With this post, the New-York Historical Society Library introduces a new quarterly feature in which we will highlight the collections for which detailed finding aids were published over the prior three months. All collections receive at least a summary description in our catalog, BobCat. But many collections have such depth or are simply so large or complex that a fuller roadmap to them is warranted. Follow this link to the full text search engine for all N-YHS finding aids.


James R. Dumpson (left) with New York Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr., 1959?, James R. Dumpson Papers, MS 3078, The New-York Historical Society

Nancy S. Dickinson Research Notes, 1983-1992 (MS 3077), 2 linear feet

  • Research notes of Nancy S. Dickinson, a research fellow at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation from 1986-1987. The work was funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for a larger project entitled “English Ceramics in America 1760-1860: Marketing, Prices, and Availability.” Dickinson’s research focused on the ceramics trade in New York during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

James R. Dumpson Papers, circa 1922-2015 (MS 3078), 23 linear feet

  • Speeches, conference papers, correspondence, scrapbooks, and publications of James R. Dumpson (1909–2012), New York City Commissioner of Welfare (1959–1965). When appointed Dumpson was the first African American welfare commissioner in the United States, and the first social worker to oversee welfare in New York. He later served as Dean of Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service (1967–1974), and Administrator of New York City’s Human Resources Administration (1974–1976). The collection includes material from Dumpson’s time as United Nations Advisor and Chief of Training in Social Welfare to the Government of Pakistan (1953–1954), and from his work in South Vietnam during the 1960s and 1970s for the U.S. Senate Sub-Committee on Refugees and Escapees.

George F. Kunz Papers, 1862-1932 (MS 358), 2.5 linear feet

  • About 2400 letters to gemologist and mineralogist George Frederick Kunz (1856-1932), with some carbon copies of his outgoing letters and some ephemera related to his activities. The letters are from hundreds of correspondents, and date mostly from the early 1900s and into the 1920s. The subject matter ranges across Kunz’s professional and personal interests, including correspondence with publishers and editors; academics and others seeking or providing information about gems and precious stones; members and fellow officers of the many committees and clubs he participated in, concerning organizational activities; and individuals and organizations seeking his financial or other support.


“Engagement between the Bon Homme Richard and Serapis” (detail), W&C Inventory No. 540; Olds No. 89. Irving S. Olds Collection of Naval and Other Historical Prints and Related Papers, PR 47, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, The New-York Historical Society

Carole De Saram Collection of Posters, 1971-2001 (PR 371), 7 linear feet

  • Posters from the 1970s-early 2000s, including promotional posters for events around New York City (particularly in Tribeca), maps, movie and television advertisements, prints of artwork from earlier time periods, and calendars.

Gerald K. Geerlings Prints, 1975-1976 (PR 390), 1.5 linear feet

  • Eleven prints of New York City scenes of the 1970s, drawn, printed and signed by Gerald K. Geerlings (1897-1998).

Marie-Louise Love’s Analysis of Chelsea District, 1961 (PR 389), 1 album

  • A report from Marie-Louise Love (1922-2012) to Mr. J.O. Johnsen of Drydock Savings Bank concerning the New York City neighborhood of Chelsea. In the form of an album, the report includes Love’s summary of the area’s history, status as of 1961 of the area’s demographics and built environment, the Chelsea Conservation Area Program, and Chelsea’s transportation, recreation, religious, and restaurant and hotel facilities. The report also includes several photographs of prominent buildings in the neighborhood and of street views.

Irving S. Olds Collection of Naval and Other Historical Prints and Related Papers, 1587-1960 (PR 47), 20 linear feet

  • Approximately 600 engravings, etchings, lithographs, and other prints collected by lawyer and industrialist Irving S. Olds (1887-1963). The bulk of the prints portray scenes and events from the United States’ colonial, Revolutionary, and early republic periods. These are primarily military in nature, most especially naval actions, with the American Revolution and the War of 1812 being particularly well-represented. Comprising the balance of the prints are portraits of naval commanders and prominent Americans (especially George Washington), views of New York City and the Hudson Valley, colonial era historical scenes, and some early maps. In addition, there are some of Olds’s personal papers that relate to his collection, including his prepared remarks for lantern slide presentations of his collection in the 1950s, catalogues, a photograph album related to his wife Evelyn Foster Olds’s posthumous exhibition at the Peabody Museum of her work based on images from Olds’s collection, and other documents.

Ira Unschuld Collection of Print Club of New York Presentation Prints, 1994-2015 (PR 388), 3 linear feet

  • The Print Club of New York annually commissions an artist to create a print for presentation to each of its 200 members. This collection holds ten of these prints.


“John Sylvestro.” Lewis Hine New York City Newsboys (“Newsies”) Album, page 41 (digital image 76005d), PR 188, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, The New-York Historical Society.

Lewis Hine New York City Newsboys (“Newsies”) Album, ca. 1908-1912 (PR 188), 1 album

  • Collection consists of 43 photographs, mounted on loose album pages, of New York City newsboys (or “newsies”) probably taken by Lewis Hine for the National Child Labor Committee circa 1908-1912. All photographs are captioned with the subject’s name, age, address, school, whether they had a badge or not, and the location of the photograph.

Ron Meisel Photographs of Coney Island, 2005-2008 (PR 377), 3.5 linear feet

  • 10 color photographs of Coney Island, taken by photographer Ron Meisel (1952-) between 2005 and 2007. Images include amusement park attractions and participants in the annual Mermaid Parade. Also included is a small exhibition catalog, “Greetings from Coney Island,” from a 2008 exhibition of Meisel’s photographs at the Brooklyn Public Library.

Nancy Sirkis Photographs, 2006-2008 (PR 387), 2.5 linear feet

  • 8 photographs of New York City street scenes from each of the five boroughs taken between 2006 and 2008. Captioned, signed, and dated by the photographer, Nancy Sirkis.

David Backman Collection of Photographs, 1953-1989 (PR 383), .5 linear feet

  • 10 portraits of Marilyn Monroe by André de Dienes, and 21 photographs by photojournalist Ken Regan.

Edward Farbenblum and Orly Lieberman Collection of Photographs, 1924-1993 (PR 378), 5 linear feet

  • New York theatre and Hollywood film portraits and production photos dating from 1924-1993, as well as a small amount of ephemera.

Mordechai Littman Collection of Photographs, 1928-1948  (PR 379), .5 linear feet

  • Photographs of classic Hollywood publicity and glamour portraiture from a variety of studios (Warner Bros, Fox, Universal, Paramount, RKO) and photographers (Roman Freulich, Hurrell, Eugene Robert Richee, Ernest Bachrach, and more), dating from 1928-1948.

Howard and Meital Teitelman Collection of Photographs, circa 1860-1976 (PR 386), 1 linear foot

  • 13 photographs by various photographers: Arnold Eagle, Jill Freedman, Morris Huberland, Consuelo Kanaga, and Barton Silverman. The images date from circa 1860 to 1976, and include New York City street scenes and portraits.

This post is by Larry Weimer, Head of Archival Processing.