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Guide to the New-York Historical Society Membership Records

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

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Larry Weimer

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on June 05, 2018
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: New-York Historical Society.
Title: New-York Historical Society membership records
Dates: 1804-1983
Abstract: The New-York Historical Society membership records includes material related to the basic administration of membership, that is, maintaining records of who was a member and whether their dues had been paid. The record group includes registers, or lists, of members, dues payment status, and certificates and other forms of membership-related ephemera.
Quantity: 17.33 Linear feet in 113 volumes, six document boxes, and two oversize flat boxes
Call Phrase: NYHS-RG 9
Sponsor: This record group was processed as part of the 2015-2016 N-YHS Institutional Archives project, made possible by a generous grant from the Leon Levy Foundation.

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Biographical/Historical Note

On November 20, 1804, eleven men met in the Picture Room of New York City’s City Hall and decided to organize themselves into a “Society” to collect and preserve materials related to the history of the United States and particularly to the state of New York. Through 1805, this group and several additional men who joined the initiative, developed a Constitution and By-Laws, elected officers, issued a public appeal for new members, and took other steps to form the New-York Historical Society. By April 1806, N-YHS had 29 members who are considered the original, or founding, members. From this foundation, N-YHS’s membership grew, with the number of dues-paying members reaching a few hundred by the end of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth.

There is a common thread over time in the meaning of membership in N-YHS: in exchange for financial support of the institution, a member was, and is, granted certain benefits in access to the collections, programs, and publications of the organization. But the differences over time are greater, and generally reflect the differences to be expected between an early nineteenth century private institution and a twenty-first century cultural enterprise open to the public.

One essential difference is that from the founding of N-YHS until 1938, members governed the institution. The members elected officers, formed the governing Executive Committee, took action on specific initiatives, represented N-YHS as delegates to other organizations, and voted on various management matters. Accordingly, the monthly membership meetings of N-YHS were a mix of business matters and program talks. Membership, therefore, was not broadly open to everyone. Although the procedure for accepting new members changed slightly over time, until 1917 candidates for membership needed to be nominated by a current member, approved by the Executive Committee, and elected by the members at the monthly meetings. From 1829 until about 1910, candidates could be refused admittance if three negative votes, or “black balls,” were cast.

By the early twentieth century, though, various changes within N-YHS, society at large, and the evolving place of cultural institutions in society had influenced a movement away from this earlier model of a membership organization. Increasing amounts of authority were placed in the hands of N-YHS’s governing Executive Committee until, in 1917, a by-law change eliminated the need for membership votes on any matters except for the election of officers. Prior to 1914, these elections had been held every year; a by-law change in 1914 extended the terms of office to three years. Consequently, after 1917, business meetings were held only every three years, and for narrow purposes. By-law changes in November 1937 completed the process of removing members from a governance and management role, and replacing the members’ Executive Committee with an independent Board of Trustees that elected officers and new trustees. Despite this reduction in the organizational role of members, certain formalities associated with membership lingered until the late twentieth century. These included the continued “election” of new members by the Board and, until 1982, the publication in the Annual Report of the names of all newly-elected and current members and of those who had died during the prior year.

Although the size of N-YHS’s membership grew considerably, it was not always steady. During the 1820s and 1830s, with no permanent home for its collections and membership gatherings, the organization faced declining membership and financial difficulties. A new home at New York University and new leadership in the early 1840s revitalized N-YHS and initiated intense efforts to recruit new and former members and to improve the membership and finances. Traces of these efforts can be found in this record group in the emergence from this period of member lists, collection receipt books, and other documents.

The documents here, especially the registers and payment records, also reflect N-YHS’s efforts over time to at least maintain its membership levels, though often the adoption of new membership categories or dues and fees structures were aimed at increasing support. Over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, N-YHS employed various categories of membership, each reflecting differences in associated required financial support and, to an extent, differences in access privileges. These differences are reflected in the various documentary forms, especially the registers, found in this record group. In its original 1805 Constitution, N-YHS established two categories of members: Resident Members (those residing in New York State) and Honorary Members (those residing elsewhere). Resident Members were required to pay $10 upon election, plus $2 annually thereafter; a one-time payment of $35 would make them Life Members, with commutation of the annual dues. Payments were optional for Honorary Members. Membership offered the significant privilege of being able to remove books from N-YHS’s library for up to three months. The privilege of removing materials was ended in 1839, though members continued to have access to the materials in the library.

