Thomas Addis Emmet collection

Collection History

The images in this digital presentation offer an extensive array of visual documentation-in portraits, scenes, and views-of the people, places, and events that shaped the new American nation. They represent a holding of 10,240 visual items that is part of even larger collection of some 30,000 items assembled by the New York physician Thomas Addis Emmet (1828-1919), and donated to the Library in 1896 by trustee John Stewart Kennedy. Emmet developed a passionate interest in American history after a boyhood visit to Philadelphia, when he first saw the original Declaration of Independence, and went on to collect, for some fifty years, drawings, engravings, maps, and manuscripts relating to the American Revolution and the early history of the United States.

Background

Like other 19th-century collectors, Emmet presented his pictorial Americana as "extra-illustrations," binding them, in his case, into classic American history texts to illustrate relevant passages and to enrich the texts visually and intellectually. In the same way, he also assembled images and manuscripts to document the published proceedings of the Albany Congress and the Continental Congress.

Other portions of the Emmet Collection not offered in this digital presentation are manuscripts, in the Manuscripts and Archives Division, and maps, in the Map Division.

Related Resources

Emmet, Thomas Addis. Incidents of My Life; Professional--Literary--Social, with Services in the Cause of Ireland. (1911)

Goffe, James Riddle. "In memoriam, Thomas Addis Emmet ... 1828-1919." Transac. of the Amer. Gynecological Soc. v.44 (1919)

NYPL. Calendar of the Emmet Collection of Manuscripts etc. Relating to American History (1900)

Collection Data

Description
The portion of the Emmet Collection housed in the Manuscripts and Archives Division consists of approximately 10,800 historical manuscripts relating chiefly to the period prior to, during, and following the American Revolution. The collection contains letters and documents by the signers of the Declaration of Independence as well as nearly every prominent historical figure of the period.
Names
Emmet, Thomas Addis, 1828-1919 (Collector)
Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1483 - 1876 (Approximate)
Library locations
Manuscripts and Archives Division
Shelf locator: MssCol 927
Topics
Charleston (S.C.) -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783
Legislators -- United States
New York (N.Y.) -- History
New York (N.Y.) -- History -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
Presidents -- United States
Savannah (Ga.) -- History
United States -- History -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783
United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783 -- Campaigns
United States -- Politics and government -- 1775-1783
Washington, George, 1732-1799
Albany Congress (1754 : Albany, N.Y.)
Annapolis Convention (1786 : Annapolis, Md.)
Stamp Act Congress (1765 : New York, N.Y.)
Genres
Manuscripts
Correspondence
Maps
Money
Records (Documents)
Notes
Funding: Digitization was made possible by a lead gift from The Polonsky Foundation.
Content: The portion of the Emmet Collection housed in the Manuscripts and Archives Division consists of approximately 10,800 historical manuscripts relating chiefly to the period prior to, during, and following the American Revolution. The collection contains letters and documents by the signers of the Declaration of Independence as well as nearly every prominent historical figure of the period. The manuscripts are arranged in 28 topics, most of them milestones in early American history. Topics include the Albany Congress of 1754, the Stamp Act Congress of 1765, the Continental Congresses, 1774 -1789, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Annapolis Convention, the Federal Convention, and the First Federal Administration. The Revolutionary War is well documented in the correspondence and letterbooks of generals and other officers, as well as in orderly books, muster rolls, and returns. Additional material documents the history of New York City. Highlights of the Emmet Collection include Thomas Jefferson's manuscript copy of the Declaration of Independence, an engrossed copy of the Bill of Rights, and manuscript minutes of the Annapolis Convention.
Physical Description
Extent: 30.83 linear feet; 108 boxes, 21 volumes
Type of Resource
Text
Identifiers
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b11868616
MSS Unit ID: 927
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 02d1c8f0-c52d-012f-a615-58d385a7bc34
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