Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Archives related to: Jesup, Morris K. (Morris Ketchum), 1830-1908

titleAmerican Museum of Natural History Correspondence, 1900-1904.
repositoryAmerican Museum of Natural History
descriptionCorrespondence pertaining to the collecting of ethnographic artifacts of China, funded in part by Jacob H. Schiff, and conducted by Dr. Berthold Laufer. Correspondence refers to planning the collection project, its financial aspects, and letters between Laufer in the field with Morris K. Jesup, Museum President, and with Franz Boas, Curator of the Museum's Dept. of Ethnology. Laufer briefly discusses the routes he took to collect artifacts; content of most letters is operational regarding his collecting.
extent1 v.
formatsCorrespondence Financial Papers
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record source
updated03/16/2023 10:29:52

titleAmerican Museum of Natural History Administrative files, 1869-1968.
repositoryAmerican Museum of Natural History
descriptionVery extensive correspondence files from the administrative offices of the Museum, dealing with all aspects of the Museum's history beginning with its founding in 1869. Records were created under the administration of Presidents John D. Wolfe, 1869-1872; Robert L. Stuart, 1872-1881; Morris K. Jesup, 1881-1908; Henry Fairfield Osborn, 1908-1933; F. Trubee Davison, 1933-1951; and Alexander M. White, 1952-1968. Also, Directors Hermon C. Bumpus, 1902-1911; Frederic A. Lucas, 1911-1923; George H. Sherwood, 1923-1924; Roy Chapman Andrews, 1935-1941; Albert E. Parr, 1942-1958; and James A. Oliver, 1958-1968. Correspondence relating to the arranging and planning, including letters of introduction, for major expeditions such as Martin Johnson African Expedition, Jesup North Pacific Expedition, and Whitney South Seas Expedition; fund raising, bequests, construction of exhibition halls, preparation of exhibits, and acquisition of specimens; and scientific publications, building construction and building facilities, laboratories, specimen storage and space, relationships with scientific and other organizations, personnel matters, and accepting researchers to work in the Museum.

In addition, internal departmental reports; press releases; letters from visitors; discussion of scientific discoveries; accession records from many departments of the Museum, and department catalogs; minutes of the Museum's Board of Trustees and the Management Board; minutes of the American Museum of Natural History Planetarium Authority, 1869-1986; and budgets, pension reports and audit reports. Correspondence with early trustees of the Museum is also included as are a variety of administrative reports about numerous aspects of the Museum's history, functions, and operations. Other files relate to the Centennial celebration of the Museum's founding, 1969. Of special interest are the files of Henry Fairfield Osborn, emphasizing his paleontological interests.

His papers include correspondence and manuscript material for his Proboscidea publication, and material concerning fossil horses, correspondence with Roy Chapman Andrews and other paleontologists such as Childs Frick, and correspondence regarding the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall.
extent339 cubic ft., ca. 250 microfilm reels.
formatsAdministrative Records Correspondence
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record source
updated11/12/2014 11:29:51

titleTheodore Bronson Diary, 1880.
repositoryBrigham Young University Library
descriptionHandwritten diary. Bronson writes about his journey by train across the United States with Morris K. Jesup, the sponsor and member of the trip. He describes the lands which he saw and gives his impression of Salt Lake City, Utah, and the Mormons he met there. Bronson also writes about his stay in San Francisco, California, including visits to various buildings and an opium den.

American philanthropist.
extent1 vol. (107 pages).
accesscontact repository for any restrictions.
record source
updated11/12/2014 11:29:51

titlePapers of Frederic Ward Putnam, 1851-1916 (inclusive).
repositoryHarvard University Archives
descriptionContains mostly professional papers including correspondence, memoranda and scrapbooks. Material relating to World's Columbian Exposition includes correspondence files, contracts, reports, administrative and financial records, invitations, clippings, scrapbook, and other publications.

