Scope and arrangement
These files contain correspondence from the offices of three Directors of The New York Public Library: Harry M. Lydenberg (November 1, 1934 - October 1, 1941), Franklin F. Hopper (October 1, 1941 - September 30, 1946) and Ralph A. Beals (October 1, 1946 - October 14, 1954). From the original arrangement of files, it appears that when Hopper became Director of NYPL in 1941 he inherited the files of his predecessor, H. M. Lydenberg, and added to them over the course of his own tenure as Director. The additions were made both by inter-filing into existing folders, as well as by creating new subject folders and adding these to the files. Similarly, when Ralph A. Beals assumed the Directorship in 1946 he inherited these files and made his own additions until his death on October 14, 1954. The next Director, Edward G. Freehafer, eventually began a new set of files (also held by NYPL Archives), but a few items of his correspondence from 1954-57 are included here.
The correspondence relates to all areas of Library administration and business, including acquisitions, acknowledgements, complaints, reports and memoranda from staff and the Special Investigator's Office. There are also letters to and from various federal, state and local governmental agencies, and other public and private libraries. The collection provides thorough documentation of the functioning of The New York Public Reference Department (known today as the Research Libraries) and Circulation Department (now the Branch Libraries).
Readers should be aware that in addition to this collection of Director's Office correspondence, there are smaller, separate collections of records from the office of Lydenberg, Hopper and Beals. Additional finding aids for these materials are available.