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Guide to the Hotel Association of New York City Scrapbooks
 MS 3190

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

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Elise Winks and Larry Weimer

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on April 01, 2022
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Hotel Association of New York City
Title: Hotel Association of New York City scrapbooks
Dates [inclusive]: 1916-1944
Abstract: The collection holds 28 scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings, press releases, newsletters, and advertisements relating to the Hotel Association of New York City, its annual trade show, the National Hotel Exposition, and other events and issues concerning the Association and the New York hotel industry generally.
Quantity: 17 Linear feet in 12 boxes of various sizes (28 volumes)
Language: The documents in the collection are in English.
Call Phrase: MS 3190

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Biographical / Historical

The Hotel Association of New York City was founded in 1878 as an advocate for the city's hotel industry and as a resource for the professionalization of hotel management. In 1915, the Association inaugurated an annual trade show, the National Hotel Exposition (also referred to as the National Hotel Show); the exposition was held at Manhattan's Grand Central Palace throughout the period covered by this collection. In 1924, the Association established a Publicity and Press Bureau that generated press releases about the Association and hotel interests, and engaged clipping services to monitor the press for related articles; several of the scrapbooks in this collection are a product of the organization's publicity activities. The Hotel Association of New York City still exists and remains active.

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Scope and Contents

The collection holds 28 scrapbooks compiled by the Hotel Association of New York City from 1916 to 1944, with gaps in coverage. 19 of these scrapbooks hold documents, primarily clippings, concerning the Association's activities; organizational matters; positions on state and city legislation, regulations and other public policy issues; and matters of relevance to New York's hotel industry. The other 9 scrapbooks include documents on particular topics relevant to the Hotel Association. Clippings from newspapers and trade journals and newsletters are the dominant format in the scrapbooks, yet there are also press releases and other publicity materials in them.

Beginning in 1915, the Association held a trade show, the National Hotel Exposition, in New York. These shows are particularly well-represented in the scrapbooks. References to specific exhibits and featured products, Women's Day events, the concurrent New York State Hotel Association convention, and other matters related to the trade show are found here. Other events held by the Association, such as golf tournaments, dinners, charity benefits, etc. are documented in the scrapbooks.

The container list inventory attempts to identify some of the more significant themes that appear in the scrapbooks of general subjects. These include the hotel industry's relationship with the 1924 Democratic National Convention, the 1939 World's Fair, the impact of World War I and World War II, enforcement of liquor prohibition laws, and others. Organizational administrative matters also are a subject of the scrapbooks, such as elections of officers. The New York Association's deep involvement in the administration and financial management of the American Hotel Association around 1924-25 can be seen in the scrapbooks.

9 scrapbooks center on particular topics, including labor strikes (4 volumes), attempted criminal mob infiltration of union leadership (1937), a 1926 compilation of menus, the American Hotel Association trip to Europe in 1926, creation of a hotel engineering course at New York University (1923), and a volume of various hotel-related issues compiled for the Association by W. Johnson Quinn in 1925-28.


The collection is presented in the container list with the Hotel Association's general clippings and Exposition scrapbooks first, in rough chronological order. These are followed by other, subject specific scrapbooks, also in chronological order. The actual scrapbooks are of various sizes and so are boxed accordingly in no particular order.

Each album was given a unique identifier (e.g., SN-1, SN-2) by the processing archivists. These are intended only to facilitate reference and are not indicative of any overall numbering scheme found in the collection itself.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Green, Thomas D. (Thomas Dunbar), 1870-1954

Document Type

  • Advertisements.
  • Newsletters.
  • Newspaper clippings.
  • Press releases.
  • Scrapbooks.

Subject Organizations

  • American Hotel Association
  • New York World's Fair (1939-1940 : New York, N.Y.) [111]
  • Democratic National Convention (1924 : New York, N.Y.) [111]

Subject Topics

  • Hotels -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • Trade shows -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- New York (State).

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Materials in this collection are stored offsite. For more information on making arrangements to consult them, please visit

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, 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:

Preferred Citation

The collection should be cited as: Hotel Association of New York City scrapbooks, MS 3190, New-York Historical Society.

Related Materials

N-YHS holds other, individually-cataloged items related to the Hotel Association of New York City, including minutes (1878-1913), by-laws, member list, etc. Search on "Hotel Association" in the on-line catalog, Bobcat.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Hotel Association of New York City, September 9, 1949

Processing Information

The collection was initially surveyed with volumes flagged and a preliminary description prepared by project archivist Elise Winks in 2019. Archivist Larry Weimer completed the inventory and boxing of the scrapbooks for storage in March 2022.

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Container List

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Offsite-Box: 3 Volume : SN-5 General subjects

Scope and Contents

The album holds publicity material for the 1916 National Hotel Exposition (this was the second such exposition). The principal topic of the 1917-18 clippings seems to be the Hotel Association's homefront involvement during World War I, such as conserving food, sponsoring troop send-offs, etc.

1916; 1917 July-January 1918
Offsite-Box: 9 Volume : SN-14 General subjects

Scope and Contents

Prominent themes in this album include the Hotel Association's support for liquor prohibition enforcement, opposition to a taxi bonding act; 7th National Hotel Exposition; and a "Welcome to New York" tourist campaign.

1922 June-December
Offsite-Box: 11 Volume : SN-15 General subjects

Scope and Contents

Principal themes of the clippings in this album include support for taxi regulations; fundraising to bring the 1924 Democratic National Convention to New York; National Hotel Exposition; and the visit of a delegation from the International Hotel Alliance.

