Rare Book & Manuscript Library

George R. Van Namee Scrapbooks, 1918-1945

Summary Information


Fifteen scrapbooks of news-clippings and political ephemera related to New York politics and the career of New York Governor and Democratic Presidential nominee Alfred E. Smith.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1452
Bib ID 7932411 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Van Namee, George Rivet
Title George R. Van Namee Scrapbooks, 1918-1945
Physical Description 6.25 linear feet (15 custom boxes)
Language(s) English .

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.



This collection is arranged in 3 series.



The George R. Van Namee scrapbooks contain fifteen volumes relating to Van Namee's marriage and later life, New York politics, and especially the career of Alfred E. Smith. The collection is arranged into three series.

  • Series I: General Scrapbooks, 1918-1945

    This series covers Van Namee's relationship with Alfred E. Smith, containing clippings, ephemera, and photographs from 1918 through 1945. Included are articles about Smith's tenure as governor, Smith's 1928 Presidential run, and details of Smith's later life and marriage. Also included are photographs and letters from Van Namee's own life, including his marriage to Rose Fallon, a successful florist, and his appointment and tenure as New York's Public Service Commissioner. Articles and ephemera from other events of the period--such as articles about Hitler's death, tickets from the New York World's Fair, and programs from racing and boxing events--are included throughout. Items relevant to Tammany Hall, Mayor Jimmy Walker, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Pope Pius XI, and New York Irish Catholics are also present.

  • Series II: 1928 Campaign Scrapbooks, 1928

    The second series contains six scrapbooks devoted to Smith's 1928 presidential campaign. Two of these contain printed matter published by Smith's campaign, such as posters, promotional pamphlets, and transcripts of Smith's speeches. The other four scrapbooks contain extensive clippings from nearly all American newspapers during the campaign, covering topics that range from the controversy surrounding Smith's Catholicism to his debates with Herbert Hoover over economic policy and public education.

  • Series III: Ephemera and Miscellanea

    The third series contains two scrapbooks of ephemera. One covers the year 1932 exclusively, with material relating to the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Van Namee's own activities in New York. The final scrapbook contains a wide variety of valuable ephemera, mostly relating to New York Democratic politics. Materials are wide ranging and include items like the key to Tammany Hall, dinner invitations to the Manhattan Club, and brochures and tickets from the 1928 and 1932 Democratic National Conventions.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Name of Collection; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.


No additional material is expected

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed Matthew Spooner, GSAS 2012 8/--/2010.

Finding aid written Matthew Spooner, GSAS 2012 8/--/2010.

Revision Description

2010-09-03 xml document instance created by Carrie Hintz

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found 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 catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Campaign literature -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Democratic Party (N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
New York (N.Y.) -- Politics and government -- 1898-1951 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Roosevelt, Franklin D (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Smith, Alfred Emanuel, 1873-1944 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Tammany Hall Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Walker, James John, 1881-1946 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

George R. Van Namee was born in Watertown, New York on December 23, 1877. He graduated from the Cornell University College of Law in 1901 and practiced law in Watertown for nine years before being appointed Clerk of the New York State Assembly from 1911-1913. Van Namee then served as Commissioner of the Bill Drafting Commission, which assists legislators, from 1914 to 1918, after which he worked as Secretary to Governor Alfred E. Smith beginning in 1920. Van Namee's relationship with Smith continued for the rest of their careers, with Van Namee serving as Smith's private secretary and then being appointed by the governor as a commissioner of the Public Service Commission in 1924, a post Van Namee held until his retirement in 1943.