November 19, 2015 10:48 AM EST
A first-generation copy of the Zapruder film. A TIME subscription for John F. Kennedy from his father. A first edition copy of
The Wealth of Nations, addressed to Edmund Burke by Adam Smith himself. A letter from Martin Luther King Jr. thanking TIME for naming him Person of the Year.
All of these treasures, and more, are part of the Time Inc.
archives—a trove of more than 7 million items that Time Inc. has donated to the New-York Historical Society as the company leaves the Time-Life Building for its new office in the financial district.
The documents and objects included in the collection offer a distinct view of global history, beginning with the earliest items from 1898 and including an Academy Award, the first TIME logo sketch, and a robe and boxing gloves worn and signed by Muhammad Ali—
along with letters from Joseph McCarthy, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Harry Truman, and others.
We’ve collected some of the most important and exciting artifacts from the collection to highlight in the above gallery.
Read More: 7 Fascinating Letters From the Time Inc. Archive Letter From Henry Luce to Parents: When TIME’s co-founders Briton Hadden and Henry Luce were still in pre-production on the new kind of news magazine, they played around with a number of titles for their publication. Here, Luce tells his parents about the idea to call the magazine “TIME,” and plays around with some slogans that would be used in later advertising campaigns. Fan Chen for TIME When TIME’s co-founders Briton Hadden and Henry Luce were still in pre-production on the new kind of news magazine, they played around with a number of titles for their publication. Here, Luce tells his parents about the idea to call the magazine “TIME,” and plays around with some slogans that would be used in later advertising campaigns. Fan Chen for TIME Zapruder Film Copy: Abraham Zapruder, a Dallas dressmaker, accidentally filmed the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy with his home film camera while trying to capture the Presidential motorcade. Zapruder sold all the rights to LIFE within three days of the assassination, and the company made several copies of the reel (such as the first generation copy pictured here) which investigators used as evidence. Keeping some editorial rights, Time Inc. sold the film back to the Zapruder family for $1 in 1975. Fan Chen for TIME Zapruder Film Contract: The original contract for the Zapruder film, negotiated by then LIFE editor Richard B. Stolley. The rights to the film were bought by LIFE for $50,000, the equivalent of over $388,600 in 2015. Fan Chen for TIME Letter from Martin Luther King Jr. : Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote this letter thanking Henry Luce for TIME's decision to name the civil rights leader as the Man of the Year in 1963. The March on Washington had just taken place that August, where Rev. King, TIME's first black Person of the Year, delivered the famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Fan Chen for TIME The Wealth of Nations: Henry Luce presented this first-edition copy of The Wealth of Nations, one of the founding texts of modern capitalism, as a gift to FORTUNE for its 25th anniversary. Author Adam Smith signed the title page to philosopher Edmund Burke in 1776. Fan Chen for TIME Academy Award: Under Vice President Roy Larsen, Time Inc. won an Academy Award in 1937 for its news documentary series 'The March of Time.' The films covered war efforts and battlefields around the world with strong patriotic overtones, including titles such as “Arms and the Men” and “Food at War." Fan Chen for TIME Pony Editions of TIME: (regular sized edition of TIME at left for scale) In 1942, TIME began printing "pony" editions of its magazines for U.S. armed forces members fighting in World War II abroad. The slimmer, smaller copies had all the same text, but thinner paper and no advertisements, to facilitate shipping overseas. Pictured on the right is an even smaller microfilm copy of the magazine, printed in black and white on-site for troops who subscribed to the TIME microfilm reels (far right) that were even easier to ship. Fan Chen for TIME John F. Kennedy TIME Subscription: Joe Kennedy, father of President John F. Kennedy, sent a letter to Luce in 1957 with a gift subscription receipt enclosed. Kennedy wrote, “You see, even twenty-four years ago when Jack was at the ripe old age of fifteen, I thought he should begin reading ‘Time.’ Could it be that the diligent support of this idea has made him as smart as he is?” Fan Chen for TIME FORTUNE Cover Sketch The launch of FORTUNE Magazine three months after the start of the Great Depression was risky at the time — especially since the magazines sold for $1 (which would be over $14 per issue today), compared to TIME’s price of 15 cents. Illustrator Thomas Maitland Cleland imagined the first cover (right) at a speakeasy in Greenwich Village, where he sketched out his vision upside down on a tablecloth for FORTUNE editor Parker Lloyd-Smith. Lloyd-Smith snipped the draft from the tablecloth, and the original sketch (left) lives on today in the company archive Fan Chen for TIME Einstein and Oppenheimer Likeness Forms The 'March of Time' newsreel series had an installment devoted to the Manhattan Project, titled Atomic Power. When the documentary series didn’t have original footage, it would recruit newsmakers (or stand-ins) to reenact the scenes. In these 1946 release forms, Robert Oppenheimer (right) consented for an actor to play him, and Albert Einstein (left) agreed to let March of Time use his image for the scene he was reenacting himself Fan Chen for TIME Muhammad Ali Gloves and Robe: These autographed boxing gloves and robe were worn by Muhammad Ali, who has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated 39 times since 1963—the most prolific cover athlete other than Michael Jordan. Sports Illustrated renamed its Legacy Award the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award in September to honor the boxer. "To have an award named in my honor by Sports Illustrated is something I could have never expected as a young man back in 1963 when I posed for that first cover. I am truly touched,” Ali said Fan Chen for TIME LIFE 'Dummy' Issue: Before releasing the first issue of LIFE, Luce and its editors created test dummies for potential advertisers in 1936. This was the final printed test dummy, without any cover graphics but filled with example content — some of which made it into the first issue of LIFE two months later Fan Chen for TIME More Must-Reads From TIME Meet the 2024 Women of the Year Greta Gerwig's Next Big Swing? East Palestine, One Year After Train Derailment The Closers: 18 People Working to End the Racial Wealth Gap Long COVID Doesn’t Always Look Like You Think It Does Column: The New Antisemitism The Best Romantic Comedies to Watch on Netflix Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time