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Guide to the Victor H. Paltsits Papers
(bulk, circa 1890–1952)
 MS 477.1

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

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Joseph Ditta (November-December 2020)

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on December 16, 2020
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Contents

The Victor H. Paltsits Papers include a mixture of professional and personal correspondence (1890s–1952) with colleagues such as historian Charles McLean Andrews (1863–1943), librarian and bibliographer George Watson Cole (1850–1939), historian and novelist Edward Eggleston (1837–1902), Canadian historian William Francis Ganong (1864–1941), lawyer and historian William Nelson (1837–1914), Poe biographer Mary E. Phillips (1857–1945), librarian and historical writer Reuben Gold Thwaites (1853–1913), and the publishers Burrows Brothers Co.

The collection also includes research and subject files reflecting Paltsits's various interests and activities, from his earliest days as an employee of the Lenox Library (as documented in a commonplace book of 1888–1889), his work as critical advisor on historical illustration for Elroy M. Avery's "A History of the United States and its People, From Their Earliest Records to the Present Time" (published by Burrows Brothers, 1904–1910), his involvement with the Public Archives Commission of the American Historical Association (1908–1924), his tenure as New York State Historian (1907–1911), during when he lobbied the State Legislature unsuccessfully for the creation of a unified archival system.

Paltsits's diaries (1891–1949) record his frequent research trips and accompanying expenditures. His scrapbooks (1894–1944) are largely personal in content, recording the honorary doctorates he received from Brown University (1936) and Rutgers University (1938), his retirement from the New York Public Library (1941), and the sudden death of his wife, Anne (Müller) Paltsits (1944), who passed away a few days after the couple moved into a new home.

Rounding out the collection are (roughly) thirty-seven publications by Paltsits on topics such as Herman Melville, the works of Philip Freneau, and America's first newspaper. These are followed by five boxes of books and periodical offprints by various authors, some kept by Paltsits from his student days, but many of them written by colleagues and research acquaintances who inscribed their works to Paltsits.


The Victor H. Paltsits Papers are organized in five series:

Series I.
 Correspondence, 1890s–1952
Series II.
 Research and subject files, 1888–1952
Series III.
 Diaries, 1891–1949
Series IV.
 Scrapbooks, 1894–1944
Series V.
 Publications, 1825–1951

The collection is in 72 boxes numbered 1 through 25-A and 25-B through 71.