About 1825, annual dues increased from $2 to $4, and then to $5 in 1829, with an increase to $50 in the Life Member fee. In 1844, the categories of membership changed: Resident (those residing in New York City or the immediate vicinity), Corresponding (those residing elsewhere), and Honorary Members (those residing elsewhere that N-YHS wished to recognize with a membership). The “initiation fee” (a term introduced in 1853) for Resident Members was $10, which included a one-time $5 fee and $5 for the first years’ dues, with $5 annual dues thereafter. A clause that Members could become Life Members by paying regularly for 15 successive years was added in 1844, but dropped within two years. Dues changed again in 1868 when Resident Members were required to pay a $20 fee for initiation and first year dues, and $10 annually thereafter, or a $100 fee for life membership.

In 1895, N-YHS ended the distinction, in place since 1805, between residents and non-residents. It eliminated the non-paying category of Corresponding Member, and included just one full category of membership, called simply Member. The initiation fee and annual dues remained at the 1868 levels. The Honorary category, reserved for special recognitions, also remained. In 1907, N-YHS adopted two new categories of membership, which encouraged and recognized larger contributions: Fellows ($1,000 donation) and Patrons ($5,000 donation). Both categories were life membership positions, and patrons had the right in perpetuity to appoint a successor, with some conditions (this benefit was later dropped for patrons joining after 1953). There was no change in the standard Member and Honorary Member categories. In 1918, another, non-paying category was added: Associate Member. Associates were to be elected in recognition of their historical research or other meritorious work in connection with American history. For example, this category was used in 1925 to admit all the members of the Naval History Society when its collection was transferred to N-YHS.

Aside from an important change in 1938, the membership categories and fees and dues established in 1907 and 1918 held until 1969. In 1938, the Member first year fee was reduced from $20 to $10; given that $10 was the annual dues amount, this change effectively ended the initiation fee, which had been in place since 1844. In 1963, in an explicit effort to widen its sources of income, N-YHS expanded its membership categories to include: Annual, or basic membership ($10 dues), Sustaining ($25 dues), Annual Fellow ($100 dues), Life ($250 one-time), Patron ($5,000 one-time), Sustaining Patron ($25,000 one-time), and Benefactor ($100,000 one-time). For the first time, N-YHS adopted a Corporate membership category, at $250; American Heritage Publishing Company and Time, Incorporated joined.

About 1967, the Fellows category was renamed Pintard Fellows. In 1968, the basic annual dues increased to $15, and then to $20 in 1972 and $25 in 1977. Also in 1972, a Research Member category with $10 dues was added, in part to mitigate the impact of a new $1 daily fee for library use by non-members. In 1982, when this record group closes, a new set of annual membership categories and fees were established: Friend ($1,000 and up), Pintard ($100 or more), Individual ($50), Family ($75), Senior ($25), and Student under 25 ($15). A Corporate membership fee was $1,000. One-time payment for life members was $5,000.

(Principal sources for the above were the various amended versions of N-YHS's Constitution and By-Laws, Annual Reports and R.W.G. Vail's Knickerbocker Birthday.)

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Scope and Contents Note

The New-York Historical Society membership records includes material related to the basic administration of membership, that is, maintaining records of who was a member and whether their dues had been paid. The record group includes registers, or lists, of members, dues payment status, and certificates and other forms of membership-related ephemera. The content principally includes volumes of lists of names, their category of membership (e.g., life, honorary, etc.), with addresses in some of the lists, and checklists and receipts documenting the payment or non-payment of dues. Some of the volumes hold newspaper clippings (mostly death notices) and occasional correspondence conveying notice of a member’s resignation or death, though these are sparse. Many of the volumes have annotations noting death dates and changes in member status. The record group spans from entries reflecting the earliest members of 1804 (though the entries may not have been made then) to 1983, when the particular formats of the membership records maintained by the institution reflected here end. Much of the information in this record group can be gleaned from N-YHS's printed annual reports; indeed, much of the content of the annual member lists in Series II consists of clippings from the annual reports. Nevertheless, the documents, especially the Registers in Series I, provide a good overview of who constituted the membership of N-YHS, the dates of their election, and termination by death or resignation from N-YHS.

