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Fales Library and Special Collections Portrait Collection

Call Number



circa 1800-Present, inclusive


Fales Library


6 Linear Feet in 6 boxes

Language of Materials

Materials are in English


The Portrait/Subject Collection consists of portraits and photographs of American and British authors, as well as a smaller number depicting actors, from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


The Portrait/Subject Collection consists of a single series numbered consecutively in six boxes and one oversize flat box. No subject division is necessary. The contents are arranged in alphabetical order by either the subject or the last name of the person's portrait.

Because of the number of archivists on this project and the original disarray of the collection, the collection is somewhat disorderly in its alphabetical order. A majority of the archival folders contain materials for more than one heading. Multiple headings are indicated on each folder and within the Box and Folder List itself.

Missing Title

  1. Series I
  2. Oversize

Scope and Content Note

The contents of the Portrait/Subject Collection are primarily portraits, most of which are devoted to American and British authors and thespians from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with a much smaller quantity depicting European monarchs and politicians. There are also materials regarding artists such as Claude Monet and Fairfield Porter, as well as images of various composers, the American Church in Rome, New York City, and Paris. Of particular interest are two Plans for the City of New York covering the southern end of Manhattan, which are dated 1797 (an 1853 re-print) and 1807, as well as several original American West Posters announcing rewards for wanted outlaws dating from the early twentieth century.

While many of the documents are photographs, a considerable number are printed images such as engravings and lithographs cut from nineteenth and twentieth-century publications, advertisements, maps, postcards, book plates, and posters. Some of the files dedicated to authors also hold textual material such as reviews, advertisements, news paper clippings, or, in very rare cases, copies of their writing.


Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open to researchers. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections,, 212-998-2596.

Use Restrictions

Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections,, 212-998-2596.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Fales Portrait/Subject Collection; MSS 034; box number; folder number; Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University Libraries.


This collection of portraits, photographs, sketches, and author-related materials has been acquired and archived by various Fales librarians and staff members since 1957.

Collection processed by

Katherine Harris

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-20 17:05:04 -0400.
Language: Description is in English.

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from Portrait Finding Aid.doc


Fales Library and Special Collections
Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012