Oneida Community Mansion House collections include a range of primary source materials related to the Oneida Community: family portraits, historical photographs in the thousands, period furniture, braided tapestries, books, Community-designed clothing, and ephemera - more than 30,000 objects in all – which illustrate the intellectual, cultural, and business life of the Community.
The Mansion House building, a National Historic Landmark, is a valuable resource for studying the architecture of communal living. The existing Mansion House was designed and built in stages between 1861 and 1878. The 1862 house, designed by Community member Erastus Hamilton, included sleeping rooms, a library, sitting rooms, and the central gathering space, the Family Hall. The Tontine (1863-1864) served as the communal dining hall, kitchen, laundry, and workspace. In 1869, the Community added the South Wing, with attics that modeled Second Empire, Mansard style, to the main house to accommodate the communal raising of children. The New House, designed by Lewis W. Leeds, was finished in 1878 to accommodate the Wallingford, Connecticut branch of the Community, which had merged with the Oneida branch. The Lounge, designed by architect Theodore Skinner, was added by Oneida Community Ltd. in 1914.
Researchers interested in the Mansion House’s collection should complete a Research Request at least four weeks in advance of their proposed visit, and communicate that request to the Curator of Collections. For additional information please contact: (315) 363-0745.
Bibliography on the Oneida Community (list Compiled by the OCMH Curator of Collections).
The Syracuse University Library has an extensive collection of Oneida Community archival material which may be accessed here and by appointment with Syracuse University’s Special Collections library.
Hamilton College Library’s Digital Collections includes information about the Oneida Community’s library and can be accessed online here.
The Oneida Community Journal (new series) contains news about the Oneida Community Mansion House organization, published twice each year in March and September.
Our collections and curatorial activities are made possible in part by generous support from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Preservation League of New York State, CNY Arts, Greater Hudson Heritage Network, individual donors and our members. Thank you!