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Guide to the New-York Historical Society Museum Department Records
1765, 1830-2018

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

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Margaret Kaczorowski, Katherine Palm and Larry Weimer

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 21, 2021 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

N-YHS restricts Board of Trustee and Executive Office files for 50 years following the departure of a President and Chief Executive Officer. This restriction pertains to portions of this record group. Any restrictions are further described in an Access Restrictions Note at the relevant series and subseries level.

Materials are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please contact prior to your research visit to coordinate access. Keep in mind that it will take between two (2) and five (5) business days for collections to arrive, and you should plan your research accordingly.

Use Restrictions

Taking images of documents from the library collections for reference purposes by using hand-held cameras and in accordance with the library's photography guidelines is encouraged. As an alternative, patrons may request up to 20 images per day from staff.

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, Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 282.

Copyrights and other proprietary rights may subsist in individuals and entities other than the New-York Historical Society, in which case the patron is responsible for securing permission from those parties. For fuller information about rights and reproductions from N-YHS visit:

Preferred Citation Note

This collection should be cited as the New-York Historical Society Museum Department records (NYHS-RG 20), The New-York Historical Society.

Related Archival Materials Note

This finding aid relates to just one record group of the New-York Historical Society archives. For information about the other record groups and for overall information about the archives, please see the Guide to the New-York Historical Society Archives (NYHS RG Archives). Other record groups that are processed and available to researchers and are especially related to the New-York Historical Society Museum Department records (NYHS-RG 20) are as follows:

The N-YHS governance level minute books and so-called official papers include much material concerning N-YHS's museum matters, especially with regard to acquisitions. For years through 1938, see: New-York Historical Society management committee records (NYHS-RG 1). For years subsequent to 1938, see New-York Historical Society Board of Trustees records (NYHS-RG 18).

Museum accessions were documented, along with library accessions, in ledgers through 1938 and in 1943-1945. See New-York Historical Society collection accession registers (NYHS-RG 15).

N-YHS's central correspondence files include documents relating to all aspects of N-YHS operations, including the museum, from the institution's earliest days to 1982. See New-York Historical Society general correspondence (NYHS-RG 2).

Photographs of exhibitions, galleries, and objects, among other matter, can also be found in the New-York Historical Society pictorial archive (NYHS-RG 5).

Press releases, press kits and press coverage of exhibitions can also be found in New-York Historical Society press clippings (NYHS-RG 7) and New-York Historical Society public relations material (NYHS-RG 8).

Correspondence and other documents related to some museum objects were maintained in legal files, especially if the object was the result of a bequest or other gift. For example, those records include acquisition documents for objects received from Frederic De Peyster (Crawford's The Indian), Thomas J. Bryan, Katharine Prentis Murphy, Katherine Rogers (Rogers statuettes), and many others. See New-York Historical Society bequests, gifts & related matters (NYHS-RG 16).

Processing Information Note

Various portions of records from the Museum Department were physically processed during the early 1990s to the early 2000s, mostly in terms of refoldering documents to archival folders. Related material was also gathered together in boxes, though some material remained in original storage boxes. In 2016, archivist Larry Weimer established an overarching arrangement for all the Museum Department records in the archive and, with archivist Margaret Kaczorowski and archival intern Katherine Palm, completed a baseline inventory and finding aid for the entire record group. Certain steps were taken with the material, including physical arrangement of folders and re-boxing, in order to facilitate its use by researchers, but an overall minimal level of physical processing was implemented. Consequently, much of the material remains in its original folders and unarranged within folders.

About 40 additional feet of material was transferred to the archives from the museum in 2017-2020; this was added to the finding aid in April-May 2021 by archivist Larry Weimer.

Accruals Note

Further accruals to the record group are expected over time.