Scope and arrangement
The papers of the Carnegie Agent span the years 1901 to 1913, with the bulk falling in the period 1901 to 1910. The collection consists of letter books and correspondence; typescript, handwritten and printed reports and memoranda; statistical tables and graphs; appraisals; blue prints; deeds; insurance policies; photographs; sketches; clippings; petitions; and invitations to the opening of most of the branch libraries.
While most of the collection pertains to the NYPL Carnegie branches, Briggs' records also contain material on other topics of interest. In addition to the folders containing general information on Carnegie sites in Brooklyn and Queens, there are printed, typescript and handwritten reports, tables and graphs, statistics, and the budgets relating to these two library systems, as well as to the NYPL. The collection also contains a transcript of New York State Library laws (Box 2); memoranda on the history of the New York, Brooklyn and Queens public libraries (Box 2); and material relating to a conflict between the libraries and the Bookbinders' Union (Box 1); to the sale of the Lenox Library building (Box 1); and to the Central Building on 42nd Street (Box 1). Of particular interest are photographs of the Carnegie sites under construction, contained in the Report of the Agent, 1 Apr. 1904 (Box 23 Folder 1).
The Alanson T. Briggs records are arranged in five series:
- 1901-19112 boxes
Files on various library matters, arranged alphabetically. This series contains typescript and handwritten memoranda; contracts; reports; letters; bills; clippings and printed material. Of particular interest is the material on New York Library laws, on the 42nd Street Building, and on the history and organization of the New York, Brooklyn and Queens public libraries.
- 1901-19135 boxes
Incoming and outgoing correspondence, arranged chronologically. Also included are a folder of undated correspondence, notes and business cards, and a folder of correspondence pertaining to the Carnegie library in Salem, Oregon.
- 1902-19114 boxes
Arranged chronologically. These folders contain, in both preliminary notes and tables and in printed reports, statistics on the budget, expenses and circulation of the New York, Brooklyn and Queens public libraries. Of particular interest are the oversize charts and graphic charts.
- 1901-19139 boxes
Arranged by site, and chronologically. The first and largest part of this series is made up of files on each Carnegie site in Manhattan, Richmond and the Bronx. These contain correspondence, reports, memos, appraisals, petitions, sketches, blueprints, deeds, insurance policies and invitations to the opening of most of the branch libraries. There are also folders with material on Carnegie branches in Brooklyn and Queens.
- 1904-19114 boxes and 1 oversize folder
Arranged by format. This series comprises the reports of the Carnegie Agent to the NYPL, the NYC Mayor and Comptroller and three volumes of reports to NYPL. There are, in addition, a single folder of loose typescript reports covering the years 1901-1911; a manuscript volume containing photographs of the Carnegie sites; a typescript volume containing photographs of the Carnegie sites; a typescript report for 1907 and a printed report for 1909. Finally, there are charts and graphs portraying statistical data.