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Guide to the Osborn Family Papers
1832-1936
 MS 474

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


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Susan Kriete

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on December 11, 2015

Descriptive Summary

 
Title: Osborn Family Papers
Dates [inclusive]: 1832-1936
Abstract: The Osborn Family Papers consist of personal correspondence between members of the family (including forebears) of Henry Fairfield Osborn (1857-1935), paleontologist and for many years the head of the Museum of Natural History, as well as some of his professional correspondence and papers. Family correspondence spans the period from 1832 to 1936, and reflects the everyday affairs of several generations and branches of a prosperous New York family. The collection also includes journals and datebooks of Henry Fairfield Osborn and other family members.
Quantity: 12.7 Linear feet (31 boxes)
Call Phrase: MS 474

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Biographical/Historical Note

This collection includes personal papers and journals from Henry Fairfield Osborn ("HFO") and his family, forebears and descendants, encompassing several generations of the Sturges, Osborn and Perry families.

HFO's maternal grandfather, Jonathan Sturges (1802-1874), was born in Southport, Connecticut, and in 1821 joined the grocery business of Lumen Reed (1787-1836). Lumen Reed was a highly successful merchant who also assembled one of the earliest and most significant collections of American art. Sturges shared Reed's interest in the arts and became an important patron and collector of American artists in his own right. After Reed's death, Sturges led a group who bought his art collection, which was eventually donated to the New-York Historical Society.

In 1828, Sturges married Mary Pemberton Cady (1806-1894), also born in Connecticut. The Cady family moved to Fredericksburg when Mary was 12 years old, but returned to New York City in 1826. After their marriage, the couple lived in New York City, and had six children. In 1840, they built a country retreat in Fairfield, Connecticut, known as "The Cottage." Still standing, the house is one of the earliest example of American Gothic Revival architecture, and in 1994 was designated a National Historic Landmark.

Well-educated, cultured, and wealthy, the Sturges were connected with the artistic and commercial elite of New York, as described in Mary Sturges' memoir Reminiscences of a Long Life (also held in the N-YHS library). One daughter, Amelia, married Pierpont Morgan in 1861, but died of tuberculosis four months after their wedding. Their oldest daughter, Virginia Reed Sturges (1830-1902), married William Henry Osborn in 1858.

William Henry Osborn (1820-1894) was a railroad executive, becoming President of the Illinois Central Railroad in 1853, and later heading the Chicago, St. Louis and New Orleans Railroad. William and Virginia Osborn lived in a sumptuous mansion at 32 Park Avenue, and later also built a mansion known as Castle Rock in Garrison, New York, which served as the family's summer home. The Osborn's had four children, two of whom (Virginia and Frederick) died as young adults.

Their eldest surviving son, Henry Fairfield Osborn (1857-1935), became a famous paleontologist and served as director of the Museum of Natural History from 1908 to 1935, building the foundation for its outstanding fossil and dinosaur collection. Deeply religious, Osborn was a proponent of the now-discredited theory of orthogenesis to explain evolution, holding that an ill-defined guiding force shaped life from lesser to greater forms, and was also a firm believer in eugenics. These ideas, reflected in the collection, have tarnished Osborn's scientific and moral reputation with later generations.

Henry Fairfield Osborn married Lucretia Thatcher Perry ("Lulu," 1858-1930) in 1881. Lulu was the daughter of Brigadier General Alexander James Perry and Josephine Adams Perry; her sister, Josephine, married Junius Morgan in 1891. Henry and Lulu had five children, the youngest of whom died in infancy.

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Scope and Contents Note

The Osborn Family Papers includes correspondence and journals from members of the Sturges, Osborn and Perry families, spanning the century from 1832 to 1936. The collection is primarily focused on Henry Fairfield Osborn, famed paleontologist and long-time director of the Museum of Natural History, but also includes correspondence of his grandparents (Jonathan Sturges and Mary Cady Sturges), parents (William Osborn and Virginia Sturges Osborn), wife (Lucretia Perry Osborn), children (Virginia, Perry, Fairfield Junior, and Josephine), and various other relatives and family friends. These well-pedigreed families moved in New York's elite circles and the papers reflect the daily life and concerns of privileged members of New York's society in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The collection is organized into three series. Series I, Family papers, consists primarily of correspondence between several generations of family members. Letters relate news of family members and friends, discuss current events, and describe modes and incidents of travel, both domestic and abroad. Health and religion are also frequent topics.

