• The Living Room in the Vanderbilt Mansion

    Vanderbilt Mansion

    National Historic Site New York

Repository Finding Aids

Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites Archival Holdings

The National Park Service maintains archival collections associated with the Roosevelt and Vanderbilt national historic sites in Hyde Park, New York. The collections contribute to an understanding of the evolution, management, and use of these properties over the lives of their historic residents, and as they have since been managed and made available for public use by the National Park Service. The historic sites include:

The Vanderbilt Mansion, designated a national historic site in 1940 at the urging of President Franklin Roosevelt, to represent the Gilded Age through preservation of a Hudson Valley country place.

The Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt, designated a national historic site in 1943 at the direction of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and opened to the public in April 1946, one year following his death.

Eleanor Roosevelt NHS, designated a national historic site in 1977 with the urging of a group of local activists and admirers, and opened to the public in 1984.


Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt NHS

- Journals and accounts of Roosevelt superintendent/gardener William Plog (1869-1952); 15 vols. 1910-1945 (transcribed).

- Plans of Springwood, 1941, Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS).

- Photographs of Bellefield grounds by family of owner Gerald Morgan.

Eleanor Roosevelt NHS

- Cook-Dickerman Papers; personal papers of Nancy Cook and Marion Dickerman, photographs, home movies, ephemera (8If).

- Nancy Cook Shop Drawings; sketches and measured drawings associated with furniture production of Val-Kill Industries and the Arthurdale Subsistence Homestead Project in West Virginia. [Note that park holdings also include a reference collection of furniture, pewter, and textiles produced by Val-Kill Industries].

- Otto Berge Papers, fragments including Metropolitan Museum reference photographs, images of furniture produced by Berge, lumber receipts; (Berge headed woodworking operation at Val-Kill Industries and inherited the business in 1937).

Vanderbilt Mansion

- Records of the Hyde Park Estate including construction and interior design drawings for the mansion and coach house (350 plans); accounting records for the farm and mansion grounds (45 ledger books); fragments of livestock and breeding records; trade catalogs, miscellaneous small collections of other estate management records.

- Pocket journals of estate superintendent Herbert Shears and his wife Marie 18 vols. 1895-1908 (transcribed).

- Small collections of photographs of Vanderbilt farm and park grounds and structures, estate employees; Vanderbilt European vacation slides; Mrs. Vanderbilt's notes on reading; etc.

Roosevelt-Vanderbilt NHS Records

- Collection of NPS-generated reports on the park's historic structures and landscapes, natural history research, and historic archaeology.

- Documents, photographs, and plans documenting the management and use of resources at the Hyde Park sites from 1940-present.

- Daily diary of first ROVA Historian Frederick Rath, January-December 1946, including preperations for opening of the Roosevelt Home to the public. Photocopy.

- Oral history collection of over 200 NPS interviews with Roosevelt and Vanderbilt friends, family employees and associates, and participants in the management of the sites by the NPS.

- Records documenting museum collection holdings including house furnishings, family
libraries, fine arts and photographs.

- Photographs of home and interior at time of acquistion by NPS, Abby Rowe, Photog, January 1946.

Access to the Archives

The Roosevelt-Vanderbilt NHS archives is open by appointment. Contact Collection Manager Michele Ballos at e-mail us or by telephone at (845) 229-2465. Mail may be sent to her at National Park Service, 4097 Albany Post Rd, Hyde Park, New York 12538.

The Reading Room is located at the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt collections facility, 17 Kessler Drive, Hyde Park, New York. The collections facility is accessible to persons in wheelchairs.

Note: The largest repository of papers and photographs associated with President and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt is the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, 4079 Albany Post Rd, Hyde Park, New York 12538. Visit: www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu. Direct research inquiries by telephone at (845) 486-1142.

Did You Know?

Frederick William Vanderbilt

Frederick Vanderbilt was the first Vanderbilt to graduate from College. He graduated from the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale University in 1878.