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Guide to the New-York Historical Society Library Department Records
1815-2017
 NYHS-RG 21

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 30, 2018
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Container List

Series IV. Librarian & Curatorial Files, 1959-2013. 31.21 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents Note

The series includes files that can be attributed, at least in large part, to particular individuals who headed the Library and/or played manuscript curatorial roles. These include Librarians (i.e., head of the Library) James Gregory (1966-1980), Larry Sullivan (1980-1984), Paul Cohen (1984-1987), James Mooney (1987-1989), Jean Ashton (1990-1993), Margaret Heilbrun (1993-2003), and, returning to N-YHS from Columbia University, Jean Ashton (2006-2012). Also included are files from manuscript curators Arthur Breton (1960s), Thomas Dunnings (1970s-1980s and institutional archivist, 1990-1993), Margaret Heilbrun (1987-1993), and Donna Davey (circa 2001-2004).

The series includes a broad range of subject matter, including budgets, management reports, statistics, library policies, exhibition planning, grants and projects (e.g., microfilming, cataloging, institutional archive, digitization), acquisitions and sales through Swann Galleries and other dealers, donations, collection surveys and consultant reports, general correspondence including inquiries and permissions, conservation, research fellowships, and more. The container list below includes further content description at the box level.

Arrangement Note

The series is arranged by individual principally associated with a set of files, in rough chronological order.

Reflecting her two separate tenures at N-YHS, Jean Ashton's files are in two sets, designated in the container list as Jean Ashton I (1985-1993) and Jean Ashton II (2003-2013).

Margaret Heilbrun's files are presented in four sets that reflect the state of the records as found by the processing archivist in 2016. There is significant overlap in the content and date range of the sets. Set 1 includes relatively well-structured subject files in alphabetical order that date primarily, though not exclusively, from Heilbrun's tenure as head of the Library. Set 2 includes a less structured mix of subject matter that date primarily, though not exclusively from Heilbrun's years as curator of manuscripts prior to leading the Library. Set 3 includes records from her last two years at N-YHS. Set 4 includes various materials associated with Heilbrun and Heilbrun's years in the Library that were compiled from loose and unorganized documents by the processing archivist in 2016.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 110 Folder : 1-3 Arthur Breton Files (3 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes correspondence including that concerning Breton's manuscript guide.

1962-1972
Box: 111 Folder : 1-28 Thomas Dunnings Files (1 of 4 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes, among other topics, exhibition (manuscripts on display, FDR, Washington, Great Fire, and Constitution), papers location guide, and AMC logs. There is also a set of folders containing a report by Richard B. Morris and the Mayor's Task Force on the New York City Municipal Archives (1966) (Heslin was a member of the Task Force) and Frank G. Burke's report on selected archival problems in New York's records.

1963-1992
Box: 112 Folder : 1-9 Thomas Dunnings Files (2 of 4 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes, among other topics, memos, inventories and other documents related to Dunnings's development of the institutional archive.

1959-1991
Box: 113 Folder : 1-13 Thomas Dunnings Files (3 of 4 boxes)
1971-1993
Box: 114 Folder : 1-8 Thomas Dunnings Files (4 of 4 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes general correspondence of the Manuscripts Department, principally reference-related.

1970-1992
Box: 115 Folder : 1-11 James Gregory Files (1 of 3 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes the general correspondence files A-Z and subject files A-C, including Burleigh's Views of New York, Aaron Burr papers microfilm project, and Christie's (including sale of N-YHS's S.V. Hoffman items in 1975).

1967-1983
Box: 116 Folder : 1-12 James Gregory Files (2 of 3 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes, among others, subject files D-P, including Gates paper microfilm project, sale of S.V. Hoffman books, the LeBoeuf Fulton collection, an auction catalogue for Gregory's personal library (1988), Microfilming Corp of America (MCA), Old Print Shop, Papprill's View of New York, and trustees Andrew Oliver and John E. Parsons.

1970-1984, 1988
Box: 117 Folder : 1-8 James Gregory Files (3 of 3 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes subject files R-W, including donations from A. Pennington Whitehead, N-YHS sales at Swann Galleries, the 1969 list of Treasures of Americana, and correspondence with trustees Frank Streeter, Thomas Streeter, and Alexander Vietor.