Series I also includes Henry Fairfield Osborn's family correspondence with his parents and siblings, and with his wife Lucretia Perry Osborn, as well as their correspondence with their four surviving children. There are also several boxes of correspondence and clippings relating to Lulu Osborn's 1927 monograph Washington in His Own Words.

In addition to correspondence, Series I includes deeds and leases for family property, genealogical and biographical information, several folders of family ephemera and photographs (including visas and passports), and a few journals or diaries.

Series II, Henry Fairfield Osborn Papers, includes his non-family correspondence with professional associates and organizations. Frequent correspondents include fellow paleontologist and friend William Berryman Scott, and British evolutionary biologist Edward Bagnell Poulton. Series II also includes Henry Fairfield Osborn's journals/datebooks from 1899 to 1921, as well as a few earlier journals. These consist primarily of calendar-type entries detailing Osborn's professional activities as well as events in his personal life; there are also a few journals containing more extensive accounts of his travels and expeditions.

Series III, Transcriptions and oversize material, includes typed transcriptions of hand-written letters of Henry Fairfield Osborn to his father and brother, and to William Berryman Scott, along with transcriptions of a few diary excerpts. This series also includes some oversize ephemera and biographical notes.

Arrangement Note

This collection is arranged in two series. Series I, Family Papers, includes correspondence and papers by and between family members, and includes Henry Fairfield Osborn's correspondence with his family and in-laws. Series II, Henry Fairfield Osborn Papers, consists of his non-family correspondence, primarily with professional colleagues and friends, and other professional and research papers.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Morgan, Amelia Sturges, 1840-1861
  • Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913
  • Muir, John, 1838-1914
  • Osborn, Henry Fairfield, 1857-1935
  • Osborn, Lucretia Thatcher Perry, 1858-1930
  • Osborn, Virginia Sturges, 1830-1902
  • Osborn, William Church
  • Osborn, William Henry, 1820-1894
  • Poulton, Edward Bagnell, Sir, 1856-1943
  • Scott, William Berryman, 1858-1947
  • Sturges, Jonathan, 1802-1874
  • Sturges, Mary Pemberton Cady, 1806-1894

Document Type

  • Diaries.
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Photographs.

Subject Topics

  • American Museum of Natural History.
  • Biology -- Study and teaching.
  • Clubs -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Columbia University.
  • Education.
  • Eugenics.
  • Evolution (Biology) -- Study and teaching.
  • Immigration opponents--United States
  • Paleontology -- Study and teaching.
  • Princeton University.

Subject Places

  • Colorado.
  • Fairfield (Conn.)
  • Garrison (N.Y.)
  • New York (N.Y.)
  • Putnam County (N.Y.)
  • Wyoming.

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers. Portions of the collection that have been microfilmed will be brought to the researcher in that format and can be made available by Interlibrary loan. Researchers on site may print out unlimited copies from microfilm reader-printer machines at per-exposure rates. See guidelines in Reading Room for details. Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to twenty exposures of stable, unbound material per day. (Researchers may not accrue unused copy amounts from previous days.) Items that include presidential signatures will be presented to researchers in duplicate form.

Use Restrictions

This collection is owned by the New-York Historical Society. The copyright law of the United States governs the making of photocopies and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials. Unpublished materials created before January 1, 1978 cannot be quoted in publication without permission of the copyright holder.

Provenance

Purchase, 1972.

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Container List

Series I: Family papers

Scope and Contents Note

This series consists primarily of correspondence spanning several generations of families related to Henry Fairfield Osborn.

Materials are organized into five subseries. Subseries I.1, Correspondence of Sturges, Cady, Perry and Osborn family members, includes correspondence of HFO's maternal grandparents, Jonathan Sturges and Mary (Cady) Sturges; his parents, William Osborn and Virginia (Sturges) Osborn; and various other members of the Cady family. Henry Fairfield Osborn's personal correspondence with his wife, Lucretia ("Lulu") Perry Osborn, is also included, along with other Perry family correspondence, primarily between Lulu and her mother, Josephine Perry.

Early correspondence between Jonathan and Mary Sturges describes transportation and travel, food, health and medical care in the 1830's.

Cady family correspondence includes letters between Mary (Cady) Sturges and her mother Elizabeth Cady, her aunt Olive Cady, and her sister Elizabeth Cady (later Mrs. Hamilton Murray). Letters span the period from 1832 to 1888, and discuss family news, health and events of daily life.

Correspondence of the children of Jonathan and Mary Sturges includes letters by and between Virginia Osborn's siblings and their families, including a letter from J.P. Morgan, who married Virginia's sister Amelia Sturges. Amelia died of tuberculosis shortly after their marriage, and Morgan's letter to Jonathan Sturges, written December 28, 1861, describes her critical condition.

Of particular interest is a folder of letters between Mary Sturges and her Fredericksburg friend Jane Beale, who remained in Virginia during the Civil War. The letters were written after the war, and describe the difficulties the confederate Beale family endured during and after the conflict.

Subseries I.2, Correspondence of Osborn family children, contains correspondence of HFO's four surviving children (Virginia, Perry, Fairfield Jr., and Josephine) from early childhood, when they were away at boarding school, to adulthood, and includes many letters from their travels abroad.

Subseries I.3, Other family papers and photographs, includes genealogical and biographical information about the various families; a small number of business, and legal papers, including wills and deeds and leases for family property; several folders of ephemera and photographs, including a few of HFO on an expedition in Egypt; and passports and visas issued to Henry and Lulu Osborn in the 1920's and 1930's. This subseries also includes a poignant memorial album for HFO's sister Virginia Reed Osborn, who died when she was only 20 years old.

Subseries I.4, Correspondence and clippings of Lucretia Perry Osborn, includes materials relating to Lulu Osborn's activities outside the family circle, including several boxes of correspondence and clippings, primarily concerning her 1927 monograph Washington in His Own Words.

Subseries I.5, Journals, consists of bound journals, including an 1868 datebook of William Osborn (from Europe), several diaries and "common place books" of Virginia Osborn (1850-1851, 1871, 1875), and an 1883 journal of Lulu Perry.

Subseries I.1: Correspondence of Sturges, Cady, Perry and Osborn family members

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Letters between Jonathan Sturges and Mary (Cady) Sturges
1832-1837, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Cady family correspondence

Scope and Contents Note

Includes letters to and from Elizabeth Cady (mother of Mary Cady Sturges') and between her daughters

1832-1883, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Correspondence of Mary (Cady) Sturges
1851-1882, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Letters from Jane Beale to Mary (Cady) Sturges
1865-1882
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Sturges' family correspondence

Scope and Contents Note

Includes letters to and from the children of Jonathan and Mary Sturges, and their spouses (including J.P. Morgan, who married Amelia Sturges).

1854-1883, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Other family correspondence; unidentified correspondents
1858-1885, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Family correspondence of Virginia Osborn
1860-1884, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 1 General correspondence of Virginia and William Osborn

Scope and Contents Note

Includes letters from Frederic Church (one illustrated), his wife Isabel, and Worthington Wittredge

1869-1899, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Letters from Virginia Osborn to Henry Fairfield Osborn
1873-1883
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Letters from Virginia Osborn to Henry Fairfield Osborn
1884-1901
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Letters from Virginia Osborn to Henry Fairfield Osborn
undated
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Correspondence of William Osborn and Henry Fairfield Osborn
1863-1900, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 1 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to William Henry Osborn and Virginia Osborn

Related Archival Materials Note

For transcriptions of some of Henry Fairfield Osborn's letters to his parents, see Box 30, Folder 1.

1875-1896, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 2 Correspondence of Henry Fairfield Osborn and other family members; other early letters of Henry Fairfield Osborn

Related Archival Materials Note

For transcriptions of some of Henry Fairfield Osborn's letters to his brother William Church Osborn, see Box 30, Folder 2.

1871-1911, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 3 Letters from Virginia Osborn to Lulu (Perry) Osborn
1879-1891
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Letters from Virginia Osborn to Lulu (Perry) Osborn
1893-1901
Box: 3 Folder : 5-6 Letters from Virginia Osborn to Lulu (Perry) Osborn

Scope and Contents Note

Some letters refer to Frederic Church and Olana.

Also includes one letter from Jonathan Sturges to Lulu Perry.

undated
Box: 4 Folder : 1 Letters from Josephine Adams Perry to Lulu (Perry) Osborn
1883-1887
Box: 4 Folder : 3 Letters from Josephine Adams Perry to Lulu (Perry) Osborn
1888-1919
Box: 4 Folder : 3 Letters from Josephine Adams Perry to Lulu (Perry) Osborn
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 4 Letters from Josephine Adams Perry to Lulu (Perry) Osborn
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 3 Letters from Alexander James Perry to Lulu (Perry) Osborn
1876-1888, undated
Box: 4 Folder : 5 Letters from Josephine Adams Perry to Henry Fairfield Osborn; other Perry family correspondence
1881-1887, undated
Box: 4 Folder : 6 Letters from Lulu (Perry) Osborn to Josephine Adams Perry and Virginia Osborn
1857, 1896, undated
Box: 5 Folder : 1 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1881 January - April
Box: 5 Folder : 2 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1881 May
Box: 5 Folder : 3 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1881 July - December
Box: 5 Folder : 4 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1882 - 1885
Box: 5 Folder : 5 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1886-1889
Box: 5 Folder : 6 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1890-1893
Box: 5 Folder : 7 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
Box: 6 Folder : 1 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1894-1901
Box: 6 Folder : 2 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1902-1904
Box: 6 Folder : 3 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1906-1907
Box: 6 Folder : 4 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1908-1912
Box: 6 Folder : 5 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1913-1916, 1920-1927
Box: 6 Folder : 6-7 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
undated
Box: 7 Folder : 1-3 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
undated
Box: 7 Folder : 4 Letters from Lulu Osborn to Henry Fairfield Osborn
1881
Box: 7 Folder : 5 Letters from Lulu Osborn to Henry Fairfield Osborn
1882-1889
Box: 7 Folder : 6 Letters from Lulu Osborn to Henry Fairfield Osborn
1890-1893
Box: 7 Folder : 7 Letters from Lulu Osborn to Henry Fairfield Osborn
1894-1918
Box: 8 Folder : 1-7 Letters from Lulu Osborn to Henry Fairfield Osborn
undated
Box: 8A Folder : 1 General correspondence of Lulu Osborn
1875-1922
Box: 8A Folder : 2 General correspondence of Lulu Osborn
1923-1929
Box: 8A Folder : 3 General correspondence of Lulu Osborn
undated

Subseries I.2: Correspondence of Osborn family children

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 9 Folder : 1 Correspondence of Virginia Osborn (daughter)
1885-1900
Box: 9 Folder : 2 Correspondence of Virginia Osborn (daughter)
1901-1904
Box: 9 Folder : 3 Correspondence of Virginia Osborn (daughter)
1905=1926
Box: 9 Folder : 4-5 Correspondence of Virginia Osborn (daughter)
undated
Box: 10 Folder : 1-3 Correspondence of Virginia Osborn (daughter)
undated
Box: 10 Folder : 4 Correspondence of A. Perry Osborn (son)
1897-1932, undated
Box: 10 Folder : 5 Correspondence, Henry Fairfield Osborn, Jr. (son)
1890-1903
Box: 10 Folder : 6 Correspondence, Henry Fairfield Osborn, Jr. (son)
1905-1928
Box: 11 Folder : 1-3 Correspondence, Henry Fairfield Osborn, Jr. (son)
undated
Box: 11 Folder : 4 Correspondence, Josephine Osborn (daughter)
1896-1907
Box: 11 Folder : 5 Correspondence, Josephine Osborn (daughter)
1907-1908
Box: 12 Folder : 1 Correspondence, Josephine Osborn (daughter)
1908-1921
Box: 12 Folder : 2 Correspondence, Josephine Osborn (daughter)
1926-1932
Box: 12 Folder : 5 Correspondence, Josephine Osborn (daughter)
undated
Box: 12 Folder : 6 Correspondence "P.W." (friend of family?)
undated
Box: 12 Folder : 7 Correspondence and ephemera relating to education of Henry Fairfield Osborn's grandchildren
1932-1935

Subseries I.3: Other family papers and photographs

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 13 Folder : 1 Deeds and mortgages
1818-1897
Box: 13 Folder : 2 Business papers, William Henry Osborn
1870's
Box: 13 Folder : 2 Checks, American Exchange National Bank
1880's
Box: 13 Folder : 3 Estate and wills, William Henry Osborn and Virginia Osborn
1868-1895
Box: 13 Folder : 4 Biographical materials, William Henry Osborn
1920's-1930's, undated
Box: 30 Folder : 7 Biographical materials, William Henry Osborn
Box: 13 Folder : 5 Biographical materials and tributes, Virginia Osborn
1910-1914
Box: 13 Folder : 6 Memberships and charitable work, Virginia Osborn

Scope and Contents Note

Includes material relating to the Training School for Nurses, Army Relief Society, New York Cooking School, and New York Philharmonic

1903-1928
Box: 13 Folder : 7 Genealogical and biographical materials, Sturges family
1894-1922
Box: 14 Folder : 1 Program for dinner in honor of Jonathan Sturges; Poem dedicated to Mary (Cady) Sturges
1868, 1886
Box: 14 Folder : 2 Genealogical and biographical materials, Perry family
Box: 14 Folder : 3-4 Genealogical and biographical materials, Osborn family
Box: 14 Folder : 5 Histories of Fairfield, Connecticut, by Henry Fairfield Osborn and Henry Sturges
1910, 1935
Box: 14 Folder : 6 Passports and visas, Henry Fairfield Osborn and Lulu Osborn
1920's-1930's
Box: 14 Folder : 7-8 Assorted ephemera (includes calling cards, baptism cards, Christmas cards, programs, and other materials)
Box: 31 Folder : 3 Memorial scrapbook of materials relating to HFO's sister Virginia Sturges Osborn (1854-1874)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes condolence letters, reminescences, a lock of hair and a childhood photograph.

circa 1875
Box: 15 Folder : Lantern slides from lecture on Fairfield, Connecticut
undated
Box: 15 Folder : Film reel labeled "Garrison 1932"
1932
Box: 15 Folder : 1 Photographs of Henry Fairfield Osborn and associates

Scope and Contents Note

Includes lock of hair and baby photo of HFO, as well as photos from various trips and expeditions.

1877, 1907, 1913, 1921, undated
Box: 15 Folder : 2 Photographs of family members and others; unidentified photographs
undated
Box: 15 Folder : 3-4 Requests for photographs and related correspondence
1920's-1930's

Subseries I.4: Correspondence and clippings of Lucretia Perry Osborn

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 16 Folder : 1 Correspondence with Charles Scribner's Sons Publishers
1927-1928
Box: 16 Folder : 2 Correspondence regarding book research
1922-1929
Box: 16 Folder : 3 Letters acknowledging receipt of book
1928
Box: 16 Folder : 4-6 Ephemera relating to book research (publications, pamphlets, event flyers)
Box: 16 Folder : 7 Research notes
Box: 16 Folder : 8 Articles and other writings of Lulu Perry
undated
Box: 17 Folder : 1 News clippings: reviews
1928
Box: 17 Folder : 2-3 News clippings: research
Box: 17 Folder : 4 Miscellaneous news clippings and poetry
Box: 18 Folder : 1 Miscellaneous news clippings and poetry
Box: 18 Folder : 2 Clippings and pamphlets relating to Great Britain/WWI
1910's-1920's

