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Howard Van Rensselaer Palmer papers

Identifier: SC-006

Scope and Contents

The materials in this collection primarily date from Howard Van Rensselaer Palmer's time at Hobart College (circa 1899-1902) and his fundraising activities in the 1920s and 1930s. Materials from Palmer's Hobart College days include dance and exhibition programs, a dance card, college and student publications, Hobart songs, Latin class notes, and varsity athletic certificates.

Later materials relate to Palmer's work on various fundraising campaigns for Hobart College including the Loyalty Fund (circa 1925) and the Hobart College Building and Endowment Fund Committee (circa 1929-1930). These materials include correspondence, reports, planning documents, brochures, and more.

There is also a file on the Hobart Club of Rochester and a file on the Sigma Phi fraternity.

Finally, the collection includes 8 black and white photographs, all unidentified and undated, but probably from around 1899-1903. The photographs show scenes on the Hobart College campus including a commencement ceremony and a student's dorm room.


  • 1899-1973


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical Note

Howard Van Rensselaer Palmer was born on December 23, 1879 in Union Hill, New York. He attended Hobart College for two years as a member of the class of 1903, but did not graduate. Palmer played football and was on the track and field team while at Hobart. He was also on the yearbook staff and was a member of Sigma Phi fraternity.

Palmer started the Hobart Club of Rochester and was twice president of the club. He was heavily involved in fundraising activities for Hobart College in the 1920s and 1930s. He was cited for meritorious service by the Hobart Alumni Council in 1957 as "always a loyal and devoted alumnus, founder and first president of the Hobart Club of Rochester, originator of the Hobart Club program, which has proved so vital to the college."

Palmer was employed in executive capacities by the New York Cental Railroad, Eastman Kodak, and General Motors. He also operated his own business, the Diamond Wax Paper Company. He was a long time member of the planning board of Webster, New York, and a member of the board of managers of the Rochester Historical Club. He was a president of the Print Club, winning many awards in galleries across the country for his dry point etchings.

Howard Van Rensselaer Palmer's son and granddaughter each attended Hobart and William Smith Colleges. His son Howard Van Rensselaer Palmer, Jr., graduated in 1933 and his granddaughter Catherine Palmer graduated in 1965. Howard Van R. Palmer Sr. passed away in 1975 at age 96.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



The materials in this collection primarily date from Howard Van Rensselaer Palmer's time at Hobart College (circa 1899-1902) and his fundraising activities in the 1920s and 1930s.


This collection is not arranged in series.


Box 1: Archives Storage / Range 22A / Section 1


There is no provenance information for this collection. The date of donation and name of the donor are unknown.

Separated Materials

A copy of the 1905 Echo of the Seneca yearbook has been removed from the Howard Van Rensselaer Palmer papers and added to the duplicate yearbook collection.

Howard Van Rensselaer Palmer papers: A Finding Aid
Katie Lamontagne, Archivist
August 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Archives and Special Collections Repository

Warren Hunting Smith Library
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva New York 14456 U.S.A. US (United States)