1961-1983
Box: 118 Folder : 1-13 Larry Sullivan Files (1 of 3 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes general correspondence files A-Z and subject files that include, among other topics, loans to the American Antiquarian Society for their early American imprints project, NYU paper conservator Konstanze Bachmann's report on N-YHS's architectural collections, and dealings with bookseller Roger Butterfield.

1976-1984
Box: 119 Folder : 1-21 Larry Sullivan Files (2 of 3 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes subject files D-T including, among other topics, deaccessions, statements of work goals made by individual library staff members, a report by John F. Dean of Johns Hopkins on N-YHS's collections care/conservation, dealings with the Old Print Shop (a ledger in the file also includes records related to dealings with Roger Butterfield; some documents in this file extend to 1990) and Swann Galleries.

1977-1990
Box: 120 Folder : 1-12 Larry Sullivan Files (3 of 3 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes correspondence concerning research requests and other forms of library resource-related assistance.

1979-1984
Box: 121 Folder : 1-8 Paul Cohen Files (8 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes general correspondence files A-Z, the final report to the NEH on N-YHS's grant-funded participation in RLG (1982-86), a summary of a meeting at N-YHS of the Mid-Atlantic Cooperative Preservation Service Facility (MASCPS, of which N-YHS was a member) and a related microfilming grant proposal, loan of objects for the U.S. Grant centennial exhibition, and a grant proposal for cataloging the Rufus King collection.

1984-1987
Box: 122 Folder : 1-17 James Mooney Files (1 of 4 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes general correspondence files A-Z, primarily for 1987. Also includes files of correspondence with specific individuals, principally consultants concerning various aspects of the library collection.

1986-1991
Box: 123 Folder : 1-15 James Mooney Files (2 of 4 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes weekly calendars, monthly reports from the library to Director James Bell, and files of offsite storage and general conservation matters.

1984-1989
Box: 124 Folder : 1-19 James Mooney Files (3 of 4 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes subject files including, among others, the Summer Institute for history teachers, Long Island fishing documentary project, US-China trade film, the exhibition at the Nippon Club, playing card collection, planning, Print Room (Zinkham guide), and the Encyclopedia of New York City.

1985-1989
Box: 133 Folder : 1-16 James Mooney Files (4 of 4 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes exhibition files, primarily Government by Choice: Inventing the U.S. Constitution, but also  Strong on Music,  New York Bestiary,  Putting New York on the Map, and  Ex Libris Rufus King.

1986-1988
Box: 126 Folder : 1-17 Jean Ashton I Files (Box 1 of 6)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes subject files A-E including, among other topics, advisory committees, library annual reports, conservation procedures, general correspondence (1993), development, and education programs.

1987-1993
Box: 127 Folder : 1-28 Jean Ashton I Files (Box 2 of 6)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes subject files related to proposed or installed exhibitions including Library Treasures,  Letters from a War, "Patronage," "Tokyo Map Show," "Bicentennial of the US Constitution," "Thomas Jefferson," and Markers of Change.

1989-1992
Box: 128 Folder : 1-18 Jean Ashton I Files (Box 3 of 6)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes subject files F, primarily including correspondence related to the fiscal crisis.

1985-1993
Box: 129 Folder : 1-17 Jean Ashton I Files (Box 4 of 6)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes subject files G-N including, among other topics, grants, Jewish Museum, lecture series, general manuscript matters, memo files, microfilming, and newspapers.

1985-1993
Box: 130 Folder : 1-15 Jean Ashton I Files (Box 5 of 6)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes subject files O-P, including among other topics, organizational charts, permissions, planning (including collection management policies), preservation, public service, and publications.

1987-1993
Box: 131 Folder : 1-23 Jean Ashton I Files (Box 6 of 6)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes subject files R-V, including among other topics, the Gallery Reinstallation Committee, RLG, RECON project, series and standing orders cancelled, library de-selections, stacks planning, Technical Services, and Ashton's testimony at a public hearing on the preservation of historical records (1990).

1990-1993
Box: 134 Folder : 1-47 Margaret Heilbrun Files. Set 1 (1 of 8 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes subject files A-C, including among other topics, acquisitions, access policies, library annual reports, Beekman Family Association, capital funding, and Collections Advisory Committee.

