Important Documents from The Hall of Fame for Great Americans now Online on DCMNY

by Caroline Catchpole, Culture In Transit Mobile Digitization Specialist

We are delighted to announce a new collection published on DCMNY from the Bronx Community College Archives and Special Collections, an institution we worked with as part of the Culture in Transit project.

bcc_hof_001a.jpgThe Hall of Fame Collection is a collection that concerns the Hall of Fame for Great Americans. A neoclassical colonnade that was designed by Stanford White of McKim, Mead & White sits on a plateau that overlooks the Harlem River, Fort Tryon Park and the Palisades and is replete with busts of some of the greatest American figures to have ever lived. Authors, educators, architects, inventors, military leaders, judges, theologians, philanthropists, humanitarians, scientists, statesmen, artists, musicians, actors, and explorers are all represented in the Hall of Fame, which has been designated as a national historic landmark.

Originally owned by NYU as part of its Bronx campus but sold to the State Dormitory Authority, which gave it to CUNY in the 1970s, the Hall of Fame has a long and interesting history, which is reflected in this curated collection digitized as part of Culture in Transit. The collection of 142 original documents and photographs tell the story of the Hall of Fame, from its inception at the turn of the twentieth century to the process of making and unveiling the portrait busts of honorees and finally to the tumultuous period in the 1970s when it’s future was uncertain.

We’re excited to be adding this important and rich collection to DCMNY; a collection that not only reveals an interesting piece of New York history but wider histories of some of the great influential figures in American history. The content will soon be added to the Digital Public Library of America, which will allow access on an international platform for these unique documents.  

Culture in Transit is made possible by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.


The image above, Students studying in the colonnade of the Hall of Fame, can be found on DCMNY.