This post is one in a quarterly series in which the New-York Historical Society highlights the collections for which detailed finding aids were published over the prior three months. All collections receive at least a summary description in our catalog, Bobcat. But many collections have such depth or are simply so large or complex that a fuller roadmap to them is warranted. Follow this link to the full text search engine for all N-YHS finding aids.
TIME, INC. ARCHIVES
July marks the close of the 5-year project to process the enormous and invaluable archives of the publisher, Time, Inc. The company’s records were donated to New-York Historical in 2015 and, thanks to a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, a project team set to work on making thousands of feet of editorial, business, research, and other materials publicly available. Led with outstanding skill by archivist Holly Deakyne, who also processed large swaths of the collection herself, over the course of 5 years the team included archivists Samantha Brown, Melanie Rinehart, Nora Soto, and Allen Thomas. Together these archivists processed 4400 (!) feet of documents (enough to fill more than two sizable houses) and published 56 on-line finding aids with tens, and likely hundreds, of thousands of detailed entries describing the contents of those houses, er, documents. Access to the complete list of finding aids can be found through this link: Time, Inc. records .
Additional material from the Time, Inc. archives completed during the second quarter included:
An additional 11 series, or about 150 feet, of material was added to this record group, substantially expanding this previously-published finding aid. The record group documents the activities of the corporate-level offices and executives of Time Inc. Executives and offices represented include the president, chief executive officer, chairman of the board, and chairman of the executive committee; corporate secretary; the finance division including files from the treasurer and investor relations; executive vice presidents; vice presidents overseeing administration, international, communications, and newspaper acquisitions; and a director of international business. Staff represented include Roy E. Larsen, James A. Linen, Andrew Heiskell, Ralph P. Davidson, Reginald K. Brack, Jr., and Don Logan.
Records document corporate strategic planning for Time Inc., corporate filings, investments in terms of Time Inc. shareholders or in regards to employee retirement accounts, and major acquisitions, sales, or mergers including the merger between Time Inc. and Warner Communications creating Time Warner. Records also include executive committee minutes, five-year plans, notary seals, patents owned by Time Inc., early printing agreements, and corporate books or other organizational records from affiliates and subsidiaries of Time Inc.
When postal rates or other aspects of law governing postal delivery were changed, or may be changed, in ways Time Inc. found unfavorable, it advocated for its position with Congress and the public. This collection contains information used in those activities such as bills put before Congress on the topic of postal rates and law, correspondence between people within Time Inc. and with members of Congress, proceedings of the Postal Commission including witness testimony, reports on the costs of postal delivery, and examples of Time Inc.’s direct mail marketing.
The collection includes 6 oversize prescription books covering date ranges 1895-1900, 1902-1903, and 1914-1917, from the predecessor firm, Stock Pharmacy, until April, 1899 and then of Frank Avignone & Co.
The collection includes the extensive records of the Robert Ensko Inc. company, a New York City-based purveyor of antique and reproduction silver objects, dating primarily from around the time of its incorporation in 1929 to the close of the business in 1970 shortly after the death of its principal, Stephen G.C. Ensko. The records include business correspondence, photographs of silver objects, inventories, client/customer sales tickets and other transaction records, invoices to Ensko from silversmiths, engravers, and other suppliers, and other documents.
The collection includes the research files amassed by Lynne B. Sagalyn for her book “Power at Ground Zero: Politics, Money, and the Remaking of Lower Manhattan,” published by Oxford University Press in 2016. Heavily represented in the collection are documents concerning the major institutional players in the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site, such as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, Silverstein Properties Inc. and other entities associated with developer Larry Silverstein, various levels of government, and others. Also with significant representation in the documents are those concerning the families of those killed on 9/11, cultural groups, civic organizations, urban and regional planning advocacy organizations, and others.
The documents include a vast array of Board materials; contracts and other legal documents; arbitration and judicial decisions; presentations, testimony and other position statements; requests for proposals and responses to proposals; analyses, audits and other reviews and assessments; fact sheets, press releases, and other public relations and public engagement documents; economic assessments, project funding mechanisms, and other financial matters; news articles, architectural critiques, and other press and media coverage; and more. The collection also includes chronologies and other work product prepared by Sagalyn and her research assistants. The collection has both paper-based and digital components.
This collection consists of the research notes, manuscripts, typescripts, photostats, photographs, lectures, correspondence, and graphic materials of art historian William Sawitzky (1879-1947). Most of the material dates from 1930-1947, and documents Sawitzky’s extensive research on early American art and artists, including Ralph Earl, Matthew Pratt, and Gilbert Stuart. Among the documents are the notes, slides, and transcripts related to Sawitzky’s lectures on early American art given at the New-York Historical Society between 1940-1942. Later material in the collection is the work of his wife, Susan Clay Sawitzky (1897-1981).
Collected as part of New-York Historical’s History Responds initiative at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on New York City, the collection consists of diary entries, images, videos, and slideshow presentations submitted by 162 teenagers in March through June 2020. In these submissions, teenagers share their experiences, thoughts, and feelings regarding the coronavirus, which includes topics such as remote learning, quarantine, and other current events. The collection is in digital format only.
PHOTOGRAPHS AND GRAPHIC MATERIALS
The collection includes 11 16×20 inch, color photographic prints from Bob Gore’s series of images of Brooklyn’s West Indian American Parade (2017) and of the social justice protests in New York in response to the killing of George Floyd (2020).
The collection includes records compiled during much of Jack Gutzeit’s (1921-2003) lifelong avocation as an amateur radio operator, operating primarily under the call sign W2LZX. The bulk of the collection includes about 12,000 QSL cards sent to Gutzeit from operators around the world, along with many of his transmission logs and some other documents related to ham radio operator activities.
Pier A is a New York City landmark, found at the south end of Manhattan at Battery Park. It was built in 1884-1886, and housed the Harbor Patrol of the New York City’s Police Department and the administrative offices of the Department of Docks into the 1950s, when the Marine Administrative Unit of the Fire Department moved in. The collection primarily includes about 90 original drawings of Pier A’s 1880s construction and later additions and alterations into the early 20th century. It also includes an album of historic photographs, snapshots of the demolition and construction work started in 1997-98, microfilm with some additional historical documents, and research reports done for 1990s developer Wings Point Associates, the compilers of this documentation.
The collection includes 76 black and white, silver gelatin photographs taken by Ralph Weiss (1931-2015). 63 of the photos center on New York City’s urban landscape and street scenes. 13 are nature scenes, likely from the Catskills region.
DeWitt C. Wheeler Photographs and Other Material, 1831-1928 (bulk circa 1880?), (PR 417), 1 linear foot The collection primarily includes 81 photographs by DeWitt C. Wheeler, a New York photographer. The bulk of these date from circa 1880 and document the buildings on certain blocks along the Bowery, Elm, Elizabeth, Marion, Mott, and Mulberry streets in the area of lower Manhattan now known as Nolita and Little Italy, and along Centre Street south of Canal Street. The collection also holds two unrelated mid-19th century books and advertising ephemera from 1928.
This post is by Larry Weimer, Head of Archival Processing, with Time, Inc. record group descriptions by Project Archivist Holly Deakyne.