Adelaide “Adie” Steinfeld is excited to be immersed in the Miner history for a couple days a week for the next two months. Adie is the inaugural Burke Scholarship recipient and will be spending one day a week working with Amy Bedard on projects related to the Miner Institute archives and one day per week at The Alice T. Miner Museum.
Adie grew up in Champlain. She graduated from Northeastern Clinton Central School in 2016 and graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in the History of Art and Design from Pratt Institute in 2020. Adie hopes to begin graduate school for art conservation in 2022. Adie said she was looking for an internship where she could work with archives this summer and she’s excited for the opportunity to get some archival experience while also receiving the Burke Scholarship. The scholarship provides the financial support for Adie’s stipend.
Dr. Joseph C. Burke served as the chair of Miner Institute’s Board of Trustees for nearly 30 years. Dr. Burke also tirelessly researched and wrote the biography of William Miner, William H. Miner: The Man and the Myth. Dr. Burke’s wife, Joan T. Burke, served as the chair of The Alice T. Miner Museum for nearly 20 years. Both Dr. and Mrs. Burke were passionate about preserving the legacy of William and Alice Miner and carrying on their tradition of philanthropy in the North Country. Dr. Burke passed away in 2018 and his family established a scholarship fund to help honor both Dr. Burke and Mrs. Burke’s commitment to the Miner legacy and their service and dedication to Miner Institute and The Alice T. Miner Museum.
“The history is so rich up here,” Adie said. Her first project at Miner Institute will be to organize and catalog the collection of approximately 200 Welte-Mignon and Welte Philharmonic Orchestration rolls. The mignon – which translates to “small and pleasing” – rolls were used in the Steinway Welte-Mignon reproducing piano that is now found in the library. The piano was made in 1907 and is considered rare. We hope to someday have it restored. The larger Welte Philharmonic Orchestration rolls are 15 3/16” wide and likely would have been used with the pipe organ that was located in the Harmony Hall auditorium.
The Harmony Hall orchestrion was a Welte Brisgovia. It was salvaged by a local radio announcer in 1962 and sold to someone in Georgia. It was leased to the Smithsonian in 1976 for a Centennial Exhibition. It’s current location is unknown. The orchestrion from Heart’s Delight Cottage is installed in a private home in Wisconsin. The orchestrions in Harmony Hall and in Heart’s Delight Cottage were encased with removable walls on the first floor. The pipes and chest would have been located there, with the lower part of the chassis on the ground floor.
Over at The Alice T. Miner Museum, Adie will be assisting Director Ellen Adams to rearrange and create finding aids for the museum’s archival collections. They will also locate all the material related to Frank Gunsaulus and come up with a plan for housing the collection. Adie will create a finding aid and a detailed description of all the items in the Gunsaulus collection.
We are so excited to have Adie helping with projects both here at Miner Institute and at The Alice. We are also thrilled to be putting the Burke Scholarship fund to good use and look forward to many more recipients in the years to come.