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The New York State Military Heritage Institute


The Institute is the official citizen based support organization of the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center. The New York State Military Heritage Institute is a nonpartisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) educational corporation, chartered by the Board of Regents, and dedicated to memorializing the military heritage of the Empire State and the preservation, expansion, and interpretation of the military history collection of the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs.

Our overall objective is to assist in the development of one of the highest quality military museums in the nation. The Heritage Institute has been designated as the official privately based partner with the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center by New York State Governor Pataki.

The Institute was formed in 1991 for the purpose of preservation, expansion, and interpretation of New York's military history collection. After several successful years operating a military museum in the Washington Avenue armory in Albany, it became a partner with the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs. At that time, the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center was established in the Saratoga Springs armory in Saratoga Springs, New York.

The Institute assists in museum exhibit-planning, as well as museum operations. Institute programs and support include:

* Fund Raising
* Docents (Educators/tour guides)
* Inhouse Museum store and online store
* Membership
* Website
* Educational programs
* Regional management throughout New York State
* Bi-monthly newsletter
* Lecture programs
* Media support
* Volunteer management
* Reenactments


Institute Officers, Staff and Committee Chairpersons:

John Edwards


Frederick Altman

1st Vice President

Jim Haggerty

2nd Vice President

Thomas Gallagher


Raymond Joyce


Norman Merski

Executive Director

Larry Arnold Assistant Executive Director

Betty Willetts

Administrative Manager

Marie Gould

Museum Store Manager

Joseph Holloway Assistant Museum Store Manager
Linda Otto Media Specialist, Assistant Newsletter Editor
Michael Stonebach Saratoga Springs Mayoral Liaison
Herb Holland Docent Chair
Ivan Steen Education Chair
Joseph Derrico Fundraising Chair
Robert Mulligan Newsletter Chair
Thomas Gallagher Membership Chair
William Glidden Regional Management Chair
Michael Russert Flag Preservation Chair
Robert Allyn Veteran Coordinator
Christopher Possinello Reenactment chair

(518) 583-0184

The New York State Military Heritage Institute
61 Lake Avenue
Saratoga Springs, NY  12866

map of Saratoga Springs showing highways





 Pictures of the Museum Building

Taken 4/2002. The exercise area will be the main display area and now has two climate controlled areas ready for displays. Basement is cleared and painted. Book shelves for the Veterans Research Center are being moved in.


 Saratoga Armory / NYS Museum building from west side
The Museum as seen on approach

 Inside building the main display area.  Cleared and ready for displays.
Exercise area ready for displays


 The Veterans Research Center librarians area
Veterans Research Center entrance area with book stacks seen through windows

 Conferance Room, usable but needing refurbishment
Conferance Room. Usable but in need of refurbishment. Several rooms like this need your organizations sponsorship.




Current Museum Exhibits

INTRODUCTION: Background information on the Museum, the Veterans Research Center, the Oral History Program, the Flag Conservation Project, and the Military Heritage Institute. Features of this exhibit are:

* A selection of donations that include a WWII 8th Air Force dress uniform and snapshots of WWII training activities.
* A Civil War battle flag that has undergone conservation and the history of the unit that carried it.

THE ORIGINS OF THE NEW YORK STATE MILITARY MUSEUM: Our remarkable collection is available due to the foresight of state officials and veterans during the latter part of the Civil War. This exhibit will show how the collection grew from a relic display in an office, to an exhibit room at the State Capitol, to its present home in the Saratoga Springs armory. Features of this exhibit are:

* Uniforms worn by New York State soldiers during the Civil War.
* A collection of weapons from the Civil War period.

REVOLUTIONARY WAR RELICS AND THE CREATION OF AN AMERICAN IDENTITY: A selection of 18th century objects that explore the reasons why Americans began collecting Revolutionary War artifacts and what those objects meant at a time when people were creating a distinct national identity. Features of this exhibit are:

* Muskets captured from the British and Hessians in the war.
* A British drum and Native American war club taken by New York troops at the siege of Fort Stanwix.
* A cannon captured during Benedict Arnold's expedition into Canada.

CASTLES IN OUR CITIES: ARMORIES AND THE COMMUNITIES THEY SERVED: Castle-like armories were built in many states beginning in the 1870's. They provided storage and drill space for National Guard units and served as fortresses in case of civil unrest. This exhibit explores how their functions changed, ultimately becoming civic centers in many communities. Features of this exhibit are:

* A re-creation of a company day room circa 1915, using furniture and decorative objects from New York State armories.
* A cannon taken by the militia from rioters in the New York City "Dead Rabbit" riot of 1857.

ON ALL FRONTS: NEW YORK NATIONAL GUARD UNITS IN WORLD WAR II: The U.S. Army relied heavily on the National Guard to provide much of the manpower needed to fight the war. New York's units were one of the largest state contingents to be used in federal service. These units went all over the world, serving from Alaska to North Africa and Europe. Features of this exhibit are:

* Mannequins fully dressed in original uniforms with a selection of infantry weapons, from rifles to anti-tank artillery.
* Gear that America's industrial base provided, from field desks to tool chests, range finders to mine detectors.
* Enlarged images taken by army photographers during the 27th Division's service in the Pacific

ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY FROM THE COLLECTIONS OF DMNA: Paintings, prints and photographs have been used in New York State armories and other DMNA buildings to inspire a sense of tradition and pride, but the public seldom had the opportunity to view this art. Featured pieces are:

* Civil War recruiting posters.
* Portrait paintings by some well-known early 20th century artists.
* Oversized photographic images of Grant's funeral procession through Saratoga Springs, NY over a century ago.

Copyright New York State Military Heritage Institute May 2002