Mayor Seth Low records

Collection REC0009 - RG 001. Office of the Mayor of the City of New York

Collection REC0009 - RG 001/RG 001.SLW. Office of the Mayor, Seth Low


Seth Low (1850-1916) served as the Mayor of New York from 1902-1903. This collection consists of a selection of materials produced by his mayoral administration.


7.5 cubic feet (15 boxes and one volume)



Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Patrons are required to use microfilm for those series for which it is available. Advance notice is required for using original material. Please contact us to arrange access.

Physical Location

Portions of this collection are stored offsite.

Alternate Forms Available

This collection has been partially microfilmed (Series II: Subject files). A digitized copy of the microfilm is available to view remotely or onsite through our online gallery.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by unknown persons at an unknown date. Staff archivist Rachel Greer revised and standardized the finding aid in 2015. Updated by staff archivist Alexandra Hilton in 2017 and 2018.
This collection consists of a selection materials produced by the mayoral administration of Seth Low. The collection is not comprehensive, but does include material related to the daily work of his mayoral administration. The material includes correspondence both from citizens and businesses throughout the city, as well as correspondence received from City Departments, Commissions, and Agencies. In addition, official documentation such as bills and legislation as well as a small amount of ephemera comprise the Subject Files series. Please see the scope and content notes for each series for further information.
Seth Low (1850-1916) served as the Mayor of New York from 1902-1903, on a fusion ticket of the Republican and Citizens Union parties. Prior to his tenure as Mayor, Low was the president of Columbia University and the former Mayor of Brooklyn as well as an activist in progressive politics. In comparison to his predecessor, Robert Van Wyck, Low was seen as a reformer in city politics. Low's mayoralty is most noted for introducing the civil service system into city government, streamlining the city's bureaucracies, improving the school system, and fighting graft in the police department. He ran for office in 1903, but was defeated, though he stayed active in politics, especially involving organized labor. Low died on September 17, 1916 at home in Upstate New York.
The Seth Low records are divided into four series, and are arranged alphabetically within each series.
Guide to the records of Mayor Seth Low, 1902-1903
Rachel Greer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2017: Updated by staff archivist Alexandra Hilton.
  • 2018: Finding aid updated by Alexandra Hilton.