Teaching and research papers include notes, manuscripts, reports, diagrams, outlines, lists of specimens, and bibliographies on natural history and anthropology. Also drawings of fishes which are mostly Putnam's studies while working for Louis Agassiz. Other material includes correspondence with Morris K. Jesup and others; lectures and speeches; and photographs. Related publications and reference material also available in repository.

History notes
Frederic Ward Putnam (1839-1915) was one of the earliest anthropologists in the United States. He founded institutions for anthropological research at Harvard University and at the University of California, Berkeley, and worked to establish museum collections in anthropology. He taught anthropology, archaeology and ethnology at Harvard University. He directed some of the first field expeditions in the Americas.

Harvard Archives HUG 1717 [General folder]

Harvard Archives HUG 1717.1.5 [Card index to papers published by F. W. Putnam]

Harvard Archives HUG 1717.10 [American Museum of Natural History, New York]

Harvard Archives HUG 1717.12 [World’s Columbian Exposition, Memorandum Book]

Harvard Archives HUG 1717.13 [Exhibitors in the Dept. of Ethnology in the World’s Columbian Exposition]

Harvard Archives HUG 1717.15 [Chicago World’s Fair Scrapbook]

Harvard Archives HUG 1717.17 [Articles by R. W. Dexter on F. W. Putnam]

Harvard Archives HUG 1717.2 [Biographical materials]

Harvard Archives HUG 1717.2.1 [General correspondence]

Harvard Archives HUG 1717.2.10 PF [Drawings of fish]

Harvard Archives HUG 1717.2.12 [World’s Columbian Exposition, Correspondence I]

Harvard Archives HUG 1717.2.13 [World’s Columbian Exposition, Correspondence II]

Harvard Archives HUG 1717.2.14 [World’s Columbian Exposition, Records and Ephemera]

Harvard Archives HUG 1717.2.15 [World’s Columbian Exposition, Publications]

Harvard Archives HUG 1717.2.2 [Administrative, financial correspondence]

Harvard Archives HUG 1717.2.4 [Natural History and Anthropology]

Harvard Archives HUG 1717.2.5 [Lectures and Speeches]

Harvard Archives HUG 1717.2.6 [Publications]

Harvard Archives HUG 1717.2.7 [Notes and manuscripts]

Harvard Archives HUG 1717.2.8 [Photographs]

Harvard Archives HUG 1717.5 [University of California, Berkeley]

Harvard Archives HUG1717.xx
extent18 linear ft. of mss.
formatsCorrespondence Writings Research Files Photographs Scrapbooks
accessResearchers must seek the permission of the Harvard University Archives for access to, and for any uses of material in, the collection
record link
record source
finding aidDetailed inventory available on paper in the Harvard University Archives or electronically:
acquisition informationGifts of Alice Putnam, 1942-1948.
updated11/12/2014 11:29:51

titleLetter by Gov. of New York state, Frank W. Higgins dated April 25, 1906 regarding raising sums for money for earthquake relief.
repositoryCalifornia State Library
descriptionOne typewritten letter dated April 25, 1906, with handwritten signature, from Frank W. Higgins, Governor of New York, to Morris K. Jesup, Esq., President of the New York Chamber of Commerce. The letter acknowledges the raising of "large sums of money for the sufferers in San Francisco and making arrangements for its proper distribution, and offering the services of its committee ..." The letterhead imprint shows "State of New York / Executive Chamber / Albany." The upper right corner of the letter shows a round stamp imprint, "Morris K. Jesup / Received / Apr 25 1906 / New York."

Letter by Gov. of New York state, Frank W. Higgins dated April 25, 1906 regarding raising sums for money for earthquake relief.
extent1 letter, (1 p.) of 4 leaves ; (25 x 18 cm.)
accessUnrestricted. Please credit California State Library.
record source
updated11/12/2014 11:29:56

titleJoel Asaph Allen Correspondence, 1870-1919 (bulk 1899-1902).
repositoryAmerican Museum of Natural History
descriptionThe collection consists almost entirely of Allen's scientific correspondence, handwritten and typewritten. The last box includes some newspaper clippings and invitations.

