Lucy Skidmore Scribner Collection
- 1837 - 1957
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research by appointment. Please contact the library’s Special Collections department.
Phone: (518) 580-5506
9 Cubic Feet (13 archive boxes, 1 oversize box (documents, publications, photographs, objects) unboxed items (publications, journals, photographs, quilt volumes???))
Biographical / Historical
Lucy Skidmore Scribner was born in New York City on July 4, 1853 to Joseph Russell Skidmore (1821-1882), a coal merchant, and Lucy Ann Hawley Skidmore (1821-1853). Lucy's grandparents were Jeremiah and Judith Ludlam Skidmore and Irad and Sarah Holmes Hawley. In 1875, Lucy Skidmore married John Blair Scribner, son of the publisher Charles Scribner and senior member of the firm Charles Scribner's Sons, New York City. The couple resided at 21 East 48th Street in New York. In 1879, Lucy was left widowed when John Blair died unexpectedly of pneumonia.
Lucy Scribner never remarried, and for several years lived with her stepmother, Anna Holmes Krebs Skidmore (1834-1894), at 32 East 38th Street in New York. Around 1900, Ms. Scribner, who was in poor health, visited Saratoga Springs to enjoy the famous spa's air and water. By 1903, she had become a permanent resident of the city.
As stated in the Skidmore College 1999-2000 catalog, "In 1903 Mrs. Scribner, responding to what she saw as an absence of practical educational opportunity for women in Saratoga Springs, opened the Young Women's Industrial Club of Saratoga. With a few teachers and a handful of promising students, she initiated classes in the fine and practical arts, which were designed to give young women the means to make a living while learning to appreciate the more aesthetic experiences in life." The success of the Industrial Club led Ms. Scribner to expand her fledgling institution, and in 1911 the school was chartered as the Skidmore School of Arts. Under the continual guidance of Lucy Scribner and the experienced hand of its president, Charles Henry Keyes (1858-1925), the school eventually grew to become Skidmore College, chartered in 1922 as a four-year degree granting institution. Ms. Scribner maintained a close involvement with Skidmore College, serving as the chair of the Board of Trustees until her death in 1931. Most of the information in this biographical note was supplied by A Genalogical and Biographical Record of the Pioneer Thomas Skidmore... by Emily C. Hawley, 1931, and the 1999-2000 Skidmore College Catalog.
Part of the Scribner Library Archives, Skidmore College Repository