Arrangement Note

The New-York Historical Society membership records (NYHS-RG 9) record group is organized in five series:

Series I. Registers

Series II. Annual Member Lists

Series III. Dues Collection Records

Series IV. Miscellaneous Lists

Series V. Certificates and Other Forms

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Access Points

Document Type

  • Bookkeeping registers
  • Certificates
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Membership lists
  • Receipts (financial records)
  • Registers (lists)

Subject Organizations

  • New-York Historical Society. -- Archives
  • New-York Historical Society. -- Membership
  • New-York Historical Society. -- Membership -- Registers

Subject Topics

  • Dues -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Learned institutions and societies -- New York (State) -- New York -- Membership
  • Libraries and institutions -- New York (State) -- New York -- Membership

Subject Places

  • New York (N.Y.) -- History -- Societies, etc.

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers.

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

Processing Information Note

This record group should be cited as New-York Historical Society membership records (NYHS-RG 9), 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 membership records (NYHS-RG 9) are as follows:

The New-York Historical Society management committee records (NYHS-RG 1) includes the minute books of N-YHS member meetings and N-YHS's Executive Committee, from 1804-1938. These books include the recording of the nomination and election of new members. NYHS-RG 1 also holds so-called official papers which have many of the slips of paper and various forms used to submit a name for consideration for election to membership. Finally, NYHS-RG 1 holds some records related to identifying members and their dues status, especially for the 1840s.

The New-York Historical Society general correspondence record group (NYHS-RG 2) contains a variety of materials relating to N-YHS membership, including letters accompanying or inquiring about dues payments, recommendations of membership candidates and requests for consideration, acceptances and resignations of membership, personal information updates such as new addresses or death notices, and various other inquiries into the logistics, parameters, and requirements of membership. A limited amount of ephemera such as dues receipts and membership certificates are also present.

N-YHS's Print Room also has a collection of signed N-YHS membership certificates. These are available under the title of Certificate File, call number PR14.

Processing Information Note

The record group was processed in June 2015 by project archivist Larry Weimer.

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Container List

Series I. Registers, 1804-1983. 2.12 Linear feet

Arrangement Note

The two volume Register of Members begins the series, followed by the various Treasurer's Registers and other records of dues payments, with each volume proceeding in chronological order.

Scope and Contents Note

The Registers series includes two sets of volumes that together provide an index to members and their election dates and document their active (dues-paying) status. The date range for the series as a whole is extensive, running from 1804 to 1983, though one set of volumes has gaps.

The first set of registers, called the Register of Members, includes two volumes, the first running from 1804-1901, the second from 1902-1982. The registers record the names of members in the chronological order of their election. The particular status (honorary, corresponding, life, etc.) is noted. Members from outside of New York state are noted as such. Addresses are included for all members beginning in 1920. Especially useful is that each volume also includes a rough alphabetical index of members, indicating the page number of the volume on which can be found the record of their election to the Society. The entries begin in 1804 with N-YHS’s first meeting, though it seems likely the earliest years were recorded after the fact.

The second set of registers, called the Treasurer's Register, includes records indicating the actual payment of dues, or lack of payment, by members. The date range is from the early 1840s to 1983, though there are gaps, especially for the 1940s and 1950s. The volumes list members alphabetically, indicating their payments over time; each volume covers specific periods (e.g., 1890-1899). The earliest volumes take a somewhat different form but include the same basic information as the later volumes. Generally, the Treasurer's Registers include only member names and amount paid.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Volume: RG9.1 Folder : - Register of Members
Volume: RG9.2 Folder : - Register of Members
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Treasurer's Register
1838-1840, 1851-1855
Volume: RG9.3 Folder : - Treasurer's Register
Volume: RG9.4 Folder : - Treasurer's Register
Volume: RG9.5 Folder : - Treasurer's Register
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Treasurer's Register
Volume: RG9.6 Folder : - Treasurer's Register
Volume: RG9.7 Folder : - Treasurer's Register
Volume: RG9.8 Folder : - Treasurer's Register
Volume: RG9.9 Folder : - Treasurer's Register
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Loose Documents from Treasurer's Register

Scope and Contents Note

Includes documents found loose inside the covers of the Treasurer's Register for 1900-1909, including notes on member mailings concerning dues, dues in arrears, and a summary of dues collected from annual and life members 1868-1908. Includes a public "circular of information" describing the N-YHS galleries, circa 1909.

