Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Archives related to: Field, William B. Osgood

titleWilliam B. Osgood Field Papers, 1610-1952, n.d. (MssCol 6090)
repositoryNew York Public Library, Manuscripts and Archives Division
descriptionThe William B. Osgood Field Papers consist of family, personal, and office correspondence; financial documents; diaries; genealogical records; school and college memorabilia; photographs; and ephemera which record his and his family's commercial, philanthropic, and social activities, chiefly between 1897 and 1934. While the bulk of the collection consists of William B. Osgood Field's papers, other family members are well represented, especially his wife, mother, sister, uncle Osgood, and daughter Marjorie.

The collection is arranged so that William B. Osgood Field's papers come first, followed by the papers of other family members, in alphabetical order.

Some materials are in German, French, and Italian.

Biographical note
William Bradhurst Osgood Field and his family were prominent members of New York City and Lenox, Massachusetts society during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Field was an avid book collector, gentleman farmer, and philanthropist who sat on the boards of many organizations, both
commercial and charitable, and was a member of over twenty clubs and societies. He and his family divided the year between the family's three homes: 645 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, High Lawn in Lenox, and Westfield in Mohegan Lake, N.Y.

His mother, Augusta Currie Bradhurst Field, and his sister, Mary Pearsall Field, were society women who traveled throughout Europe and entertained at their homes in New York City and Mohegan Lake. Mary maintained an extensive correspondence with friends and family. Lila Vanderbilt Sloane Field, his wife, was a great-granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Like her husband, Lila was involved in a number of charitable organizations and was an accomplished sportswoman.

William and Lila were the parents of four children. Their older son, William Osgood Field, became a noted glaciologist. Frederick Vanderbilt Field, their younger son, became a member of the Communist movement and the author of a number of books about Asia's economy in the 1930s. Marjorie Lila and
Mary Augusta were their two daughters. Marjorie and her husband H. George Wilde took over the High Lawn estate and turned it into one of the region's top dairy farms.

William's paternal uncle, Osgood Field, was a prominent member of London and Rome society in the second half of the 19th century. He conducted the family's business in London and undertook extensive research into the history of the Field family. He published his results as The Fields of
Sowerby near Halifax, England, and of Flushing, New York in 1895.

Related collections include the Field-Osgood Family Papers; Manuscript Division; Library of Congress; Washington, D.C.
extent112 linear feet (274 boxes, 1 map case folder).
formatsCorrespondence Financial Records Diaries Ephemera Photographs
accessApply in the Special Collections Office for admission to the Manuscripts and Archives Division. Diaries (1910-1933) of Marjorie Field Wilde and her correspondence with her husband, Helm George Wilde, are closed until 2026.
record link
record source
finding aidCollection guide available in repository and on internet:
acquisition informationThe Field-Osgood Family Papers were given to the Library of Congress by Diana Field from 1996 to 1998. The material was received jointly by the Manuscript Division and the Prints and Photographs Division. A group of Field-Osgood family pictorial material remains in the Prints and Photographs Division.
updated03/16/2023 10:29:59