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Courtney Autograph Collection

Courtney Collection

The Courtney Collection has items from famous people such as Maya Angelou, Eric Carle and others. Stop by the archives to see more!

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Contact information

Diane Riley

College Archivist


Rosemary Courtney              

The Rosemary Courtney Autograph Collection 1854-1991

Rosemary Courtney was an autograph collector and this collection was donated to Nazareth College and has become a special collection. The items include autographed index cards, photographs, illustrations and other materials. In addition to the items from famous individuals, the collection also includes her own documents, such as guides, manuals and directories, and indexes to the collection.

Courtney Special Collection

Nazareth College of Rochester

Creator: Courtney, Rosemary

Extent: 6 cartons, 5 small boxes (8.5 linear feet)

Abstract: The collection consists of correspondence, autographed index cards, photographs, illustrations, and other materials given to the collector, Rosemary Courtney. The collection also documents Courtney as an autograph collector and includes her own indexes to the collection as well as collecting manuals, guides, and directories.

Repository: Special Collections

Processing Information: Amanda Kuhnel, April 2009

Terms of Access and Use:
The Rosemary Courtney Autograph Collection is open for research.

Copyright of papers in the collection is held by their authors or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the College Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Preferred Citation:
[Item information and date], Box/Folder #, Rosemary Courtney Autograph Collection, Special Collections, Nazareth College of Rochester.

Acquisition Information:
Willed by Rosemary Courtney to the Lorette Wilmot Library in 1994.


Biographical Note:
Possibly born in 1939, Rosemary Courtney grew up in Utica, New York. In 1961 she graduated from Nazareth College with a Bachelor of Arts in History. She spent most of her life in the Memphis, Tennessee area where she worked as a librarian.


Scope and Content Note:

Courtney collected autographs from a wide range of people, including illustrators, cartoonists, authors, politicians, and celebrities. Dates in the collection suggest Courtney started collecting autographs in the mid-1950s, but the bulk of the collection was collected in the 1970s and 1980s.

Courtney primarily collected autographs through the mail. She would send both a letter requesting the autograph and an index card for the autograph. In most of her requests she asked for commentary on an issue related to the individual’s profession. To cartoonists, she would ask why and how they became cartoonists. To writers, she would often inquire about sex and violence in fiction. To poets, she would often ask for the meaning of their poetry. To actors, she would often ask what it means to be an actor. Responses were given both on the index cards and in correspondence.

The collection was mostly organized alphabetically in albums and notebooks to accommodate correspondence and other documents, but autographed index cards were alphabetized separately and kept in index card boxes.

Due to water damage and mold some materials were disposed of.

Signatures have not been authenticated by Nazareth College.

Arranged into three series:
I. Rosemary Courtney Papers
II. Autograph Collection
III. Stamp Collection

Container List

Series I. Rosemary Courtney Papers
Scope and Content: Contains personal correspondence and papers documenting Courtney as an autograph collector, including collecting guides, returned autograph requests, and indexes to her collection.
Arrangement: Arranged alphabetically.

1.1-1.4 Autograph collecting guides and directories, 1975-1986

1.5 Autograph indexes, 1954-1979; includes autograph indexes kept by Courtney.

1.6 Autographs, returned requests, 1982-1988

1.7 Calendars, 1976-1981

1.8 Certificate of Membership: the Manuscript Society, 1970

1.9-1.10 Correspondence, 1970-1989; includes autograph requests returned by family, editors, or assistants.

1.11 Correspondence: Personal, 1956-1988; includes card from mother and thank you notes.

6.21-6.24 Prints and posters, 1873-1981; undated

1.12 Miscellaneous, 1972-1980; includes theatre programs and event flyers.

Series II. Autograph Collection
Scope and Content: The main alphabetical listing includes correspondence, photographs, cartoons, and other autographed documents given to Courtney. The index card boxes include autographed index cards; most are signature only, but some include comments and drawings.
Arrangement: Alphabetical by last name. Unidentified signatures and items with multiple or stamp signatures follow the alphabetical listing.

1.13-1.25 A, 1956-1989

1.26-2.14 B, 1956-1991 [23 folders]

2.15-2.21 C, 1970-1988

2.22-2.26 D, 1970-1989

2.27 E, 1973-1989

2.28-2.31 F, 1971-1987

2.32-3.7 G, 1956-1988 [12 folders]

3.8-3.21 H, 1957-1986

3.22 I, 1974-1983

3.23-3.25 J,1970-1989
3.26-3.30 K, 1957-1989

3.31-4.4 L, 1956-1988 [8 folders]

4.5-4.17 M, 1954-1989

4.18-4.21 N, 1956-1989

4.22-4.24 O, 1957-1988

4.25-4.31 P, 1957-1988

4.32 Q, 1957-1973

4.33-5.8 R, 1957-1988 [11 folders]

5.9-5.23 S, 1955-1989

5.24-5.29 T, 1970-1988

5.30 U, 1986-1989

5.31-5.32 V, 1972-1989

5.33-6.7 W, 1955-1989 [10 folders]

6.8 X-Y, 1973-1984

6.9-6.10 Z, 1973-1984

Box 7-11 Index cards, 1970s-1980s [5 boxes]
 Scope and Content: Includes autographed index cards; most are signature only, but some include comments and drawings.
Arrangement: Arranged alphabetically by last name.

6.11-6.12       Multiple signatures, 1975-1982

6.13 Promotional images with stamped signatures, undated

6.14 Purchased, 1854-1874

6.15-6.16 Unidentified

Series III. Stamp Collections, 1956-1977

6.17-6.18 50 States Flags, 1976 [Envelopes have water damage causing some stamps to unglue; loose stamps are inside envelopes.]

6.19-6.20 First Day Covers, 1956-1977; includes inauguration day, first day of issue, and year of the woman covers.

Search Terms

See index.

Subject terms:
Autographs--Collectors and collecting
Stamp collections
Stamp collectors--United States

Separated Materials:
Approximately 230 books were removed from the collection; they have been cataloged and are housed in the Rare Book Room.


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