This post is the third 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.
- Correspondence, generally of a familial nature, and photographs, of the interrelated Blatchford, Potter, and Delano families, which included such illustrious members as U.S. Minister to the Papal States Richard Milford Blatchford (1798–1875), his son, jurist Samuel Blatchford (1820–1893), Richard’s son-in-law, architect Edward Tuckerman Potter (1831–1904), and Potter’s son-in-law, architect William Adams Delano (1874–1960).
- This collection consists of a large variety of papers relating to Luther Bradish (1783-1863), a former President of the New-York Historical Society. Bradish led a notable life serving as an attorney, a representative in the New York State Assembly, Speaker of the Assembly, and Lieutenant Governor of New York. He was a supporter of many New York based organizations, educational institutions, and cultural institutions. Bradish also championed technological modernization. The documents found in this collection consist of personal correspondence, drafts of Bradish’s correspondences/speeches, political/legal documents, financial statements, invitations, sketches, maps, circulars, and newspaper clippings.
- Documentation of the historic preservation efforts to recognize the house at 339 West 29th Street, Manhattan’s only extant stop on the Underground Railroad, and home, during the Civil War Draft Riots of July 1863, to the abolitionist Gibbons family, who fled the attacking mob across the adjoining rooftops. In 2009 the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the house and its neighbors the Lamartine Place Historic District, after the mid-19th century development’s original name.
- The collection includes newspaper clippings, event programs, correspondence, photographs, and other material that document the range of Frooks’s life interests in veterans affairs, legal advocacy, politics, suffrage, Americanism, the legal and social relationship of men and women, and other matters. Much of this collection takes the form of scrapbooks compiled by Frooks.
- The collection includes flyers, pamphlets, news articles, posters, and other documents related to the feminist activist Laura Shaw Murra (also known as Laura X) and the three organizations she formed in 1969 and the 1970s: the Women’s History Library, Women’s History Research Center, and the National Clearinghouse on Marital and Date Rape (NCMDR).
- (Note: Access to the collection is restricted until August 1, 2025.) The Museum of Biblical Art records include curatorial, administration, and exhibition files dating from its time as the Gallery at the American Bible Society in 1997 to its closing in 2015. MOBIA was founded in order to highlight the influence that the Bible has had on art while keeping a secular distance. The majority of the records relate the museums numerous exhibitions over the years including the checklists, condition reports, clippings, and loan agreements as well as other information. There are also documents regarding the administration of the museum and its continual relationship with the American Bible Society. MOBIA closed in 2015 following financial difficulties and its inability to find a new location in New York City.
- This collection contains materials relating to the New York State National Guard, 9th Regiment. This military unit saw active service during the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II. The unit was given many other formal designations over time, including the 83rd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War, and the 244th Coastal Artillery. The contents of this collection were compiled over time by the Veterans of the Ninth Regiment and include Civil War company records, commissions and certificates, minute books of the Veterans Association, general and special orders, scrapbooks, photographs, photo albums, invitations, ephemera, newspaper clippings, programs, and correspondence.
- Correspondence, manuscript writings, reports, clippings, legal filings, and other papers of lawyer and constitutional rights activist Paul L. Ross (1902-1978). Among the subjects covered in this collection are New York City’s Temporary City Housing Rent Commission during the mayoralty of William O’Dwyer in the late 1940s; the fight to desegregate Stuyvesant Town around 1950; American Labor Party campaigns and positions, especially in 1949 and 1950; government persecution and repression of defense lawyers who advocate for political dissidents; opposition to preventive detention of political dissidents; and other matters concerning public policies and constitutional liberties from the 1940s-early 1970s.
- Correspondence, business and legal papers, invoices, accounts, and shipping records belonging to New York merchant William George Stewart during the mid-1800s. Much of the material relates to Stewart’s position as Vice-Consul of Mexico in New York. The correspondence also concerns several of Stewart’s business dealings such as the construction of the first telegraph line in Mexico and the printing of several materials for distribution throughout Latin America. There are also documents detailing his finances as well as shipping exports to Mexico. Also present are several letters written to and by Mexican Consul Juan de la Granja. A substantive portion of the collection–perhaps about two-thirds of it–is in Spanish.
- The Time-Life News Service Records contain records of Time Inc.’s news gathering and reporting service. While the department was formally part of Time magazine for most of its history, it gathered and reported on news for other magazines as well. Included in this record group are materials created by chiefs of correspondents, bureau heads, correspondents, stringers, and Time editors. It also contains records on the department’s finances and staff.
- The Time Publishing and Business Records contain materials from the offices and staff of the business and publishing side of the magazine’s operation. The majority of materials come from the office of the business manager; departments in charge of advertisements in the magazine; an educational materials subscription program; and public affairs.
- The materials in Time Canada Ltd. Records are all from the publishing and business side of the magazine, primarily from President Don Brown, and Managing Directors (publishers) Lawrence Laybourne, Steve LaRue, and Bradley Gundy. The president’s and managing directors’ files focus on various attempts by the Canadian government to protect Canadian publications from foreign competition through changes to taxes and legislation, and Time Inc. arguing its case against being taxed or otherwise penalized.
PHOTOGRAPHS AND GRAPHIC MATERIALS
- A collection of 73 photographs purportedly depicting notorious gunfighters, famous lawmen, and other notable figures of the American Old West of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, such as Jesse James, “Doc” Holliday, Wyatt Earp, “Wild Bill” Hickok, and “Buffalo Bill” Cody. The collection was assembled and identified by the late David G. Chapman, an artist, photographer, and reenactor of lawman Bat Masterson. Includes an inventory with image dimensions and a report of compiled biographies of the subjects, and an unrelated, Victorian-era lace paper Valentine’s Day card.
- Approximately 36 prints of Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee assembled by Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer.
- 673 stereograph cards of New York City (i.e., Manhattan) landmarks (1850s-circa 1900); one box of photographs and ephemera documenting the activities of the Kit Kat Club, an association of New York City-based artists (1888-1908, 1932); and a scrapbook of theater and recital programs, tickets, and photographs of Boston and some New York productions attended by one Mary E. Thayer (1904-1908, 1910).
- Black and white entertainment-themed publicity and on-set photography, portraiture, and photojournalism spanning the twentieth century; subjects depicted include New York-based theatrical productions, Hollywood stars, newscasters, politicians, and other pop culture figures. Also depicted are New York sports, political activism, and other events in the 1960s-90s. Initially processed in 2014, this collection and finding aid was substantially expanded with additional photographs donated since that time.
- This collection consists of 106 nitrate negatives taken by amateur photographer Harry Stein (1891-1964). These snapshots were taken in and around New York City between 1919 and 1922. They include portraits, scenic views and street scenes.
- Photographs, postcards, sacramental certificates, passports, naturalization papers, scrapbooks, and ephemera documenting the lives of members of the German-American Liebenow, Weber, and Wulf families, at least six of whom died during the burning of the paddle steamer General Slocum on June 15, 1904. The Slocum disaster, on New York’s East River, claimed an estimated 1,021 of the 1,342 passengers on board, many of whom were women and children who could not swim. Adella (Liebenow) Wotherspoon (1903–2004), donor of the collection, was the youngest survivor. She unveiled a memorial to the unknown dead in 1905, and lived to be the sole survivor of what was, until the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the single greatest loss of life in New York City history.
This post is by Larry Weimer, Head of Archival Processing, and Holly Deakyne, Time Inc. Project Archivist.