Scope and arrangement
The Harry Miller Lydenberg papers date from 1892 to 1961 and document his interest in library-related matters, particularly after he retired from the New York Public Library.
General Correspondence, arranged alphabetically, primarily consists of incoming letters. Subjects include his service as director of Bibliotheca Benjamin Franklin in New Mexico; conservation treatment of library materials; and other business and personal matters. Subject Correspondence, arranged alphabetically, overlaps the same areas as the general correspondence, particularly on the effect of World War II on libraries. Prominent correspondents include Edwin Hatfield Anderson, Paul A. Bennett, Willa Cather, Verner W. Clapp, Wilberforce Eames, Charlton C. Jernigan, Helmut Kuhn, Lewis Cass Ledyard, Frederick C. Melcher, Keyes Metcalf and Charles E. Rush. Organizations documented in the correspondence include the American Antiquarian Society; the American Book Center for Devastated Libraries, Inc.; American Council for Learned Societies; the American Library Association (ALA); American Philosophical Society; and Bibliotheca Benjamin Franklin. The New York Public Library correspondence is after Lydenberg's tenure as director. His correspondents are John Archer, Ralph Beals, Karl Brown, Edward G. Freehafer and Karl Kup. Writings and Speeches contain typescripts, correspondence, notes, and printed material relating to Lydenberg's writings. Personal assorted papers regard personal subject interests, including family and genealogical history. Photographs are of Lydenberg; his relatives and ancestors; and friends and libraries, primarily after World War II. There is an album of Lydenberg and associates visiting Europe, Russia, and the Balkans on a library mission between 1923 and 1924. Letters written to Lydenberg's wife, Madeliene Day Lydenberg, are also included.
Additional materials were processed and integrated into the collection in 1987, 1989, and 2015. Materials consist of correspondence; writings; certificates and awards; and a small amount of material relating to Lydenberg's work as the director of the ALA Office of International Relations.
The Harry Miller Lydenberg papers are arranged in eleven series:
- 1923-1924, 1944
This series consists of manuscripts and photocopies of Lydenberg's letters home to his wife. The letters include notes on daily events, observations on culture and politics, and descriptions of geography and urban life from his travels. There are extensive references to his visits to foreign libraries and his conversations with both librarians and booksellers. In addition, Lydenberg recorded his activities on behalf of the New York Public Library, including interviews with candidates to be chief of the Jewish and Music Divisions, efforts to acquire materials from booksellers, and contacts with foreign officials to promote the international exchange of printed materials. See Series XI: Additions for additional letters to Madeliene Day Lydenberg.
Additional materials were processed and integrated into the collection in 1987, 1989, and 2015. Materials consist of correspondence; writings; certificates and awards; and a small amount of material relating to Lydenberg's work as the director of the ALA Office of International Relations. Among the correspondence are letters that Lydenberg wrote to his wife and family. Writings consist of are typescript diaries, and original manuscript of "An Essay Towards a Bibliography of John Eliot, and materials gathered by Lydenberg for his translation of "Papermaker and Printer in the Time of Gutenberg." ALA materials document Lydenberg's tour or Latin America in 1944, and ALA's Midwinter meeting in 1946.