Box 1 contains a large folder of correspondence from the years 1900-1902 between Allen and N.G. Buxton concerning Buxton's work in Siberia collecting zoological specimens as part of the Pacific Expedition.

There are also undated letters, including two from Herbert H. Smith. Box 2 contains one folder of miscellaneous correspondence, from 1870 to 1903. The bulk of the material, boxes 3 through 7, covers the period from Dec. 1899 through Dec. 1902. Correspondents include Outram Bangs, Frank M. Chapman, T.D.A. Cockerell, Daniel Giraud Elliot, William T. Hornaday, Morris K. Jesup, C. Hart Merriam, Gerrit S. Miller, Henry Fairfield Osborn, and Oldfield Thomas. The last box contains some additional miscellaneous letters; a folder of letters from 1909-1918; letters commenting on Allen's 1916 work, Autobiographical notes and a bibliography of the scientific publications of Joel Asaph Allen; a folder of notices of Allen's awards, honors, and elections to memberships in scientific organizations; a folder of letters from Osborn; and a folder of newspaper clippings and letters from Jonathan Dwight, T. Gilbert Pearson, Catherine Dutcher (writing on behalf of her husband, William) and others, relating to a 1911 controversy involving a proposed gift of 125,000 dollars over five years from a group of gun manufacturers to the National Audubon Society.

Biographical Note
Joel Asaph Allen was a museum curator, ornithologist, zoologist, taxonomist and writer. He was curator in the American Museum of Natural History's Dept. of Mammalogy and Ornithology, 1885-1920. Allen began collecting and classifying birds at the age of 13. He studied at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) and became a staff member in 1871, meanwhile participating in the 1865-1866 Thayer Expedition to Brazil, on which he collected bird and mammal skins, geological specimens, fishes, reptiles and other vertebrates. Allen also participated in several U.S. expeditions, collecting, surveying and making scientific observations.

At the AMNH, Allen increasingly concentrated his attention on acquisitions, research and writing, and editorial work, cataloging thousands of specimens of birds and mammals in the museum's collections and providing editorial supervision for the Bulletin of the AMNH and the Memoirs of the AMNH. He was the first president of the American Ornithologists' Union for seven years from its formation in 1883, and was editor of The Auk for 27 years.
extent2 linear ft. (8 boxes)
formatsCorrespondence Clippings Ephemera
accessAccess by appointment with Special Collections.
record source
finding aidInventory (30 p.) filed with collection; folder level control.
updated11/12/2014 11:29:56

titleAlbert S. Bickmore Papers, 1854-1914 (bulk 1865-1903)
repositoryAmerican Museum of Natural History
descriptionOrganized into eight groups: B5351. Report of Feb. 9, 1900. B5352. Autobiography. B5353. Diaries, manuscripts, clippings, photographs. B5354. Correspondence, 1865-1903. B5355.

Letter from Cyrus W. Field. B5356. 1996 accession, personal and family correspondence. B5357. Drawing of plan for museum. B5358. Letters to do with the founding of the AMNH, and Bickmore's donations; Correspondence (B5354) arranged alphabetically by personal or corporate name, government agency, or subject.

Biog. Sketch
Albert S. Bickmore was a museum curator and superintendent. Bickmore was the principal founder of the American Museum of Natural History and the organizer and first curator of the Dept. of Public Education; he was also curator of archaeology and curator of ethnology.

After receiving his B.A. and M.A. from Dartmouth, and working at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology, Bickmore traveled for three years between 1864 and 1867, through Indonesia, East Asia, Siberia and Europe, collecting specimens and studying ethnology, visiting the Ainu, Gilyaks and other peoples. On his return to the U.S., Bickmore worked with a group of prominent New Yorkers, including Morris K. Jesup, to draw up a petition and plan for an American natural history museum.