Volume: RG9.10 Folder : - Treasurer's Register
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Loose Documents from Treasurer's Register

Scope and Contents Note

Includes documents found loose inside the covers of the Treasurer's Register for 1910-1919, including unpaid dues lists. Includes part of a catalogue of print matter from Goodspeed's Book Shop of Boston, with annotations.

Volume: RG9.11 Folder : - Treasurer's Register
Volume: RG9.12 Folder : - Treasurer's Register
Volume: RG9.13 Folder : - Treasurer's Register
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Dues Record. Annual Members
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Dues Record. Sustaining Members
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Dues Record. Pintard Fellows
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Dues Record. Research Members
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Dues Record. Annual Members (1 of 3)
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Dues Record. Annual Members (2 of 3)
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Dues Record. Annual Members (3 of 3)
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Dues Record. Pintard Fellows
Box: 2 Folder : 1 Dues Record. Corporate Members
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Dues Record. Friends and Family
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Dues Record. Seniors
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Dues Record. Student Members
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Log of Dues Daily Receipts

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Series II. Annual Member Lists, 1873-1978. 6.92 Linear feet

Arrangement Note

The Annual Member Lists series is arranged chronologically. The first three volumes include several years of lists, sometimes overlapping. Most of the subsequent volumes (1912 and later) include only one year per volume.

Some of the clippings in the volumes have detached from the pages, and others are likely to do so over time. These loose documents are found in a folder in a box separate from the volume, as noted in the container list. Given the likelihood of more documents coming detached over time, labeled, but currently empty, folders have been included in the boxes with folders containing documents. These empty folders, though found in the boxes and available for future use, are not noted in the public version of the container list.

Scope and Contents Note

The Annual Member Lists series includes 69 volumes of member lists. The volumes are essentially scrapbooks. From 1912 to the end of the series in 1978, each volume includes the year's list of members as cut and pasted from the N-YHS printed annual report. These lists include annotations concerning deaths, resignations, and other factors impacting membership status that occurred during the year. Newspaper clippings, especially death notices and obituaries, and some correspondence concerning resignations and deaths, are glued into the volumes. The earliest years in the series—1873 to 1911—are compiled in three volumes; these are a bit less consistent in content than the later years, with many more handwritten annotations, but include essentially the same information.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Volume: RG9.14 Folder : - Member List
1873-1895 [1898]
Volume: RG9.15 Folder : - Member List
1898 [1892]-1905
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.16 Folder : - Member List
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.17 Folder : - Member List
Box: 2 Folder : 8 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.18 Folder : - Member List
Box: 2 Folder : 9 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.19 Folder : - Member List
Box: 2 Folder : 10 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.20 Folder : - Member List
Box: 2 Folder : 11 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.21 Folder : - Member List
Box: 2 Folder : 12 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.22 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.23 Folder : - Member List
Box: 2 Folder : 14 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.24 Folder : - Member List
Box: 2 Folder : 15 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.25 Folder : - Member List
Box: 2 Folder : 16 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.26 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.27 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.28 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.29 Folder : - Member List
Box: 2 Folder : 20 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.30 Folder : - Member List
Box: 2 Folder : 21 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.31 Folder : - Member List
Box: 2 Folder : 22 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.32 Folder : - Member List
Box: 2 Folder : 23 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.33 Folder : - Member List
Box: 2 Folder : 24 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.34 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.35 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 2 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.36 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.37 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.38 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 5 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.39 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 6 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.40 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 7 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.41 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 8 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.42 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.43 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.44 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.45 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.46 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.47 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.48 Folder : - Member List

Scope and Contents Note

Includes an 8x10 photograph of Director Alexander J. Wall.

Volume: RG9.49 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 13 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.50 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.51 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.52 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.53 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 15 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.54 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.55 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 17 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.56 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 18 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.57 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.58 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.59 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.60 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.61 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.62 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 21 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.63 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.64 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 23 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.65 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.66 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.67 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.68 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 25 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.69 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 26 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.70 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 27 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.71 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 28 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.72 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 29 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.73 Folder : - Member List
Volume: RG9.74 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 31 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.75 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 32 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.76 Folder : - Member List

Scope and Contents Note

Access restriction: This volume shows signs of having been damaged by water. Most of its pages are stuck together. It can be used only with the assistance of conservation staff.

Volume: RG9.77 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 34 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.78 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 35 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.79 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 36 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.80 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 37 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.81 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 38 Loose Documents
Volume: RG9.82 Folder : - Member List
Box: 3 Folder : 39 Loose Documents

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Series III. Dues Collection Records, 1838-1963. 3.21 Linear feet

Arrangement Note

The Dues Collection Records series is arranged by format, and chronologically within format. The series opens with the various certificate books from which were sent the forms notifying members of payments due, followed by booklets used to record collections, and closing with receipts and other documents concerning the payment or non-payment of dues. Although some receipts were found loose during processing, most were found in bound packets and these were kept together.

Scope and Contents Note

The Dues Collection Records series includes a variety of records related to the actual collection of dues and initiation fees from members. The bulk includes 24 volumes of receipt books from which were sent notices for payments. Aside from some unused blank receipts, these books only have the stubs remaining, some of which indicate the name of the person who was sent the associated receipt. There are three sets of these receipt books: regular annual dues (1838-circa 1855), life member dues (1847-1963), and new member initiation fees, which included dues for the first year (1849-1857, 1879-1939). There are also two books for Fellows and for Patrons; these have only a few entries in them from the early twentieth century. An annual dues receipt book for 1853 was discarded because it held mold spores; the content of the book can be gleaned from the other dues books of the early 1850s, which remain in the series.

Many of the receipts sent from the annual dues books appear to have been returned to N-YHS without payment. This series includes those receipts, principally from the 1840s-1850s, many of which are annotated with the reason for non-payment.

The series also includes a set of small booklets that were used to record monies collected, ranging from 1867-1921, with some earlier periods (1840s, 1857).

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Volume: RG9.83 Folder : - Annual Receipts
1838-1843 [1844]
Volume: RG9.84 Folder : - Annual Receipts
Volume: RG9.85 Folder : - Annual Receipts
Box: 3 Folder : 40 Loose Documents from Receipts Book
Volume: RG9.86 Folder : - Annual Receipts
Box: 3 Folder : 41 Loose Documents from Receipts Book
Volume: RG9.87 Folder : - Receipts for Dues
Volume: RG9.88 Folder : - Annual Dues
Volume: RG9.89 Folder : - Dues
Volume: RG9.90 Folder : - Dues
Volume: RG9.91 Folder : - Dues
Volume: RG9.92 Folder : - Dues
Volume: RG9.93 Folder : - Initiation Fees
1849-1852 April
Volume: RG9.94 Folder : - Initiation Fees
1852 April-1857
Volume: RG9.95 Folder : - Initiation Fees
Volume: RG9.96 Folder : - Initiation Fees
Volume: RG9.97 Folder : - Initiation Fees
Volume: RG9.98 Folder : - Initiation Fees
1903-1909 May
Volume: RG9.99 Folder : - Initiation Fees
1909 June-1924
Volume: RG9.100 Folder : - Initiation Fees
Volume: RG9.101 Folder : - Life Certificates
Volume: RG9.102 Folder : - Life Membership Fees
Volume: RG9.103 Folder : - Life Membership Records
1902-1948 January
Volume: RG9.104 Folder : - Life Membership Records
Box: 3 Folder : 42 Fellows
1903-1909, 1914
Box: 3 Folder : 43 Patrons
1904-1908, 1921
Box: 3 Folder : 44 New York Historical Society Tax
Box: 3 Folder : 45 Annual Receipts

Scope and Contents Note

Includes a booklet recording monies received for an unidentified year (likely 1846 or 1847) and various receipts for 1840-1847 found in the booklet.

Box: 4 Folder : 1 Resident Members Proposed by W.K. Strong

Scope and Contents Note

Though found with membership records, the amounts recorded in the booklet ($100 and $50) suggest that this might be related to a subscription drive for the N-YHS building or other matter.

Box: 4 Folder : 2 Collector's Returns
Box: 4 Folder : 2 Collector's Book
1868-1874 May
Box: 4 Folder : 3 Collector's Book
1874 May-1883
Box: 4 Folder : 3 Collector's Book
1884-1893 February
Box: 4 Folder : 4 Collector's Book
1893 February-1907
Box: 4 Folder : 4 Collector's Book
Box: 4 Folder : 5 Annual Dues Receipts (1 of 8)

Scope and Contents Note

This set of eight folders includes receipt certificates, most, and perhaps all, of which appear to have been returned to N-YHS without payment of the requested amount.

