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Guide to the Nicholas Scoppetta Papers
 MS 3017

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

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Joseph Ditta

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on April 28, 2022
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Contents

Nicholas Scoppetta kept these files from each of his significant career roles over the last forty-odd years of his working life: Commissioner of Investigation for the City of New York (1972–1977), Deputy Mayor for Criminal Justice (1976–1978), Professor at New York University School of Law (1978–1982), Commissioner of the Administration for Children's Services (1996-2001), and 31st Commissioner of the Fire Department of the City of New York (2002–2009). Also present is material from his long association with the Children's Aid Society, and from New Yorkers for Children, the non-profit arm of the Administration for Children's Services he founded in 1996.

Note that these appear to be Scoppetta's personal files, not his official working documents (which are likely still housed with their respective agencies), and so provide spotty coverage of his myriad duties. The researcher interested in a specific activity or event in Scoppetta's career should consult the chronological arrangement of the series described below to determine where information is likely to be found.

Much of the collection is printed matter: press releases and digests, internal memos, e-mail printouts, funeral and dedicatory programs, annual reports, conference proceedings, course readings, and so on. A number of Scoppetta's speeches and addresses, in draft and finished form—some with manuscript emendations—are scattered throughout. There is very little correspondence.

The collection includes a large amount of audiovisual material—VHS tapes, audiocassettes, CDs and DVDs—most of it on the theme of child welfare (see Subseries II.C in the container list, below).

Memorabilia in the form of photographs (of Scoppetta with significant figures like Mayor Abraham Beame and First Lady Barbara Bush), awards (including one signed by Hillary Rodham Clinton as United States Senator from New York), political pins (e.g., "NICK SCOPPETTA FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL" from his unsuccessful 1978 bid for that office), and lapel pins (many with post-9/11 sentiments) rounds out the collection (see Series IV in the container list, below).


The collection is organized in four series with the following subdivisions:

Series I. Criminal Justice, 1974-2015 (bulk, 1978-1982)
Subseries I.A. Criminal Justice: General, 1974-2015
Subseries I.B. Criminal Justice: Teaching Material, 1978-1982
Subseries I.C. Criminal Justice: Printed Material, 1941-2000

Series II. Child Welfare, 1988-2014 (bulk, 1988-2008)
Subseries II.A. Child Welfare: General, 1988-2014
Subseries II.B. Child Welfare: Printed Material, 1982-2012
Subseries II.C. Child Welfare: Audiovisual, 1996-2002

Series III. FDNY, 2001-2015 (bulk, 2002-2009)
Subseries III.A. FDNY: General, 2001-2015
Subseries III.B. FDNY: Audiovisual, 2002-2009

Series IV. Memorabilia, 1970s-circa 2009 (bulk, 2002-2009)
Subseries IV.A. Memorabilia: Photographs and awards, 1970s-2001
Subseries IV.B. Memorabilia: Political and lapel pins, commemorative medals, etc., 1978-2009

Material is sorted chronologically throughout each series and subseries, except for those groups of folders that were originally housed in accordion files. These files (among the few that Scoppetta labeled with any consistency) come at the end of the "General" subdivisions (see the container lists for Subseries I.A, II.A, and III.A, below). Labels have been transcribed as found, with clarification added in brackets.

All audiovisual material (for which N-YHS lacks playback equipment) is housed in Boxes 9 and 10.