When the AMNH opened in 1871, Bickmore was appointed superintendent. He developed a series of Lectures to teachers (1888-1903), illustrated with lantern slides, covering all the scientific disciplines in which the museum was involved, which could be presented to school groups or used by teachers in their classrooms.

In 1884, he resigned his post of superintendent in order to act as curator of the Dept. of Public Instruction (later named the Dept. of Public Education), established in 1886. Bickmore continued to expand the educational work of the museum, offering lectures to the public and, in collaboration with Columbia University, developing courses in forestry, astronomy, mineralogy and chemistry.

He retired in Jan. 1905 to become curator emeritus.

Special Collections
Mss .B5351-.B5358
extent24 linear ft.
formatsCorrespondence Manuscript Clippings Photographs Diaries
accessAccess By appointment with Special Collections.
record source
finding aidCorrespondence: inventory (57 p.) filed with collection. Remainder of collection: no finding aid; folder level control.
acquisition informationBickmore's letters from Asia, 1866-1867: Gift; Bickmore family. Letter from Cyrus W. Field: Gift; Frank M. Chapman; 1935. Drawing of museum plan and other documents relating to the formation of the AMNH: Gift; Mrs. Philip R. Uhler; 1938. Bickmore's travel diary from Indonesia, 1866: Gift; Major Albert S. Bickmore III; 1990. Miscellaneous personal letters and objects: Gift; Sharon Timmer; 1996.
updated11/12/2014 11:30:08

titleDaniel Huntington Study Portrait Collection, ca. 1870-1890
repositoryThe New-York Historical Society
descriptionTwo years after Daniel Huntington's death, his son Charles Richards Huntington (1847-1915) presented the New-York Historical Society with a collection of 141 portrait photographs used by his father "for his study of the subjects painted by him."

Each of the men (and the single woman, Mary McCrea Stuart) in the collection is represented by one or more portrait photographs which had been blown-up to life-size dimensions, sometimes made from a previously existing negative or one made of an earlier photograph. In the case of sitters who died before the advent of paper photography, images were taken from daguerreotypes. The enlargements were mounted on a stiff paperboard and roughly trimmed almost to the shape of the subject's head.

Each of the portraits has the sitter's surname in pencil on the verso; some have a shorthand clue to an occupation, profession, title, or institutional affiliation. These annotations, if contemporary to Huntington or his son, have been transcribed in the box and folder list that follows.

Many of the photographs have a puncture at their top, most likely from the nail Huntington used to tack them up in view of his easel.

The sitters are familiar to students of nineteenth-century New York: they include prominent bankers, merchants, industrialists, educators, financiers, generals, lawyers, judges, politicians, government officials, and men of the cloth.

The photographs are generally not dated. Several note that they were made from daguerreotypes and a few mention particular photographers, or are mounted on the backs of printed boards from photographers' studios.

The images that are dated range from the 1870s (Henry Potter) to the 1890s (Kelly, Gracie, Schurz, and Sheldon). Photographers mentioned are Bogardus (Adams, Arthur) and Sarony (Tilden), with one annotated by Huntington as having been taken in his studio (Sherman). Eight of the portraits are mounted on the verso of stamped boards from the Rockwood Studio (Brown, Gracie, Johnston, Henry Potter, Taft, and Weir) or Kurtz (Dodge Sr. and Hostetter) in New York.

In addition, the portrait of Henry Codman Potter is mounted on the verso of a large photograph of Calvary Baptist Church, on West Twenty-third Street.

Oil portraits of these sitters are now in the New York Chamber of Commerce Collection at the New York State Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, New York Public Library, Harvard University, Vassar College, and West Point Museum, among other institutions.

The New-York Historical Society owns more than twenty portraits painted by Huntington. Other portraits remain in private collections, including those of social clubs, hospitals, corporations, and the families who commissioned them from the artist.

