Mayor Robert Van Wyck records

Collection REC0005 - RG 001. Office of the Mayor of the City of New York

Collection REC0005 - RG 001/RG 001.RVW. Office of the Mayor, Robert Van Wyck

Abstract

Robert Anderson Van Wyck (1849-1918) was the first Mayor to take office after the consolidation of the City of New York in 1898. This collection consists of the subject files and correspondence of his administration.

Extent

7.5 cubic feet (15 boxes)

Dates

1898-1901



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

Materials are stored onsite at 31 Chambers St.

Alternate Forms Available

This collection has been partially microfilmed (Series I, Departmental correspondence, and 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 physically processed by unknown persons at an unknown date. Finding aid updated and standardized by staff archivist Rachel Greer in 2015 with additions by staff archivist Alexandra Hilton in 2017. Updated by Alexandra Hilton in 2018.
This collection consists of the subject files and correspondence of Mayor Robert Van Wyck's administration. The collection is by no means exhaustive and consists primarily of letters received by the Mayor's office. Very rarely is his response included. There are also memoranda, petitions, reports, scrapbooks, copies of speeches, mayoral edicts and announcements, appointment books, records of complaints, and investigations into the work of city agencies, among other materials. The materials are particularly strong in documenting the workings of the city during its consolidation into one city with five boroughs. A typed item-level inventory is available in the archives.
Robert Anderson Van Wyck (1849-1918) was the first Mayor to take office after the consolidation of the City of New York in 1898. Educated in North Carolina and at Columbia University, Van Wyck was a businessman before becoming a successful attorney. He was a member of the Holland Society and was active in Masonic circles as a member of The Ancient Lodge in New York City. He was eventually elected Judge of the City Court of New York and ended his tenure as Chief Justice in 1897, when he resigned to accept the Democratic nomination for Mayor. Van Wyck was affiliated with Tammany Hall and was elected by a large margin. He was sworn in to office in 1898. Van Wyck was responsible for administratively consolidating the city as well as beginning the first subway line in Manhattan, Interboro Rapid Transit. In addition, Van Wyck was implicated in a scandal involving the American Ice Trust company, which cost Tammany the next mayoral election. Van Wyck died in Paris in 1918.
The Robert Van Wyck records are arranged into three series, based on the type of material.
Each series is arranged alphabetically by subject within each series. Early inventories suggest that this collection used to be arranged chronologically and that the arrangement was revised by a previous archivist into an alphabetical arrangement. The series themselves, however, have retained their integrity.
Title
Guide to the records of Mayor Robert Van Wyck, 1898-1901
Status
Completed
Author
Rachel Greer
Date
2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
eng

Revision Statements

  • 2017: Updated by staff archivist Alexandra Hilton
  • 2018: Updated by staff archivist Alexandra Hilton