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Guide to the New-York Historical Society Collection of Certificates
1700-1991
 PR 014

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


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Kelly McAnnaney (2008). Revised by Marybeth Kavanagh (2018).

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 03, 2021 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Container List

Series IV: Civic, 1778-1943

Scope and Contents Note

This series includes commendations, membership, and professional certificates. Most were issued by fire and police departments

One fire department certificate is a colorful lithograph printed by Currier and Ives. New York City Fire Department certificates include several engraved by Peter Maverick from a drawing by Archibald Robertson. Another certificate, a fireman's exemption from jury duty, has an 1829 ten cent piece attached. Other fire department certificates were isuued by Albany, Paterson, San Francisco, and Toledo departments.

Police department certificates include appointments to various positions in the New York City and Morrisania departments as well as a membership certificate to the Police Endowment Fund Association. One 1896 certificate is signed by Theodore Roosevelt, then president of New York's Board of Police Commissioners. Certificates given to policemen to commemorate cases they helped solve are hand-lettered and illustrated. One of these has an albumen portrait of Elmira, NY Police Chief Levi D. Little attached.

Membership certificates from the Committee of Vigilance of the City of San Francisco include several that once belonged to John Stoneacre Ellis. There is also a certificate heralding the appointment of Benjamin Crane to Superintendent of Central Park 1870.

Certificates honoring retiring or resigning workers are particularly beautiful. A certificate recording the resignation of fireman Zophar Mills includes an albumen photograph of a fire engine. Another, given to Colonel J. Mayhew Wainwright upon his resignation as the Commissioner of the Westchester County Park Commission, is hand-lettered in the style of an illuminated manuscript. Also included are certificates for Columbus Ryan, George Rivet Van Namee, and John W. Chambers. An albumen photograph of John Chambers is included on his certificate.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Folder: FF59 Bronx Borough President
1917
Folder: FF59 City of New York Department of Public Parks
1870
Box: 2 Folder : 6-7 Fire Departments-New York City-Manhattan
1778-1883
Folder: FF5-FF6 Fire Departments-New York City-Manhattan
1808-1914, undated
Folder: FF60 Fire Departments-New York City-Manhattan
1829-1893
Folder: Oversize FF 82 Fire Departments-New York City-Manhattan
1859, 1864
Folder: FF7 Fire Departments-New York City-Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens
1850-1901
Folder: FF61 Fire Departments-New York City-Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens
1829-1903, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 8 Fire Departments-Cities other than New York
1828-1858, undated
Folder: FF62 Fire Departments- Cities other than New York
1851-1863, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 9 Police Departments-New York City
1851-1929
Folder: FF8 Police Departments-New York City
1866-1918
Folder: FF63 Police Departments-New York and other cities
1879-1884
Folder: FF59 NY State Public Service Commission
1943
Folder: FF9 San Francisco Committee of Vigilance
1851, undated
Folder: FF59 Westchester County Parks Commission
1936

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