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Selma Rattner research papers on James Renwick, 1856-2001 (bulk 1960s-2001)

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Preferred Citation

Selma Rattner research papers on James Renwick. Located in Dept. of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

At a Glance

Avery ID:D&A Rattner View CLIO record
Creator(s):Rattner, Selma, 1929-2005.
Title:Selma Rattner research papers on James Renwick, 1856-2001 (bulk 1960s-2001)
Physical description:35.5 linear feet (29 archives boxes, 7 cardfile boxes, 2 clamshell boxes)
Language(s): Materials are in English.
Access: This collection is available for use by qualified readers by appointment in the Dept. of Archives & Drawings' Reading Room, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University. The majority of this collection is maintained in off-site storage and must retrieved with advance notification. For further information and to make an appointment to use this collection, please call (212) 854-4110.  More information »
Types of Materials in the Collection:Correspondence , typescript papers , holograph papers , printed papers , photographic prints , architectural reprographic prints , 35mm slides and postcards .

Arrangement

Arrangement

This material is arranged in 14 series, as noted below:

I. James Renwick, Jr. (1818-1895)

II. James Renwick, Sr. (1792-1863)

III. Renwick Family

IV. James Renwick, Jr. and Partners

V. Grace Church, New York, New York

VI. St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York, New York: A. General Papers; B. William Rodrigue (1800-1863); C. Church architects

VII. Churches: Northeast region. Possibly Renwick

VIII. Churches: Northeast region and Washington, D.C., General

IX. Smithsonian Institution

X. Washington, D.C.

XI. Corcoran

XII. Rembrandt Lockwood (1815-1889)

XIII. Other Architects

XIV. New York Architecture

Within each series, folders are organized alphabetically by title.

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Description

Scope and Content

This collections contains the professional research, writing, publications, and correspondence produced and collected by Rattner through her study of the architect James Renwick, Jr. The bulk of Rattner's research addresses the life and works of Renwick, but other research topics represented in her papers range from the Renwick family genealogy to the institutional architecture of New York City. Types of research material include personal research notes (in notecard format, both typed and holograph), correspondence (1963-2001), newspaper and magazine clippings, Xerox copies of archival material and secondary sources, transcribed articles and correspondence, brochures from historic sites, photographs and slides of buildings and sites, sketches, historic structure inventory forms, landmark nomination forms, landmark designation reports, and postcards.

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Using the Collection

Access Restrictions

 This collection is available for use by qualified readers by appointment in the Dept. of Archives & Drawings' Reading Room, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University. The majority of this collection is maintained in off-site storage and must retrieved with advance notification. For further information and to make an appointment to use this collection, please call (212) 854-4110.

Restrictions on Use

Columbia University is providing access to the materials in the Library's collections solely for noncommercial educational and research purposes. The unauthorized use, including, but not limited to, publication of the materials without the prior written permission of Columbia University is strictly prohibited. All inquiries regarding permission to publish should be submitted in writing to the Director, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For additional guidance, see Columbia University Libraries' publication policy.

In addition to permission from Columbia University, permission of the copyright owner (if not Columbia University) and/or any holder of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) may also be required for reproduction, publication, distributions, and other uses. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of any item and securing any necessary permissions rests with the persons desiring to publish the item. Columbia University makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the materials or their fitness for a particular purpose.

Preferred Citation

Selma Rattner research papers on James Renwick. Located in Dept. of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

For Further Information

For more information about using the collections and conducting research in the Department of Drawings & Archives, please see our FAQ.

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Finding aid written by Olivia Klose, Graduate Student Intern, Dept. of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Olivia Klose, under the direction of Janet Parks, Curator of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, from September 2005 to April 2007.

Folders maintain Rattner's own titles, except in the case of bracketed text, which was supplied by the Department of Drawings & Archives during processing.

EAD instance generated by Annemarie van Roessel from Microsoft Excel 2002 spreadsheets and Microsoft Word 2002 documents, July 7, 2007. Finding aid written in English.
    2007-07-06 File created.
    2009-07-23 File revised.

CLIO ID: 6229570 View CLIO record

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Index Terms

The names and terms listed below are represented in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a consortial/union catalog offered by OCLC that allows users to search the holdings of multiple archives and libraries.

All links open new windows.

Subjects (Personal Names)

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Goodhue, Bertram Grosvenor, 1869-1924.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Lockwood, Rembrandt.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Rodrigue, William.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects (Corporate Names)

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Renwick, Aspinwall & Owen.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Renwick, Aspinwall & Renwick.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Renwick, Aspinwall & Russell.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Renwick, Aspinwall & Tucker.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects (Buildigns)

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Grace Church (New York, N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Corcoran Gallery of Art.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Renwick Gallery.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Smithsonian Institution.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
St. Patrick’s Cathedral (New York, N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Topics

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Church buildings --New York (State) --New York.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Additional Creators (Personal Names)

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Renwick, James, 1818-1895.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Renwick, James, 1792-1863PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Renwick family.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

Selma Rattner was an architectural historian, preservationist, and unofficial biographer of the architect James Renwick, Jr. She received her bachelor's degree from Sarah Lawrence College in 1950, earned a certificate from the Restoration and Preservation program of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP) in 1969, and a master's of science in Historic Preservation from Columbia in 1977. Rattner was also a lecturer at the GSAPP from 1973 to 1977 and an adjunct professor from 1977 to 1979.

Although Rattner never wrote a full biography of Renwick, as she had intended, she lectured and published on him throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Most notably, she authored the entry on Renwick for the 1982 edition of the Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects . Rattner was especially interested in Renwick’s two major New York City works, Grace Church (1845) and St. Patrick’s Cathedral (1858-1888), and wrote her master’s thesis for Columbia on Grace Church and Gothic Revival architecture in the United States. Rattner also researched Renwick’s minor, and in some cases virtually unknown works, traveling often to visit libraries, archives, museums and building sites. She amassed a significant amount of primary and secondary research material over more than three decades.

In addition to her ongoing research on Renwick, Rattner was also active in related professional organizations, including the New York Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians, which she served as Vice-President from 1974 to 1976 and as Preservation Officer from 1976 to 1979; and the Victorian Society in America, for which she was Vice-President from 1970 to 1980 and 1986 to 1988 and Director from 1980 to 1989.

Rattner also consulted on various historic preservation projects, including the restoration of the historic core of Mexico City, and the proposed recycling of City Hospital on Roosevelt Island in New York City. Lastly, she was CEO and President of Paragon Paint & Varnish Corp. from 1990 to 1998. Rattner died in January, 2005.

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