Print / View Finding Aid as Single Page

New-York Historical Society logo

Guide to the New-York Historical Society Library Department Records

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 June 10, 2021
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers, though some material is restricted. N-YHS restricts Board of Trustee and Executive Office files for 35 years following the departure of a President and Chief Executive Officer. This restriction pertains to portions of this record group. Also, patron research inquiries are restricted for a time. Any restrictions are further described in an Access Restrictions Note at the relevant series level.

The bulk of the material is stored offsite and advance notice is required for use.

Use Restrictions

Permission to quote from this collection in a publication must be requested and granted in writing. Send permission requests, citing the name of the collection from which you wish to quote to: Manuscript Curator, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024.

Preferred Citation Note

This collection should be cited as the New-York Historical Society Library Department records (NYHS-RG 21), 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 (NYHSRG Archives). Other record groups that are processed and available to researchers and are especially related to the New-York Historical Society Library Department records (NYHS-RG 21) are as follows:

The N-YHS governance level minute books and so-called official papers include much material concerning N-YHS's library 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).

Library accessions were documented in ledgers from 1841-1962, with gaps. See New-York Historical Society collection accession registers (NYHS-RG 15).

N-YHS's central correspondence files include documents relating to all aspects of NYHS operations, including the library, from the institution's earliest days to 1982. The correspondence includes acquisitions, early reference inquiries, and other matters. See New-York Historical Society general correspondence (NYHS-RG 2). Some acquisition correspondence, especially related to bequests, but also gifts and some purchases, was placed with legal records; see New-York Historical Society legal matters (NYHS-RG 16).

The longtime assistant to Librarian Alexander Wall, Dorothy Barck was Librarian from 1942-1954. Her records are found in New-York Historical Society Librarian Dorothy C. Barck records (NYHS-RG 19).

There are many connections between N-YHS's library and museum, including collaborations on exhibitions, the transfer of the Department of Prints, Photographs and Architecture to the museum (1989) and back (1998), coordination of outgoing loans, and other matters. See New-York Historical Society Museum Department records (NYHS-RG 20).

Processing Information Note

Various portions of records from the Library Department were physically processed during the early 1990s to the early 2000s, mostly in terms of compiling related material together in boxes and refoldering some documents to archival folders. In the fall of 2016, project archivist Larry Weimer established an overarching arrangement for all the Library Department records in the archive, added new material, and completed a baseline inventory and finding aid for the entire record group. Certain steps were taken with the material in 2016, including the refinement of the 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, most of the material remains in its original folders and unarranged within folders.

Accruals Note

Accruals to the record group were added subsequent to the major 2016 processing of the record group and additional accruals are expected over time.