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Guide to the Alumni Scrapbook and Alumni Association Minutes RG 40.1.1

Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY, 10012
(212) 998-2641
university-archives@nyu.edu


New York University Archives

Collection processed by Tai Vardi.

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on June 28, 2012 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

 
Title: Alumni Scrapbook and Alumni Association Minutes
Dates [inclusive]: 1839-1934
Abstract : This collection consists primarily of the earliest minutes, correspondence and records of the Alumni Association of New York University (then, the University of the City of New York). This collection is divided into two series. Series I consists of the The Alumni Association Scrapbook and dates from 1846 to 1856. This series was compiled by William R. Martin, secretary of the Association, in 1886. Series II consists of the Alumni Association Minutes and dates from 1834 to 1934. This series is arranged chronologically.
Quantity: 2.5 linear feet (six boxes)
Call Phrase: RG 40.1.1

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History of the University of the City of New York Association of Alumni

The New York University (then the University of the City of New York) Association of Alumni Scrapbook dates from 1846 to 1856 and was compiled by William R. Martin, Secretary of the Association, in 1886. The scrapbook consists of the earliest records of the Association, including the earliest copy of the constitution, draft resolutions, election ballots, as well as correspondence between various officers. New York University notables represented in the Scrapbook include: S.F.B. Morse, J.W. Draper, John Taylor Johnston, Theodore Frelinghuysen, Isaac Ferris, and Cornelius Mathews.

Cornelius Mathews was the first president of the Alumni Association. He graduated from New York University in 1834 and is an American writer best known for his role in the formation of the literary group Young America in the late 1830s, as well as for his support of a distinctly American style of literary expression.

Theodore Frelinghuysen served as a United States Senator from 1829 to 1835, representing New Jersey, and was nominated as the United States Secretary of State in 1881. He served as the Chancellor of New York University from 1839 to 1850. He is represented in the Scrapbook through both his letters to the Association as well as through his participation in the Smith Lectures.

Isaac Ferris was a clergyman in the Reformed Dutch Church of America as well as a University administrator. He was the Chancellor of New York University from 1853 until 1870. He is represented in the Scrapbook through both his letters to the Association as well as through his participation in commencement-related activities.

John William Draper was a scientist, historian and photographer. He served as both a professor and president of the New York University School of Medicine. He is represented in the Scrapbook through his letters to the Association as well as through his address to alumni.

Samuel Morse was an accomplished artist and founder of the National Academy of Design. He is also credited as the co-inventor of Morse code, as well as co-contributor to the invention of the single-wire telegraph. At New York University, Morse lectured widely on art and was appointed, in 1832, as Chair of Sculpture and Painting at the University. He is represented in the Scrapbook through his correspondence with various faculty members and alumni.

The Alumni Association Scrapbook also largely consists of material related to the Smith Lectures. Joseph E. Smith was a janitor at New York University for 35 years. Upon his retirement, the Alumni Association, in appreciation of his service, purchased a farm for Smith, to be paid for by subscription. Unfortunately, not enough money was raised through subscription, so the Executive Committee resolved to institute a series of public lectures, which were to be given gratis by distinguished University alumni. The proceeds from tbe ticket sales of these lectures were used to clear the remaining debt for the farm.

The Alumni Association Minutes date from the earliest meetings of the Association and its Executive Committee. They are divided into five boxes, which have been arranged chronologically.

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Scope and Contents

This collection of records of the Alumni Association of New York University consists of the early records of the Association and dates from 1839 to 1934. This collection is organized into two separate series.

Series I consists of the Alumni Scrapbook and dates from 1846 to 1886. The Alumni Scrapbook was compiled by William R. Martin, secretary of the Association, in 1886. It consists primarily of the early records of the Association, including its constitution, draft resolutions and correspondence between various officers. Historical figures represented in the scrapbook include: S.F.B. Morse, J.W. Draper, John Taylor Johnston, Theodore Frelinghuysen, Isaac Ferris, and various other notables. The Alumni Scrapbook also consists of the Smith Lectures, a series of public lectures arranged by the Association and given by distinguished Alumni in order to raise proceeds to purchase a farm for Joseph E. Smith, janitor at NYU for 35 years, in appreciation of his service to the University.

Due to both the great historical importance of the papers as well their deteriorating condition, each individual page has been removed and placed in its own acid-free folder. However, the order of the materials has not been disturbed, and each folder now bears the number of the page of the scrapbook whose contents it contains.

