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Guide to the Harold Seton Papers
1935, Undated
  AHMC Seton, Harold

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

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Donna L. Davey

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 02, 2022

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains 12 letters written by Harold Seton to Lucius Beebe between June 10, 1935 and October 19, 1935 designed to entice Beebe to buy items for his column. The letters contain information and gossip on the fashionable people, places and events of his day in New York City and Newport, along with reminiscences on the world of society in the past. The author was a regular theater-goer and collector of photographs who was acquainted with the newsmakers he wrote about. Seton had a flair for gossip and wrote to Beebe about famous entertainers, show business people and society regulars, along with a measure of social commentary. He also reminisced about the early days of movies when he often worked as an extra in silent films, and about society galas attended over the years.

This collection also contains 36 pages of notes and writings on assorted topics. The author is not indicated, but is assumed to be Seton. One section entitled "Photographers of Old New York," is a three page description of the 10,000 photographs in Harold Seton's collection. Seton donated over 100 photos of guests at the 1883 Vanderbilt costume ball to The New-York Historical Society (now in the Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architecture's Portrait File). The paper also discusses the photographer of the Vanderbilt Ball photos, Mora. Many of the people who posed for portraits in Seton's collections are listed along with the photographers who took the photos.

In addition, there are notes on William D'Alton Mann, Harold Seton and Robert Rowe; a document entitled "Local Color and News Items of 1896 and Later '90's" containing excerpts about New York City from an assortment of publications; several pages on "bohemia"; notes on the Seeley dinner at Sherry's, the Bradley Martin Ball, the restaurant Petitpas' and other NYC restaurants; several pages on gambling; biographies of the Hewitt sisters; notes on H. M. Flagler, Palm Beach, and hotels and hotel life from 1897 to 1907.


Letters are arranged chronologically.