The New York Times Company Records: General files document many aspects of The New York Times Company, the newspapers it publishes (most significantly The New York Times but also The Chattanooga Times and other regional and international newspapers), its subsidiary holdings, and its financial management and daily operations. The files primarily pertain to The New York Times and are rich in information about Times staff and their roles and responsibilities; the intellectual and physical production of the newspaper; the impact of historical events on its form and content; and myriad decisions made in the course of daily operations. The bulk of the material in these files dates from the twentieth century, though there are also significant nineteenth century records which predate Adolph S. Ochs' 1896 acquisition of The Times.
The General files are a record group of the archives of The New York Times Company, described by a former Times archivist as comprising "material that stems from diverse sources and does not pertain to a specific individual's or department's record group, or to a special collection." These files document the activities of the Times Company and many of its subsidiaries (most significantly and extensively The New York Times newspaper) in a broad sense, and their contents often complement the editorial and desk files also now held by the Manuscripts and Archives Division of The New York Public Library.
These files are divided into three series: I. People files, II. Subject files, and III. Historical materials. The scope and content of each series is described in greater detail at the series level in the following container list. People files and Subject files were designations created and maintained by Times archivists; the Historical materials series was created by the processing archivist at The New York Public Library to encompass uncategorized records of historic significance.
The General files include correspondence, memoranda, legal documents, reports, scrapbooks, photographs and slides, audiovisual material, charts, architectural drawings and blueprints, engineering drawings, court records, financial records (including ledgers, journals and bank books), financial reports and analyses, printed graphic material (posters and brochures), press releases, excerpts from in-house counsel's legal diaries pertinent to a given subject, clippings, scripts for slide presentations and public talks, meeting minutes, transcripts of interviews, some corrected typescripts of articles, records related to Times-owned buildings, and a range of other material. Some folders include Times archivists' correspondence with researchers about a given subject.
It should be noted that prints of photographs are handled like documents, i.e. they are filed in the appropriate folders according to subject. The Times Archive maintained a separate Photograph File for film negatives, contact sheets, and duplicate prints. This record group is also held by the Manuscripts and Archives Division, but is currently closed to research, pending processing.
Seven boxes of restricted material from the General files will become available in 2018, 2028, 2033 and 2035. The titles of restricted folders are included in this finding aid.
Material germane to two or more people or subjects is rarely duplicated in the both relevant folders. Instead, it has been kept in the one deemed most important by The New York Times archivists and cross-referenced with other relevant names or subjects. Files dealing with specific subjects are generally stored in subject folders rather than the people folders of those involved. Cross-references from The Times' own card index are included in this finding aid, but they are not exhaustive. The processing archivist has also added notes and cross-references when appropriate. Some names in the finding aid do not represent folders, but exist only as cross references.
Researchers should note that the General files also contain extensive published material, including so-called "important issues" of The New York Times and other newspapers, as well as reprints of select issues. These issues and reprints are not listed in this finding aid and are currently unavailable for research. They include copies of The Times' predecessors, International Editions, German and Russian language editions, educational reprints of past issues for school-age audiences, The New York Times Magazine, the Book Review, the Chattanooga Times, and facsimile editions of The New York Times.
Acquisition: Donated by The New York Times Company, June 2007.
Content: Processing information: Compiled by Laura Morris.
The original arrangement of The New York Times Company records: General files has been maintained. The Times' own series designation of People files and Subject files has been respected, and materials formerly physically removed from these series because of their size or format have been returned to their original location intellectually. The processing archivist at The New York Public Library has created a third series, Historical Materials, to encompass materials which accompanied these records but were not classified as People or Subject files.
Records containing confidential personal information, including Social Security Numbers and job performance evaluations, were discarded, as were duplicate materials and published material widely available elsewhere. A limited number of files are restricted to research until 2018, 2028, 2033, and 2035, per the donor agreement.