Box: 4 Folder : 6 Annual Dues Receipts (2 of 8)
1841, 1844-1845
Box: 4 Folder : 7 Annual Dues Receipts (3 of 8)
Box: 4 Folder : 8 Annual Dues Receipts (4 of 8)
1844-1845, undated
Box: 5 Folder : 1 Annual Dues Receipts (5 of 8)
Box: 5 Folder : 2 Annual Dues Receipts (6 of 8)
Box: 5 Folder : 3 Annual Dues Receipts (7 of 8)
Box: 5 Folder : 4 Annual Dues Receipts (8 of 8)
Box: 5 Folder : 5 Life Member Fee Receipts
Box: 5 Folder : 6 Resignations & Life Members (Receipts)
Box: 5 Folder : 7 Membership Slips Returned by Members
1943, 1946-1947

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Series IV. Miscellaneous Lists, 1804-1920. 1.0 Linear feet

Arrangement Note

The lists are arranged in rough chronological order. Several of the lists are undated so their dates have been approximated. Several of the lists appear to have been added to and annotated over time and the date range shown does not necessarily reflect the range of those additions. Some of the lists are in chronological order by date of the members' election; the date range indicates the range of these election dates, not necessarily the date when the list or the individual entries were made. [Bracketed] titles were imposed by the archivist because an original title was not found on the list.

Scope and Contents Note

The Miscellaneous Lists series principally includes lists of members compiled at various times, mostly in the mid and late nineteenth century. Many of these lists include the address of the member and, in many instances, later annotations indicate the death of a member. Many of the lists are undated. The series includes two lists not related specifically to membership: a list of members paying to attend the 1904 N-YHS centennial dinner and a list of subscribers in 1849 to the N-YHS Proceedings.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Volume: RG9.105 Folder : - Catalogue of the Members
Box: 6 Folder : 1 Loose Documents from the Catalogue of Members

Scope and Contents Note

Includes two lists: a list of members in chronological order of their election from 1804-1841 and a list of members who paid their dues for 1844.

1841, 1844
Volume: RG9.106 Folder : - Register of Annual Subscribers(?)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes entries for a few members, those joining from 1804-1809. The few other notations in the volume are unrelated to memberships; these seem to date from the 1860s and refer to papers read and to items in the collection. The volume's cover is stamped "Stuyvesant Institute," which was N-YHS's home during the 1830s.

1804-1809, circa 1860s
Volume: RG9.107 Folder : - Manuscript Mailing Lists
Box: 6 Folder : 2 [Member List]
Box: 6 Folder : 3 [Member List]
Box: 6 Folder : 4 Subscribers to Proceedings
Box: 6 Folder : 5 [Member List?]
circa 1860?
Volume: RG9.108 Folder : - Manuscript Mailing List
circa 1860?
Volume: RG9.109 Folder : - Mailing Lists, Etc.

Scope and Contents Note

Includes pages from the printed 1862 N-YHS charter, by-laws and list of members, with annotations, member updates, addresses, dues payment status, death dates, and tipped-in lists dated to circa 1890.

1862-circa 1890
Volume: RG9.110 Folder : - [Member List]

Scope and Contents Note

The lists are recorded on the reverse of blank checks for the Mechanics' Bank.

circa 1873
Box: 6 Folder : 6 Loose Document from the Member List
circa 1873
Box: 6 Folder : 7 Resident Members. Address Book
Box: 6 Folder : 8 Loose Documents from Resident Members Address Book

Scope and Contents Note

Includes list "Loss of Resident Members."

Box: 6 Folder : 9 [Member List (1 of 2). A-L]
circa 1880s?
Box: 6 Folder : 10 [Member List (2 of 2). M-Z]
circa 1880s?
Box: 6 Folder : 11 Members

Scope and Contents Note

Includes the printed list of members, with annotations.

Volume: RG9.111 Folder : - [Centennial Dinner List?]

Scope and Contents Note

This volume appears to be a record of members who paid for themselves and a guest to attend N-YHS's centennial dinner.