1923 January-December
Offsite-Box: 9 Volume : SN-18 General subjects

Scope and Contents

Among the principal themes of the clippings in this album are: publicity concerning the 1924 Democratic National Convention in New York, especially assurances about room availability; the financial difficulties of the American Hotel Association and the New York association's critical role in resolving those difficulties; the 9th National Hotel Exposition; articles about whether or not to tip; and Hotel Association member Charles E. Gehring's failed bid for election to Congress on the Democratic Party ticket.

1924 June-December
Offsite-Box: 10 Volume : SN-13 General subjects
1925 January-June
Offsite-Box: 10 Volume : SN-11 General subjects

Scope and Contents

This album's theme is heavily organizational in nature, with a focus on the election of Thomas D. Green of the New York Hotel Association to the presidency of the American Hotel Association. The album includes speeches by Green, reviews of his book "Back of the House" concerning hotel operations, the move to new offices (221-3 West 57th Street), and other matters.

1925 June-October
Offsite-Box: 11 Volume : SN-17 General subjects

Scope and Contents

In addition to general matters, the album holds clippings concerning the 10th National Hotel Exposition.

1925 October-December
Offsite-Box: 1 Volume : SN-3 National Hotel Expositions (14th to 18th)
Offsite-Box: 12 Volume : SN-10 General subjects

Scope and Contents

This album is unusually slender with relatively few clippings. It holds one group photograph of a formal dinner, but there is no identifying information. Presumably it is of the Hotel Association members at a dinner at their annual convention; one woman is among the otherwise all-male group.

1935 July-1937 May
Offsite-Box: 4 Volume : SN-28 National Hotel Exposition (21st)
Offsite-Box: 1 Volume : SN-4 National Hotel Exposition (23rd)
Offsite-Box: 4 Volume : SN-22 General subjects

Scope and Contents

A principal theme of the clippings in this album concern the 1939 World's Fair, especially as related to hotels, tourists, etc.

1939 May-June
Offsite-Box: 5 Volume : SN-23 General subjects

Scope and Contents

The clippings in this album continue the principal theme of the 1939 World's Fair and New York City's accommodation of visitors to it.

1939 June-August
Offsite-Box: 5 Volume : SN-20 General subjects

Scope and Contents

This album continues the 1939 World's Fair theme into October 1939 and picks it up again a bit later with the re-opening of the Fair in 1940. Among the general subjects is the Hotel Association's advocacy against street noise.

1939 August-1941
Offsite-Box: 5 Volume : SN-21 General subjects
1939 September-1940 November
Offsite-Box: 1 Volume : SN-26 National Hotel Exposition (24th)
Offsite-Box: 1 Volume : SN-7 National Hotel Exposition (25th "Silver Jubilee") (1 of 2)
Offsite-Box: 1 Volume : SN-25 National Hotel Exposition (25th "Silver Jubilee") (2 of 2)
Offsite-Box: 3 Volume : SN-6 General subjects

Scope and Contents

Among the topics in this album are the Association's homefront involvement during World War II, such as air raid preparedness, food constraints/rationing, etc. The 2nd annual golf tournament (1942) seemed to garner much press notice.

Offsite-Box: 2 Volume : SN-1 Waiters' strike

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the album holds clippings concerning the strike by waiters of the International Federation of Hotel Employees, and its settlement.

1918 November-1919 January
Offsite-Box: 2 Volume : SN-27 Hotel engineering course at NYU

Scope and Contents

Similar or identical clippings from various newspapers publicizing the Hotel Association's sponsorship of a course at New York University.

1923 February-March
Offsite-Box: 7 Volume : SN-12 American Hotel Association travel to Europe

Scope and Contents

The album holds clippings, press releases, ephemera, etc. concerning the arrangements and travel to England, France and Germany by a delegation of the American Hotel Association, which included members of the New York Hotel Association.

Offsite-Box: 8 Volume : SN-16 Hotel historical data

Scope and Contents

This album holds clippings compiled by and at the suggestion of Hotel Association 2nd Vice President and Historian W. Johnson Quinn. Contextual documents are at the front of the volume. Generally, this was an attempt to document matters of potential historical interest concerning hotels, proprietors, etc. The clippings are arranged in tabbed sections (e.g., personnel, financing, legislation, projects, new incorporations, obituaries, etc.)

Offsite-Box: 6 Volume : SN-9 Menus

Scope and Contents

At the suggestion of Hotel Association 2nd Vice-President and Historian W. Johnson Quinn, member hotels were solicited in March 1926 for representative menus. This scrapbook, compiled by Quinn for the Association, holds the menus collected at the time. The album holds the related contextual documents.

Offsite-Box: 2 Volume : SN-24 Amalgamated Hotel & Restaurant Food Workers union strike (1 of 2)
1934 January-February
Offsite-Box: 2 Volume : SN-8 Amalgamated Hotel & Restaurant Food Workers union strike (2 of 2)
1934 February-March
Offsite-Box: 2 Volume : SN-2 Criminal control of restaurant unions

Scope and Contents

The album holds clippings from 1937 concerning mob attempts to control restaurant unions, murders of labor officials who resisted those attempts, and a related trial. There is only one 1936 clipping, on a related murder.

Offsite-Box: 12 Volume : SN-19 Labor union strikes

Scope and Contents

The album primarily holds clippings from March-April 1936 concerning a strike by the Building Service Employees union (i.e., elevator operators) that spread to various parts of New York City, affecting about 2500 buildings. There are a few clippings from January-February 1937 concerning another potential strike.


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