Print / View Finding Aid as Single Page

New York University Archives logo

Guide to the Albert W. Ferris Papers MC 183

Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY, 10012
(212) 998-2641

New York University Archives

Collection processed by Celeste Brewer.

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on December 16, 2013 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Biography of Albert W. Ferris

Albert Warren Ferris was born in Brooklyn, New York, on December 3, 1856. At the time of his birth, Ferris’ grandfather, Isaac Ferris, had been Chancellor of the University of the City of New York (now New York University) for three years. The younger Ferris continued his family’s connection with the university, enrolling in September of 1874. He was a highly accomplished student. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior, Ferris also served as senior class president, editor of the University Quarterly, and senior regent in the Intercollegiate Literary Association. He graduated as Greek salutatorian of the class of 1878. Ferris was also a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity as an undergraduate, and the materials in this collection presumably date from that time. Ferris continued his education at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, earning his M.D. in 1882. He then returned to his undergraduate alma mater to complete a further Master of Arts degree in 1885. Throughout his career, Ferris continued to find time for involvement with NYU. He was elected president of the Alumni Association on June 3, 1905. Ferris became a prominent physician with a particular interest in the developing field of psychiatry. He served as president of the New York State Lunacy Commission from 1907 to 1911, and was appointed Prosecution Alienist in the Harry Thaw Trials for the murder of architect Stanford White. He was also involved in the transformation of Saratoga Springs into a European-style spa during his tenure as director of the Saratoga Springs State Reservation Commission from 1913-1917. Ferris married Julia Anne Gavotte on September 29, 1897. He died in East Orange, New Jersey, on October 4, 1937.


1. Ferris family file; Biographical files; New York University Archives, New York University Libraries. 2. "Dr. A.W. Ferris, 80, Insanity Expert." New York Times 5 Oct. 1937: 25. ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Web. 14 Oct. 2013. 3. Ferris, Albert W., M.D. "The State of New York Develops an American Spa." The Modern Hospital Dec. 1915: 397-99. Scholars Portal. Ontario Council of University Libraries. Web. 5 Oct. 2013. 4."$1,000 for Scholarship." New York Times 4 June 1905: n. pag. The New York Times. Web. 5 Oct. 2013.