Subseries I.5: Journals

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 18 Volume : 1 Date book, William Osborn
1868
Box: 18 Volume : 2 Journal, Virginia Osborn
1851
Box: 18 Volume : 3 Journal, Virginia Osborn
1871
Box: 18 Volume : 4 Journal, Virginia Osborn
1875
Box: 18 Volume : 5 Commonplace book (school), Virginia Osborn
1844
Box: 18 Volume : 6 Commonplace book (school), Virginia Osborn
undated
Box: 18 Volume : 7 Religious journal, Virginia Osborn (notes for Bible School?)
1876
Box: 17 Volume : 8 Journal, Lulu Perry
1883
Box: 18 Volume : 9 "Recollections of a Happy Life" by Elizabeth Christophers Hobson

Scope and Contents Note

Includes references to Virginia Osborn, a friend of the author

1916
Box: 18 Folder : 3 Extra pages of "Recollections of a Happy Life"

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Series II: Henry Fairfield Osborn papers

Scope and Contents Note

Series II, Henry Fairfield Osborn papers, is organized into five subseries. (Note that this Series does not include the family correspondence of Henry Fairfield Osborn, which is found in Series I, Family Papers.)

Subseries II.1, Correspondence and related materials, includes HFO's non-family correspondence, primarily with professional colleagues and scientist friends. The most frequent correspondent is HFO's Princeton classmate and fellow paleontologist William Berryman Scott. Their letters (foldered separately) discuss both personal news and professional matters.

The remaining correspondence is foldered chronologically, and includes frequent letters between HFO and British evolutionary biologist Sir Edward B. Poulton. Other notable correspondents include Howard Crosby Butler, Charles F. Dawes, Seth Low, John Muir, John Stewart Kingsley, and Edith Roosevelt. Topics include professional research, publications and speaking engagements, and news about colleagues and friends.

Subseries II.2, Associations and honors, includes correspondence and other papers relating to HFO's numerous memberships in professional and social organizations and clubs, and his many honorary degrees, medals and decorations. Notable memberships include several organizations that promoted eugenics and/or racial purity, including the American Eugenics Society, the American Genetic Association, the Aryan Society, and the Galton Society. HFO was also a member of the exclusive Zodiac Club, along with J.P. Morgan, and this subseries includes invitations to dinners and other Zodiac Club correspondence. There are also several folders of correspondence relating to alumni events at Princeton. In addition, there is material relating to tributes in honor of HFO's birthdays, his retirement from AMNH and various other occasions.

Subseries II.3, Speaking engagements and publications, includes programs and announcements of some of HFO's lectures, and drafts of a talk ("What a Girl Can Do") and article on the topic of suitable occupations for women. Also included are articles by HFO on religion and evolution and on the history of the New York Zoological Society, which HFO founded (now known as the Wildlife Conservation Society, it manages the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo and the New York Aquarium). There are also several folders of notes and drafts, and several folders of correspondence with Charles Scribner's Sons, who published multiple books by HFO.

Subseries II.4, Professional appointments and biographical information, contains material relating to HFO's tenure as President of the American Museum of Natural History (1908-1933). This includes correspondence and papers relating to the "Bumpus Affair" of 1910-1911, a conflict over exhibits between HFO and AMNH director Dr. H.C. Bumpus which resulted in the latter's resignation, and correspondence concerning the Roosevelt Memorial (cornerstone laid in 1931). Also included is one folder of material relating to HFO's appointment as a professor at Columbia University, and some biographical articles and notes.

Subseries II.5, Journals, consists primarily of annual leather-bound datebooks kept by HFO between 1899 and 1935. These contain both professional and personal notations, regarding appointments, engagements, travel and scientific observations, birthdays of friends and families, and significant events. Clippings, calling cards and similar materials were sometimes inserted next to related entries; to retain context, these have not been removed so researchers should be careful when handling.

There are also a few more extensive travel and expedition journals: 1867-68, 1871 (Europe), 1879 (Coburg/London), 1885 (Germany), 1913 (Western United States), and 1922 (China/Mongolia).