Box: 6 Folder : 12 Loose Document from the Centennial Dinner List
Box: 6 Folder : 13 Member List (1 of 2). A-L
circa 1910s
Box: 6 Folder : 14 Member List (2 of 2). M-Z
circa 1910s
Volume: RG9.113 Folder : - [Patron & Fellows Register]
Volume: RG9.112 Folder : - [Membership Offers?]

Scope and Contents Note

This volume appears to be a list of individuals offered membership in N-YHS in 1918-20, with notes on whether they accepted or declined.


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Series V. Certificates and Other Forms, circa 1843-1900s. 4.08 Linear feet

Arrangement Note

The series is arranged by format.

Scope and Contents Note

The Certificates and Other Forms series includes blank print forms related to the membership process. Forms include those related to nominations, applications, and notices to new members of their election. These files are unlikely to be complete as to all the possible forms used over time in the membership process. The series also includes stocks of blank membership certificates; many of these are signed by an N-YHS president and other officers. Seven of the membership and twelve of the fellows certificates are made out to recipients.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 5 Folder : 8 Blank Forms
circa 1860s-1890s
Box: 5 Folder : 9 Blank Forms
circa 1900-1982
Box: 7 Folder : 1 Blank Membership Certificates

Scope and Contents Note

Includes certificates signed by Foreign Corresponding Secretary Frederic DePeyster, Domestic Corresponding Secretary George Folsom, and First Vice President W.B. (William Beach) Lawrence.

Box: 7 Folder : 2 Blank Membership Certificates

Scope and Contents Note

Includes certificates signed by President Albert Gallatin, First Vice President Luther Bradish, 2nd Vice President Thomas DeWitt, Foreign Corresponding Secretary John Russell Bartlett, Domestic Corresponding Secretary John Jay, and Recording Secretary Andrew Warner. Three from 1846 are made out to Corresponding Members George Gibbs, Henry Hilliard, and H.W. Whiting and one from 1847 is made out to Honorary Member Ambrose Spencer.

Box: 7 Folder : 3 Blank Membership Certificates

Scope and Contents Note

Includes certificates signed by President Luther Bradish, First Vice President Thomas DeWitt, and 2nd Vice President Frederic DePeyster. The certificates date from different periods and are signed by the secretaries from those periods: Foreign Corresponding Secretaries John Russell Bartlett, Edward Robinson, and George Bancroft; Domestic Corresponding Secretaries James William Beekman, and Samuel Osgood; and Recording Secretaries Andrew Warner and Maunsell B. Field. Two certificates, dated February 3, 1857, have seals and are made out to resident life members William L. Andrews and William J. Valentine.

circa 1849-1863
Box: 7 Folder : 4 Blank Membership Certificates

Scope and Contents Note

Includes certificates from the second half of the nineteenth century, signed by presidents Frederic DePeyster, Thomas DeWitt, Benjamin Hazard Field, and John Alsop King. Some are signed by secretaries, including Andrew Warner, George Bancroft, Samuel Osgood, John Romeyn Brodhead, Sydney H. Carney, Jr., and Frederic Wendell Jackson (pro tem). One certificate, dated April 4, 1899, has a seal and is made out to life member William S. Pelletreau.

circa 1864-1899
Box: 7 Folder : 5 Blank Membership Certificates
Box: 7 Folder : 6 Blank Membership Certificates

Scope and Contents Note

Includes a shrink-wrapped set of blank certificates.

Box: 8 Folder : 3 Blank Membership Certificates
1800s (after 1843)
Box: 8 Folder : 4 Blank Membership Certificates

Scope and Contents Note

Includes certificates signed by presidents Eugene A. Hoffman, Samuel Verplanck Hoffman, and John Abeel Weekes. Secretaries signing the certificates are Sydney H. Carney, Jr and Stuyvesant Fish.

1901-1903, circa 1927
Box: 8 Folder : 2 Blank Honorary Membership Certificates
Box: 8 Folder : 5 Completed Fellows Certificates

Scope and Contents Note

Includes certificates signed by President Samuel Verplanck Hoffman and Recording Secretary Acosta Nichols, with seal, and made out to: Charles A. Hoyt, Collis P. Huntington, Adrian Iselin, Rachel L. Kennedy, Robert J. Livingston, Henry G. Marquand, Perry R. Pyne, Julia Rhinelander, William L. Skidmore, David Stewart, Charles L. Tiffany, and Robert Winthrop,

Box: 8 Folder : 1 Blank Fellows Membership Certificates

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