Part of an Academic Service-Learning project for Greenley Library by
Jaimie A. Albanese, graduate student, St. John's University, 2018

Finding Aid

Container List

WWI Selected Artifacts

The Furrow, November 1917 – "Our Boys in Service"
The Furrow, May 1918 – "The Art of Patriotism" and "A Tribute"
The Furrow, November 1918 – "A Letter from the Front"
The Long Island Railroad Company Freight Bill, 1919 – Russian Rifles

Memorial Oak Selected Artifacts

Soil from all US States and Allied Powers, 1921
Oak Planting Ceremony, 1921 – Oak & Man
Catalogue, 1921-1922 – "Farmingdale's Memorial Oak"
Letter from Halsey B. Knapp, April 12, 1956
N.Y.S.I.A. Freshman Manual, 1933-1934


Farmingdale State College was founded in 1912 as the New York State School of Agriculture on Long Island and the college opened its doors to students in 1916. In the spring of 1917, shortly after the college's opening, the United States entered the Great War (WWI). The war had a profound effect on the campus community, including students, staff, course instruction, and campus life as a whole. The early 1900s was a time when patriotism was a crucial aspect of American life and multitudes of young men joined the war voluntarily. Many of the college's students joined the armed forces and were sent to serve overseas. They wrote letters to their friends back home and some of these letters were published in The Furrow, a student-run publication. The shift to war times can be seen in the contents of The Furrow, from editorials to ads for War Bonds to poetry about war times.

After WWI ended, there was a popular nationwide movement in which memorial trees were planted in ceremonies to honor those fallen during the war. In June 1921, the college campus held their own memorial service and planted a tree, a White Oak, with great pomp and circumstance. While the tree was planted post-war, the memorial is a perfect example of where the identity of the college, a school of agriculture, intersects with the effects of the war.

This collection features various media types (student publications, photographs, yearbooks, etc.) which show the profound effect that WWI had on the campus community. These artifacts begin in the months prior to the United States' entrance into the war, when war seemed imminent, and end with the Memorial Oak Planting Ceremony in 1921.


Cavaioli, Frank J. 2012. Farmingdale State College: A History. Albany: SUNY Press.

Gangloff, Deborah. 2003. "Memorials That Live On." American Forests, 109 (1): 5, March 18, 2018. 

"Heroes' Oak Planted in Battlefield Soil". 1921. "Heroes' Oak Planted in Battlefield Soil." New York Times, March 18, 2018. 

Robbins, Michelle. 2003. "Rooted in Memory." American Forests, 109 (1): 38-46, March 18, 2018. 

"The Memorial Oak." N.d. "The Memorial Oak." Farmingdale State College, July 13, 2018. 

Thomas D. Greenley Library

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