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9. military history (including military manuals)

As in the case of our naval history collection we received the libraries of two or­ganizations interested in military history. The libraries of The Seventh Regiment— New York National Guard and The Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States were given to us. Funds were not provided, however, by either of these organiza­tions for the purchase of further material and we add to our collection of military history from regular special funds. Spanish-American War material was donated five years ago by Mrs. Lathrop C. Harper, together with funds, later added, for purchase in this field.

Our collection of military history contains army lists, orderly books, muster rolls, adjutant generals' reports, related journals and periodicals. Our area of col­lecting in military history extends from the Colonial period through the Span­ish-American War, and to a certain degree, through World War I; with emphasis only on official campaign documents for World War II. We are unusually strong in the Colonial Wars, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, and Spanish-American War material. Our Mexican War material is less strong than that of other wars but it is, nonetheless, an adequate collection. This collection of printed pamphlets and books is supplemented by broadsides and posters in the Map and Print Room and by material in the Manuscript Collection.

The collection of military manuals which we have consists of field exercise instructions, cavalry tactics, etc., and while it extends through the Civil War we make special efforts to obtain Revolutionary War and War of 1812 data.

It is suggested that the Library pursue an acquisition policy similar to that sug­gested in connection with the naval history collection, i.e., for the period after 1898 the Society should accept primary material offered as gifts and should continue to purchase primary material related to New York City and State. It is further suggested that the purchase of secondary material should be limited to outstanding military histories on the basis of reviews in selective historical journals.

10. civil war

In view of the strong collection of Civil War material we have, it seems advisable here to discuss this material in more detail. The range in this area is very much wider than that of other wars. We have over 11,000 titles, and these titles touch on every aspect of the Civil War, i.e. economic, political, social, industrial, etc. The Civil War collections include regimental histories (not only of New York but of other states), official records, memoirs, prison life accounts, reminiscences, ros­ters, histories of battles and campaigns, etc. The size and scope of this collection apparently are due to systematic collecting in the past by our Trustee, Daniel Parish, Jr., and others. In so far as the other two major libraries in the city are concerned (Columbia University Library and The New York Public Library) the New-York Historical Society Library has the largest collection of Civil War material [As of February 7, 1958: 4,000 titles at Columbia; 8,120 at New York Public Library].

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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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