The Canajoharie Library and Art Gallery was founded in 1924 as both a public library and art museum by one of the town’s leading industrialists, Bartlett Arkell, the first president of Beech-Nut Packing Company. From 1924 to 1946, Mr. Arkell donated over 300 works of art to the collection and provided financial assistance with for library operations. With his passing in 1946, the library continued to grow and has expanded its special collections to include archival and local history holdings in addition to the works of art. The museum contains many works of art by Winslow Homer, the American Impressionists and most of the significant American artists working with watercolor .
The local history collection includes over 7,000 photographs and 10,000 archival documents relating to the history of Beech-Nut Packing, an additional 3,000 local photographs, maps and genealogical holdings. Among the Beech-Nut archives and other holdings are materials relating to Amelia Earhart, Susan B. Anthony, Jack Dempsey, Bartlett Arkell, Norman Rockwell, W. C. Arkell, a national figure in newspaper publishing, and Webster Wagner, who manufactured sleeping cars for the New York Central prior to Pullman. Our records cover the history of Beech-Nut Packing from its origin in 1891 to present day.