A “special collection” at Othmer Library consists of many individual items of print material that have some unifying characteristic. Typically, this characteristic will relate to the provenance of the collection. In many cases, provenance refers to the person that compiled the collection and/or donated it to Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS). Many times the provenance lies within BHS itself, as several special collections consist of materials compiled by Othmer Library concerning particular themes. For most special collections, BHS will catalog the content (which are usually books or other printed pieces) at the item level, using a call number with a prefix particular to each collection in order to identify the overall relationship. By searching on this prefix, a researcher can identify all the items that make up a particular special collection.
Following are links to descriptions of the Special Collections currently cataloged:
Call Number: ARC.079
Extent: 0.7 Linear feet, in three folders and four volumes.
The Emma Toedteberg collection spans 1839 to 1948 and includes material from Emma, her sister Louise Toedteberg, and her father Augustus Toedteberg. The collection provides documentation of both Emma Toedteberg’s career with the Long Island Historical Society and Toedteberg family history. Materials in the collection include clippings, vital records, correspondence, printed ephemera, photographs, and scrapbooks. The collection is divided into four series: History of the Long Island Historical Society manuscript, Toedteberg family papers, European travel scrapbooks, and Photographs.
- Toedteberg family
- Toedteberg, Augustus, 1823 or 4-1909
- Toedteberg, Emma
- Toedteberg, Louise
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) — History
- Book collecting
- Librarians — New York (State) — New York
- Transatlantic voyages
Types of material:
- Cabinet photographs
- Clippings (information artifacts)
- Paintings (visual works)
- Picture postcards
View Finding Aid
Emma Toedteberg bookplate, illustrated by Edwin Davis French
What is Emma?
Emma is an interactive catalog of the archives and special collections held in the Othmer Library at Brooklyn Historical Society. It includes basic records that describe individual archival and special collections, and links out to fuller, more complete descriptions such as finding aids and inventories when they are available. It is built using WordPress blogging software, hence we call it a catablog.
What materials are not included in Emma?
Emma does not include individual books; these are fully searchable through our library catalog. It also does not include individual images, but rather gives descriptions of larger collections of images. You can view some individual image from our collection in our online image gallery, or visit the library to search a more complete selection of individual images from our collection in our image database.
Why is it called Emma?
The catablog is named after Emma Toedteberg, who was our librarian for more than 50 years. She began as an assistant librarian in 1869, just a few years after the society was founded, and was promoted to Librarian in 1889, serving until shortly before her death in 1936. Rather than come up with an acronym or some other naming idea, we decided to honor her years of service and dedication to our library in this small way by naming the catablog after her.