© photo by Jeff Day

(2020-2021) Brown Brothers Collection

Digital Humanities Seed Grant Project

Project Title: Brown Brothers Collection: A Use-case Pilot for NYU-NYPL Research Collaboration, on DH Exploration of Nineteenth-century Financial Records

Principal Investigator: Thomas Augst, Associate Professor, Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Science

Abstract: The Brown Brothers Collection is a collaborative, cross-institutional research project that will develop robust teaching, research, and public humanities resources that leverage the digitized Brown Brothers & Company archives held by the New York Public Library.  Founded in 1825 by Irish immigrants, this New York bank remains in operation as one of the largest private financial services firms in the city, Brown Brothers Harriman. An initial phase of collection’s digitization was recently completed with support from a Hidden Archives grant. We anticipate many kinds of stories that might be told from this collection, ranging from the history of global finance capital and the New York banking sector to New York City’s financial and administrative role in the slave economy. This pilot seeks to create a dataset and machine-readable transcriptions encompassing the contents of the original records, and to develop potential uses of the data by scholars, teachers, and the general public as an open-access resource.