Subseries II.1: Correspondence and related materials

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 19 Folder : 1 General correspondence, Henry Fairfield Osborn

Scope and Contents Note

Correspondents include Alexander Agassiz (son of Louis Agassiz), Edith Roosevelt, and Benjamin Sharp.

1879, 1884-1889, undated
Box: 19 Folder : 2 General correspondence, Henry Fairfield Osborn

Scope and Contents Note

Includes a letter from John Muir while on the Alaska Harriman Expedition in 1899.

1890-1899
Box: 19 Folder : 3 General correspondence, Henry Fairfield Osborn

Scope and Contents Note

Includes 1912 correspondence between HFO and Jacob Schiff regarding the issue of immigration restriction.

1901-1913
Box: 19 Folder : 4 General correspondence, Henry Fairfield Osborn
1914-1920
Box: 19 Folder : 5 General correspondence, Henry Fairfield Osborn
Box: 19 Folder : 6 General correspondence, Henry Fairfield Osborn
1926-1931
Box: 20 Folder : 1 General correspondence, Henry Fairfield Osborn
1932-1936
Box: 20 Folder : 2 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osbon to William Berryman Scott

Related Archival Materials Note

For transcriptions of these letters, see Box 30, Folder 3.

1876-1882
Box: 20 Folder : 3 Correspondence of Henry Fairfield Osborn and William Berryman Scott

Related Archival Materials Note

For transcriptions of these letters, see Box 30, Folder 4.

1883-1892
Box: 20 Folder : 5 Correspondence of Henry Fairfield Osborn and William Berryman Scott

Related Archival Materials Note

For transcriptions of some of these letters, see Box 30, Folder 4.

1893-1914
Box: 20 Folder : 5 Correspondence of Henry Fairfield Osborn and William Berryman Scott
1921-1925

Subseries II.2: Associations and honors

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 21 Folder : 1 Memberships "A" (includes Argentina and Austria)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes Andrew Ward Association and Aryan Society.

1910's-1930'sm
Box: 21 Folder : 2 Memberships "A" ("American")

Scope and Contents Note

Includes American Ethnological Society, American Eugenics Society, and American Genetic Association.

1910-s-1930's
Box: 21 Folder : 3 Memberships "B" (includes Belgium)
1910-s-1930's
Box: 21 Folder : 4 Memberships "C" (includes China, Cuba and Czechoslovakia)
1910-s-1930's
Box: 21 Folder : 5 Memberships "D"-"F" (includes France)
1910-s-1930's
Box: 21 Folder : 6 Memberships "G" (includes Great Britain)
1910-s-1930's
Box: 21 Folder : 9 Memberships "H"-"I" (includes Italy)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes Immigration Restriction League, International Commission of Eugenics, and International Congress of Americanists.

1910's-1930's
Box: 22 Folder : 1 Memberships "N"

Scope and Contents Note

Includes New York Zoological Society

1910's-1930's
Box: 22 Folder : 2 Memberships "P" (includes "Persia")

Scope and Contents Note

Includes correspondence relating to "hoax" Puritan Memorial organization

1910's-1930's
Box: 22 Folder : 3 Memberships "R" (includes Russia)
1910's-1930's
Box: 22 Folder : 4 Memberships "S" (includes Sweden)
Box: 22 Folder : 5 Memberships "T"-"Z"
1910's-1930's
Box: 22 Folder : 6-7 Memberships -- Committees
1910's-1930's
Box: 22 Folder : 8 Memberships -- Mayor's Committee of Welcome
1913-1935
Box: 22 Folder : 9-10 Medals and decorations
1910's-1930's
Box: 23 Folder : 1 Clubs

Scope and Contents Note

Includes The Explorers Club and the Zodiac Club (correspondence, invitations and membership cards)

1910's-1930's
Box: 23 Folder : 2-3 Honorary degrees
1910's-1930's
Box: 23 Folder : 4 Princeton University
1877-1930
Box: 23 Folder : 5 Princeton University
1932-1935
Box: 23 Folder : 6 Princeton University -- Printed material and ephemera
1870's-1930's
Box: 24 Folder : 2 Tributes -- Chamber of Commerce
1929
Box: 24 Folder : 3 Tributes -- 70th Birthday
1927
Box: 24 Folder : 4 Tributes -- 75th Birthday
1932
Box: 24 Folder : 5 Tributes -- 76th and 77th Birthdays
1933-1934
Box: 24 Folder : 6 Retirement from AMNH
1933

