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© 2011 New-York Historical Society logo

Guide to the Records of Brown Brothers Harriman
1696 -1973, 1995 (bulk 1820-1968)
 MS 78

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400

© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Celia Hartmann. Machine readable finding aid created by Celia Hartmann.

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on December 14, 2017
Description is in English.
using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Administrative Information


The collection was donated to the New-York Historical Society in 1970; some materials were added up to 1975.

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers.

Portions of the collection that have been microfilmed will be brought to the researcher in that format and can be made available by Interlibrary loan. Researchers on site may print out unlimited copies from microfilm reader-printer machines at per-exposure rates. See guidelines in Reading Room for details.

Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to twenty exposures of stable, unbound material per day. (Researchers may not accrue unused copy amounts from previous days.)

Items that include presidential signatures will be presented to researchers in duplicate form.

Use Restrictions

Permission to quote from this collection in a publication must be requested and granted in writing. Send permission requests, citing the name of the collection from which you wish to quote, to

Manuscripts Curator
The New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024

The copyright law of the United States governs the making of photocopies and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials. Unpublished materials created before January 1, 1978 cannot be quoted in publication without permission of the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as the Brown Brothers Harriman Records, MS 78, The New-York Historical Society.

Related Materials in Other Collections

The Library of Congress holds records of Alex Brown & Sons from 1796 to 1884, and the papers of W. Averell Harriman.

The New York Public Library's Manuscripts and Archives Division holds 176 volumes of ledgers and other account books from Brown Brothers & Co. in the period 1825-1889. It also holds correspondence of John Crosby Brown, Mary E. Brown, and William Adams Brown in the Brown Gilman Family Papers (1862-1937).

Union Theological Seminary holds the William Adams Brown papers (1865-1938) and the John Crosby Brown papers (1876-1909).

Correspondence related to the appointment of partner Charles J. Rhoads as Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1929 was donated in March, 1965, as a gift of Brown Brothers Harriman from Mrs. Thatcher M. (Sarah B.) Brown III to the American Philosophical Society, where it is processed as the Charles James Rhoads Papers, 1883-1929.

The Walker Evans Archive at the Metropolitan Museum of Art includes negatives, annotated contact sheets, correspondence, and project ephemera relating to photographs commissioned for  Partners in Banking.

At Boston University, the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center's nursing collections include records of Mary Magoun Brown (see Subseries V.C.i.).

The Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library of Columbia University holds a scrapbook of William Adams Delano.

Yale University Library's Division of Manuscripts and Archives holds the personal papers of Robert A. Lovett. Official papers from his government service are housed at the National Archives.

Related Materials at New-York Historical Society

Materials in the Records were used as research for volumes including John Crosby Brown's 100 Years of Merchant Banking, Thatcher Magoun Brown's  Brown Brothers & Co. [and] Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., 1900-1950, Mary Elizabeth Brown's  St. Cloud Church, and John A. Kouwenhoven's  Partners in Banking, all of which are in the Society's library collection.

Some letters from John Crosby Brown related to the sermons and papers of his maternal grandfather, Rev. Jonas Coe, are included in the Coe-Brown Family Papers.

The Print Room holds some architectural records of buildings designed by Brown family cousin William Adams Delano and an album of photographs (Album 109) from the 150th anniversary celebrations in Seattle and Sun Valley Idaho in 1968 and given to Juan Trippe.


Brown, John Crosby: A hundred years of merchant banking. New York, 1909.

Brown, Mary Elizabeth: Alexander Brown and his descendants, 1764-1916. Privately printed, 1917.

Brown, Thatcher M. Brown Brothers & Co. [and] Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., 1900-1950

Kouwenhoven, John A. Partners in banking. New York: Doubleday, 1958.

Descendants of William Brown: [accessed December 11, 2009]

James Crosby Brown's Clifton Wynyates. In The First 300: The Amazing and Rich History of Lower Merion (Part 29). [accessed January 2010]

Processing Note

Processing of the Brown Brothers Harriman Records was made possible by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) in 2009.