Manuscripts Collections

The New York Society Library's manuscript collections primarily consists of letters, and personal and family archival collections.  The collection is largely comprised of the papers of the Goodhue, Harison, and Bowne Families. These collections include letters from early American political figures such as Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and Gouverneur Morris, as well as account books and diaries. The remainder of the collection is mainly comprised of autograph letters from eighteenth and nineteenth century political and literary figures, some of whom were Library members. Additional miscellaneous items in the collection include research notes, travel documents, clippings, indentures, diplomas, and documents relating to the establishment and maintenance of various government, educational, and religious institutions.

This collection has been minimally processed and a complete finding aid is not yet available, but it is accessible to researchers by appointment.  For more information, please see the Using Special Collections page on the Library's website.

New York Society Library Institutional Archives

The Institutional Archives provides documentation of the New York Society Library’s rich history. Covering NYSL’s creation in 1754 through the present, institutional records include library catalogues, circulation and shareholder records, ledgers and other financial documents, correspondence, minutes, and printed materials. These collections will be of interest to researchers of literary culture and reading, as well as the history of early American institutions and New York City.

Generally, the finding aid describes materials that have not been digitized, but that can be accessed by researchers by appointment onsite. To make an appointment, please visit the Using Special Collections page on the New York Society Library's website.
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The New York
Society Library

53 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10075

Hours of Operation

Monday / Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday / Sunday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Holiday Closing:

The Library will be closed
Mon, 12/25 & Tues, 12/26.

Otherwise we observe normal hours.
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