Skip to main content

Frick Corporation, Childs Frick and American Museum of Natural History papers and records

Identifier: VPA 21

Scope and Contents

A relationship between the American Museum of Natural History (Museum) and the Childs Frick Corporation (Corporation) has been in existence since 1923. Financed by Childs Frick (Mr. Frick) by means of a Pliocene Fund (Fund), the Fund established by a donation made by Mr. Frick’s mother, Adelaide Howard Childs, the Corporation enabled Mr. Frick to carry out work in partnership with Vertebrate Paleontology. In the succeeding years, the Fund provided Mr. Frick with the means to pay assistant salaries to staff who were normally employees of the Museum and pay for expenses and expeditions. In 1935, the Museum and the Corporation made another partnership agreement, in which funding to the Museum established permanent occupancy of Laboratory spaces for the Corporation in the basement, and on floors five, six, and seven of the Museum. For many years the Museum supported Mr. Frick’s research activities in joint association with his Millstone Laboratory in Roslyn, Long Island, located at his home.

In 1966, the Museum and Corporation entered into a final agreement in which various Frick specimen collections and assets were assigned and transferred from Millstone to the Museum, where preservation continues today for his fossil collections and scientific archives housed in the Frick Building built with funds from the Corporation.

The materials in this collection are arranged in two boxes: AMNH Administration, and Child Frick Papers. They represent the historical records of the Corporation and the Frick fossil collections. Box 1 (1926-1965) contains A. Perry Osborn, budget recommendation, and Museum Board of Trustee correspondence. Box 2 (1900-1928) contains manuscripts, correspondence, and reports for mainly horse material, and notebooks, reference documents, line drawings, and photos for Mexico material.


  • 1900-1965


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed in the Division of Paleontology. Please contact the collection manager for access; materials are sometimes restricted.

Biographical note

Childs Frick (1883-1965) was the son of steel magnate Henry Clay Frick and his wife Adelaide, and was a longtime American Museum trustee from 1920-1955. He was born in Pittsburgh, where he attended the Sterrett School and Shadyside Academy, and graduated from Princeton University in 1905. In 1916, Frick began a long association with the American Museum of Natural History Department of Paleontology, funding paleontology projects and expeditions featuring AMNH paleontologists Morris Skinner, Ted Galusha, and Beryl Taylor, mostly to the western parts of North America, and accumulating a collection of over 200,000 fossil mammals, which formed the basis of a series of monographic studies on mammal evolution. He wrote numerous scientific papers and the book "Horned Ruminants of North America." He served as Honorary Curator of Late Tertiary and Quaternary Mammals. He had a great interest in natural history and served as a Trustee on the board of many organizations, including the New York Zoological Society. He sponsored many scientific expeditions around the world and donated trophies to the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh and the AMNH. He was also the president of the Frick Collection, which is the corporate organization in charge of the art museum founded by his father. The collection was donated to the museum after Frick's death in 1965. The financial assets of the Childs Frick Corporation, which were donated to the Museum along with Frick's fossil collections in 1968, assisted in the construction of a new, 10-story collection and office building, which opened in 1973. Childs Frick married Frances Shoemaker Dixon in 1913, and they had four children: Adelaide (1915-1956), Frances (1916-1971), Martha (1917-1996), and Henry Clay II (1919-2007). The family lived at Clayton, an estate located in Roslyn, N.Y., which was a gift to Childs and his wife from Henry Clay Frick. Childs Frick died at Clayton in 1965.


1 Linear Foot (2 boxes)


By subject.

Related Archival Material

VPA 4, Boxes 1-9; VPA 22; VPA 56a


Historic Call Number: 3:5

Frick Corporation, Childs Frick and American Museum of Natural History papers and records, 1924-1965
Melissa Silvestri, Allyson Mellone, Alana Gishlick, 2021
2021 August
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Minimal level collection record created with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Museums for America grant, 2020.

Repository Details

Part of the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology Archives Repository

200 Central Park West
New York NY 10024-5192