen Lectures Illustrated." Dated 1908 this series of three lectures covered the Navajo, the Hopi, and Old Mexico. It states "Mr. Monsen was the first artist to realize the great scientific value of a photographic record of these people, and his collection today stands as the most complete ethnographic series of pictures in existence of the life and manners of the Indians of Southwestern United States."
- Creation: 1906-07, 1910-1920
- Mechanics Institute (Rochester, N.Y.) (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open to researchers.
Biographical / Historical
The Institute originated from the establishment of the Athenaeum in 1829, which merged with other organizations throughout the years eventually becoming the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI) in 1891. The name was changed again in 1944, becoming what is now the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).
RAMI provided many lecture series taught by various individuals, including both visiting lecturers and faculty. Lectures from the Domestic Science Department became popular after the esteemed Miss Mary Bliss became the director in 1897. Of those, it appears that the Physical Culture, Voice Culture, and Reading lecture classes taught by Mrs. Emily M. Bishop were particularly successful. Other subjects included lectures on travel and art, English and poetry, anthropology, biology, and chemistry and physics. Students often had the option of paying either for a single lecture or the entire course. RAMI also hosted various events such as concerts, plays, and pageants. Many of these events were held at the Lyceum Theatre that used to reside at 36 Clinton Avenue.
Currently, little is known about the origin of this lecture series. The first program from 1906 tells of a five lecture series given by Rev. Clarence A. Barbour, D.D., a pastor of the Lake Ave. Baptist Church in Rochester, NY. The lectures on Art and Travel, held in February and March, formed a course which would be sponsored by Mechanics Institute (MI) and held in the Assembly Hall. Based on the programs in the collection, the series continued at least until 1920 with minor changes that are noted in the Scope and Content statement.
0.5 Linear Feet (1 document box)
Collection of 28 program booklets of a lecture series called Saturday Evening Lectures held between 1906 and 1920. The series was sponsored by Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI) and most of the lectures covered travel and art.
Programs are in chronological order.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collections origin is unknown.
Finding aid created by Jody Sidlauskas in June 2015.
- Mechanic Institute Saturday Evening Lectures programs
- RIT Archives
- Jody Sidlauskas
- 30 June 2015
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note