Scope and arrangement
The Orvil Dryfoos papers document Dryfoos's daily activities as vice president, president, and publisher of The New York Times (primarily from 1954 to 1963), as well as the operations of The Times during these years. Additionally, the collection contains records concerning Dryfoos's involvement as a trustee or board member for various organizations, and his family's finances, travels, and other personal matters.
The collection is arranged alphabetically by file title. Entries without box and folder numbers cross-reference related material in other files. Included are people files, containing items to, from, or concerning various individuals, and subject files that are titled by topical keywords, document format, organization name, and Times departments and bureaus.
The bulk of the collection is made up of Dryfoos's office files, which consist of correspondence with Times staff members and Dryfoos's copies of memoranda and reports that were distributed among Times executives. Also present are files on the operations of affiliate companies; Dryfoos's daily activities reports, diaries and appointment books; and readers' mail files.
Staff member files, listed by name or grouped in the Staff section, largely contain internal memoranda concerning news coverage, assignments, assessments of staff members, personnel matters (promotions and retirement), and letters between Dryfoos and individual staff members. Occasionally these files include letters from readers commenting on specific stories. Of note are the files for upper-management, such as Publisher Arthur Hays Sulzberger and Executive Editor Turner Catledge, which deal with personnel, newspaper production, and operational decisions for various departments. Memoranda with executives are located in various subject files as well. Of particular importance is the subject file on the 1962-1963 printers' strike, which features Dryfoos's communications with striking staff members.
Readers' mail makes up a sizable portion of the collection. These files contain incoming letters from readers as well as many of Dryfoos's responses as publisher (1961-1963). Letters feature feedback on news stories and editorials. Notable topics discussed include coverage of the Cuban Missile Crisis; the Drew Pearson libel suit; civil rights and race relations; Zionism and Israel, particularly the trial of Adolf Eichmann; The Times' libel case in Birmingham, Alabama; and air pollution.
Diaries and appointment books (1954-1963) provide a thorough look into Dryfoos's day-to-day and even hour-to-hour responsibilities. The diaries contain detailed summaries of every meeting, phone call, and other activity that Dryfoos participated in. The appointment books give brief accounts of Dryfoos's schedule.
The Tributes to Orvil Dryfoos files consist of congratulatory messages sent to Dryfoos from people around the country upon his promotions to vice president, president, and publisher of The Times. In Memoriam files hold sympathy letters sent to The Times in the months after his death. Tributes also include newspaper clippings concerning these events.
In addition to the Times-related records, the collection contains Dryfoos's personal papers, private business records, and his family's papers. Among the personal papers are copies of Dryfoos' birth and death certificates and other personal documents. Present are correspondence files for many of the organizations that Dryfoos was affiliated with as a trustee, board member, or charitable supporter. Family papers include records of household, personal, and travel expenses, and financial records, such as balance sheets, New York Times Company stock holdings and transactions, wills, and estate records for various Dryfoos family members. Photographs of Dryfoos with his colleagues and family are also present.
This collection is arranged alphabetically by file title.