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Guide to the John J. Stephens Research Notes
circa 1880s?-1920s
 MS 590

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 December 03, 2021
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Contents

The collection includes 91 packets of research materials compiled by John J. Stephens concerning the history of New York City and New York state, arranged alphabetically by subject. New York City-related institutions, buildings, etc. make up a substantial part of these materials. The documents include pamphlets, clippings, tearsheets, and other similar items, with many images. Maps are found in packets so labeled.

In addition to the research materials, there are two forms of historical notes written by Stephens, presumably derived from the materials compiled. One set, in 15 packets, are his so-called "essentials of New York City and state history"; these are his typed lists of notable historical events, arranged alphabetically by subject. A second set is similar in content, but is handwritten and arranged in a more conventional chronological outline.

Few of the labels are very specific as to the contents of the notes (e.g., Buffalo, theatre); most simply indicate a letter (e.g., "E," "P," or "NYC-A") without further breakdown. Any specific labeling used on the packets is noted in the container list.

The collection was only minimally processed in 2021 and so the above note is based on light observations. Most of the packets are held together with string and these were not untied for review of the contents. Most of the documents seem to be undated clips, but seem to range from some point in the mid-late 19th century to the very early 1920s.


The bulk of the collection includes Stephens's packets of notes, which remain in their original order, which is alphabetical by subject. The container list opens with his summary outlines.