Research

New York State Education Department Division of Archives and History Biographical History Cards on Prominent New Yorkers

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
This series consists of about 2,500 3" x 5" index cards containing basic biographical information on influential New York residents from the late seventeenth to early twentieth centuries. Information on cards includes name; birth and death dates; place of birth; town and county of residence; place of burial; education; and occupation. The records were most likely created in conjunction with various projects undertaken by the Federal Writers' Program.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
0.3 cubic feet
Inclusive Dates:
circa 1940-1942
Series Number:
A3272

Arrangement

Cards are primarily in alphabetical order. Full names are written with the last name followed by the first.

Administrative History

The federal Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1939 stipulated that in order to continue to receive Works Progress Administration (WPA) aid, states were required to provide 25% of the financial support of each WPA-funded project. The WPA retained administrative control over projects, but designated state agencies served as local cosponsors. The State Education Department, through the Division of Archives and History, became the state's cosponsor of the Federal Writers' Program.

The records in this series were most likely created in conjunction with various projects undertaken by the Federal Writers' Program. Information may have been compiled in preparation for the never published Historical Album of New York, which was to document the state's historical sites and influential residents. Biographical information pertaining to influential New Yorkers, primarily from the nineteenth century, may also have been compiled for use in related projects such as the proposed State Almanac and State Encyclopedia.

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of about 2,500 3" x 5" index cards containing basic biographical information on influential New York residents from the late seventeenth to early twentieth centuries. Residents documented vary in prominence and socioeconomic background, and fall into a wide variety of vocations: authors; physicians; politicians; lawyers; sports figures; early settlers; inventors; engineers; businessmen; artists; musicians; scientists; journalists; educators; military officials and soldiers; human rights advocates; entertainers; and philanthropists. Examples range from the prominent Vanderbilt family and baseball legend Lou Gehrig, to lesser known individuals such as painter Walter Launt Palmer and educator Alice Elvira Freeman. Information on cards includes name; birth and death dates; place of birth; town and county of residence; place of burial; education; and occupation. Some cards provide references to sources of illustrations or further biographical information. Information was recorded between 1940 and 1942.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of the material.

Related Information

Related Materials

Series 11891 Working Files for the Historical Album of New York State, contains related records

Series A0551 State Director's Publications Working Files, contains related records.

Access Terms

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