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Craig Colony Medical Library Collection : Home

Last Updated: Jan 8, 2024 3:48 PM

Craig Colony Medical Library Collection

This collection includes 190 historic books that formerly belonged to the Craig Colony for Epileptics Medical Library (1896–1988). Located in Sonyea, New York, approximately 70 miles southeast of Buffalo, New York, the Craig Colony (later known as the Craig Developmental Center) was the second public institution dedicated to the care and treatment of America’s epileptic population.

During the mid-1980s, the institution closed as a healthcare facility and planned to liquidate its medical library. UB’s librarians and physicians (faculty of the Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences) collaborated to rescue and preserve as much of the collection as possible.

The grounds of the former Craig Colony are now part of the Groveland Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison managed by the New York State Department of Corrections. The volumes provide significant historical insight into the institution’s intellectual life and the variety of texts collected and used by neurologists who studied epilepsy during the late nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.

Titles span 36 main subject areas, including anatomy, anesthesiology, cardiothoracic medicine, cellular biology, child care/pediatrics, conference proceedings/reports, dentistry, dermatology, dietetics/food, diagnostics, disease (general), experimental/alternative medicine, gastroenterology, general medical practice, geriatrics, hematology, hepatology, histology, human behavior, law and medicine, medical administration, medical memoir, meteorology, neurology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, pharmacy/pharmacology, physiology, psychiatry/mental health, sexual health and venereal disease, social criticism, surgery, therapeutics, urology, veterinary medicine, and women’s health and gynecology.

Craig Colony for Epileptics

Books Included in the Collection

Topics Covered by the Books of the Craig Colony Medical Library

More Information and Additional Resources on the Craig Colony for Epileptics

The Craig Colony 
Museum of DisAbility History* 
Collection information:

Groveland, N.Y., Shaker photograph collection, 1836-1991 (bulk 1836-1892)
United Society of Shakers, Shaker Library
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Collection information:

Mid-Atlantic Mental Institutions Photographs [n.d., possibly ca. 1915]
New York State Library 
Repository Website:
Collection information:

Craig Colony Patient Admission Histories 
New York State Archives
Repository Website:
Collection Information:

Craig Developmental Center Photographs 
New York State Archives
Repository Website:
Collection Information:


* Now Closed 

William Pryor Letchworth (1832-1910): Founder of Craig Colony for Epileptics

Dr. William P. Spratling (1863-1915): First Superintendent of the Craig Colony for Epileptics

Map of Craig Colony for Epileptics: Designed for Use by the Olmstead Brothers for Landscaping Purposes

Douglas Graham: A Practical Treatise on Massage

Title page of Dr. Graham's Practical Treatise on Massage, one of the books once held in the Craig Colony Medical Library. 

Curator, Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection