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Guide to the Collection on the Commemoration of the
200th Anniversary of George Washington's Inauguration
1989
 MS 3119

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


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Larry Weimer

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on December 17, 2021
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: New York City Commission on the Bicentennial of the Constitution
Title: Collection on the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of George Washington's inauguration
Dates [inclusive]: 1989
Abstract: The collection holds a set of documents compiled by the New York City Commission on the Bicentennial of the Constitution, which, as one of its activities, organized the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of George Washington's inauguration. The contents are primarily publicity material and ephemera: press kit; event invitations, tickets, programs, brochures, and scripts; and pins and other memorabilia. There are also 5 pieces written for the Commission by historian Richard B. Bernstein that provide historical context to Washington's inauguration and the celebration of it. The collection does not hold any of the records or other internal organizational documentation concerning the Washington commemoration or of the Commission itself.
Quantity: .6 Linear feet in 1 box
Location: Materials are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please contact manuscripts@nyhistory.org prior to your research visit to coordinate access. Keep in mind that it will take between two (2) and five (5) business days for collections to arrive, and you should plan your research accordingly.
Language: The documents in the collection are in English.
Call Phrase: MS 3119

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Biographical / Historical

The New York City Commission on the Bicentennial of the Constitution was established in September 1986 by Mayor Edward Koch. Its mandate was "to remind New York's citizenry that the Constitution is a reality in our daily lives and that it works only as well as the degree to which we take seriously our responsibility to govern ourselves." The Commission sponsored various public education programs.

Among the Commission's projects was the organization and administration of the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of George Washington's inauguration. Events included re-enactment of Washington's journey from Mount Vernon and arrival at Wall Street, a symposium on the modern presidency, a flotilla, parade, fireworks, religious service, ceremony at Federal Hall, and others.

(The above note was based on publicity documents in the collection.)

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Scope and Contents

The collection holds a set of documents compiled by the New York City Commission on the Bicentennial of the Constitution for donation to New-York Historical. The contents are primarily publicity material and ephemera: press kit; event invitations, tickets, programs and scripts; pins, paperweight, stationery, and other memorabilia; brochures; and historical images. The principal events represented are the arrival ceremony of the president at South Street Seaport, "The Presidency in the '90s" symposium, presidential flotilla, fireworks display, service of thanksgiving at St. Paul's Chapel, and inaugural ceremony at Federal Hall. There are also 5 pieces written for the Commission by historian Richard B. Bernstein that provide historical context to Washington's inauguration and the celebration of it. There is an item level inventory stored with the collection. The collection does not hold any of the records or other internal organizational documentation concerning the Washington commemoration or of the Commission itself.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged by format.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Washington, George, 1732-1799 -- Inaugurations -- Centennial celebrations, etc.

Document Type

  • Press kits.
  • Printed ephemera.

Subject Topics

  • Publicity.

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers. Materials are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please contact manuscripts@nyhistory.org prior to your research visit to coordinate access. Keep in mind that it will take between two (2) and five (5) business days for collections to arrive, and you should plan your research accordingly.

Use Restrictions

Taking images of documents from the library collections for reference purposes by using hand-held cameras and in accordance with the library's photography guidelines is encouraged. As an alternative, patrons may request up to 20 images per day from staff. Application to use images from this collection for publication should be made in writing to: Department of Rights and Reproductions, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5194, rightsandrepro@nyhistory.org. Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 282.

Copyrights and other proprietary rights may subsist in individuals and entities other than the New-York Historical Society, in which case the patron is responsible for securing permission from those parties. For fuller information about rights and reproductions from N-YHS visit: https://www.nyhistory.org/about/rights-reproductions

Preferred Citation

The collection should be cited as: Collection on the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of George Washington's inauguration, MS 3119, New-York Historical Society.

Related Materials

In connection with the 200th anniversary in 1989, N-YHS mounted an exhibition "George Washington in New York." Records of the exhibition, including color slides of the installation, are in the N-YHS's institutional archives in the Museum Department record group (RG-20).

Separated Materials

3 posters and 4 architectural plans were removed from the collection and transferred into a format-based collection in the library's Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections (PPAC). The specific items removed are noted on the item inventory with the collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the New York City Commission on the Bicentennial of the Constitution, August 1989.

Processing Information

The collection remains as compiled by the New York City Commission on the Bicentennial of the Constitution, with reboxing for storage. This summary finding aid was prepared by archivist Larry Weimer in December 2021. The original item level list prepared by the Commission is with the collection.

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Container List

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Offsite-Box: 1 Folder : A Press kit

Scope and Contents

Holds schedule of events, press release, fact sheet on George Washington, historical timeline, photographs, information about the Commission, and other contextual material

1989
Offsite-Box: 1 Folder : 1 Invitations
1989
Offsite-Box: 1 Folder : 2 Tickets
1989
Offsite-Box: 1 Folder : 3 Programs
1989
Offsite-Box: 1 Folder : 4 Transcripts/Scripts

Scope and Contents

Holds: transcript of "The Presidency in the '90s" symposium; scripts of the "Hail to the Chief" fireworks, St. Paul's service, Federal Hall inaugural ceremony, and parade.

1989
Offsite-Box: 1 Folder : 5 Memorabilia

Scope and Contents

Holds buttons/pins, cards, stationery, event credentials, parking permit, Tiffany paperweight, etc.

1989
Offsite-Box: 1 Folder : 6 Works on the history of the Washington inauguration prepared for the Commission by historian Richard B. Bernstein

Scope and Contents

Among the five histories here is one on the 1889 centennial celebration, drawing on Clarence Bowen's 1892 memorial volume.

1989
Offsite-Box: 1 Folder : 7 Other documents

Scope and Contents

Holds various items including, among others, the schedule for President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush, lists of guests and sponsors, issues of "Constitution" magazine, etc.

1989
Offsite-Box: 1 Folder : 8 Miscellaneous brochures & pamphlets

Scope and Contents

Holds, among other documents, a walking tour guide, schedules, exhibition brochure, catalogue, etc.

1989
Offsite-Box: 1 Folder : 9 Images

Scope and Contents

Holds one color photo of presidential descendants (1989) and several reproductions of images from 1889.

1989

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