1993-2001
Box: 135 Folder : 1-48 Margaret Heilbrun Files. Set 1 (2 of 8 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes subject files C-G, including among other topics, collections management, general correspondence (1993-94), Friends of the Library, and grants and grants proposed (Cass Gilbert, negatives, maps, Mellon).

1984-1998
Box: 136 Folder : 1-57 Margaret Heilbrun Files. Set 1 (3 of 8 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes subject files G-L, including among other topics, various grant projects, correspondence with former mayor Edward Koch about a possible donation of materials, an original receipt acknowledgement from the Holland Society of a returned deposit, various library administrative matters (e.g., budget, fees, staffing, stacks, etc.), and Luce Center.

1992-1999
Box: 137 Folder : 1-56 Margaret Heilbrun Files. Set 1 (4 of 8 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes subject files M, including manuscript department matters (collection descriptions, cataloguing, etc.) and microfilming (Archives Preservation Microfilming Project/RLG).

1989-1997
Box: 138 Folder : 1-17 Margaret Heilbrun Files. Set 1 (5 of 8 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

This box and the next includes subject files for the Mellon grant-funded project to catalog N-YHS collections in partnership with New York University as well as general N-YHS-NYU subject files.

1990-2003
Box: 139 Folder : 1-19 Margaret Heilbrun Files. Set 1 (6 of 8 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes the continuation of the Mellon-related files.

1990-2003
Box: 140 Folder : 1-71 Margaret Heilbrun Files. Set 1 (7 of 8 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes subject files N-S, including among other topics, planning, public service, Rockefeller Foundation proposal, and bequest of the estate of Steutel-Dean..

1990-2002
Box: 141 Folder : 1-20 Margaret Heilbrun Files. Set 1 (8 of 8 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes subject files T-Z.

1991-1998
Box: 143 Folder : 1-32 Margaret Heilbrun Files. Set 2 (1 of 4 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes a mix of subjects, including among others, acquisition notes, collection development, planning, and development.

1988-2000
Box: 144 Folder : 1-30 Margaret Heilbrun Files. Set 2 (2 of 4 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes a mix of subjects, including among others, space allocation, technical services (Innopac, RLIN, microfilming, conservation, etc.), manuscript department matters, public service (including statistics), and public programs.

1981-2001
Box: 145 Folder : 1-9 Margaret Heilbrun Files. Set 2 (3 of 4 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes a mix of subjects including small work files for a few exhibitions and records of temporary removals/loans from the collection.

1989-1998
Box: 146 Folder : 1-7 Margaret Heilbrun Files. Set 2 (4 of 4 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes a mix of subjects including records of temporary removals/loans from the collection and general correspondence (1989-1993).

1989-1998
Box: 147 Folder : 1-41 Margaret Heilbrun Files. Set 3 (1 of 2 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes memos, permissions, general correspondence, donation files, fellowships, statistics, and some subject files.

2001-2003
Box: 148 Folder : 1-31 Margaret Heilbrun Files. Set 3 (2 of 2 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes grants, memos, and some subject files.

2001-2003
Box: 149 Folder : 1-55 Margaret Heilbrun Files. Set 4 (1 of 3 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes a compiled mix of files generally concerning acquisitions, collection surveys and descriptions, a few small exhibition files, a library procedures manual (circa 2000), public service and other statistics, the World Trade Center/9-11/History Responds project, N-YHS web site, and other matter.

1989-2003
Box: 150 Folder : 1-48 Margaret Heilbrun Files. Set 4 (2 of 3 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes a compiled mix of files generally concerning grants (including actual and potential Mellon projects), budgets, some bills and invoices, goals, planning, consultants, conservation, space planning, "Resources in New York City History" project, Bobcat (library catalog) search procedures, and a cataloging department quick reference notebook.

1983-2003
Box: 151 Folder : 1-6 Margaret Heilbrun Files. Set 4 (3 of 3 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes a compiled mix of general correspondence, memos and printed emails.

1994-2003
Box: 152 Item : 1-12 Margaret Heilbrun Files. Phone Messages and Desk Calendars
1993-2000, 2003
Box: 153 Folder : 1-16 Mellon Digital Project. "Civil War Treasures at N-YHS"
1998-2000
Box: 155 Folder : 1-49 Donna Davey Files (1 of 3 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes subject files A-S (end), including among other topics, budgets, grants (including Delmas for organizing the institutional archive and Mellon), small files on some exhibitions, and statistics and library survey sheets.