Subseries II.3: Speaking engagements and publications

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 24 Folder : 7 Speaking engagements -- programs and printed material
1910's-1930's
Box: 24 Folder : 8 Speaking engagements and articles -- "What a Girl Can Do"
1935
Box: 25 Folder : 1 Articles and requests for articles relating to religion and evolution
1910's-1920's
Box: 25 Folder : 2 Published and unpublished histories of the New York Zoological Society by Henry Fairfield Osborn
1900-1935
Box: 25 Folder : 3-4 Drafts and notes
undated
Box: 25 Folder : 5 Correspondence with Charles Scribner's Sons
1925-1930
Box: 25 Folder : 6 Correspondence with Charles Scribner's Sons
1931-1936

Subseries II.4: Professional appointments and biographical material

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 26 Folder : 1 AMNH: Appointments and financial documents
1910's-1930's
Box: 26 Folder : 2 AMNH: Bumpus Affair
1910
Box: 26 Folder : 3 AMNH: Bumpus Affair
1910-1911
Box: 26 Folder : 4 AMNH: Roosevelt Memorial
1920's-1930's
Box: 26 Folder : 6-7 Checks and receipts for money paid to H.A. Whiteside
1922-1923
Box: 27 Folder : 1-3 Articles and clippings relating to Henry Fairfield Osborn
1910's-1930's
Box: 27 Folder : 4 Correspondence and notes relating to biography of Henry Fairfield Osborn

Related Archival Materials Note

See also Box 30, Folder 7.

1934-1936, undated

Subseries II.5: Journals

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 28 Journals, Datebooks/Diaries

Separated Materials Note

Several maps and other loose materials were removed from Osborn's 1913 journal and re-housed in Box 31, Folder 2.

1867-1868, 1871, 1899-1921
Box: 29 Datebooks/Diaries
1922-1935
Box: 27 Folder : 5 Travel diary, Coburg

Related Archival Materials Note

For transcription of this diary, see Box 30, Folder 8.

1879
Box: 27 Folder : 5 Travel diary, Germany
1885
Box: 27 Folder : 6 Transcription of 1871 journal of trip to Europe
1871
Box: 27 Folder : 6 Notes from expedition to Tennessee
undated
Box: 27 Folder : 5 Itinerary, 1933 trip to England and France
1933

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Series III: Transcriptions and oversize material

Scope and Contents Note

This series consists mainly of transcriptions of primary material found elsewhere in the collection, including some of Osborn's correspondence and a few journal excerpts. Also included is a typewritten extract relating to Osborn and the Princeton Scientific Expedition to the West in 1877 from "W.B. Scott: Materials for an Autobiography." There are also several pieces of oversize ephemera, including a 1931 certificate of appreciation issued to Henry Osborn as one of the Founders of the Save the Redwoods League.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 30 Folder : 1 Transcriptions, Henry Fairfield Osborn letters to William H. Osborn (father)
1879-1890
Box: 30 Folder : 2 Transcriptions, Henry Fairfield Osborn letters to William Church Osborn (brother)
1883-1886
Box: 30 Folder : 4 Transcriptions, Henry Fairfield Osborn letters to William Berryman Scott
1876-1882
Box: 30 Folder : 5 Transcriptions, Henry Fairfield Osborn letters to Edward Poulton and Frank Speir
1880's-1890's
Box: 30 Folder : 6 Extracts from W.B. Scott Materials for autobiography
undated
Box: 30 Folder : 7 Biographical information, Henry William Osborn and Henry Fairfield Osborn
Box: 30 Folder : 8 Transcription, Travel diary, Coburg
1876
Box: 30 Folder : 9 Transcription, Diary excerpts
1901-1903
Box: 31 Folder : 1 Ephemera and notes

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