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Guide to the New York Crystal Palace Records
1840-1858
 MS 443.13

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


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Julianna Monjeau

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on February 22, 2012
Finding Aid is written in English.

Scope and Content Note

The New York City Crystal Palace Papers contains Theodore Sedgwick's correspondence and papers when he was president of the Association for the Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations. The bulk of this collection is correspondence from high-ranking members of the Association regarding the construction of the Crystal Palace, and organizing, financing, and obtaining items for the exhibit. Most of the correspondence is addressed to Theodore Sedgwick, but a portion of the correspondence contains copies of letters written by Sedgwick. While most of the collection is dated before the Crystal Palace was destroyed by fire on October 5, 1858, it contains a letter written by George S. Badger on October 7, in which he describes seeing the Crystal Palace collapse in flames.

The organizational records housed in this collection document the progress of the Association toward constructing the Crystal Palace and organizing the Exhibition. Records in this series include resolutions, reports, circulars, memorandums, bylaws, proposals, agendas, a catalogue of items in Italy's exhibit, office drafts of speeches and articles written by Theodore Sedgwick, and personal notes. The personal notes in this series have been grouped together because their subjects are unclear, they are undated, and their provenance is unclear. Financial records in this collection include contracts and drafts of contracts with contractors and vendors, bills, and receipts. These records range from detailed bills and receipts listing the expenditures of the Association on a given year to individual receipts for building materials and services. The smallest series in this collection contains newspapers published between 1852 and 1854, which contain both articles and letters to the editor written by Theodore Sedgwick regarding the Exhibition and the Crystal Palace.

Arrangement Note

The New York City Crystal Palace Papers are arranged into the following series:

  1. Series I: Correspondence
  2. Series II: Financial Records
  3. Series III: Organizational Records
  4. Series IV: Newspapers