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11. songsters, sheet music through 1910-1916

Our collection of sheet music is based, essentially, on the illustrations which ap­pear on the covers of early sheet music. In most cases the illustrations portray scenes no longer existing, and, in other instances, provide the only illustrations available of buildings or streets or views of a city. The emphasis in this collec­tion is on New York City and State material. We also have a collection of Civil War sheet music, for example, which is valuable in view of the great interest in this period. Mrs. Landauer purchases sheet music for her collection which frequently eliminates the necessity for using regular library funds.

Our collection of songsters is an old one which was begun in the late nine­teenth century and is added to from time to time. The emphasis is basically on New York City and State material.

It is suggested, in view of the holdings of the NYPL in which there is a com­prehensive collection of American sheet music and songsters, that no further additions be made to this collection.

12. hotel material for u.s. including contemporary hotel material

Our hotel material was donated to us. In the case of contemporary hotel mater­ial, the collection consists of indexed clippings, photographs and press releases (which are given to us) and the collection at present is kept up to date by the vol­untary efforts of the widow of the donor. The emphasis here is on New York City hotels but, since many of the New York hotels are parts of nation-wide chains, the collection in some instances covers hotels outside of New York.

The earlier hotel material consists largely of engravings, photographs, etc., of early hotels in New York City and in some of the major Eastern Seaboard cities. Requests for reproductions of this material come to us by mail and telephone and it has useful reference value. In general, it is correct to state that we add very lit­tle by purchase since the collection attracts material from interested donors. [As of this writing our material is in use in connection with a forthcoming history of the Hotel Association of New York City.]

  • It is suggested that no further purchases be made in this area.
  • It is suggested that hotel material (relating to New York State) which is donated, be added to the collection.

13. menus for u.s. restaurants, including contemporary restaurants

The nucleus of our menu collection is the Arnold Shircliffe menu collection of 10,000 items, which was donated to us by Mr. Shircliffe's son. There are some 18th century menus, but the bulk of the collection consists of 19th and early 20th (to approximately 1940) menus. These items are from restaurants all over the United States.

Supplementing the collection above are menus received by gift, or those which come to us from the public relations departments of contemporary restaurants. It is seldom that we add material, through purchase, to this collection. We receive almost all menus as gifts.

There is always an interest in menus either from the point of view of social history or for commercial purposes on the part of magazines and other restau­rants. This collection is used regularly.

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Source:  OpenStax, The new-york historical society: lessons from one nonprofit's long struggle for survival. OpenStax CNX. Mar 28, 2008 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10518/1.1
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