Scope and arrangement
Collection consists chiefly of papers of the Gansevoort, Lansing and Melville families and reflects the social, business and political interaction between family members and friends and associates of the families. Also included are some papers of members of the Sanford, Van Schaick and other related families. Gansevoort-Lansing papers contain correspondence, land deeds, financial documents, maps and surveys, notebooks, cookbooks, diaries, architectural drawings, photographs, and artifacts. The social, economic and political life of upstate New York over a period of more than 250 years is covered in the collection. Also, materials pertaining to military service in the American Revolution and the U.S. Civil War. Gansevoort family members represented in the collection include Peter Gansevoort (1749-1812), military leader in the American Revolution, Peter Gansevoort (1788-1876), New York political figure, Henry Sanford Gansevoort (1835-1871), Union officer in the Civil War, and Catherine Gansevoort Lansing (1839-1918), benefactress. Photographs (tintypes, daguerreotypes, cyanotypes, and black and white prints) show individuals, family portraits, house interiors and exteriors, historic occasions, and family holdings. Among Lansing family members represented in the collection are Barent Bleecker Lansing (1801-1876) attorney and landowner, and Abraham Lansing (1835-1899).|||Subjects include business and financial matters, social events, family news, and current events. Melville family papers document the family of Herman Melville (1819-1891), author of Moby Dick and other works. The bulk of these papers consists of correspondence among three generations of both Melville and Gansevoort family members detailing the lives and daily activities of the writers who include Herman Melville and his father, Allan Melvill (1782-1835). Some manuscripts of Melville's writings also are in the collection.