This Tuberculosis Thursday, we have an exciting new group of digitized materials on our online catalog! The Tarsilla and William J. Schuster Collection documents the couple's experiences as patients at the New York State Hospital at Ray Brook (AKA Ray Brook Sanatorium).
William first arrived as a patient at Ray Brook in 1908 while he and Tarsilla were engaged to be married. He returned home to Schenectady after a year, and they married. They had welcomed two children by the time he was readmitted as a patient in 1913, and he did not return home until 1916. Tarsilla was admitted as a patient for a short period in 1914 as well. William documented life at Ray Brook with his Brownie camera, and often sold his photographs as postcards to make some pocket money.
These photographs, postcards, and letters document their relationship, their experiences, and the connections they made with fellow patients during these years. We are grateful to the Cromie family for loaning us this rich collection to scan and make available to the public.
Browse the collection on our PastPerfect Online database.
[Tarsilla and William Schuster in Ray Brook, c. 1914. Historic Saranac Lake Collection, 2021.1.93. Courtesy of John Cromie.]
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