President Franklin Roosevelt Speaking at Brooklyn College Cornerstone Laying, 1936

Thanks to Maura A. Smale a librarian at NYC College of Technology  for introducing me to the CUNY Libraries using DSpace hosted by the National Institute for
Technology in Liberal Education
. Over a dozen CUNYs are hosting archival collections in the space which is filled with an unbelievable rich resource of the history of CUNY.

This post is the first of four that will feature a glimpse into the history of the construction of Brooklyn College, which I hadn’t known was partially funded by WPA money. Consequently, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in attendance at the cornerstone laying ceremony for the Brooklyn College Gymnasium, later renamed “Roosevelt Hall.”

In 1998, Brooklyn College workmen unearthed a previously unknown time capsule that was buried in the cornerstone on the day of this ceremony. The college created a wonderful exhibit about the cornerstone capsule, which includes an inventory of the contents.

About Michael Branson Smith

Michael Smith is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Communications Technology program at York College. Prof. Smith hosts a personal digital archive project blog on Commons titled It Cannot Be Trivial.


  1. Pingback: Valentine’s Round-Up : Footenotes

  2. Thanks Vicente. It’s been such an enjoyable experience to search through archives, learn so much about CUNY, and find the gems that are worth sharing!

  3. Michael,

    This is a wonderful historical record and there must be so much hidden in those CUNY archives.
    The CUNY Commons allows us to be closer to those images that otherwise would be distant. You have a wonderful project going on. Thank you.

    BMCC Library

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