Biographical Note
Daniel Huntington (1814-1906) was educated at Hamilton College. He studied panting with Samuel Morse and Henry Inman in New York City. He primarily painted portraits and landscapes. Huntington was president of the National Academy of Design, and Vice-President of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Preferred Citation
This collection should be cited as: Daniel Huntington Study Portrait Photographs, PR 256, Department of Prints, Photogaphs, and Architectural Collections, The New-York Historical Society.

Call Phrase: PR 256
extent0.42 Linear feet (141 photographs, 12 folders)
accessOpen to qualified researchers
record source
acquisition informationGift of Charles R. Huntington, April 9, 1908.
updated11/12/2014 11:30:14

titleM. Knoedler & Co. records, approximately 1848-1971
repositoryThe Getty Research Institute
descriptionThe records of M. Knoedler & Co. document the business of the prominent American art dealer from the mid-19th century to 1971, when the Knoedler Gallery was acquired by Armand Hammer. The archive traces the development of the once provincial American art market into one of the world's leading art centers and the formation of the private art collections that would ultimately establish many of the nation's leading art museums, such as the Frick Collection and the National Gallery of Art.

It brings to the foreground the business side of dealing as artworks shuttled back and forth among Knoedler, fellow dealers, and collectors, documenting developments in art connoisseurship, shifting tastes, the changing role of art in American society, and the essential role of private collectors in the formation of public American art collections.

The records provide insight into broader economic, social and cultural histories and the nation's evolving sense of place in the world. The Knoedler Gallery became one of the main suppliers of old master and post-Impressionist paintings in the United States. Financial records of the firm provide crucial provenance information on the large number of artworks in American museums that were sold by the gallery. The archive includes stock books, sales books and commission books; correspondence with collectors, artists, art dealers and other associates; photographs of the artworks sold by the gallery; records from the firm's offices in London, Paris and other cities; exhibition files; framing and restoration records, and records of the firm's Print Department.

Selected portions of the archive have been digitized and made available online. Connect to selected digitized portions of the archive.

Arranged in 14 series:
Series I. Stock books;
Series II. Sales books;
Series III. Commission books;
Series IV. Inventory cards;
Series V. Receiving and shipping records;
Series VI. Correspondence;
Series VII. Photographs;
Series VIII. Exhibition files;
Series IX. American Department records;
Series X. Framing and restoration records;
Series XI. Print Department records;
Series XII. Other financial records;
Series XIII. Library cards, scrapbooks, and research materials;
Series XIV. Knoedler family papers

Biographical/Historical Note:
M. Knoedler & Co. was a successor to the New York branch of Goupil & Co., an extremely dynamic print-publishing house founded in Paris in 1827. Goupil's branches in London, Berlin, Brussels, and The Hague, as well as New York, expanded the firm's market in the sale of reproductive prints.

The firm's office in New York was established in 1848. In 1857, Michael Knoedler, an employee of Goupil and a manager for the firm, bought out the interests in the firm's New York branch, conducted the business under his own name, and diversified its activities to include the sale of paintings. Roland Knoedler, Michael's son, took over the firm in 1878 and with Charles Carstairs opened galleries in Paris and London.

In 1928, the management of the firm passed to Roland's nephew Charles Henschel, Carman Messmore, Charles Carstairs and Carstairs' son Carroll. In 1956 Henschel died, and E. Coe Kerr and Roland Balaÿ, Michael Knoedler's grandson, took over. In 1971 the firm was sold to businessman and collector Armand Hammer. The gallery closed in November 2011.

extent3042.6 linear feet (5550 boxes, 17 flat file folders).
formatsAuction Catalogs Business Records Correspondence Financial Records Ephemera
accessOpen for use by qualified researchers, with the following exceptions. Boxes 77, 262-264, 1308-1512, 1969-1974, 3592-3723 are restricted due to fragility. Box 4468 is restricted until 2075.
record link
record source
contact informationContact gallery's archivist
finding aidAt the Getty Research Institute and over their website.
acquisition informationAcquired in 2012.
updated05/29/2018 14:44:15