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Guide to the Shirley Hayes Papers
1948-2001 (Bulk 1952-1979)
  MS 292

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

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Jan Hilley and Tiffany Schureman (2011); updated by Joseph Ditta (2021)

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on August 23, 2021
Description is in English.

Scope and Content Note

The Shirley Hayes Papers (1948-2001) primarily documents the Greenwich Village activism of Shirley Zak Hayes who successfully led the 1950's battle for a car-free Washington Square Park, defeating Robert Moses' plan to carve a four-lane highway through it linking Fifth Avenue with West Broadway.

Hayes was also active in many other community issues. These include renovating Washington Square Park after it was closed to traffic, getting more playgrounds in the Greenwich Village area, opposing the NYU Bobst Library, and fighting large apartment buildings on Washington Square Park. Hayes was a dedicated record keeper, so the collection contains records of many of the organizations that she was involved with including the Washington Square Park Committee.

Her community involvement also included participating in political campaigns. Hayes was active in several campaigns of John Lindsay, who was a congressman and mayor of New York City. The political records she kept also pertain to other local politicians.

She also kept records pertaining to her time at WNYC and her involvement in the American Federation of Television and Radio Arts. Also included in this collection are some personal materials of Hayes.

The collection contains a wide variety of materials including correspondence, reports, press releases, statements and speeches, petitions, photographs, maps, flyers, posters, receipts and other financial documents, clippings, audio and videotape, political campaign materials, handwritten notes and drafts, publications, and personal ephemera.


The collection is arranged in fifteen series:

Series I.
 Washington Square Park Battle, 1952-1959
Series II.
 Washington Square Park Renovation Effort, 1958-1969
Series III.
 Greenwich Village Battles, 1960-1993
Series IV.
 Greenwich Village/Washington Square Park Histories, 1988
Series V.
 Community Planning Board #2, 1952-1993
Series VI.
 City Publications, 1952-1993
Series VII.
 Political Campaigns, 1952-1969
Series VIII.
 WNYC, American Federation of Television and Radio Arts (AFTRA) and Related Materials, 1960-1978
Series IX.
 Other Organizations, Events, Activities and Issues of Interest to Shirley Hayes, 1951-1976
Series X.
 Personal Items, 1948-2001
Series XI.
 Articles and Clippings, 1952-1980
Series XII.
 Visual Materials, 1952-1993
Series XIII.
 Recordings, Undated
Series XIV.
 Notes, Drafts, and Fragments, 1953-1967
Series XV.
 Duplicate and unsorted material, circa 1952-1961