Series II of this collection consists of the Alumni Association Minutes and dates from 1846-1934. This series is organized into five seperate boxes, each arranged in chronological order and containing one bound copy of Association meeting minutes. Each bound copy is fragile and must be handled with care.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into two series. Series I consists of the Alumni Scrapbook, organized in one box with each individual page placed into its own folder. Series II consists of the Alumni Association Meeting Minutes and has been divided into five separate boxes and is ordered chronologically.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Draper, John William, 1811-1882
  • Ferris, Isaac, 1798-1873
  • Frelinghuysen, Theodore, 1787-1862
  • Morse, Samuel Finley Breese, 1791-1872

Document Type

  • Minutes.
  • Newspapers.

Subject Topics

  • New York University -- Alumni and alumnae -v Periodicals.
  • New York University -- History -- Addresses, essays, lectures.
  • New York University. NYU Press.

Function(s)

  • Commencement Ceremonies

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Open for use without restrictions. Some materials in Series II of the collection are fragile and may require supervision when handling.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form: Identification of item; date; Alumni Scrapbook and Alumni Association Minutes; 40.1.1; box number; folder number; New York University Archives

Related Materials at the New York University Archives

Researchers interested in this collection may also be interested in MC 76, the Isaac Ferris Papers; MC 11, the Draper Family Collection (1836-1982), as well MC 10, the Samuel F.B. Morse Papers (1838-1984).

