Archives and Special Collections
Located in Douglas Library, the College Archives houses materials documenting the history of the college as well as earlier Bluff Point history, including the first and second Hotels Champlain and Bellarmine College.
The Archives collects materials of permanent historical value including official records, correspondence, papers and publications generated by the administration, academic departments, faculty, staff, special programs and student organizations.
The Archives is a primary collector of all official college publications, including yearbooks, catalogs, course schedules, student newspapers, alumni magazines, departmental and program newsletters, brochures, event programs and announcements, faculty/staff and student directories, lists and rosters, and ephemeral material printed by the college.
The archives is open by appointment only. For further information please contact the library at 518-562-4241.
For a sneak peak at some of the items held in the archives, visit the NYS Heritage website.
Reprinted from the July/August 2008 Second Story North, Tales from the Archives column:
Clinton Community College is not the only institution of higher learning to inhabit the halls of the second Hotel Champlain. Bellarmine College, the Buffalo Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) seminary, also called this building home from 1951 to 1967. The college comprised the philosophate formation from 1951-1955 and the novitiate and juniorate formations from 1955-1967. The Society of Jesus prepared initiates through six formations or stages: novitiate, two years with vows at the end of the second year; juniorate, two years of language and literature study; philosophate, three years of philosophy, mathematics and science; regency, three years of teaching in high schools; theology, four years of theology and priestly ministry with vows taken after the third year; and tertianship, a one-year return to novitiate prayer, penance and spiritual ministry. The first two formations were housed separately from the other formations, as was the case at Bellarmine. In 1962, Bellarmine College housed 55 novices and 44 juniors. The philosophate formation had relocated to Shrub Oak, New York in 1955.
Days for young seminarians were busy ones. Students rose at 5:30 a.m., proceeded to the chapel (where the current library stacks are located) for meditation, then Mass and thanksgiving before breakfast at 8:00 a.m. (the site of the current main reading room; the kitchen was located in the library’s Media Services area). Between breakfast and lunch they “had classes, work periods, spiritual readings, and consultations with the Master of Novices.” Afternoon activities included “recreation, working on the grounds, studying, classes and meditation.” Dinner was served promptly at 6:00 p.m. Bellarmine College alumni sometimes visit the college during the summer months. They often share humorous memories of their early years at the seminary such as tobogganing on the hill, snowball fights on the frozen lake, and hanging out at the old Hotel Champlain railroad station building across Route 9.
(Sources: Joseph M. Baker, The Reformed Jesuits: A History of Changes in Jesuit Formation, Ft. Collins, CO: Ignatius Press, 1962; Plattsburgh Press-Republican, Friday, April 13, 1962, p. 20; oral history 2006, Douglas Archives.)
Hotel Champlain II
This photo was taken some time after the second Hotel Champlain opened in 1911. (The first hotel burned down in 1910.) The hotel building is now the Moore Academic and Administrative Building. The history of the hotels, Bellarmine College (Jesuit seminary), and Clinton Community College have been published in the book, Hotel Champlain to Clinton Community College: A Chronicle of Bluff Point by Richard Frost (2011). You can borrow this book at the Douglas Library (Call Number. F127.C77 F76 2011).
Clinton Community College Today
The historic and beautiful Hotel Champlain first opened in 1890 and served as a very popular and affluent destination for tourists and dignitaries. Seated atop Bluff Point overlooking Lake Champlain just south of the city of Plattsburgh, the original structure attracted visitors from around the world before it burned to the ground. It was rebuilt and reopened again as a hotel and then as a Jesuit college before it was purchased to serve as Clinton Community College. (Photo courtesy of the Clinton County Historical Association).
Open since 1969, the Moore Building, as it is now known, is the main building on campus that houses academic as well as administrative departments. Still a popular destination for visitors, the college holds many artifacts reminding us of the events that took place here.