Scope and Content Note

This series consists of two subseries: chronological letter books and correspondence files of institution officials; and alphabetical name and subject files of institutional officials.

Subseries 1, Chronological Letter Books and Files, 1870-1911. Four letterpress copybooks (1870-1891) contain superintendent's outgoing correspondence on subjects such as commitment procedures, inmate behavior and health, parole requests, the badge system, and purchase of supplies. Many letters are to inmate parents and guardians; others are to local judicial, police, administrative, and legislative officials.

Chronological files (1876-1911) contain incoming and outgoing correspondence for various institution officials. Most of the correspondence is with or by Superintendent F.H. Briggs and David Bruce, who served as Chief of the Discipline Department, Chief of the Business Department, Purchasing Agent and Steward. The primary subjects covered are inmate behavior, health and parole; former inmates; and bids, purchases, and delivery of supplies.

Subseries 2, Alphabetical Name and Subject Files, ca. 1899-1912. These alphabetical name and subject files contain incoming and outgoing correspondence with or by various institution officials including the Superintendent (usually F.H. Briggs), the Board of Managers, and the Chief of the Discipline Department (usually David Bruce).

The bulk of the correspondence covers the following subjects: employee apointment, salary, and personnel report forms sent to the State Civil Service Commission; Board of Managers meetings and administrative matters; new facilities, including extensive correspondence with the New York State Architect on building requirements and specifications, costs, design, and construction; testimony on alleged abuse of inmates, deaths, and other incidents; and individual employee appointments, salaries, leave time, instructions, and related personnel matters.