Herman Burlingame, pictured here about 1875, taught at Brockport from 1868 till his death in 1891. He was a popular teacher of mathematics, and also served as the librarian for the school.
A keen mathematician, he offered one of the early algebraic proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem, and developed a set of special blocks for teaching the calculation of cubic roots; a set of the blocks are on display in the Alumni House.
In his role as librarian for the Normal School he helped expand a small book collection into more of a real library, building one of the larger libraries among New York Normal Schools. This and the reading room he established were forerunners of today’s Drake Library.
His home was on Holley Street and for many years was known as the "Burlingame place." Today it is the home of the president of the college, for which purpose it was acquired in the 1960s.