Scope and arrangement
The Richard Watson Gilder Papers contain his correspondence (1861-1909), poetry and prose writings (1856-1909), diaries (1855-1909), contracts and royalty statements (1896-1909), scrapbooks of clippings and ephemera (1871-1913), obituaries and other commemorative material. The correspondence includes 21 letter books, a small number of his outgoing letters, and extensive incoming correspondence relating to his editorial work at Scribner's Monthly and the Century, as well as his public service and other professional activities. There are separate letter books devoted to his correspondence on behalf of the Tenement House Commission (1894-98), the New York Kindergarten Association (1890-95), the Washington Centennial Celebration (1888-89) and the Committee for the Erection of the Washington Memorial Arch (1889-95). His most frequent correspondents were his follow editors and contributors to Scribner's and the Century, although there are letters from many of the most prominent figures in 19th and early 20th century art and literature and New York society and reform circles. A complete list of correspondents is available. Included are Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Josiah Gilbert Holland, Robert Underwood Johnson, Theodore Roosevelt, John Burroughs, Edmund C. Stedman, George Woodberry, Roswell Smith, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, William Dean Howells, Seth Low, Carl Schurz, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Edmund Gosse, John Hay, Henry C. Potter, Jacob Riis, Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer, Henry Van Dyke, Edward Arlington Robinson, and William Vaughn Moody.
Gilder's writings include issues of two juvenile publications, St. Thomas's Register and The Leaflet; manuscripts, typescripts, and published copies of his addresses, essays, poetry, and editorials in the Century (Topics of the Time); and manuscripts and proofs of Grover Cleveland: A Record of Friendship and Lincoln the Leader. The seventeen scrapbooks are devoted chiefly to articles about Gilder and clippings of his published poetry. Two volumes contain clippings about the work of the Tenement House Commission (1894-97), one is devoted to his public feud with William Randolph Hearst (1906), and another concerns his confrontation with the Trinity Church Corporation (1908-09). Several of the scrapbooks may have been assembled by Gilder's son, Rodman. Posthumous material includes letters of condolence and resolutions, 1909-1910, sent to Mrs. Gilder from RWG's friends and associates; correspondence and ephemera relating to memorial services and charitable funds established in his honor, poetic tributes, and scrapbooks of obituaries. The collection also contains letters to Helena and Rosamund Gilder regarding their project to collect and publish Gilder's letters; and typescripts of The Letters of Richard Watson Gilder, edited by Rosamund Gilder, 1916.
The Richard Watson Gilder papers are arranged in eight series: