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Guide to the Decorative Envelopes (Philatelic Covers) Collection
1861-1989
 PR 301

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


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Susan Kriete (2013); Larry Weimer (2018)

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on December 17, 2018
Finding aid is written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: New-York Historical Society
Title: New-York Historical Society collection of decorative envelopes (philatelic covers)
Dates [inclusive]: 1861-1989
Abstract: This is a small collection compiled by New-York Historical Society of philatelic covers and stamps, issued to commemorate historical events and document postal and flight history. The collection also includes envelopes with early advertisements for businesses, products, and professionals and professional associations and with other views.
Quantity: 0.21 Linear Feet (1 half-hollinger box)
Call Phrase: PR 301

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Scope and Contents

This collection consists of philatelic covers and other decorative envelopes spanning the period from 1861 to 1989. It includes first day and cacheted covers, first flight covers, advertising covers, examples of tax stamps and other early stamps, and envelopes with decoratve views. The collection is organized topically into the following six folders.

Advertising covers span the period from mid-19th to early 20th century, and include hotels and other businesses, products, and lawyers and professional associations. There are a number of envelopes advertising the Acme Haversack of Song and Patriotic Eloquence, published in Syracuse, New York.

First day and cacheted covers commemorate a variety of historical events and people, including the Lake Placid 1932 Olympics, the First Pony Express, the first anniversary of D-Day, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Also included is a Zeppelin envelope.

First flight envelopes include domestic and international mail routes.

Tax and other early stamps include two cartes-des-visites and several bank notes with tax stamps, a few civil-war era stamped envelopes, and other examples of pre-20th century stamps.

Some of the above envelopes were stored in a special case which is included in the last folder of the collection.

Five envelopes with New York City views.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945

Document Type

  • Advertisements
  • Envelopes
  • Postage stamps

Subject Topics

  • Stamp collecting -- United States

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Administrative Information

Access restrictions

Available by advance appointment only. To schedule an appointment, contact the Print Room Librarian at printroom@nyhistory.org. Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to twenty exposures of stable, unbound material per day. (Researchers may not accrue unused copy amounts from previous days.)

Use restrictions

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
rightsandrepro@nyhistory.org
212-485-9228

Permission to reproduce or quote text from this collection in a publication must be requested from and granted in writing by the Library Director, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5194.

The copyright law of the United States governs the making of photocopies and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials. Unpublished materials created before January 1, 1978 cannot be quoted in publication without permission of the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as: Decorative Envelopes (Philatelic Covers) Collection, PR 301, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, The New-York Historical Society.

Related materials at the New-York Historical Society

Additional envelopes from the Civil War and Spanish-American War can be found in the Patriotic Envelopes Collection, PR 117. Additional advertising ephemera can be found in the Bella C. Landaur Collection of Business and Advertising Ephemera, PR 31, and the Ephemera File, PR 264.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection is comprised of various donations: Gift of Pam Schafler, 2009; Gift of Leo Shear, 2010; Gift of Leslie Eimer Medeiros, 2018.

Processing Information

The collection was initially processed in 2013 by archivist Susan Kriete. Material (folder 6) was added to the collection by archivist Larry Weimer in 2018.

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Container List

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Advertising covers
1892-1932, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 2, 2A First day and cacheted covers
1929-1989
Box: 1 Folder : 3 First flight covers
1925-1938
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Tax-stamps and other early stamps
1860's-1919
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Case for covers
Box: 1 Folder : 6 New York City views

Scope and Contents

5 envelopes, stamped "via air mail", printed by Cepero Post Envelope Co. Photographic views are of City Hall (2 copies), Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan skyline, Statue of Liberty, and United Nations and uptown Manhattan from across East River.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Leslie Eimer Medeiros, 2018.

circa 1940s-1950s

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