The New York Public Library was founded in 1895 and is the nation’s largest public library system. The one we will be visiting is the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building in Midtown manhattan. They have a large variety of special collections material, but we will focus on maps in the brooklyn area. The maps being viewed will range as early as 1776, to late 1980’s. I would like to find at least two primary sources that related to an early time period of Brooklyn.
Archival research is based on the type of the material we are looking for. The materials can be diaries, rare books, paper documents, photographs, et cetera, but can also be historical artifacts like jackets or trophies. To get access to this type of materials you should refer first to the archive website and find out what are the steps you should follow. It is a must to do an advanced planning for visiting the archive since this type of material very delicate and sometimes may be one of the kind. Actually I have an opposition about this type of rare or unique materials. I agree for farther research to have access to them, but to their copy not to the original ones, because as it was mentioned in the readings, those are irreplaceable. Anyway, at list they don’t let you to take them home, so you should use that time wisely whenever you get access to them. Archives have primary source materials and it will ground your research. This archives are accessible by others as well, not just by students or professional academic researchers.
The Robert Moses papers are organized in series and in numerical order from Series 1 to Series 16. The papers mostly include materials based on the type of job position he was at that time and based on the project he was working on. He had a long career as a public official and also he worked on many important projects that still stay strong nowadays. We can access to his series of papers by referring to the New York Public Library’s (N.Y.P.L) website, at Archives and Manuscripts, and find out the steps to follow. They may ask to fill a form with your information and the need for the material requested.
The amount of Robert Moses Papers are vast and give deep, extensive insight to Moses’ career as a public official. His papers have been filed in different ways over the years. Some of the files are in chronological order and others are organized alphabetically due to subject. The Robert Moses Papers have been divided into sixteen principle series.
The Robert Moses Papers consist of his plans for projects involving parks, bridges, housing, and tunnels to name a few. The series consists of correspondences, magazines, clippings, speeches, official reports, and photographs. These sources may be accessed by contacting the New York Public Library’s Manuscripts and Archives Division in advance. By filling out and submitting a request form, the library may grant access to the Robert Moses Papers.
I think that it is a prudent idea that the library requires a person to fill out a request form in advance before granting access to the Robert Moses Papers. This is a way to protect and preserve such valuable sources.
The NYPL Robert Moses archives contain a wide breadth of information. The archive encompasses his personality and his being, whereby it is cohesive and stark as a whole, but in pieces are sporadic and heavily concentrated. That being said, it includes a variety of documents: photographs, printed matter, speeches, correspondence papers that record his reign in numerous office, and his invention of several major public transportation and parks projects.
These papers are organized chronologically, although sometimes events and projects in his life overlapped, therefore some timelines bled over each other. Each paper is linked to a page which further summarizes the contents of the document. Some papers are highly dense, thus they are further segmented (ex. the 1st Series: Personal and Library Correspondence) or highly organized and indexed. All of these documents however, facilitate the need to contact the NYPL ARCHIVES & MANUSCRIPTS division to plan for a visit to study these documents.