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Guide to the
New-York Historical Society Portrait Collection
circa 1640-2020 (bulk, 1800-1950)
 PR 52

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

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by committee, 2003; finding aid migrated by Joseph Ditta, 2020.

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 10, 2023
Finding aid written in English

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

For more information on making arrangements to consult the collection, please visit

Conditions Governing Use

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

This collection should be cited as: "New-York Historical Society Portrait Collection, PR 052, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, New-York Historical Society."

Separated Materials

From time to time, material in the Portrait Collection that is determined to have been separated in the past from its original place in personal or family manuscript collections, will be removed and returned to that manuscript collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Portrait Collection was accumulated over time, primarily during the 20th century, from a variety of sources, including
• Edmund Bramhall Child (1846–1946).
• Robert Fridenberg, who donated thousands of portraits culled chiefly from illustrated books.
• Henry O. Havemeyer (1847–1907). Many of the prints in Subseries I.B and I.C came from his collection.
• Samuel Verplanck Hoffman (1866–1942), whose copy of  Men of Affairs is found in Subseries I.E.
• Daniel Parish Jr. (1838–1914), a collector who was a long-time and regular donor to the Historical Society. On May 15, 1906 alone he gave "1,754 Prints, consisting of portraits (many of them are book plates and cut from Illustrated Newspapers)."
• Max Rosenthal (1833–1918) and Albert Rosenthal (1863–1939), circa 250 prints of celebrated historical figures.
• William Ives Rutter Jr., who gave a large collection of family portraits.

A significant part of this collection consists of portraits separated over time from their original provenance in personal and family papers held in the New-York Historical Society's manuscript department, a practice followed until, perhaps, the late 20th century.

Processing Information

Collection processed by committee, and a WORD-document finding aid produced June 30, 2003. Archivist Joseph Ditta migrated the original finding aid to ArchivesSpace in March-May 2020.


The Portrait Collection remains open for additional single items or small sets of related photographs and other images obtained by gift or purchase.