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Guide to the New-York Historical Society Celebratory and Memorial Event Records
1854-1954
 NYHS-RG 12

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


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Larry Weimer

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on February 10, 2021
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Contents Note

The New-York Historical Society celebratory and memorial event record group includes correspondence, invitations, event programs, tickets, and other material associated with some of the special events held by N-YHS over part of its history. About twenty events are represented in the record group, beginning with the celebration of N-YHS's semi-centennial (50th) anniversary in 1854 and ending with the sesqui-centennial (150th) anniversary in 1954. The inclusion of these events, and not others, in this record group reflects the original organization of the material in N-YHS's archive; the particular criteria, if any, distinguishing these events is not known. (See the Related Materials Note in this finding aid.)

The bulk of the record group includes correspondence, invitation lists, and other documents related to attendance at the events, that is, much of the material consists of acceptances or regrets from N-YHS members and invited guests in response to offers to attend an event. These events include major N-YHS anniversaries (50th, 100th, and 150th), anniversaries featuring major speakers (66th/Charles Francis Adams and 75th/Richard Salter Storrs), presentations of N-YHS's Achievement in History award (to Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes, Wilberforce Eames, DeWitt McClellan Lockman, and George Clinton Densmore Odell), memorials (Washington Irving, William Cullen Bryant), and other N-YHS achievements (completion of Central Park West building, publication of a biography of Emma Thursby, and opening of Early American Rooms). The correspondence for the Bryant commemoration includes an autograph letter signed by U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes accepting the invitation to attend the event.

There is rich material in the record group concerning N-YHS's installation of the Robert Fulton loan exhibition as part of New York City's 1909 Hudson-Fulton Celebration. The documents relate principally to the planning for this exhibition, including correspondence and other records of objects loaned to the exhibition. There are also some documents concerning the donation of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission records (MS 314) to N-YHS.

Some of the events include documents concerning the planning for the event itself. These can be found primarily in the case of the major N-YHS anniversaries, the Bryant commemoration, and the William Bradford/Introduction of printing to New York City commemmoration. Although N-YHS's history of lecture series and other public programs do not appear prominently in the record group, there are two folders of documents concerning arrangements for lectures in the 1930s. Some documents concern the preparation of a memorial book for former Treasurer Robert Schell. There are two artifacts from the sesqui-centennial anniversary in the record group: two medals and a steel stamp.

Arrangement Note

The record group is arranged by event, in chronological order.