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Jill Jonnes research notes for Conquering Gotham

2001-2006
 Collection
Identifier: 2404

Abstract

Jill Jonnes (1952-) is a freelance writer who has published a number of books on technology and society, including Conquering Gotham in 2007, which is an account of the design and construction of the Pennsylvania Railroad's New York improvements. The collection is comprised of Jonnes' research notes for writing the book, almost entirely of photocopies of letters, reports, newspaper articles, and extracts from books.

Dates

  • 2001-2006

Extent

3 Linear Feet

Biographical Note

Jill Jonnes (1952-) is a freelance writer with a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University who has published a number of books on technology and society. In 2007, she published Conquering Gotham, an account of the design and construction of the Pennsylvania Railroad's New York Improvements, including the tunnels under the Hudson (North) and East Rivers and the original Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan. This work was based upon extensive research in the company archives both at Hagley and the Pennsylvania State Archives and in other collections of papers of the major figures in the story, including those of A. J. Cassatt (1839-1906), Charles F. McKim (1847-1909), Charles M. Jacobs (1850-1919), James Forgie (1868-1958), William H. Baldwin (1863-1905), Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919), and Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919).

Scope and Contents

Jill Jonnes' (1952-) research notes for Conquering Gotham consist almost entirely of photocopies of letters, reports, newspaper articles, and extracts from books, most of which are highlighted or marked by the author. There are also some notes in the author's hand, noting various research leads and to do lists.

The photocopies are taken from mainstream newspapers and magazines, scholarly monographs and memoirs, and from the main actors' business and personal papers, especially A. J. Cassatt (1839-1906), Samuel Rea (1855-1929), Charles F. McKim (1847-1909), William H. Baldwin (1863-1905), James M. Forgie (1868-1958), and Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919). There are extensive extracts from the minutes of the Board of Engineers for the project. While the emphasis is on the technical and political problems faced in building the tunnels and station, there is also considerable background material on Cassatt and Rea's lives and families in particular.

The records were donated to the Hagley Museum and Library to complement Hagley's collections of original material on the Penn Station project. Some items, such as extracts from books in Hagley's collections and newspaper extracts giving background information such as prices and popular events of the day, have been discarded. The rest is arranged according to the author's own system.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Most materials are for reference use only. Copyright restrictions may apply.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
Jill Jonnes research notes for Conquering Gotham
Status:
Author:
Christopher T. Baer
Date:
2007
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2021: Ashley Williams

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400