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Guide to the Robinson Family Papers
1822-1966 (Bulk 1860-1940)
  MS 520, MS 2309

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

@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Maurita Baldock

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 02, 2011
Description is in English.

Scope and Content Note

The Robinson Family Papers mainly document the immediate family of Dr. Beverley Robinson, his wife Anna Foster Robinson, and their children Beverley R., Herman, Pauline, and Anna Robinson. Although members of the extended family are represented, most of the correspondence, scrapbooks, dairies, photographs, and volumes in the collection relate to the work and travels of this immediate family. The collection is organized by family member, related family members, and charities. Unidentified items are grouped according to type of material. Some of the letters are in French.

The family member who is most represented in the collection is Pauline Robinson. The letters received by Pauline Robinson, daughter of Dr. Beverley Robinson and Anna Foster Robinson, as well as her scrapbooks and memorabilia, constitute a large amount of the collection. Her scrapbooks include documentation from society and charity functions such as invitations, pictures, programs, and lists of guests. Most of the other family members are represented in the collection only through their correspondence and memorabilia.

Other notable items include the elder Beverley Robinson's letters home while he was studying medicine in France and letters from Herman and Beverley R. to their mother Anna describing time spent with Teddy Roosevelt when President McKinley was assassinated. The collection also contains scrapbooks of letters to Beverley R. and the Robinson family expressing sympathy over the suicide of Herman. Almost all of the information on the suicide of Herman is located within these scrapbooks.

The collection supports research on upper class society, particularly women, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Pauline Robinson's scrapbooks document the social life of a young debutante and the society parties, trips, and amusements she attended. The collection also has a significant amount of material on upper class women's charity work. The correspondence and scrapbooks explain the social problems addressed by the various forms of community work and the expectations of the programs. Some of the materials also document the attitudes of the women involved in the charities towards the immigrant or lower class beneficiaries of the charities, and the women's troubles dealing with bureaucratic city agencies. Since most of the letters are among immediate and extended family members, the collection also documents general family relationships. This is best shown in the letters to the family after the death of Herman.

The collection contains little material on Dr. Beverley Robinson's life as a doctor and Beverley R Robinson's work as an attorney. There is also no information on the elder Beverley Robinson's time on the Gettysburg campaign. Women, if married, are included under their last married surname.


The collection is organized by family member, family, or type of material.

The Robinson Family Papers have been organized into the following series:

  1. Series I: Pauline Lentilhon Robinson (1885-1959)
  2. Series II: Anna Foster Robinson (1852-1921)
  3. Series III: Dr. Beverley Robinson (1862-1922)
  4. Series IV: Beverley R. Robinson (1880-1926)
  5. Series V: Herman Foster Robinson (1893-1903)
  6. Series VI: Anna Robinson Butler (1896-1920)
  7. Series VII: Extended Robinson Family Members (1881-1949)
  8. Series VIII: Robinson Family Documents (1901-1921)
  9. Series IX: Foster Family (1843-1908)
  10. Series X: Lentilhon Family (1824-1897)
  11. Series XI: Smith Family (1822-1903)
  12. Series XII: Ten Eyck Family (1854)
  13. Series XIII: Family Genealogies (1875-1896)
  14. Series XIV: Charities (1872-1952)
  15. Series XV: Visual Materials [1864-1966]
  16. Series XVI: Printed Material (1868-1941)
  17. Series XVII: Unidentified Writings (1863-1949)
  18. Series XVIII: Clippings (1870-1956)