Art Commission scrapbooks

Collection REC0085 - RG 071. Public Design Commission


This collection contains scrapbooks created and maintained by the Art Commission of the City of New York (1898-2008) from its inception in 1898 through 1967. The scrapbooks, organized chronologically, focus on public art and architecture and historic preservation in New York City.


13 cubic feet (23 scrapbooks and 1 box)


circa 1885-1967, bulk 1904-1965

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Patrons are required to use microfilm to access this collection due to the fragility of its contents. Advance notice is required for using original material. Please contact us to arrange access.

Physical Location

Materials are stored offsite.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was transferred from the Mayor's Office to the Municipal Archives 2015.

Alternate Forms Available

This collection has been fully microfilmed. Microfilm is available on-site or via interlibrary loan.

Index to Collection's Microfilm

Volumes 1-3
Microfilm roll no. 1, master negative no. 01051
Volumes 4-7
Microfilm roll no. 2, master negative no. 01052
Volumes 8-12
Microfilm roll no. 3, master negative no. 01053
Volumes 13-16
Microfilm roll no. 4, master negative no. 01054
Volumes 17-20
Microfilm roll no. 5, master negative no. 01055
Volumes 21-23
Microfilm roll no. 6, master negative no. 01056
Box 1 (all folders)
Microfilm roll no. 7, master negative no. 01057

Processing Information

In 2005, the collection was inventoried and arranged by staff archivist Steve Barto and then microfilmed in-house by archives staff, followed by treatment and rehousing by conservation staff.
This collection of scrapbooks was created and maintained by the Art Commission of the City of New York (1898-2008) from its inception in 1898 through 1967. A minor portion of the first volume’s contents predate the Commission’s existence and were added either retroactively or by an unknown predecessor. There are 23 scrapbooks in all, as well as a box of clippings.

Over ninety-five percent of the contents in the collection are clippings (with some color rotogravures after 1950). Other materials include photographs, fliers, invitations, booklets, and other items. Topics covered by the scrapbooks usually revolve around public art and architecture and historic preservation. Two scrapbooks are dedicated to specific titles, with one titled “Portraits in City Hall,” the other, “Monuments.” Most of the scrapbooks have a subject index in the front of the volume. A quantity of clippings and other material from 1957-1965 were not placed in bound volumes and are housed by year and subject in a separate box.
Most of the volumes and their contents are arranged in approximate chronological order, with some date overlap between volumes. These are followed by one box of loose clippings that are arranged by year and then subject.
Guide to the Art Commission scrapbooks, circa 1885-1967
Alexandra Hilton
2020 September
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description