2001-2004
Box: 156 Folder : 1-12 Donna Davey Files (2 of 3 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes notes, research, and photocopies of documents related to the library's revolving exhibition of presidential letters.

2001-2004
Box: 157 Folder : 1-14 Donna Davey Files (3 of 3 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes the drafts and finals of the various consultant reports on the Mellon-funded Contemporary Collecting policy project. Also includes general administrative files on meetings and correspondence.

2002-2004
Box: 158 Folder : 1-16 Jean Ashton II Files. Set 1 (1 of 3 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes subject files A-B, including among other topics, "About the Library" fact sheet, African-American History Trust booklet, African Free School presentation book, conservation of Arthur Curtiss James scrapbook, final report for the Brown Brothers Harriman project, and buildings and stacks plans.

2006-2008
Box: 159 Folder : 1-21 Jean Ashton II Files. Set 1 (2 of 3 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes subject files B-L, including among other topics, buildings/space planning, Chairman's Council "Weekend with History" packet (2007), proposed exhibition re: Winston Churchill, general exhibition information, library collection policies, collections reviews (e.g. for duplicate holdings), Friends of the Library, N-YHS's Graduate Institute in American History, and library administration (statistics, lists of tours, priorities, staffing, etc.)

2006-2010?
Box: 160 Folder : 1-25 Jean Ashton II Files. Set 1 (3 of 3 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes subject files L-Y, including among other topics, Library Night, nitrate film project report, Questions about New York Author Guide & Checklist, New York Genealogical & Biographical Society Library proposal, N-YHS records from Bobcat database, stacks planning, diaries of Gouverneur Morris project, project proposals, general Print Room matters, rare book collection project, records management proposals, electronic reference database assessment, renovation planning, John Rink's plan of Central Park, proposal to Russell Sage, and Shattuck exhibition proposal.

2006-2009
Box: 161 Folder : 1-26 Jean Ashton II Files. Set 2 (1 of 11 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes files of deeds of gifts for FY 2006-FY2013 and acknowledgement letters for FY2006-FY2010.

2005-2013
Box: 162 Folder : 1-40 Jean Ashton II Files. Set 2 (2 of 11 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes acknowledgement letters for FY2011-FY2013, files on individual donations or potential donations (including Causeries du Lundi, Central Park Conservancy, Children's Aid Society, New York Foundling, among others), and routing slips with acquisition data.

2007-2013
Box: 163 Folder : 1-31 Jean Ashton II Files. Set 2 (3 of 11 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes files on purchases, deaccessioning policies, permission requests, and finding aids/inventories for various collections.

2006-2012
Box: 164 Folder : 1-23 Jean Ashton II Files. Set 2 (4 of 11 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes files on acquisitions, general collection policies, and grants (e.g. Delmas, Mellon, Irene Diamond, Pine Tree).

2003-2012
Box: 165 Folder : 1-22 Jean Ashton II Files. Set 2 (5 of 11 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes grants (NEH, NHPRC, and New York State) and budgets.

2006-2011
Box: 166 Folder : 1-19 Jean Ashton II Files. Set 2 (6 of 11 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes exhibition files (including among others, Santa Claus, Malcolm X, Stamp Act, Founders Collection, WWII) and files on Alexander Street Press (digitization of Civil War material).

2009-2012
Box: 167 Folder : 1-18 Jean Ashton II Files. Set 2 (7 of 11 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes project files (including Children's Aid society processing, Columbia School of Journalism, Questions About New York trivia book), New York University service agreement, and digital projects (including Alexander Street Press and others).

2003-2012
Box: 168 Folder : 1-9 Jean Ashton II Files. Set 2 (8 of 11 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes digitization files, EBSCO, and IRLA.

2008-2012
Box: 169 Folder : 1-29 Jean Ashton II Files. Set 2 (9 of 11 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes library administration (goals, tours, ADA compliance) and planning (reading room design upgrade), and miscellaneous reference files.

2006-2011
Box: 170 Folder : 1-37 Jean Ashton II Files. Set 2 (10 of 11 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes files on fellowships and book prizes.

2006-2012
Box: 171 Folder : 1-6 Jean Ashton II Files. Set 2 (11 of 11 boxes)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes files concerning off-site storage.

2008-2012

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