- Call number
- MssCol 2724
- Physical description
- 16 linear feet (37 boxes, 1 v.)
- Preferred Citation
- Serrell-Opdycke-Patrick papers, Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library
- Manuscripts and Archives Division
- Access to materials
- Advance notice required. Request access to this collection.Restrictions apply
James E. Serrell (1820-1892), Henry G. Opdycke (1870-1938), and William R. Patrick were New York City surveyors and civil engineers. Serrell was appointed city surveyor in the Street Dept. of New York, had a surveying practice in the city, and carried on experiments for improvements in the design of marine engines and propellers. Opdycke practiced engineering and consulted on the construction of the first subway in New York City. In 1899 he formed a partnership, Opdycke & Thomson, with H. Serrell Thomson and later was associated with William R. Patrick in his surveying practice. Patrick eventually assumed Opdycke's surveying business, taking possession of Opdycke's papers and the papers of James E. Serrell. The Serrell-Opdycke-Patrick papers document the evolution of property ownership and land use in New York City and the development of the city's urban infrastructure of streets and sewers especially during the latter half of the 19th century (1840s-1890s). Over one-half of the collection consists of New York City land maps and surveys arranged by city block number with collateral papers including correspondence, engineering notes and field notebooks. Papers reflect the surveying and engineering work of James E. Serrell, Henry G. Opdycke, the firm of Opdycke & Thomson, and (to a lesser extent) of William R. Patrick. Included also are personal and miscellaneous papers of James E. Serrell, Henry G. Opdycke, and William R. Patrick relating mainly to their professional careers.
Source of acquisitionGift, Patrick, Dorothy L. (via Map Division - NYPL), 1994
Using the collection
LocationManuscripts and Archives Division
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, New York, NY 10018-2788
Brooke Russell Astor Reading Room, Third Floor, Room 328
Access to materialsAdvance notice required. Request access to this collection.
Engineering drawings by James E. Serrell must undergo conservation treatment before use.