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Guide to the Records of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Science ARC.011

Brooklyn Historical Society
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Brooklyn 11201
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Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Flora A. Rodriguez

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 13, 2018
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences
Creator: Brooklyn Children's Museum
Creator: Brooklyn Museum
Creator: Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Creator: Brooklyn Academy of Music
Title: Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences records
Dates [inclusive]: 1843-1979
Abstract: The Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences evolved from the Brooklyn Apprentices' Library Association formed in 1823, largely through the efforts of Augustus Graham. In 1825 the Marquis de Lafayette laid the cornerstone of a new building on Washington Street -- a memorable occasion for a young witness named Walt Whitman. The Library was renamed the Brooklyn Institute in 1843 and remained essentially the same until about 1888 when a greatly expanded program into many branches of science and art was initiated. Approximately 85% of the collection consists of publications, hard and softbound (including programs and exhibition catalogs), and the remainder correspondence and financial records. Very few of the materials pre-date the 1890 fire and consolidation; a few of the items surviving include an 1843 exhibition catalog and the 1857 Apprentice's Library catalog, as well as several music programs.
Quantity: 10 Cubic Feet in thirteen manuscript boxes
Language: Materials in English.
Call Phrase: ARC.011
Sponsor: This collection was processed and described as part of the project, "Uncovering the Secrets of Brooklyn's 19th Century Past: Creation to Consolidation," funded by the Council for Library and Information Resources, with additional support from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

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Historical note

The Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences evolved from the Brooklyn Apprentices' Library Association formed in 1823, largely through the efforts of Augustus Graham. In 1825 the Marquis de Lafayette laid the cornerstone of a new building on Washington Street -- a memorable occasion for a young witness named Walt Whitman. The Library was renamed the Brooklyn Institute in 1843 and remained essentially the same until about 1888 when a greatly expanded program into many branches of science and art was initiated. Among the new division and departments added between 1890 and 1911 were (with year of opening): The Brooklyn Museum (1897) The Brooklyn Children's Museum (1899) The Brooklyn Academy of Music (absorbed in 1907) Biological Laboratory at Cold Spring Harbor (1907) The Brooklyn Botanic Garden (1911) A destructive fire at the Washington Street building in 1890 marred the accomplishments of a merger with the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences (BIA&S) and reincorporation. An ambitious plan for a new building near Prospect Park was conceived in the 1890's. It was to house the Institute's library and a large museum complex. A new building to replace the original Brooklyn Academy of Music edifice which was destroyed by fire in 1903 was begun in 1907. The parent BIA&S transferred the Biological Laboratory to the Long Island Biological Association in the early 1920's now called Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory. In the face of financial restraints brought on by the Depression, the Institute began narrowing its focus. The Museum began concentrating on the collection of art objects, and beginning about that time, the different branches became more and more independent, such as the Academy of Music, which is now independently operated.  Sources Lopate, Carol. Education and Culture in Brooklyn: a History of Ten Institutions. [Brooklyn, N.Y.]: Brooklyn Educational and Cultural Alliance, 1979. 63 p.

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Scope and Contents note

Approximately 85% of the collection consists of publications, hard and softbound (including programs and exhibition catalogs), and the remainder correspondence and financial records. Very few of the materials pre-date the 1890 fire and consolidation; a few of the items surviving include an 1843 exhibition catalog and the 1857 Apprentice's Library catalog, as well as several music programs. The collection was arranged into series according to the four divisions of BIA&S as described in the 1915-1916 BIA&S Yearbook:

Missing Title

  1. BIA&S General Administration, 1857-1973
  2. Education, 1860-1979
  3. Museums, 1843-1976
  4. Botanic Garden, 1912-1921

Arrangement note

Preliminary arrangement and description of Accession Number 1985.073 was completed by Manning Field, with additional arrangement and description by D.S. Moore in October of 1985. The original finding aid noted that bound volumes of Yearbook (1890-1917); bound bulletins, guides, and reviews (1898-1933); and a series of Brooklyn Museum Quarterly v. 1-26 (1914-1958) were removed from this collection and placed in the Library. In December, 2005, one record carton of related administrative files and three record cartons of programs (Acc. No. 2005.054) were added to this collection and a folder list was created by Flora A. Rodriguez. In addition to a large quantity of programs and other publications, records documenting the Brooklyn Children's Museum's fundraising activities for its 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner and its 1949 Special Gifts Campaign; activities of the Women's Committee for the Academy Orchestra Series and the Women's Committee for the Boston Symphony Orchestra Concerts in Brooklyn; the Brooklyn Ballet Association Inc.; and an adolescent ballet club called the "Brooklyn Ballet Club" were added to the collection.

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Access Points

Subject Topics

  • Music education
  • Museums

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date (if known); Collection Title, Call or Accession number, Box and Folder number; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Related Archival Materials note

Additional Brooklyn Academy of Music programs are located in the Brooklyn Historical Society's Theatre Collection, ArMs 1977.041.

Processing Information

Processed by Flora A. Rodriguez in December 2005. The finding aid was revised and entered into Archivists' Toolkit by Matthew Gorham in June 2010. Additional content contributed by Emily Reynolds on January 13, 2011. Box-level description added to the finding aid by John Zarrillo, December 2015. Duplicates were removed from the collection and transferred to the Brooklyn Academy of Music Archives in June 2018 by Maggie Schreiner.

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Container List

Box
1
Box
2
Box
3
Box
5
Box
9
 

Series 1: BIA&S General Administration, 1857-1973

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Contained within boxes 1-3, 5, and 9.

Box
4
Box
5
Box
6
Box
7
Box
8
Box
10
 

Series 2: Education Division, 1860-1979

Scope and Contents

 Bulletin of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences  Brooklyn Academy of Music Monthly Guide and Review

Arrangement

Contained within boxes 4-8, and 10.

Box
11
Box
12
Box
13
 

Series 3: Museums, 1843-1976

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Contained within boxes 11-13.

Box
13
 

Series 4: Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1912-1921

Arrangement

Contained within box 13.

Scope and Contents

The series includes miscellaneous publications of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, spanning the dates 1912-1921.

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