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Container List

Series I: Alumni Scrapbook, 1839-1886

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Portrait of Dodge, R.
undated
Box: 1 Folder : 2 First alumni oration by Cornelius Mathews
15 July 1839
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Original minutes by Marcus L. Taft, July 1, 1846 and June 29, 1847, Robert Dodge; letters, August 17-19, 1847
July 1846-August 1847
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Original minutes
28 June 1848
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Draft minutes
1 July 1846
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Letters: Cornelius Mathews 3 July 1846 and W.B. Maclay July 9 1846
July 1846
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Letters: Robert Dodge, Thos Tomlinson
22 July 1846
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Letters: M.L. Taft, 19 Sept. 1846, Cyrus Mason, 25 Sept. 1846
September 1846
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Constitution drafts
undated
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Earliest copy of Constitution
1848
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Letter: Robert Dodge
17 March 1847
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Annual Meeting
1848
Box: 1 Folder : 13 Minutes, Executive Committee meeting
29 June 1848
Box: 1 Folder : 14 Letters: M.L. Taft, 19 April 1849, W.B. Maclay, 27 April, 1849
April 1849
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Letters: A. Cleveland Coxe, 28 April 1849, John Taylor Johnson, 1 May 1849; Report of Executive Committee, 14 May 1849
April 1849-May 1849
Box: 1 Folder : 16 Letters: John Taylor Johnston and A.C. Coxe, June 1849, George F. Davenport, 28 June 1849
28 June 1849
Box: 1 Folder : 17 Draft of circular by Moore
1849
Box: 1 Folder : 18 Minutes
27 June 1849
Box: 1 Folder : 19 Taft obit
23 May 1849
Box: 1 Folder : 20 Letter: Knapp
18 August 1851
Box: 1 Folder : 21 Letters of John Taylor Johnston
8 May 1851
Box: 1 Folder : 22 Letters: A.C. Coxe, 10 June 1850, Doremus, 6 June 1850
June 1850
Box: 1 Folder : 23 Letters: Aikman, 27 June 1850; Minutes, 26 June 1850
June 1850
Box: 1 Folder : 24 Draft resolution
26 June 1850
Box: 1 Folder : 25 Election Ballot
26 June 1850
Box: 1 Folder : 26 Letters: Townsend, 22 July 1852; Butler, 30 Sept. 1851; Address, Crosby, 1851
Sept 1851-July 1852
Box: 1 Folder : 27 Letters: Huntington, 21 February 1852; Russel, 22 May 1852; Huntington, 20 August 1886
February 1852-August 1886
Box: 1 Folder : 28 Letter: Johnston, 30 June 1852
30 June 1852
Box: 1 Folder : 29 Treasurer's a/c
30 June 1852
Box: 1 Folder : 30 Constitution; Report of Executive Committee
30 June 1852
Box: 1 Folder : 31 Draft resolutions
20 June 1852
Box: 1 Folder : 32 First Alumni dinner
30 June 1852
Box: 1 Folder : 33 Speeches: Senator McMurray, Elias Loomis
30 June 1852
Box: 1 Folder : 34 Alumni Dinner Speech, Crosby
30 June 1852
Box: 1 Folder : 35 Alumni Dinner Speech, A. Oakley Hall and Cornelius Mathews
30 June 1852
Box: 1 Folder : 36 Alumni Dinner, treasurer's a/c
30 June 1852
Box: 1 Folder : 37 Letters: Moore, Huntington, Crosby
July 1852-August 1852
Box: 1 Folder : 38 Letters: Caleb S. Henry
June 1852-October 1852
Box: 1 Folder : 39 Letters: Coxe andDraper
Sept. 1852-Nov. 1852
Box: 1 Folder : 40 Address, C.S. Henry
1853
Box: 1 Folder : 41 Letters: Ferris, Johnson, Draper
March 1853-June 1853
Box: 1 Folder : 42 Letters: Draper, Leeds, Morse
June 1853
Box: 1 Folder : 43 Letters: Frelinghuysen
21 June 1853
Box: 1 Folder : 44 21st Anniversary, programme and invitation
29 June 1853
Box: 1 Folder : 45 Draper Address
1853
Box: 1 Folder : 46 Executive Committee Election Ballot
29 June 1853
Box: 1 Folder : 47 Annual Meeting Draft Resolutions
29 June 1853
Box: 1 Folder : 48 Annual Meeting Subscriptions
29 June 1853
Box: 1 Folder : 49 Alumni Dinner
29 June 1853
Box: 1 Folder : 50 Dr. Draper's Address, newspaper clippings
29 June 1853
Box: 1 Folder : 51 Letters: Draper, Martin, Hist. Soc. Penn
Sept. 1853-March 1854
Box: 1 Folder : 52 Letters: President Wayland
Sept. 1853
Box: 1 Folder : 53 Chancellor Ferris Circular
October 1853
Box: 1 Folder : 54 Letter, Van Buren; Speech, Mathews
29 June 1853
Box: 1 Folder : 55 Election ballot; draft resolutions
27 June 1854
Box: 1 Folder : 56 Letter, Chancellor Ferris
28 June 1854
Box: 1 Folder : 57 Subscription Paper
27 June 1854
Box: 1 Folder : 58 Commencement Clippings
28 June 1854
Box: 1 Folder : 59 Minutes
27 June 1855
Box: 1 Folder : 60 Letter, J.M. Mathews
23 May 1855
Box: 1 Folder : 61 Smith Lectures
January 1855
Box: 1 Folder : 62 Smith Lectures, Executive Committee
27 Jan 1855
Box: 1 Folder : 63 Smith Lectures, Replies
January 1855-March 1855
Box: 1 Folder : 64 Smith Lectures; Letters: Frelinghuysen, Abbott
January 1855-March 1855
Box: 1 Folder : 65 Smith Lectures, Replies
February 1855
Box: 1 Folder : 66 Smith Lectures, Replies
February 1855
Box: 1 Folder : 67 Smith Lectures, Letters: Crosby, Abbott
13 Feb 1855
Box: 1 Folder : 68 Smith Lectures, Letters: Hall, Crosby, Fell
February 1855-March 1855
Box: 1 Folder : 69 Smith lectures, newspaper clippings
March 1855
Box: 1 Folder : 70 Smith lectures, newspaper clippings
April 1855
Box: 1 Folder : 71 Smith lectures, newspaper clippings
April 1855
Box: 1 Folder : 72 Smith Lectures, newspaper clippings
April 1855
Box: 1 Folder : 73 Smith Lectures, report account
April 1855
Box: 1 Folder : 74 Annual meeting, executive committee report
2 July 1856
Box: 1 Folder : 75 Annual Meeting, report on law school
3 July 1856
Box: 1 Folder : 76 Commencement, newspaper clippings
4 July 1856
Box: 1 Folder : 77 Herald report of Commencement
3 July 1856
Box: 1 Folder : 78 Thomas B. Stirling, address and biographical note
2 July 1856
Box: 1 Folder : 79 Association of the Alumni of CUNY, constitution
1886
Box: 1 Folder : 80 Mathews biographical sketch
1852
Box: 1 Folder : 81 Benjamin N. Martin address
27 June 1854

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Series II: Alumni Association Minutes, 1846-1934

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 1 Minutes of the Alumni Association Standing Committee, 1846-1856
1846-1856
Box: 2 Alumni Association Minutes
1834-1875
Box: 3 Alumni Association Minutes
1876-1886
Box: 4 Alumni Association Minutes
1923-1924
Box: 5 Alumni Association Minutes
1926-1934

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