News from RBML’s Archivists | February 2021

Afhalen van Josephine Baker in Frankrijk Josephine in haar tuin Les Milandes, Bestanddeelnr 912-6479” by Jack de Nijs / Anefo is marked with CC0 1.0


Kevin Schlottmann, RBML’s head archivist, shares these updates of a selection of new and updated finding aids, as well as newly available collections.

🆕 Newly processed collections
Josephine Baker Collection
“Documents Baker’s career from her arrival in Paris in 1925 as a show girl in the Revue Negre; her selection to star in a revised version of the Revue and resultant success; her stardom as a headliner at the Folies-Bergere and other Paris venues and as a recording artist and cinema star; her unsuccessful attempt to re-insert herself into the racist American market in 1936; her service during World War II; her post-war attempts to create a “Rainbow Tribe” of adopted children; and her death in 1975″

MacDonald Family Papers
“James MacDonald (1803-1849) was a pioneer in the treatment of the mentally ill in America. He served as physician of the Bloomingdale Lunatic Asylum in New York City from 1825 to 1837. In partnership with his brother Allan, he then operated his own private asylum from 1841 until his death, first in the Murray Hill neighborhood and then after 1845 at Sanford Hall in Flushing, Long Island. This family archive includes numerous letters which shed light on MacDonald’s career and the operation of the Sanford Hall asylum.”


🆕 Newly remediated / updated finding aids
Ripley Hitchcock papers, 1885-1935
“Letters written to James Ripley Wellman Hitchcock, to Mrs. Hitchcock, and to Richard Henry Stoddard from various people in literary artistic and dramatic circles, mainly of New York.”

James Buckton Mackintosh letters, 1885-1891
“Letters written to Mackintosh chiefly on scientific subjects, from his colleagues including Thomas Sterry Hunt (1826-1892), 37; William Earl Hidden (1853-1918), 50; Thomas Egleston (1832-1900), founder of the School of Mines, Columbia University, 10; R.S. Penniman, 26; and Pierre Eugene Marcelin Berthelot (1827-1907), French chemist.”

Velma Vera Varner papers, 1946-1973
“This collection includes drawings and personal letters from authors and illustrators of children’s books, correspondence about her career and promotions, and letters of condolence at the time of her death.”

Charles Stewart Daveis papers, 1790-1868, bulk 1815-1964
“Charles Stewart Daveis (1788-1865) was born in Portland, Maine, and graduated from Bowdoin College in 1807. Daveis studied law under Nicholas Emery (Bowdoin Overseer 1813-1817); and practiced in Portland, specializing in admiralty law. Later, he became United States Agent to Holland (1829). He was sent to the Hague in 1830 to assist in preparing the American case regarding the Northeast Boundary, as the case had been referred to the King of the Netherlands for arbitration.”

Wilhelm Obkircher papers, 1950-1955
“The collection includes typescript libretti of Obkircher’s operas and plays, as well as scores.”

Charles Stanley Reinhart papers, 1870-1956
“Correspondence, manuscripts, original drawings and sketches, and memorabilia of Reinhart. Of the 247 letters in the collection, a number are from E.A. Abbey, William Dean Howells, and Henry James. There are eight original drawings and sketches and two sketchbooks, as well as numerous photostats and clippings of his works that appeared in magazines. Also, a group of letters to the artist’s son, C. Stanley Reinhart, relating to the disposition of various paintings to galleries and museums throughout the country.”

Henry White papers, 1876-1925
“American diplomat. White served with Ambassadors John Hay and Joseph Choate in England, and was appointed Ambassador to Italy, 1905, and France, 1907. In 1918 President Wilson appointed White to the American Commission to Negotiate Peace.”

🆕 Finding aids newly linked to digital material
Columbia University. Office of the President. President’s annual reports, 1865-1948
“The reports include fact and figures (enrollment, degrees conferred, tuition, expenses, gifts, etc.) and topical discussions (co-education, new degree programs, higher education and liberal arts education, current events, etc.).”
🙌 95% of the collection is freely digitally available via Hathitrust; links added in the container list.

Amiri Baraka Papers
Another large set of AV material was digitized, and links added to the finding aid.

Herbert Lehman Papers
Another large set of AV material was digitized, and links added to the finding aid.